This is a very different kind of posting for the Affiliate Website. However, all of us in Maryknoll (the Church in general) are hoping to find ways to engage and attract new missioners, especially young ones. The flood gates have not yet opened up.
While not a specific response to the above, the link below will direct you to an article in the December 2017 issue of America (the Jesuit Review of Faith & Culture) that speaks to some interesting and provocative reasons why the Church has fallen back in several areas. Additionally, it is a challenge to regain its status for innovation. [You’ll have to endure some attached advertisements]
While MAC 2017 in Guatemala brought Affiliates and other Maryknollers together from many parts of the world, the geographic distances keep us from hearing much from the international chapters. There is an Affiliate chapter in Mwanza, Tanzania, in Seoul, Korea, two in Philippines, 6 in Peru, 3 in Bolivia and one each in El Salvador, Mexico and Guatemala. For each of these chapters and each member therein there is an accompanying human story of mission.
A few weeks ago, Fred Goddard relayed this remembrance of Luchie Salcedo from one of the Philippine chapters:
Luchie has been in and out of the hospital for some time now with varying illnesses, and at times we thought she would not make it. At one point she needed something like five bags of blood for a blood transfusion. Yet, somehow, she always seemed to pull through. She did not make it this time.
Luchie lived in one of the poorest neighborhoods in Davao City, and she was always fighting with the people for their rights and their dignity. She was very active in her parish, but lived the liberating message of the Gospel. Above all else, though, Luchie fought for the rights or women alongside other women in Davao and in the Philippines, including Jet’s* sister, Mary Lou (Belo). She will be dearly missed by us, by her community and by the women’s movement.
A difficult way to start the New Year, but her spirit will be with us as we continue her struggles.
* As many of you know, Jet is Fred’s wife
The Maryknoll Affiliate Board gratefully and enthusiastically announces that Rosa Beatriz Castañeda Ramirez of the Guatemala Chapter will be joining the Board as of January, 2018. All who participated at MAC 2017 know Rosa Beatriz well as the person who, along with her team, provided an amazingly positive (for many transformative) experience there last November at Casa de Retiros Verbo Encarnado in Sacatepéquez, about ½ hour outside Guatemala City. Rosa Beatriz has many administrative, organizational and personal gifts that are only surpassed by her commitment to mission and to Maryknoll spirituality. Felicitaciones y bienvenido Rosa Beatriz!!
We would also like to acknowledge and greatly thank !! outgoing Board members John Meyer (Phoenix Chapter) and Patty Barneond de Garcia Tres (Guatemala Chapter). Both were with us for six years and both contributed with insight, imagination and personal investment in too many ways to count. They will be greatly missed. Patty also served as Liaison to Latin America – a role that Rosa Beatriz will assume. Thank you, Patty & John.
Happy New Year all!!! Blessings to each of you as we turn the corner into a new year
and throughout! (Rich Lessard, Albany Chapter & Affiliate Board member)
“Heaven is not a place of eternal rest or a long sleep-in, but a life of creativity and newness in love; one with God in the transformation of all things.” —Ilia Delio
From the Staff of NTLH (No Tan Lejos del Horizonte)
Below are the Consensus Action Statements from the most recent Board Meeting – November 9, 2017, in Guatemala
CAS #1. The Board assigns an ad hoc committee of Bob Short, Rich Lessard, John and Mary Moritz, and an international member, possibly Patty Barneond, to begin meeting digitally and possibly in person. (The Society, Sisters, and MKLM could consult on specific areas.) They will develop the four topics identified in the discussion of Where we will we be in 5 years: Collaboration, Identity, International and Cross-cultural aspects, and Models. This will culminate in a retreat using the contemplative process for the Fall 2018 Board/RC meeting, where they will develop initiatives and suggested actions for Affiliates in the future
CAS #2. The Board by consensus adopts the Board/RC Travel Proposal to commit $12,000 over the next five years to fund travel assistance to Board/RC members as described in the draft proposal.
CAS #3. The Board agrees to recognize the Springfield, MA Chapter. Bob Short and David Schaffner will send acceptance letters and other appropriate materials.
CAS # 4. The Board re-elected David Schaffner as Chair.
For their reflection last Wednesday, the virtual MK Affiliate Chapter used the piece below to begin their conversation. It was a lively and evocative discussion.
Quaker pastor Philip Gulley summarizes how we must rebuild spirituality from the bottom up in his book, If the Church Were Christian. Here Richard Rohr OFM takes the liberty of using his own words to restate Gulley’s message. It offers a rather interesting description of Emerging Christianity:
Rosa Beatriz Castañeda de Larios, who lead the incredible Guatemalan MAC Planning Team, wrote to let us know that (paraphrasing Rosa Beatriz):
The post-MAC 2017 documents are ready on the webpage (link below) in Spanish and English for all the affiliates to see the MAC results. We believe it very important that Maryknollers share them with their chapters and other organizational structures.
Why are they important? ...Because these are the results of a 120 Maryknollers coming together to reflect, analyze, dreams, etc. about the present moment and the future for Affiliates, for all of Maryknoll.
They are telling a lot to us!!! We encourage you to read them as we look towards the horizon for 2018.
(L-R around the table) Lyn Ibanez, Mary Heyl, Alf Pacaon, John Hernandez, Richard Perez, Cordelia Ontiveros, Hugh Menton, Sr. Kathryn Shannon MM, Jean Menton, Tim Moffet (not pictured, I'm the photographer) but that's my plate of food, lol.
After our Christmas feast of tamales and such, we cleared the table, chose a Christmas card, then surveyed the list and picked who we would like to send Christmas greetings and appreciation for their P&J work. Later we gathered in chairs in a circle, and each one dropped their letter in the basket, picked out a white elephant gift, told the group why they chose that particular person to write to, and then opened their gift. It was fun and relevant.
Of the Los Angeles fires Tim also wrote:
All of us Affiliates in Los Angeles are not living within in the current fire zone, however the Maryknoll Sisters in Monrovia are just below the foothills and it is possible that they might be in danger in the future. If it weren't for the horrible fires burning homes, ranches and wildlife, it is actually very very nice weather, mild and very comfortable and very dry. Tourist weather. The air is very invigorating, but the wildfires like it too. We all live more south and eastward in L.A. County, and are not getting the smoke from the fires, the sky is clear, but those who live on the west and north side are dealing with the smoke and fires. The Santa Ana winds were blowing from the east to the west.
Let us prayer for the people who are experiencing very difficult times because of these fires.
Like many of you reading this post, I receive Richard Rohr’s Daily Meditations from the Center for Action and Contemplation (CAC). Periodically, I also receive CAC’s newsletter, The Mendicant. The most recent newsletter is their 30th Anniversary Commemorative issue. Several entries therein struck me as meaningful for how we understand and continue to formulate our own mission and vision as Maryknoll Affiliates.
Here are a few things that struck me:
I believe that our vision, as one expression within Maryknoll’s expansive family; and, our unique structure as Affiliates, is in many ways very similar to what’s being expressed above. In that, we invite others into a place for the transformation and healing of ourselves and a planet that so urgently needs it. Let us continue forward with hope and conviction.