Not So Far Afield is a bimonthly publication of the Maryknoll Affiliates. The name is a play on the title of the original Maryknoll Magazine: The Field Afar.

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Jueves, 27 Junio 2019 04:22

Bird Lessons

Written by

Bob Short - Executive Coordinator

In mid-April, a female robin began constructing a nest on the flower trellis just outside our back door. Completed in a few days, the nest looked perfect. To the best of my knowledge, the robin had no access to YouTube or Building a Bird Nest for Dummies to help her with the construction. I spent the next four weeks observing Robi (naming creativity not being my strong suit) several times each day. Though Robi never gave any indication she wanted to become a Maryknoll Affiliate, what I observed over those weeks was an inspiration to me.

Day and night, she spent ninety percent of her time maintaining the nest, often through long periods of cold and rain. Then the eggs came and her motherly resolve grew stronger. Robi was acutely vigilant, as birds need to be, but in time she came to trust and allowed me to get very close to the nest. On each visit I carried on a conversation, essentially the same one every time. Many would say that’s all we humans ever do anyway. I also assured her that I’d do my best to protect her from the neighborhood cat that frequently visited our yard. Robi appeared attentive and receptive but never uttered a peep in return. Even so, I convinced myself that we had become friends.

Then, on the morning of the eleventh day of incubation, a day or two before the eggs were ready to hatch, I opened the back door to ask Robi how her night had been, but she was gone. In her place, inches from the nest, was a squirrel rotating a blue egg, the last one of the clutch, in its front claws – just as squirrels do with an acorn before biting into it.

I couldn’t begin to process all this. How must Robi feel!? Was she distraught, defeated, filled with revenge? Do birds feel, think, have a hidden belief-system or life philosophy to help them deal with such terrible losses? Did she stamp her tiny claws and ask, ‘Why me?!’ Did she just accept it as one of nature’s inevitable cruelties? I wondered too if on some instinctual level birds have a built-in moral code about murder and ornithological injustices; or, perhaps a batch of existential questions around sin, redemption, and an afterlife. Admittedly, these are almost assuredly the entirely wrong questions emerging from a small, inchoate human mind. I had to check myself. Were all these queries and projections simply yet another example of anthropomorphic excess that we humans apply to so much else in the cosmos, including God?

Yet, I couldn’t let go of the possibility that there must be a lesson in this for me. Robi, like everything in nature except us humans, never left the confines (and freedom) of life’s natural rhythms. She knew in a different, non-cerebral way without needing to ask either existential questions or the tedious ones that often consume our lives. She knew in a different way—perhaps much like the monk who, after forty years of searching for ‘the answers,’ came around the bend on a mountain trail one early spring morning, saw a peach tree in full bloom, and proclaimed to himself, “Now I understand!”

Last week a robin built a new nest; this time on the door ledge of the porch outside the entrance door of our house. Squirrels could never get to this one. I have to believe it’s Robi. We’ve resumed our conversation.

Jueves, 27 Junio 2019 04:13

Welcoming Maryknollers

Written by

The Affiliate Hospitality Initiative core group—Patty Hinton, Roxanne Hughes-Wheatland, Manny Hotchkiss, and Bob Short—are compiling a list of Affiliate households that are available to offer hospitality to Maryknollers traveling for work or pleasure. Once the list is completed, we will post the number of potential hosts by geographic area (e.g., Boston, Saint Louis, Los Angeles, Washington, DC, etc.) but no names or addresses. Maryknollers, including Affiliates, requesting hospitality in a given area would contact Bob Short, who will assess the request. If an Affiliate host is available, Bob will have the host contact the interested Maryknoller.

Hospitality Data Gathering – If you are interested in participating, please respond to HospitalityForm. Don’t forget to fill out the anti-robot code box. When completed, hit SUBMIT. 

If you have any questions, contact Bob Short at: Esta dirección de correo electrónico está siendo protegida contra los robots de spam. Necesita tener JavaScript habilitado para poder verlo..

 

Jueves, 27 Junio 2019 03:50

Staying Connected

Written by

Santa Orlando – Albany Chapter

One of the most important things we can do as Affiliates is to stay connected—to our local communities, to Maryknoll Sisters, Fathers, Brothers, Lay Missioners and to other Affiliate chapters. It is through these connections that we experience the charism of Maryknoll. Proximity to Maryknoll in Ossining, New York, has allowed many of the Albany chapter members to form ongoing relationships with Maryknollers who reside there, but proximity is only one aspect of forming relationships.

At our May chapter meeting, the Albany Chapter Skyped with the Guatemala Chapter. This had been previously arranged via a series of emails to coordinate a common meeting time. Both groups were looking forward to this meeting to reconnect with Affiliates we had met at MAC 2017 or at other times. Laughter was shared together as we adjusted the cameras to focus on the Affiliates, not on the ceiling! We prayed together and wished the Guatemala Chapter a Happy 10th  Anniversary by providing them with a cake and candles—which we enjoyed for them. We briefly shared what our chapters do throughout the year, acknowledging differences and commonalities. It was a joyful meeting and we plan on continuing this practice in the future.

 Without consciously planning to, most of the articles in this issue mention ways to strengthen chapters and the Affiliate Movement. You could solidify your chapter by having a Covenant renewal, as was done by Misioneras Hispanas Santa Maria in North Carolina. To help recruit new members, Seattle will distribute information about their chapter when they help at Maryknoll events. Sharing your meeting minutes with your regional coordinator, the Executive coordinator, and the NSFA will keep you and them in the loop. Individually you can strengthen your connection with other Affiliates by responding to the Question of the Month. Hosting a regional conference would allow you to meet and be inspired by Affiliates outside your chapter. Bringing a Quo Vadis presentation to your area would also introduce you to new people and deepen your dedication to mission.

Chapters and Affiliates can be animated by working together on a project such as serving at the Border, as described by Roger Schiltz. The Las Vegas Chapter picks local nonprofits to support financially or with a special event. Las Vegas also suggests using Skype to connect with another chapter. Inviting visitors, as Northeastern Florida does, can enliven your chapter meetings.

Did I miss any? Share your other ideas with us at Esta dirección de correo electrónico está siendo protegida contra los robots de spam. Necesita tener JavaScript habilitado para poder verlo..

Articles in this issue:

Promoting Maryknoll and Your Chapter – We encourage your chapter to customize and utilize a handout about your chapter...

Why Quo Vadis? – "Why might Quo Vadis be important for the Maryknoll Affiliate Movement?'—Bill Murphy

Maryknoll Leads Them to Action –  "We try to take the positive from each group we meet.”—Punch Fermin

One Woman’s Missions – "On December 3rd, I took my Vow of Nonviolence* at Carmel of Reno for the 31st straight year."—Ellie Hays

Greetings from Peru "A group of us collaborates at Casa Bartimeo, which is directed by Maryknoll Father Kyungsu Son, MM."—Hugo Castro Campos

Covenant Continues – "...these women were walking in the footsteps of the 'Tar Heel Apostle'—Father Thomas Price."—Gail Kelley

A Special Visitor from Tanzania – "Do you know how many houses that could buy where I live?”—Sister Mariana Clemence

Water, Water, Everywhere? "I have been thinking a lot about how blessed I am to have such easy access to clean water..."—Matt Rousso

Border Volunteers from Kirkland, WA – "What a beautiful experience we had working together cleaning the filthy toilets and washing towels and clothes."—Roger Schiltz

Learn more about your Maryknoll Affiliate Board and Executive Coordinator in these articles:

Share the Joy   

Question of the Month 

Introducing Roxanne Hughes-Wheatland

And be sure to enjoy the Features in this issue:

Appalachia Immersion 

Maryknoll Mission Institute 2019

 If you are more comfortable reading the Not So Far Afield in its print form, you may download a pdf of the May/June issue. 

Sábado, 27 Abril 2019 17:27

Promoting Maryknoll and Your Chapter

Written by

Affiliate chapters often lend a hand when visiting Maryknoll missioners give a talk or say Mass in their area. They often hand out Maryknoll magazines and donation envelopes. Affiliates could use this as an opportunity to tell people about the Affiliates and to invite them to visit their chapter.

Knowing that they will be assisting visiting Maryknollers this summer, the Seattle Maryknoll Affiliate Chapter has drafted a handout which could be attached to the Affiliate brochure, or perhaps tucked into the Maryknoll magazines they will distribute. First they discussed and drafted a meaningful description of their chapter and designed it to match the dimensions of the Maryknoll Affiliates’ tri-fold brochure (about 3 ½” by 8 ½”). Before finalizing it, they asked the entire chapter to review the draft. Here is the April 18 draft of Seattle’s description:

Sábado, 27 Abril 2019 17:14

Why Quo Vadis?

Written by

Bill Murphy – Maryknoll Affiliate Board

Quo Vadis? Where Are You Going? ... The Next Step is a Board-supported program which a team of Maryknoll Affiliates designed to complement already existing immersion programs. It is a time for people returning from immersion experiences to consider how to integrate significant cross-cultural insights into their life choices.

Why might Quo Vadis be important for the Maryknoll Affiliate Movement? Quo Vadis:

  • Provides a practical platform for our charism/gift to the world. While hyper-individualism, as well as nationalism and tribalism, are valued by many, we know and proclaim the benefits of cross-culturalism and community.
  • Provides access to expanding numbers of people, both young and older, who are committing to a variety of immersion experiences. This is where the action is.
  • Provides an opportunity for Affiliates to serve in the context of global vision.
  • Provides a wellspring for possible future Affiliates.

Can you think of some other reasons? Share your thoughts with me at Esta dirección de correo electrónico está siendo protegida contra los robots de spam. Necesita tener JavaScript habilitado para poder verlo..

Sábado, 27 Abril 2019 17:03

Maryknoll Leads Them to Action

Written by

Mary and Manny Hotchkiss - Portland Chapter

The Las Vegas Maryknoll Affiliate Chapter formed 15 years ago after Los Angeles Affiliates Lee and Punch Fermin moved to Las Vegas. The group has now grown to ten people, including four nurses and a recently retired doctor. We were fortunate to gather over a casual dinner with Lee and Punch Fermin, Nicet Santos, and Evelyn Pua. Nicet explained, “Many of us knew about Maryknoll and the Sisters and Fathers from when we were growing up in the Philippines.”

Affiliates gathered in Las Vegas: Manny Hotchkiss, Lee Fermin, Mary Ryan-Hotchkiss, Punch Fermin, Nicet Santos, and Evelyn Pua

This is a chapter of busy, mostly retired people. They gather to share their lives and support each other. Many of their other activities are spiritually oriented. Their dedication belies the Las Vegas nickname of Sin City.

Sábado, 27 Abril 2019 16:57

Share the Joy

Written by

You can make your RCs* very happy just by adding their email address to your Chapter distribution list. Then they will automatically receive the notices and notes of your Chapter gatherings. RCs want to know how they can help you and connect your chapter to others with similar interests. If you have a change in membership or contact person, let them know.

While you’re at it, please also add the email address of Bob Short, our Executive Coordinator [Esta dirección de correo electrónico está siendo protegida contra los robots de spam. Necesita tener JavaScript habilitado para poder verlo.], and the NSFA, [NSFA@  MaryknollAffiliates.org] to your elist! Your news about a visitor or activity could spark ideas in other chapters.

* RC = Maryknoll Affiliate Regional Coordinator. Find your Regional Coordinator’s name and email 
address at http://maryknollaffiliates.org/regional-coordinators-what-we-do.html.

 

Sábado, 27 Abril 2019 16:50

One Woman’s Missions

Written by

Ellie Hays – Reno Affiliate

With my highlighter in hand, I read the NSFA, marking things that especially interest me. I loved seeing the suggestion to use the Maryknoll Affiliate pillars of Spirituality, Community, Global Vision, and Action at meetings. Sr. Norie’s January article, “Norie—A Presence with Past Connections,” reminded me of an article I wrote for the February 1995 Not So Far Afield. At that time, I had given away 5,700 Presence cards by Sister Joan Metzner, MM. I was a casino floor supervisor (pit boss) at Harrah’s Casino and I gave them to any and all I thought to be receptive. I retired in 2002, but it is still my mission. I just had 2,000 more Presence cards laminated, bringing my total to around 17,000.

Sábado, 27 Abril 2019 16:40

Greetings from Peru

Written by

Hugo Castro Campos - Niño Jesús Chapter, Lima


Father Kyungsu Son poses with Bartimeo students and support team in front of the men’s prison in Lima, Peru.

Hello, we twenty Affiliates of Capítulo Niño Jesús are former catechists of the Parish of the Child Jesus, where Maryknoll Fathers worked in the past. We meet the first Sunday of each month.

We are collaborating and helping in a couple of areas. A group of us collaborates at Casa Bartimeo, which is directed by the Maryknoll father, Kyungsu Son, MM. There they train the visually impaired in massage therapy through both theory classes and practice.* In other projects, we work with elders and with young people at the secondary level of Colegio Estatal.

 

* See the article, “Casa Bartimeo, A light of hope for the blind in Peru,” in the March 2017 issue of 
Maryknoll Magazine. The above photo was reprinted from this article.
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