Trip Process

Welcome to Friends Across Borders (FAB)!

We work with individuals as well as groups such as universities, parishes, dioceses, and other organizations interested in having a taste of mission life, experiencing cross-cultural immersion, or learning about the specific world realities to which Maryknoll Lay Missioners respond with our ministries in the fields of education, healthcare, justice & peace, faith formation/pastoral care, and sustainable development. The cost of FAB trips varies from continent to continent and from country to country. Because of safety concerns in the places where Maryknoll Lay Missioners serve, and because our mission immersion trips are designed to challenge adults, only a few of our mission sites have the capacity to welcome children as visitors, and, depending on the destination country, a minimum age may be stipulated for trip participants.

Anyone wishing to participate in a FAB trip must fill out an application or registration form, sign it, date it, and send it with a registration fee of $250 per individual participant. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Trips for individuals are planned and posted between 6 months to one year in advance. Groups from specific organizations who wish to go on a FAB trip are contacted once FAB receives the group’s application; the group’s needs and interests are discussed prior to trip planning. Click here to request information.

It is very important that before you register you read our TERMS AND CONDITIONS.

Each trip is a three-step process:

  • Preparation (before)
  • Immersion (during)
  • Follow-Up (after)

What do we offer?

  1. A visit to one of the countries in which Maryknoll Lay Missioners live and work in Asia, Africa, or Latin America.
  2. Two or more guides (usually Returned MKLM Missioners) who will travel with you from the United States, along with Maryknoll Lay Missioners serving in the host country, accompanying and guiding you during your entire immersion or service learning experience.
  3. Guidance through the process of application, registration, and orientation to the trip by FAB manager with decades of mission experience.
  4. Two orientation/preparation conference calls and/or meetings. Whether or not these meetings take place via phone or in person depends upon the proximity of the FAB manager and/or trip guides.
  5. Upon arrival at the country of destination, transportation to accommodations (homestay, retreat houses, motels or hotels, depending upon the sorts of accommodations available in that country). After resting, participants receive an onsite orientation to locale (country and city/town/village) and culture, and background on Maryknoll Lay Missioners (as an organization, and its ministries and presence in that country).
  6. A follow-up conference call or meeting as well as useful resources to enable your application of new learnings and perspectives in your life and work or studies.

The structure of FAB trips follow a rhythm that includes:

  1. Face to face interaction with local people (translation will be provided).
  2. Participation in local religious and cultural celebrations.
  3. Input from local professionals, missioners, academics, etc.
  4. Group prayer – simple rituals, eucharist, and other liturgies.
  5. Group discussion for processing and reflection.
  6. Tourist activities and plenty of fun!
  7. “Down” time for resting.


Here are some of the basic principles and convictions that inspire FAB trips, and that help participants gain the most from their experience.

  • We make our journey as a community. Participants have experiences that are personal but shared (i.e., not individualistic).
  • The experience impacts each of us differently. Each journeying community on a FAB trip is made up of distinct individuals.  Participants commit to respecting those differences.
  • The trip itself is not the beginning of your FAB journey. Something along your life path drew you to say “yes” to this experience. FAB wants to celebrate and honor your life journey and your “yes”!
  • We go to visit sacred ground and a graced people. Participants may witness poverty and situations of injustice that are unlike anything they’ve previously experienced. Yet Maryknoll Lay Missioners experience God’s life-giving Presence in the suffering people among whom we serve, and in the very places where these people live, toil, pray, and celebrate.  FAB invites participants to join us in encountering Christ among the poor.
  • The people and cultures we will encounter are, like us (and like our own culture!) limited and imperfect.
  • Our primary commitment is to open our hearts, listen, and be compassionate (in Latin, com + pati = to “feel with”); in other words, to allow ourselves to “see” reality as do the people with whom we as trip participants interact in FAB destination countries.
  • We believe that God accompanies us on our journeys - so we can go forward with confidence and a readiness to celebrate!

If you or your parish, community group, or organization is interested in mission, service, and/or cross-cultural immersion, CONTACT US!