Robert Short

Robert Short

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.”


Friday, 10 August 2018 12:43


Maryknoll Affiliate Mission

An 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!

Sponsored By – Houston Maryknoll Affiliate Chapter

Spiritual Director – Father Gerry Kelly, MM

WhenSunday, November 11, to Saturday, November 17

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

Outreach – To assist in the repair of homes in Holiday Lakes, a rural, immigrant community badly damaged by the flooding associated with Hurricane Harvey.


Work – No special skills required.   Work is likely to be installing drywall, painting and clean-up.

Where Are We Staying? – Cameron House, a modern facility owned by the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston and the former home of the Basilian Fathers in Brazoria County - located in a rural area six miles from Holiday Lakes.

Cost of Staying at the Cameron House - $0

Cost of Meals - $25.00/day - includes 3 meals (including drinks) and snacks

Airfare (if you are flying to Houston) – Participants will arrange and pay for their own air travel to Houston.

Ground Transportation (if you are flying to Houston) – Will be organized once we know your flight arrangements.   If we need to rent a van, that cost will be shared.  

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.)  

Tuesday, 17 July 2018 17:50

Free Webinar: Rejoice & Be Glad

Date: July 24, 2018
Time: 2:00 pm Eastern
Presenters:        Deacon Matt Dulka (green hat)
                        Associate Director
                        Maryknoll Church Engagement
                        Fr. Bob Jalbert, MM (white hat)
                        Maryknoll Church Engagement
Cost: Free. Registration is required.
  We need a spirit of holiness capable of  filling both      our solitude and our service, our personal life and      our evangelizing efforts, so that every moment can    be an expression of self-sacrificing love in the         Lord’s   eyes. (Gaudete et Exsultate, para. 31)
Sunday, 01 July 2018 17:35

Families Belong Together!!

Families Together - New London CT June 30, 2018

On Saturday 6/30 Paula and Dave Schaffner participated in the Families Belong Together March/Rally in San Luis Obispo, CA with 500 – 1000 others who came out to express their voice against the administration policy (one of too many) that is separating children from their families.  The photo above was taken by Bob Short as people were gathering for a rally he attended in New London, CT. with 400-500 others from around that small city. 

If any of you had the chance to participate in a March or Rally in your local area for this cause, please send photos with captions to NSFA editor Paula Schaffner at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Saturday, 30 June 2018 12:35

What's Happening in Nicaragua

Below is a letter, slightly abridged, from Julio Martinez, nephew of Robert Ellsberg, publisher of Orbis Books.  Kitty Madden provided the initial paragraph in italics. 

As a Maryknoll Affiliate who has been living and working in Matagalpa, Nicaragua for the past 32+years (3 of those years as a Maryknoll Lay Missioner), I totally concur with Julio’s letter of concern and am grateful for the careful documentation he provides as a way of helping to educate the Maryknoll community about the desperate situation of Nicaraguans today.  Please also keep us in your daily prayers. (Kitty Madden)

Hi family, 

As mentioned on the phone, the situation in Nicaragua hasn’t improved over the past 2 months, and the latest death toll has reached 285 since April 18th. I won’t describe the circumstances much, since you’ll read that in the articles, but I’ll at least mention that these deaths have occurred almost exclusively among unarmed protesters who were met by heavily-armed government forces. 

While international press seems to be reporting fairly, we are seeing an unexpected response from progressive groups with historical ties to the Sandinista Party (because of what this party used to be during the 1980s), some of which go as far as touting government talking points and blaming the situation on a right-wing, CIA-funded campaign, rather than a popular uprising against government authoritarianism. This has us in Nicaragua very worried since the situation seems to be getting worse, and it is important for this government to be isolated internationally if it is expected to back down. This is why I was hoping that I could ask you for help. An important objective now is to get as many international progressive groups as possible, especially those that have historical ties to the Sandinista party, to denounce this government repression in Nicaragua, and where applicable, publicly cut ties with the party. If any of you had ties to these kinds of groups, and could help me get this message to them, i would be extremely grateful. I could facilitate any information that they would need in order to clarify, including getting them in touch with former Sandinista leaders (virtually all of whom are now against the regime) if that would help.   

Please let me know if you would have any comments or questions and thank you so much for your help. 

Much love, 


News Sources

The Atlantic: The Unraveling of Nicaragua (June 6)

Amnesty International: Shoot to Kill: NICARAGUA’S STRATEGY TO REPRESS PROTESTS. (May 29)


Sunday, 24 June 2018 11:48

Some Notes on the Future

In a recent conversation with Teresa Baldini MM on possible new directions for Maryknoll, she shared the thoughts (not the cartoon) below:

I believe the future has invited us to embrace communal contemplation anew so that we can enter the crucible herein our unknown future and the Love that compels us forward are being put to the fire! (Nancy Sylvester, IHM)

Dwell in Possibility…

Not knowing when the dawn will come,

I open every door of my heart this day.

(Emily Dickinson)

Our role is not only to ease suffering, bind up wounds and feed the hungry, but through every form of effort to raise the powers of LOVE upward to the next state of consciousness!  (Teilhard de Chardin, SJ)

Please pray for me, one whose life is filled with many tasks, while her soul is lost in God. (Mother Mary Joseph)

We need to be among those who have courage to go out on a limb, for that is where the fruit is. (Mary Luke Tobin, SJ)

We are called to a new vision of collaboration involving a communion of people with the maximum of diversity. (Cletus Wessels, OP)

Deep within we long for unity because, at the most fundamental level, we are already one. We belong to one another because we have the same source of lover; the love that flows through the trees is the same love that flowers through my being… We are deeply connected in this flow of love, beginning on the level of nature where we are the closest of kin because the Earth is our mother. (Teresa Baldini MM)

The need for justice and peace for the Palestinian (and Israeli) people is way overdue.  We need all of those interested in helping bring about a more just situation to join together and try to make sure the U.S. government becomes a positive player for justice and peace in that region.

To do this, we need many advocates in every Congressional District in the country to let our Senators, Congress people and other pertinent government leaders know what they can do to promote justice and peace in this area of the world and that we oppose U.S. government actions that further the injustice and lack of peace in the area.

Therefore, the Pax Christi International Washington Working Group, of which PCUSA is a key member (along with the Columban Center for Advocacy & Outreach, Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd), is setting up a national grassroots advocacy network.  Its initial aims are simple - to get at least two Catholics in as many of the 435 Congressional districts in the country as possible to agree to try to advocate by e-mail (or in other ways) with either their Senators and Congressperson (or another relevant government leaders) at least once per month.  

Thursday, 14 September 2017 13:10



(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. .

Meeting Plan

Opening Prayer:

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
in places
where a new consciousness of God in all things
is emerging.


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:]

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