The latest news about the Maryknoll Affiliates
There are now 3 Virtual Chapters in the Affiliate world - 1) mirroring a geographic chapter 2) the contemplative chapter 3) the international (Kenya/US/Europe chapter. In a recent meeting (video conference) of the first mentioned 1) - chapter members expressed how wonderful an experience this virtual chapter* has been for them and suggested that we invite new members. This is particularly the case for Affiliates who have moved away from the former Chapter and/or find it difficult to travel to their Chapter. The virtual chapter model is also meant for those expressing interest in the Affiliates who'd like to join a chapter but do not live close to any established geographic chapter.
* All three virtual chapters have proven to be a very positive experience.
You’re Invited to Be Part…
Would you like a Maryknoll Missioner to be a companion to your chapter? A team of five Affiliates have formed to help you make such a connection. The Maryknoll Sisters have agreed to engage in this process, and we are in discussions with the Society and Lay Missioners.
Possible companion activities: Communicate by email, letter, conference call, or possibly visits. Share your stories, prayers for each other, encouragement, advice.
Who is Invited? Any chapter worldwide, provided a companion can be found who speaks a common language.
How this program came about. During the October meeting/retreat of the Maryknoll Affiliates Board and Regional Coordinators, one theme that was discussed is the importance of making all kinds of connections, not only with those we meet on (Click READ MORE below to see all)
John Moritz, member of the Northeast Florida Chapter and the Affiliate Board, suggested this gift - Family Coffee would be something everybody can use that will support a very worthwhile cause.
Family Coffee is a project of Caminando Por La Paz. Ron Covey, from both the Houston & Guatemala Chapters, oversees this initiative - the only Maryknoll Affiliate-run such program. The profits from the sales of this excellent Honduran Coffee support the Education of Children in one of the most marginalized areas of Guatemala City.
Maryknoll Contemplative Retreat Mwanza, Tanzania (July 22-29, 2019)
There are two remaining spots for Affiliates who would like to participate in this retreat. If interested, contact Bob Short ASAP & before Christmas. The Affiliate Board has offered to provide a stiped to help defray the cost of air travel.
[You’ll see below that this retreat entails significant time in meditative silence.]
Mission Vision (Jim Elbe MM)
RATIONALE: The challenges of living and working in a globalized world of climate change, inequality in all its forms, ethnic conflict, racism, reactionary nationalism, religious fundamentalism, terrorism, and poverty create an environment that demands a more contemplative approach for Maryknoll Missioners.
III. MISSION: To create a Maryknoll culture of Contemplative Mission through a Contemplative Intensive Retreat.
-Plane ticket, room and board, stipend for Fr. Kim
-Room and board for all participants
Dick Horstman, Affiliate from the Houston Chapter, provided before & after photos
of the house in Brazoria, TX that 11 Affiliates worked on - November 11 - 17.
“…send down your grace upon us as we enter the Vasquez home. Help us realize that this is not just a house, but rather the home where their family ate their meals together, raised their children, spent holidays together and told stories to each other…” *
At the invitation of Houston Chapter members, eleven Affiliates from throughout the country came together in Brazoria, TX (about 1 ½ hours south of Houston) for a week of mission to help restore a home very seriously compromised by flood waters around the time of Hurricane Harvey in the summer of 2017. Countless elements had to fall into place in order to pull off such an ambitious undertaking – skill levels, personality styles, energy levels, the right tools, faith commitment, etc. Looking back on our time together, all exuberantly agreed that they did. Thank you, Houston Chapter!!
The work site - FEMA paid to have this 1962 mobile home raised some 3 ½ feet off the ground post flood. To say the home was seriously compromised or a fixer-upper, would be a gross understatement. It was a shell of a house with floors, walls, plumbing and electric (essentially everything) barely, if at all existent.
The crew (Mrs. Vasquez in red. Dick Nortsman, very active member of the crew had to leave early to teach his college class) – we were a senior workforce. Senior here is a reference to age, not long-standing ability. No one was under 60 and for a couple, 80 was just over a very small hill. Skill levels ranged from a former licensed contractor to those who might, on a good day, be able to distinguish a flathead screwdriver from a Phillips. The psychologist Mihály Csíkszentmihalyi (author of Flow) wrote that, “It is not the skills we actually have that determine how we feel but the ones we think we have.” In truth, our foreman, Bob Kleeman kept us focused and on track (a euphemism for drove us hard 8 – 9 hours each day) so that by the end of the week, all the floors were down, sheetrock up, electrical in good functioning order, windows spiffy clean and the yard in much better shape. Throughout, levels of cooperation and mutual respect never left us. Small amounts of blood did, but, amazingly, there was nothing close to a significant injury.
The community – equally as wonderful as working together on the house was the sense of solidarity and mutual commitment during prayer and liturgy each morning and evening led by Fr. Gerry Kelly MM, and the heartfelt camaraderie during and around meals. Ruth Kleeman purchased the food and planned & prepared all the meals. Judy Norstman quietly supplied all the linens and had the rooms all ready when we arrived. I think it’s fair to say that all the 4 Affiliate pillars (community, spirituality, action and global vision) were present during this sacred adventure. If global vision might seem like a a stretch here, remember that for those of us outside of Houston (CA, NJ, FL & CT) Texas was a culture unto itself.
Going forward (Our "foreman" Bob Kleeman with Mrs. Vasquez) – This was such a life-giving experience that we all wondered if something similar, if less ambitious, might be duplicated in other chapters, other areas. While it's never possible to capture the breadth and depth of feelings that all of us experienced on this mission, it is clear that such experiences truly advance the Affiliate movement. Something to seriously think about. Again, thank you Houston!!
* Line taken from a prayer originally composed by Matt Rousso of the New Orleans Chapter.
The Houston Chapter Mission to repair and restore houses partially destroyed by Hurricane Harvey in the summer of 2017, begins this week. Affiliates and Father Gerry Kelly from the Houston Chapter as well as several more Affiliates from throughout the US will join in. Please keep them and the people there in your thoughts.
Affiliate Board member, Ginny McEvoy, along with the members of the Long Island Chapter of which she is a part, have helped all of us to find ways to honor and celebrate the lives of Affiliates who have passed on. With Ginny’s encouragement (push might be more accurate) we plan to add a new section to the website that will address this.
It is not meant to be an obituary column. Websites rarely if ever include that. But, it will be a way to celebrate the lives our fellow Affiliates. So, in the months and years ahead, please let Bob Short know of anyone who has died in your chapter. If possible, provide a photo and brief write-up of the contributions s/he has made to mission.
The photos herein are of Jack Connell and Margaret Meehan - both from the Subway Chapter, who died within a few months of each other in late summer and early fall 2018.
¿QUÉ ENCONTRARÁ EN ESTA EDICIÓN? QUIÉNES SOMOS
Invitación de No Tan Lejos del Horizonte para el 2018
Por sus frutos los conocerán
AMÉRICA LATINA: HECHOS Y DESAFÍOS
América Latina defendiendo derechos
EL BUEN VIVIR
Oramos con el papa Francisco por el cuidado de la creación
POR UNA VIDA DIGNA
Historia de la creación de la cooperativa ACOMUJERZA
MARYKNOLLERS EN ACCIÓN
Canonización de Monseñor Romero
Bodas de Oro de Teruko Ito
Solidaridad ante la emergencia en Guatemala
Retiro-reunión Consejo de Afiliados Maryknoll y coordinadores regionales
The identity question was one of the areas for discussion during the Affiliate Joint Retreat/Meeting last week. Both for individuals and for a collective group, defining one's essential identity can be illusive.
As individuals we often define ourselves via gender, race, nationality, age, work, geography, economic status and so many other ego identifiers. Of this approach, Rabbi Rami Sharpiro wrote: “… all my suffering is rooted in mistaking my limited and labeled self (male, Jewish, white, American) as my truest Self. I can, with practice, shift my awareness from that limited egoic self to the infinite divine Self that is all Reality.” That seems much closer to our core identity in God.
Similarly, for our collective Maryknoll Affiliate identity, we sometimes begin by describing our organizational structure, historical development or a quantitative listing of chapters and members. While important and good, they don’t really get at the vital spirit of who we are. Our four pillars (Community, Spirituality, Global Vision & Action) along with our connection to the Maryknoll charism get much closer. It’s probably even true to say that whenever with other Maryknollers, there is a felt sense of who we are, of being at home.
Finally, a quote from the Liberation theologian Jon Soprino SJ, might be the one most Maryknollers can relate to. He said, “You ask, ‘Who are you?’…It would be better to ask the crucified people. They know who we are, who I am – an answer that is not far from another traditional reply: God knows us better than we know ourselves.” I sometimes wonder if only those from the North and the economically advantaged have the need to ask identity questions. If the answer (lived and spoken) is inauthentic and heavily colored with ego, the crucified people will spot it right away.
The Affiliate Regional Coordinators (RCs) and Affiliate Board met for a Retreat/Meeting from October 18 - 21, 2018 at the Maryknoll Sisters Center. The Contemplative retreat, utilizing Theory-U as a framework for the process (see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GMJefS7s3lc.) It was a very different way to approach goals and objectives wherein heart learning becomes at least as important (and operative) as what we would normally do in our heads. More will follow in the months ahead on the realized learnings and outcomes. In the end, all present agreed that it was an especially positive and meaningful 4 days together.
This was also a time when Dave Schaffner completed his time as Board Chair. Saturday evening was set aside as a time to express our deep appreciation for all Dave has done for the Affiliate Movement over more than six years as Board member and, in the last few years, Board Chair. Rich Lessard (1st photo - back row - last person on right) was chosen as our new Board Chair. Rich is presently in his second term on the Board and, along with his insight and passion for the Affiliate movement, has already in those years made major contributions.
The letter that follows was written by Karen Bortvedt, Recruitment Manager for MKLM. It's a wonderful invitation for all expressions within the Maryknoll Family. Karen mentioned in a subsequent email that his includes events at the chapter level. See Karen's contact information below.
Greeting my Maryknoll Collaborators,
I hope you are all doing well. As a part of my job, I attempt to keep up the discernment section of our MKLM website. My hope, going forward, is to include a section with “Other Maryknoll Opportunities” as our discerners are around the country and we would love them to connect with your programing and opportunities around the country. Since we are all a part of the Maryknoll family, involvement with your events will help them to understand who we are and serve as a kind of formation (before we even get an application).
This is my ask, if you have events, training programs, retreats, speaker series, advocacy opportunities, or anything else you think could use some promotion that has a specific date, please send me a link (or PDF of the information) and a one to three sentence summary that I can just copy and paste to a website. Please also feel free to share this with others on your team/staff so they can send along opportunities as well.
I will do my best to get events sent to me posted weekly, though have mercy if that doesn’t always happen. As soon as I have the page live, I can send you the link as well if you would want to reshare it in anyway.
You can reach Karen at:
THANK YOU KAREN