Robert Short

Robert Short

Saturday, 06 February 2016 16:08

Prayers for Mary Murphy

Mary Murphy Jim, Ellen
Mary with Jim & Ellen

Ron Guidry, contact person for the Westchester Affiliate Chapter, wrote earlier this week that the condition of member Mary Murphy has worsened and that she is bed-bound and in hospice. 

Ginny McEvoy, new Affiliate Board member and friend of Mary's said of her, "Mary was very active in the Westchester Affiliate chapter... a few of her activities: aside from being active in the forming of the Westchester Chapter; she helped with a forum on immigration; she began the farm on the Father's side "Pacha Mama" and enlisted volunteers to plant and harvest food that went to the shelters and homeless in Ossining; she named the Affiliate Newsletter..."

Please remember Mary in your thoughts and prayers.

Monday, 15 February 2016 18:25

Orbis e-news February 2016

Robert Ellsberg, Editor

Robert Ellsberg In declaring this year a Jubilee of Mercy, Pope Francis calls on us to open our hearts to God’s merciful love, while at the same time opening our hearts to a wounded world and the needs of our neighbors. To begin, we may look with fresh eyes and hearts to the examples of Mary and to Jesus through one of the most compelling parables in Scripture.

Mother of God, Similar to Fire features the striking modern icons of William Hart McNichols along with hauntingly beautiful prayer-reflections by author and retreat leader Mirabai Starr. Together, they depict the many facets of the Blessed Mother, herself an icon of divine compassion. Now in paperback, this book is a companion for prayer and reflection throughout the year.

In Jesus and the Prodigal Son: The God of Radical Mercy Dominican Brian J. Pierce offers a startlingly fresh perspective on the most beloved parable. While most interpretations focus on the father’s forgiveness as an image of divine mercy, Pierce looks instead at the Prodigal Son as a symbolic figure for Jesus—the emissary of God’s love, who entered into the sin and suffering of the world to redeem it from within.

In the coming months Orbis will be publishing an important new book on the theme of Mercy, as well as more of Pope Francis’s words. In the meantime, you can explore the many ways of mercy through some of our previous titles:

· One of the last books by the late Father Joe Girzone, best-known for the Joshua series, The Wisdom of His Compassion shows how we might model our own discipleship on Christ’s way of love and mercy.

· In Radical Forgiveness, Antoinette Bosco, whose son and daughter-in-law were murdered, reflects on the lessons from her personal story to show how forgiveness is the freeing essence of the Gospel.

· Women of Mercy by Kathy Coffey with art by Mickey McGrath focuses on 16 faith-filled women whose lives are models of mercy, including Therese of Lisieux, Elizabeth Ann Seton, Thea Bowman, Dorothy Day and Mother Teresa.

· From El Salvador, Jesuit Jon Sobrino offers profound reflections in The Principle of Mercy: Taking the Crucified People from the Cross. “The Crucified People” refers to the innocent victims of oppression and violence who do not simply inspire our contemplation of the mystery of suffering; mercy also implies effective solidarity with those who suffer on the margins.

· Fritz Eichenberg: Works of Mercy features the artwork of the famous Catholic Worker artist accompanied by reflections from Dorothy Day and others on the theme of compassion, mercy and service.

May the spirit of Mercy guide us this Lenten season and throughout the Jubilee year.


Robert Ellsberg

Sunday, 24 January 2016 13:45

Affiliate Finances - Update

Dave Namibia
Dave Volunteering in Namibia

A recent posting by Board chair, Dave Schaffner, gives a thorough overview of the Affiliate operational budget.  Dave utilizes charts and graphs that provide a comprehensive synopsis with just a quick read.  To go directly to that page on our website, click:


Marie Dennis

It is very exciting to share with you that Maryknoll Affiliate (DC Chapter) Marie Dennis, co-president of Pax Christi International, has been nominated for the 2016 Public Peace Prize. This prize is the only one in the world that is based on the public's choices. “The mission of the Public Peace Prize is to foster greater recognition for peacemakers and peace initiatives around the world by the general public: on local, national and international levels.”

The voting is open until January 24, 2016.

 Many of us in Maryknoll know of Marie's life-long commitment to issues of peace and justice.  Here is what Pat Gaffney had to say: “Marie Dennis brings a spirituality to her approach to peacework that helps to connect people around the world – seeking to find common approaches to active nonviolence and peacemaking and to celebrate these.” – Pat Gaffney, Pax Christi UK

We hope you'll take a few moments today to vote for Marie for this prestigious award and help lift up her work and the work of Pax Christi International. There are three ways to vote in support of Marie -- via the Public Peace Prize website, their Facebook page and on Twitter.

Click here for links to cast your vote in support of Marie Dennis's nomination.


Wednesday, 13 January 2016 17:31

Chicago Central in the Spotlight

Maryknoll Affiliate Chapter Chicago Central is in this month's "Chapter Spotlight" on the website.  See it at:

Photo - Dan Maloney and Celine Woznica participating in a Chicago gun violence prevention rally.  "Chuck's" is a bad-apple gun dealer.

Chapter contact person, Celine Woznica writes of the Chapter: "Our monthly meetings begin with a prayer and end with a potluck meal. We are not project-oriented, but rather look for engaging in relationships with others to build global vision and cooperate in action for the common good. This engagement reflects the many diverse –and often geographically distant - circles in which our individual Chapter members live and work towards social justice. Two of our members visit detained undocumented immigrants at a state prison northwest of Chicago, near their home but far from the other Affiliates live. At other times, we join together to support a particular Affiliate’s efforts, such as providing meals for new recruits attending training to become Christian Peacemakers where one of the Affiliates worked.  Other times we join forces as a Chapter to promote and uphold Maryknoll’s mission, as when we support the Chinese priests and sisters participating in the Maryknoll China Project and studying at local universities, or staff Maryknoll-sponsored events at nearby Catholic Theological Union.  Individual members work passionately on certain issues, such as gun violence prevention, with other organizations but meet up at rallies and actions."

Every few months a new Chapter is posted in the "Spotlight".  It's a good opportunity for us to get to know how each chapter lives out its mission.  If you'd like to have your Chapter featured in the spotlight someday, please contact Bob Short - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Hello Everyone

The Consensus Action Statements from the 2015 October Board Meeting Follow.

Maryknoll Affiliate Board

Consensus Statements and Action Items

Meeting #56 October 25-27, 2015

1) Dave and Paula Schaffner will write an Executive Summary of the survey results.

2) Members of the Board will form working groups to develop three broad areas that emerged as a result of the survey.  They may invite others to work with them (see minutes for more detail on the groups’ purview). 

a. Communications:  Rich, Bob, and Paula (Communications Cmte, NSFA)

b. Connection:  Rich, Russ, Nori, and Margo. 

         1. Youth (subtopic):  Rich, Patty S.

c. Growth and Sustainability:  Bill, Teruko, and Bob

         1. Spirtuality (subtopic):  Bill, Teruko, Bob

3) The Board will have a conference call during the third week of January.  The purpose of the call is to report on the progress of the three committees formed to address responses to the survey (consensus item #2) and discern the direction of the committees’ work.

4) The Board agreed to finance an annual website consultant fee of  $1800 to provide ongoing technical support to Bob for the Affiliate website.

5) Two new Board members were selected for terms beginning at the April 2016 meeting:  Ginny McEvoy and Gerry Mullaney.  A third person will be invited to consider serving.

6) By strong consensus, Dave  Schaffner was selected as the new Chair of the Board.

7) The Board affirmed that the committee charged with rewriting the Affiliate Organization Document (Mary M, Joe S, Ann C) had enough information to proceed with their revisions.  An updated draft will be reviewed at the April 2016 meeting for approval.



Sunday, 03 January 2016 22:24

Year in Review - Affiliate Movement 2015


You can have the other words-chance, luck, coincidence, serendipity. I'll take grace. I don't know what it is exactly, but I'll take it.  (“Sand Dabs, Five” by Mary Oliver)


It is probably neither wise nor possible to measure what is most important in life.  Still, what follows recounts a bit of what took place in the Affiliate World over 2015.  I recognize that most Affiliate activity (quietly and sometimes with a bang) takes place on the local level in Chapters.  Hopefully this will provide a glimpse of some key happenings.

 ·      Regional Conferences – two very successful conferences took place in August:

o   Seattle, WA - Love in Action – Mission on the Margins

o   Green Lake, WI - Renewing the Joy of Mission—Shifting Into the Future

·      Affiliate Survey – over 80 Affiliates completed the survey.  It will be of great help in bettering present efforts and in setting future directions.  Board member Richard Lessard led this effort.

·      Deaths – Marie Parmly (Northeast, FL) and Ronni Gilligan (Long Island, NY) passed on to new life.  Many Maryknoll Brothers, priests, Sisters and perhaps other Affiliates of whom we are not aware also passed on in 2015.

·      Transitions:

o   Ann Carr – Ann made very significant contributions in her six years of committed service and completed her term in the fall

o   Dave Schaffner – who has served on the board for several years overseeing finance, has stepped in as Board Chair.

o   Fr. Russ Feldmeier of the Society and Sisters Norie Mojado and Teruko Ito of the Congregation joined the Affiliate Board as they assumed leadership roles in their respective communities.  Margo Cambier of the MKLM remains on the Board.

o   Bill Murphy (Greater Boston Chapter) joined the Board in the spring

o   Gerry Mullaney (Northeast, OH) & Ginny McEvoy (Long Island, NY) were invited to the Board in the fall and will attend their first meeting in April 2016.

o   Jerrie Drinkwine, Regional Coordinator (RC) for the Northwest Region stepped down in the fall.  Thank you Jerrie for many years for your creative insights and dedicated service.

o   Janet Quillan and Ralph Maughan – will be the new RCs for the Northwest.  Both have already given years of mission service.

·      JML (Joint Meeting of Leadership) – Affiliates were invited to participate on this leadership body along with the MKLM, Congregation and Society.

·      Database Update -    a database review of all 57 national/international Chapters revealed that there are a little over 700 active Affiliates.

·      Just Faith Ministries – Beth Begley continues as our representative/liaison to this successful parish-based social justice ministry.  Thanks Beth!

·      Third Wave – this developing initiative started by Fr. Gerry Kelly MM to the (10’s of thousands) of students and parishioners who go on short-term immersion trips every year is, like Just Faith, an area where Affiliates could have significant involvement.  Bob Short is on the Third Wave Board.

·      Formation – thanks to John Moritz and his team of Agnes Walsh, Ann Carr and Bob Short, the initial formation program and process has been significantly renewed to meet the needs of future and present Chapters.  See the program on the website at:

·      New Chapters – two new Chapters in Bolivia – Misión Vida (Cochabamba) and Renacer Misionero (Santa Cruz) were recognized in 2015.  Four additional Chapters could come on board in 2016: in the Philippines, Peru, Bolivia and Toledo, OH.        

·      Communication:

o   Newsletters – “Not So Far Afield” (NSFA) and “No Tan Lejos del Horizonte” (NTLH) have been especially important in relaying the stories of who we are, what we do, how we prayer and what we aspire to. Thank you to Paula Schaffner and Mary Ryan-Hotchkiss of NSFA and Rosa Beatriz Castañeda de Larios, Ceci Garcés, Ann Lucia Ramazzini and Lizbeth Gramajo of NTLH for their great work!

o   Website - <> is one of our primary ways of communication.  Please consider registering to Login for access to all areas.

o   Orbis Books – a new list of Orbis books is posted each month.  See Orbis e-news in the Quick Links under the NEWS tab on the website:

o   Living Into a New Consciousness – the Maryknoll Sisters’ Contemplative Community regularly publishes reflective essays under the “Developing Global Consciousness” in the Quick Links side-bar under the HOME tab.

o   Spotlight – this section on the website features a new Chapter every few months.  To date, Albany, Houston and Los Angeles Chapters have been featured.  Chicago Central will be ‘spotlighted’ next.  If you’d like your Chapter to be featured sometime, you only need to submit a few photos and a bit of text to Bob Short.

·      U-Lab/Presencing Instituteseveral Affiliates (and other Maryknollers) have participated in    this open access seminar from MIT in Cambridge, MA. It focuses on how to transform business, society and self.  Spirituality is a significant component.  Maryknoller Gene Toland MM has been with U-Lab for many years.

·      Strategic Planning – at the October Board meeting, (1) Communication (2) Connection/Collaboration and (3) Growth & Sustainability were identified as key areas of focus.  Further integration of international Chapters were also identified as key.

·      Coming in 2016 – (1) a South Central Regional Conference in New Orleans (9/30 – 10/2) Walking Each Other Home—Mission as Accompaniment (2) MAC 2017 in Guatemala – probably in November of 2017.  We are very excited about both… as well as much more.·   

That’s some of the goings-on in Affiliate land.  While we are getting older (about 65 y/o average in the US & 45 y/o average in the international Chapters) our commitment to “the mission goals of Maryknoll” and our passion for mission to the poor and marginalized throughout the world is an urgent need in our world today.  That passion cannot be understated.

I’ll end with another quote from Mary Oliver (“The Summer Day”) that is familiar to many of us.  It can be understood individually or collectively as an Affiliate movement:

Tell me, what is it you plan to do with

Your one wild and precious Life?

 Maryknoll Affiliate Board

Consensus Statements and Action Items

Meeting #55 March 27-31, 2015

 1)   The Affiliate Board by consensus has accepted a proposal from the JML that

           a. Maryknoll entity member will no longer serve on the Board Executive Committee.

2)   Maryknoll entity membership will continue on the Affiliate Board for now.  In the Spring of 2016, the Affiliate Board will revisit the issue and consider a process of evaluation of the experience.  This Board decision will be communicated back to the JML.

 3)   MAC 2017-The Affiliate Board strongly affirmed the proposal by the Guatemalan Chapter offering to hold MAC 2017 in Guatemala! Specific details include:

 a.    An early November 2017 date tbd; Thursday to Sunday time frame

 b.    The Board will offer a $1000 seed grant to the Guatemalan Chapter

 c.    The exploratory group of Patty B, Rich, Dave along with Bob will now continue as the Board liaison group to the MAC 2017 Planning Committee named by the Guatemalan Chapter

 d.    Patty B will communicate some suggested conference themes to the Guatemalan MAC 2017 Planning Committee but they will ultimately decide the theme.

 e.    The 2017 Board RC Meeting will be linked to the MAC.

 4)   The Affiliate Board agreed to officially recognize the Cochabamba 2 and Santa Cruz Chapters of Bolivia.  Ann C (and Patty B) will write letters to welcome them.

 5)   Bob will communicate the Board’s decision that our structure and guidelines do not allow for visa sponsorship to the Bolivian Affiliate requesting clarification.  The letter will be copied to the Board Executive Committee, Steven Judd, MM and Joseph Fedora, MM and an attached copy of the Affiliate Booklet with relevant documents will be provided.

 6)   A pdf copy of the Affiliate booklet will be sent out to all Affiliates.  Periodically, important parts of the booklet will be sent out via NSFA/NTLH to provide reminders to all Affiliates.

 7)   A standing agenda item for future Board meetings will be a reporting back for any Board members who have had the opportunity to visit with International Chapters.

 8)   Affiliate Survey – The Board approved the draft survey presented by Rich from the Survey Committee.  Specific next steps include:

 a.    The Survey will be sent out electronically

 b.    Latin American Affiliates will have the option of taking the survey

 c.    A separate communication to Alberto Bailetti, Nino Jesus and Maria Farfan, Peruvian RC, noting an appreciation of their input will be sent by Rich.

 d.    Hard copies of the survey will be provided to Affiliates who request this.  All hard copy data will be entered by Mary Moritz of the Survey Committee with assistance from others as needed.

 9) The Board will take a comprehensive view of all job descriptions at the Fall 2015 meeting.

 10) Bill Murphy of the Boston Chapter was selected as the newest member of the Board.  A letter welcoming Bill will be sent by Mary Massaro and Ann C.  There will also be a communication to the other candidates thanking them for their willingness to serve and clarifying that they may be asked to serve in the future as vacancies appear.

 11)The Board will authorize Bob to offer up to $2000 to retain Tobias Rinsche, the website designer with whom we have recently contracted, to provide additional support and training for Bob and the Media Committee.

 12) Formation- The Affiliate Board affirmed the following:

 a. John Moritz’s proposal for the development of a Formation Resources Group involving all four Maryknoll expressions will be taken to the JML by Rich, Ann and Bob.

 b. Patty B, the Board Latin American Liaison, affirmed that the five themes of formation are culturally appropriate for the Latin American Affiliates and John will continue to develop materials.

 13) Regional Coordinators- The Regional Coordinators, in dialogue with the Board, agreed to work with one another and Bob to:

     a. Contact Chapters to encourage participation in the survey once out

     b. Develop a plan for twinning with one another

     c. Utilize regional conferences for region/community building

     d. Spread awareness regarding the Formation materials to the Chapters

 14) The Board will continue to write a State of the Heart Letter following each meeting.   This will be posted on the website and sent to NSFA/NTLH.

 15) A proposal for Affiliate Board Meeting Minute Guidelines was reviewed, edited and adopted by consensus.  (See attached document).






The Maryknoll Mission Institute Advisory Board met last week.  Beth Begley is a member on behalf of the Affiiates. Plans for the coming year once again offer outstanding speakers ( and Affilates are most welcome.

Sr. Peg Donovan, Director has recorded the M.I.  program on Compassion: Witness to Love” given by Sr. Nonie Gutzler, President of the Maryknoll Sisters. The set of five DVDs is available to Affiliates for $20 plus postage& handling (about $3).

To order, please complete the following information

NAME ______________________________________________________________

ADDRESS ___________________________________________________________


AFFILIATE CHAPTER __________________________________________________

Mail to:

Maryknoll Mission Institute

Rogers Building (#529)
Maryknoll Sisters Box 311
Maryknoll, NY, USA 10545-0311


Saturday, 31 October 2015 18:51

The World Needs Maryknoll Affiliates

Bob Short – Executive Coordinator

Adapted from Bob Short’s presentations at the 2015 Western and Midwest Regional Affiliate Conferences.

A phone conversation with Celine Woznica, the Chicago Central Chapter contact person, inspired this title. She and her husband Don are my friends from our days as Maryknoll Lay Missioners in Latin America. When asked if the Affiliate movement was beginning to wind down, she immediately replied, “No! It can’t wind down; so much in the world needs people with our vision and commitment.” 

Join me in examining the impact of the Affiliate Movement from three perspectives: (1) the outer reality, (2) the inner reality, and (3) the Affiliate Pillars.

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