Robert Short

Robert Short

Sunday, 04 November 2018 23:20

Affiliate Newsletters - NTLH & NSFA

Many of you recently received the Sept./Oct digital edition of NSFA.  The paper version is on its way. It you do not receive either of both of these editions but would like to, contact Bob Short at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Among many articles, nonviolence and immigration are prominent.  Also, in this edition is an article – On the Way From the Forum - from Rich Lessard, the new Board Chair.

Digital version # 34 of No Tan Lejos del Horizonte (NTLH), the Spanish language Affiliate newsletter also recently came out.  This is an incredibly well designed and substantive newsletter.  If you can read Spanish and/or would like to practice doing so, please take a look at NTLH.  If you’d like to get on the mailing list, go to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  Here is the index of this edition:


Invitación de No Tan Lejos del Horizonte para el 2018


Por sus frutos los conocerán


América Latina defendiendo derechos


Oramos con el papa Francisco por el cuidado de la creación


Historia de la creación de la cooperativa ACOMUJERZA


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

Friday, 26 October 2018 21:11

Who Are We?

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.

Monday, 22 October 2018 00:57

Joint Contemplative Retreat

         Board and Regional Coordinators - Oct. 2018

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: 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.

               Paula & Dave Schaffner

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.



Saturday, 13 October 2018 16:15

Other Maryknoll Opportunities

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:

   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 914-467-8857 (phone or text)




This article is taken from the website page of the Maryknoll Office of Global Concerns (MOGC). MOGC is an incredibly valuable resource within the Maryknoll family.  If you haven't yet visited their website, you can do so at:

Please also keep in your thoughts and prayers, Gerry Lee, MOGC's Executive Director who, along with his family was a Maryknoll Lay Missioners.  Gerry was recently diagnosed with inoperable pancreatic cancer.  He and his wife Patty, also diagnosed with a serious health concern, are wonderful, deeply committed people.

Immigration: Families are still separated Yvonne Dilling, Mission Educator for the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers in San Antonio, Texas, recently volunteered to provide hospitality for a mother and son from Honduras who were reunited after having been separately detained by the U.S. government as part of the “zero tolerance” immigration policy. The following article was published in the September-October 2018 issue of NewsNotes.
At the height of the family separation crisis on the Southern border this summer, before judges had forced the Trump administration to suspend the cruelest tactic of its ‘zero tolerance’ immigration policy, Border Patrol agents pulled an eight-year-old Honduran boy away from his mother so they could prosecute her as a criminal, sending the boy alone into a parallel detention system with no plan or method to reunite mother and son.

Sunday, 30 September 2018 17:14

Guatemala - Volcano Update

Second Report from the Volcano Appeal Committee

September 2018

Three months after the eruption of the Volcán de Fuego (Fire Volcano), survivors of the catastrophe have taught us to open our hearts to Joy, since in spite of the sadness and uncertainty that they live every day. 

¡Their life is full of hope!

When they receive help from the donations that were sent by the Maryknoll family, friends, U.S. friends.

These are the words expressed by them: God Bless you always, thank   you very much!  I appreciate what you have done for my family!

Below we explain how your donations have been used and how we shall continue to respond to the needs of the people.

Sunday, 30 September 2018 17:00

Houston Mission - Final Sign-up Opportunity

If you have been considering the Houston Mission Trip - See: ...

Friday, October 12th is the last day to sign up.  To date, 12 have committed to this week in mission - NOTE, if you are unable to come for the entire week, you may choose to participate for a shorter time.  In addition to the service project - helping to restore housing for those who still have not recovered from Hurricane Harvey, it will be a time of reflection, meals together and camaraderie.  

This is a unique Maryknoll/Affiliate opportunity.  If you have any questions, Contact: Bob Kleeman (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or Dick Horstman (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).  Also feel free to contact Bob Short: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Saturday, 22 September 2018 11:16

The Story of We (Sr. Teruko Ito MM)

On September 16th the 8 remaining Maryknoll Sisters from the group of 1968 gathered in the Sisters’ chapel to celebrate their Golden Jubilee, 50 years of making God’s Love Visible.  Sr. Teruko Ito MM, one of that group as well as member of the Sisters’ Governing Board and the Affiliate Board, gave the homily. Teruko’s words – for the loving way she spoke about those in her group and especially for the depth of insight into the journey they (all of us) are on - became for so many at the Jubilee Mass (including me) a pivotal moment in time.  She helped all of us get a contemplative glimpse into an evolving consciousness that sometimes eludes us. 

Excerpts of Teruko’s homily follow.  If you would like to read the full text, email Bob Short at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. 

 ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** *****

    Teruko - Golden Jubilee

We heard a call “Come follow me!” And we began our journeying of becoming WE.

I was in Japan, raised in a home of several religious traditions, Catholicism, Buddhism and Shintoism! Prior to the Vatican Council II, this mix was not an easy one.  Religious boundary line was very clear and thick and separated who was saved and who was not. But my mother believed in more flexible boundary. And I was nurtured in the spirit of becoming WE as one family.

In taking a long loving gaze at each other, we were led to accepting each other’s wounds. Tear-filled embrace between the two followed. And what emerged was our yes to brake the boundaries created by national and historical domination. We were awakened to the fact that we are truly One , truly WE.

In the past 50 years we crossed over many cultures and seemingly succeeded in becoming We, but deep in our hearts we felt a sense of limitation. And this sense of limitation became very clear by  a contrasting sense of expansiveness of our world by developing sciences.  The beautiful picture of Earthrise taken by the Apollo 8 Astronauts and subsequent picture of earth as Blue dot spoke our smallness to so many people.  In these pictures we saw a call to expand and move our understanding of WE beyond human-centered to cosmic-centered We.  A book, Divine Milieu, by Teilhard de Chardin, a geologist and paleontologist, came out in English in 1960 and his message helped our minds and hearts  to expand, leading towards a highlighted new horizon.  He called our attention to a delight in scientific discoveries, joy of human development, and the universe evolving in the unconditional love.  We were beginning to hold the message of science and the insight from the wisdom of the indigenous people.  The conversation between religion and science was helping to break another boundary of right and wrong.    And all along we had been guided by different life styles and world visions of those people, especially indigenous people, to whom we were sent. They are calling us to shift our mission model of human development based on economic sustainability to a mission of co-creation towards a regenerative culture.

We are grateful for scientific discoveries and wisdom of the indigenous people.

It was in 2006 Maryknoll Sisters made a public choice to turn to the new relationship, and accepted and proclaimed the Maryknoll Sisters Land Ethic. It broke open a key boundary between human and other living beings in becoming WE with the land, the Mother Earth.

The old lines - national, ethnic, religious -are no longer true to our experience. We are in age of boundary meltdown. We are becoming global human beings who understand that we are not separate from one another or from the earth -who understand that there are no lines. It will take time for us to catch up with this new reality, but it’s already here - whether we like it or not.”

         Srs. Ann Hayden* and Teruko

We are grateful for our trials, temptations and desert in our lives.

50 years ago, Thomas Merton said at Calcutta conference, shortly before his tragic death: “My dear friends, we are already one. But we imagine that we are not. And what we have to recover is our original unity. What we have to be is what we are.”

With grateful heart for all those who taught us about Oneness, and who awakened us to that Oneness, let us come together to this Eucharist, the Open Table and celebrate our Yes to continue our journey of becoming One.

* Ann, also a member of the 68 class, was a recent member of the Affiliate Board 

Sunday, 02 September 2018 14:26

Houston - A Week in Mission

Maryknoll Affiliate Mission

Related imageAn opportunity to spend a week with fellow-Maryknoll Affiliates in prayer, reflection, comaraderie, and service to the poorest of the poor.  A week in Mission!

If you are thinking of joining other Affiliates in Houston, please contact Dick or Bob (emails below) to register or for further information.  The number of participants is limited to 24

Sponsored By – Houston Maryknoll Affiliate Chapter

When – Sunday, November 11, to Saturday, November 17

Where – Brazoria County, Texas (just South of Houston)

FURTHER INFORMATION (repeated from previous post):

Tools – Will be provided (unless you are driving, then bring them if you have them)

What to Bring – Clothes (including work clothes), toiletries and towels

Weather – average high in November is 74 and average low 52

Capacity – 24 missioners – The Cameron House has six suites; each suite has two rooms, a full bath, and four single beds   

More Information – Contact Bob Kleeman (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or Dick Horstman (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

To register – Contact Dick Horstman (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)  

Sunday, 19 August 2018 18:30

The Dance Alone

They Dance Alone (Sting)

Kitty Madden, who has spent over 30 years of her life in Nicaragua as a Maryknoll Lay Missioner and, for most of that time, as an Affiliate, forwarded this link. It’s a moving song by Sting (1990) remembering the mothers of Chile during the time of Pinochet.  Kitty wrote that, “They Dance Alone brings us hope for the mothers and all the people of Nicaragua and for all the mothers (and fathers) seeking to be reunited with their children from whom they were separated there in the U.S. at the border.”


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