In early November, I participated in the Latin American Maryknoll Society’s Regional Assembly and Retreat. Also invited were Sr. Jane Buellesbach, representing the Maryknoll Sisters, and Sam Stanton and Fr. Bill Voss for the Lay Missioners. It was an especially positive meeting wherein Maryknoll hospitality, genuine collaboration and easy, unadorned camaraderie were manifestly present every day. We can’t know for sure if this was a foretaste of things to come within Maryknoll, but it was very encouraging.
Communication, good or bad, will significantly influence whether we succeed or fail as an organization, local group or as individuals.
In today’s world a hefty amount of communication is electronic via the Internet: email, texting, Facebook, Twitter, etc. For Affiliates, given that a few of us are over 17 years old, electronic media, particularly social media like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, could be foreign, perhaps frightening. Some among us might even have emotional or spiritual reasons to reject the digital world, feeling it is just too soul smothering and dehumanizing. I sometimes have those thoughts myself.
Bob Short – Executive Coordinator
An announcement was made during our church’s Easter morning liturgy that an Easter egg hunt for the children would take place immediately after Mass. To the best of my knowledge, no one found, nor did anyone think to hide, the elusive cosmic egg that day.
Over 130 Affiliates and other Maryknollers attended the Maryknoll Affiliates Conference—Maryknoll Affiliates: The Third Wave Emerging into the Future. Attendees came from Tanzania, Philippines, Haiti, France, Nicaragua, Mexico, Guatemala, Peru, Bolivia and the US. From all the feedback received, the Conference appears to have been a very positive experience. Several even spoke of it as opening up new directions for them—a fundamentally new, more expansive way of seeing things.
For two weeks in mid December Patty Barneond de Garcia Tres, Affiliate Board member and liaison to Latin America, and Bob Short traveled to Bolivia and Peru to meet with Affiliates and Maryknollers in those two countries.
The Maryknoll Affiliate Conference has been described as a gathering point for cultures, countries, and communities rooted in the Affiliate pillars—spirituality, community, global vision, and action—as well as by their affection for each other. We come together to encourage and strengthen ourselves in building a society of brothers and sisters that make present the the Good News of the Gospel here and now.
Jack Sullivan sent out word earlier today that Jim Madden MM passed away this morning at 1:40 AM. He died peacefully, just a little more than a month after learning of his cancer diagnosis. Services will take place next Thursday and Friday (1/16-17) at Maryknoll in Ossining. More will follow in the days ahead.
In his last weeks Jim spoke over and over of the gratitude he had for God, Maryknoll, Mission and all of us. I know all of us, each in our own way, would like to express our gratefulness for him!
Accompaniment is the theme for the Jan/Feb 2013 Not So Far Afield Maryknoll Affiliate newsletter. Please send us articles about your or your Affiliate chapter's Accompaniment.
In A Sacred Voice Is Calling, John Neafsey writes that, “Our sense of vocation is intimately linked to the people and things that move us to passion and compassion.” On September 1st I started in the position of Affiliate Executive Coordinator. Previous escapades with Maryknoll have included work, with my family, in Bolivia and Ecuador; six years in Lay Missioner leadership; vocation/recruitment work; and, just last year, working on the Society’s Centennial. I have been part of the Boston Affiliate chapter since its inception. Seeing this, some might credibly surmise that ‘this guy has some kind of weird Maryknoll addiction thing going on here.’ In my defense, I simply cannot shake the notion that the mission and people of Maryknoll continue to move me to passion and compassion. As the latest expression within Maryknoll, the Affiliates join with the other entities, each in their unique vocation, to live out this mission.
While it’s too early to make any cogent projections about Affiliate developments in the months to come, what is clear is that, unlike the very difficult state of affairs Barack Obama was confronted with when he first took office, thanks to the work and planning of Fred, the Board and so many others among you, the Maryknoll Affiliate house is in very good order. I’m very grateful. Like so many who have come to know him, it quickly becomes evident that Fred is a person who goes beyond what is asked of him. I’ve now come to see that the Affiliate Board members appear to be very much in that same mold. Given that their financial compensation is in all cases a multiple of zero, I have to suspect that other motivations are at play with Board members. Rumor has it that all this can be said of many other Affiliates as well.