The latest news about the Maryknoll Affiliates
MAC 2017, held at Casa de Retiros Verbo Encarnado in Guatemala was completed today, Sunday 11/12 with the recognition that this could well have been the most successful and important Conference in our 25+ year history. It is difficult to find the right words to characterize the - organizational skills, creative initiatives, dedication and spiritual insight that the Guatemala Planning Team utilized to put this together. All of us there (120 participants from 9 countries) are profoundly gratefully for the inspiration, challenge, sense of the Maryknoll family as one that we experienced. More will follow in the weeks ahead.
MAC 2017 starts this coming Thursday, November 9th. Counting commuters, 120 have registered for the Conference. About half of those have also signed up for one of the four Mission Trips.
The theme chosen by the Guatemalan Conference Committee (GCC) – Buen Vivir (Living in Harmony with All) - in itself brings hope and expectation for all of us. In every area - dedication to mission, level of creativity, spiritual insight and organizational acuity - the GCC has been exceptional.
This could very well be a pivotal moment for the Maryknoll Affiliates, for mission. If you will not be able to be with us, please prayer in solidarity for this special moment in our history.
Maryknoll Mission Immersion
Texas Rio Grande Valley – April 16- April 22, 2018
Are you trying to better understand the realities facing today's immigrants and refugees? If so, Maryknoll's Spring Immersion trip to the Rio Grande Valley may be the answer. This week long immersion experience led by Matt Rousso and Fr. Gerry Kelly, M.M. will put you in touch with the human faces behind the immigration debate and provide you with opportunities to appreciate their struggles, listen to their voices, and understand their daily realities.
Immersion Trip includes
A home base on the grounds of the Basilica of the National Shrine of Our Lady of San Juan del Valle, San Juan , TX
Estimated costs and travel particulars
Note: We can only accommodate 10 participants
First Name: _____________________Last Name: __________________Email:_______________________
Address: _____________________________________ City/State/Zipcode: _____________________________
Phone No: ________________________ Diocese: ______________________
__ I am A Deacon Send completed form/check
__ A Deacon’s Wife To: Matt Rousso
__ Involved in Parish/Diocesan Ministry 7730 Walmsley Ave
__ Fluent in Spanish (not a requirement) New Orleans, LA 70125
More Information? 504-866-8516 or 504-376-4142 (cell)
The Third Wave Mission Institute (Mission in the Third Wave of Globalization) met in San Antonio, TX on October 26 & 27. The Institute was formed to respond to the needs of the recent emergence of Christians involved in short-term mission and parish partnership efforts. Fr. Gerry Kelly MM heads up this initiative that includes 11 other board members from different dioceses and organizations throughout the country. Bob Short is the other Maryknoller on the board. See: https://thirdwaveofmission.org/
Astonishingly, it is estimated that several million people!! – from colleges, high schools and parishes go on short-term (averaging 10 days) immersion trips each year. Most of those are young and about 1.5 million are Catholics.
The primary focus of the Third Wave Mission Institute is to provide formative training for those going on these immersion trips and, more recently, to also provide debriefing sessions upon return. Both of these formative aspects have been minimal or completely missing in the past. Several times during the meeting, the Maryknoll Affiliates were mentioned as a key resource for future growth. More to come about this.
The November/December 2017 issue of NSFA will be out soon in digital and paper versions. This is an especially timely, evocative, provocative and moving issue, in that each of articles (all written by Affiliates) stands in strong counterpoint to the frightening unraveling that has been taking place in our country over the last 10 months. It is an amazingly (not using that word lightly) relevant well-written and vital issue for our times. Understandably, it is very difficult not to be jubilantly proud at how perceptively and straightforwardly these Affiliate authors have spoken out; and, how well the co-editors Paula and Mary have put this all together.
FOLLOWING THE NON-VIOLENT JESUS
A workshop presented by
Fr. John Dear, SJ
Monday, Oct. 30, 2017
9 am – 3 pm
Forum Room, Roger’s Building
(on the campus of the Maryknoll Sisters)
“A time is coming when men (sic) will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him, saying, ‘You are mad; you are not like us.'” (St. Anthony the Great)
The Affiliate Book Group is reading Miguel De La Torre’s Trails of Hope & Terror (Testimonies of Immigration). It speaks of economic realities, family values, the politics of fear, myths about the immigration debate and includes emotional testimonies from many perspectives. It’s a poignant and critical topic in these times.
The sessions have been engaging and informative. The content, dynamics and personal investment of each member are in themselves revealing of an uncommon, if not counter cultural stance in 21st century North America. Some might say crazy-mad, even subversive. That might be a badge of honor.
Once the 4 pillars of spirituality, community, action and global vision become the operative starting place for making an argument, the discussion will inevitably be “tainted”...a very different value system. Odds are that few if any of these pillars surface in board rooms or in this Trump cabinet. The word “investment” therein is tied to capital and political gain, not to a conscious personal choice towards love.
Even in the ‘glory days’ 40 - 60 years ago when scores of young people were flocking into Maryknoll (and other religious, priestly and lay Church communities), to opt for the disenfranchised and poor was viewed as a questionable life choice, only for the few. I don't think that there is much question in our minds and hearts about the investment we are making.
Until yesterday, Sunday, there were two affiliate virtual chapters. The first formed has six members crossing three U.S. time zones and has met three times. The second is a contemplative virtual chapter that focuses on reflective conversation and prayer. Members from both these chapters have spoken very positively about how meaningful the experiences have been.
On Sunday, October 1st, a third, hybrid affiliate chapter entered the virtual Maryknoll Affiliate world. Approximately 15 members from three continents and as many countries – Kenya, Germany and the U.S. (crossing too many time zones to count) – held their first meeting.
This hybrid virtual chapter evolved from the creative vision and organizational acumen of Gerry and Marita Grudzen, connected to Maryknoll in several capacities for many years. Both have been involved in higher education, and there has been a particular focus in the area of interfaith – in spirituality, academics, trainings and personal investment. Gerry’s most recent book in this area is: Spirituality and Science: Greek, Judeo-Christian and Islamic Perspectives
I don’t think the Affiliate Board could have anticipated that virtual chapter could take such a far-reaching character when it was first proposed. It’s a very encouraging development for mission. Here’s their first meeting agenda:
October 1, 2017, 3:30-5:00pm (Kenyan Time)
Formation Process for the Affiliate over 12 months: What it will look like.
Five Themes: Affiliate Identity, Mission, Spirituality in Mission, Community and Prophetic Witness.
Emphasis on four pillars: Spirituality, Community, Global Vision and Action.
Small group discussion at each site (15”)
Then we go back to the big group and each person introduces themselves and shares something in response to the program. (25”)
This dynamic webinar will help diocesan and parish leaders learn how to form a mission council in their parish or diocese.
(Vision photo by Paula Schaffner)
Join the Maryknoll Affiliate Board in envisioning our future.
1. Read through these two pages.
2. Plan who will read the passages and prayers.
3. Determine who will lead the discussions.
4. Gather markers, a ip chart or large sheets of paper and tape, and pens and paper for individual use. .
A member reads these excerpts from Marlene Marburg’s poem, “Dreaming a Grace”:
I imagine a place
people gathering, sharing their deep desires
for the way things can be
in this world at this time
where a new consciousness of God in all things
While visioning at their May meeting, our Maryknoll Af liate Board discussed:
Where will the Af liates be in 5 years?
Where do we want the Af liates to be in 5 years?
Name 1-3 action steps to get there.
The Af liate movement, as are all of us, is challenged by an evolving world. The Board was excited by the possibilities presented by the actions of international chapters and our ever greater collaboration with the other Maryknoll entities. The Board wants to broaden the conversation to include input from Af liate chapters and individuals. In response, Bob Short posted the article, “Where Will We Be in 5 Years (or less)?” It reads:
A key question scheduled for the recent conference call between Board and Regional Coordinator members was: “Where do you want the Maryknoll Af liates to be in ve years?” Board Chair Dave Schaffner suggested that to that question, we attach a second one: “Where do you think we will be in 5 years?” They are critical questions for all of us to consider. Hopefully many Af liate Chapters will take up the question as well.
[To see the full Easy Meeting plan you can: (1) go to the latest (September/October 2017) printed edition of NSFA - pages 6 & 7. (2) go to the online version of NSFA at this link: http://maryknollaffiliates.org/news/not-so-far-afield/item/1686-easy-meeting-visioning-the-affiliates.html]
This post is being written after hurricane Harvey; after Mexico’s most devastating earthquake in half a century; after the devastating floods of South Asia; during hurricanes Irma and Jose, but before Irma makes landfall in Florida. All these have taken place within weeks of each other. We are undoubtedly leaving out other horrific ‘natural’ events in places that rarely make the news. Tens of millions of lives have been affected.
All this could lead us in many directions about what in the world is going on – the impact of climate change, humanity’s kindness to each other, humanity’s exploitation of the poor and marginalized, etc. – but at this moment we simply hold all these people in our hearts, particularly those who have little resources or support.
Considering our sister/brother Affiliates and other Maryknollers, we pray for the recovery of those in the Houston Chapter; for the safety of those (many evacuated) in the Northeast Florida Chapter; and most especially, for Mary (79) & Pat (82) Gill-Denevan from the Portland, OR Chapter who have been working in Oaxaca Mexico for many years. Some of us received their 51st Newsletter a few days ago. Thankfully, word just came in from Mary that they are well and with little damage to their house. She asks for prayers for those near the coast who experienced significant damage. Here’s a quote from Mary copied from their newsletter:
“The biggest lesson in my life right now is the holding in tension all the best and worst of reality. I know the big plan is beyond me but trust it will work out in Let us all keep the learning that love triumphs in crisis and hope we don’t need continual crises to remember that the present evolution..”
The photo reflects a vision by Padre Ignacio Ellacuria S.J., who was murdered in El Salvador (1989)
Our hearts and prayers go out to all in southeast Texas and beyond who have suffered from the hurricane and the floods it caused. Fr. Gerry Kelley MM of the Maryknoll house in Houston has been a primary contact for us in this. In a recent email Gerry wrote: "The house did not get any water. I had electricity the entire time. Dick Horstmann (Affiliate) had to be evacuated by the Coast Guard from his house. He is staying with one of his sons in Houston. Ron Covey (Affiliate) is stuck in Guatemala with the closure of the airports in Houston. He was supposed to stay at the house and have a cataract operation this past Tuesday." We also heard from John and Sandra Stables, formerly from the Houston Chapter: "Good afternoon Bob. My wife Sandra and I have moved on to the Foreign Service and we are currently working in the Embassy in Mexico City. We are watching the events closely and praying for our friends and family. It's going to be a rough few weeks and months ahead. Glad to hear from you Father Gerry we really miss our Maryknoll family."
As people of global vision and hearts, our prayers also go out to the peoples of India, Bangladesh and Nepal who were experiencing horrific floods at the same time that Harvey was moving through Texas. It killed 1,200 and left millions homeless
Beginning on Page 40 of the September/October edition of Maryknoll Magazine, this article celebrates Maryknoll Affiliates marking 25 years of connecting with others at home and abroad. This email came in tonight (9/1) referencing the article.
My name is Rita Mitchum. Fr. James Madden, MM, and I were first cousins born and raised in Indianapolis, Ind. Our families were very close as we were growing up. I want to thank David Schaffner for writing the article in Maryknoll Magazine as a tribute to Fr. Jim's hard work in initiating the Affiliates program. His extended and close relatives miss him greatly. Maryknoll has lost a truly dedicated missionary. Gratefully, Rita Mitchum
Author Judith Valente wrote of this already successful novel by Lynn Monahan, Editor-in-Chief of Maryknoll Magazine, "Reminiscent of the finest Graham Greene novels..." There will be a book launch and signing at the Maryknoll 39th Street house on Sept. 28 from 6 to 9 pm. All Affiliates in the area are very welcome.
There are still a few openings for the Friday Book Group (1:00pm ET - 10:00am PT) Starts on September 8th. Book for this session: Trails of Hope and Terror by Miguel de la Torre.
Last November the New York Times picked up 130,000 new subscribers - 10 times their average monthly growth rate. Subscriptions at The Wall Street Journal spiked 300 percent and the LA Times went up 61%. The now-profitable Washington Post is hiring 60 new writers. Part of this is attributable to the dismal record of adverting on the internet. But, given that organizations like the A.C.L.U., Southern Poverty Law, Planned Parenthood and Amnesty International have also seen a spike in membership, it’s clear that the new administration in the White House has provided a primary rationale.
I just finished reading a copy of the September/October NSFA. Co-editors Mary and Paula ask me to review it for any needed edits before it goes to print. Given their writing and formatting skills, I’m lucky if I find a spacing error or a letter missing. It's pretty certain that neither NSFA or NTLH (No Tan Lejos del Horizonte) picked up 130,000 new subscribers last or hired 60 new writers, but after having read the upcoming edition of NSFA, I honestly think the world would be in a better place if more people had access to either of these Affiliate newsletters. Neither of them are designed to give direct political commentary; nevertheless, the very thoughtful, substantive, and moving articles inevitably provide a strong commentary against the, to say it euphemistically, small-mindedness of the present Administration. Self-giving and love trumps (sic) narcissism and hate. The paper and online versions of the next NSFA will be out soon.
Para aquellos de ustedes que leen español, NTLH está formateado maravillosamente y es un comentario igualmente sustantivo y reflexivo sobre lo que debe suceder en nuestro mundo. Muchos de los que colaboran en la producción de NTLH están actualmente comprometidos con el MAC 2017, pero la próxima edición saldrá pronto