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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You may also download PDF versions of Not So Far Afield here.

Miércoles, 01 Agosto 2018 00:31

Letting Go

Written by

Bob Short – Executive Coordinator

I’m not at all sure what prompted it, but on a phone call yesterday afternoon, a close friend asked me if, simply by association, “Maryknoll” had become for me a vicarial way of convincing myself that I was living out a committed life of service in a global world. Now, this friend is a smart person (who else uses vicarial these days?) who knows and loves Maryknoll. Still, his question initially disturbed me. What prompted him to ask? What did he mean by it?

We talked for some time. Unfortunately, the glass of wine poured earlier was out of reach from the chair next to the phone. While the question could have rather complex psychological and theological implications, I simply understood it to mean that I shouldn’t allow my connection to Maryknoll, most especially in those days of past glories, to become a vicarious substitute for all the commitments in and around me (some global and some domestic and rather unexciting) that I needed to attend to.

Miércoles, 01 Agosto 2018 00:19

How a Maryknoll Immersion Trip Changed My Life

Written by

Margaret Mott – California Central Coast Chapter

In 2004, My husband and I went on a FAB (Friends Across Borders) trip to Kenya. We knew in advance that this would be a special trip but went with no idea about how this would affect our lives.

When we arrived in Nairobi, it was early morning and the city was awakening. The ride from the airport was a wake-up to life in a developing country; the smell of burning garbage filled the air, and street children were wandering through the outskirts of the city to begin their day, alone and in search of their daily bread. People were everywhere, walking or waiting for the small crowded buses—matatus—to take them into town for their business of the day.

Shown are about half of the tour group with which Margaret Mott and her husband Hank traveled. It was possibly the first Friends Across Borders (FAB) trip to Kenya.

I knew nothing about this country and her people but was anxious to learn about everything we were going to experience as we were immersed in the work of Maryknoll in the bustling city of Nairobi. I truly was in awe as the day progressed. We settled into the Maryknoll House and began our friendships with our drivers—Paul, Rashid and Simon, and with the Maryknoll priests and lay missioners.

Miércoles, 01 Agosto 2018 00:15

Thoughts on God

Written by

Everyday life and all it takes are holy.

Every single breath is & gift of God. Every exhale is an act of trust.

How close am I to God?
“As the Father is in me, so also am I in you.”

—From the jottings of Bob Maxwell,
Maryknoll Affiliate

Miércoles, 01 Agosto 2018 00:11

Thanks from Guatemala

Written by

Martes, 31 Julio 2018 21:17

About Berrigan

Written by

A review of

AT PLAY IN THE LIONS’ DEN, by Jim Forest, Orbis Books, 2017

Mary Ryan-Hotchkiss – Portland Chapter

This biography and memoir of Daniel Berrigan, recently released by Orbis Books, has justly received much good press. It was reviewed by both America (https://www.americamagazine.org/arts-culture/2017/11/01/daniel-lions-den-berrigan-biography) and NCR (https://www.ncronline.org/news/people/my-friend-dan-berrigan-another-daniel-lions-den). 

As I began reading, I was impressed that there are pictures on almost every page, and that the book has an extensive index, notes, and a bibliography. Pertinent quotes fill frequent sidebars, and readers are treated to snippets of his poetry. 

In just the first few pages, I learned that three former Maryknollers were included in the Catonsville Nine, who were tried with Berrigan for their 1968 burning of draft records that earned him and several others a prison term.  Some stories added insights into Berigan’s close relationship with Phil Berrigan, his activist priest/brother.

My uncle’s vim and vision and vitality crackle out of the pages of Jim Forest’s book.
Dan Berrigan, Presente!
—Frida Berrigan

I kept reading, enjoying the personal stories, his connection with prominent authors such as Thomas Merton and Dorothy Day, and his evolving consciousness about the Viet Nam War, war in general, and nuclear weapons. Since I have lived through some of the same evolutions and times, his memoir allowed me to see with a new perspective and to better acknowledge the troubling positions of the Catholic Church and our country with respect to war.  Orbis and Jim Forest have done it again—bringing us great stories and insights. I thoroughly enjoyed and highly recommend this book!

Note: Affiliates, don’t forget to ask for your special 40% discount! 

 

 

Martes, 31 Julio 2018 21:03

My  Virtual Mission

Written by

Paula Schaffner – California Central Coast Chapter

When the opportunity has presented itself, I have enjoyed being physically present to engage in short-term mission work. However, this time the call came as a request for “someone to help update our website” in Chicago Affiliate Renate Schneider’s Haitian Connection newsletter. My husband and I had twice volunteered at the university she spearheaded after the 2011 earthquake, and we knew of some of the various programs Renate shepherds through her NGO. Having learned how to post articles on our Maryknoll Affiliates’ website and not having an overloaded schedule, I thought I could help support her efforts in this way.

The updating became a matter of starting a new website from scratch with a WordPress format, partly because I don’t know how to “write code,” the way her original website had been developed. I had to learn new skills even to do this, but no one else had offered to help, and Renate was extremely patient. After only about six months, off and on, we were able to launch the new website. From now on, my volunteer job will be only to post occasional updates.

Although I sat on my couch to do this volunteer work, I felt it was a worthwhile offering. My frequent struggles reminded me of one bible scholar’s comment that God asks us to perform from our weakness, not our strength. Maybe that’s so we’ll realize God was helping us when we succeed.

Besides sharing this experience to encourage you to be open to new ways of doing mission, I want to invite you to visit Renate’s new website:

HaitianConnection.org

Learn about the many initiatives she has developed—building homes for women, microcredit, small business startups, mental health programs, and more. Maybe you will see a way that you can help!

 

Martes, 31 Julio 2018 20:53

A Reader’s Love Letter

Written by

 

Hi Bob, 

I’m writing to you, but feel free to share it with anyone.  

I think it’s due to all the crap going on in the world, or here in our once wonderful country, but when I read the latest issue of the Not So Far Afield, it just lifted my heart in a beautiful way that I desperately needed.

Although I know there at many people doing wonderful things around the world, these articles helped to put things in a better perspective so that I can try to look at things in a different way. It really made a difference in my attitude—at least until the next ... fiasco.

So thanks to you and all the Affiliates for your great contribution to the disadvantaged in this world.

      Love, Kathy*

*Kathy Wright served the Maryknoll Lay Missioners for over 30 years, in the role of 
Admissions Co-coordinator for a good part of that time.

 

Martes, 31 Julio 2018 20:45

Read Up on Dialogue

Written by

John Moritz – NE Florida Chapter, SE Regional Coordinator

Why focus on inter-cultural and inter-religious dialogue? Maryknoll has always included finding and crossing the borders, the boundaries, to encounter the “other,” that which is foreign, different. Inter-cultural and inter-religious dialogue are necessarily an integral component of our mission. We, as Affiliates, reflect that charism, and these offerings are valuable resources for both reflection and action.

Words to Live By: Sacred Sources for Interreligious Engagement, edited by Rose, Ziad, and Hessler

This collection of essays by authors from various religious backgrounds is very readable and gives flesh and blood to the notion of dialogue. The stories convey a sense of the oneness that people experienced in developing relationships with those of different backgrounds and faiths. This is a really good source book for personal reflection in preparation for interreligious dialogue activities.

 

A Christology of Religions, by: Gerald O’Collins, SJ

Just as I began to tire of what was becoming too academic or remote in this readable but scholarly text, another gem would jump out. O’Collins placed the traditional elements of Christology in the context of today’s’ emerging understanding of Church. His Christological framework, well within traditional teachings, helps on my journey to move from an ego-centered to an eco-centered theology.

 

The Risk of Hope: How to talk about God in the World Today, by Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle

This book proclaims all that Maryknoll stands for in a most humble, caring, and truly loving manner. Cardinal Tagle shares himself in a series of anecdotes which illustrate that this man “gets” servant leadership. People who have endorsed his writings say that he has to be on a very short list for successor to Pope Francis at the next conclave. I sure hope so.

Note: Affiliates receive 40% off at Orbisbooks.com.

 

Viernes, 29 Junio 2018 16:42

Action and Active Nonviolence

Written by

Action is a key pillar of the Affiliate Movement, as are Spirituality, Community, and Global Vision. We Affiliates are action-oriented, loving and concerned about the world—the whole world. But sometimes we struggle to know how best to pursue our concern, even outrage, at the issues of the world. This NSFA provides ideas on some of those issues: climate change, racism, massive incarceration, detention of immigrant children, and separation of children from their parents. Affiliate chapters provide a home where we can share our outrage, incubate our ideas, and develop an action plan. 

The Northwest Regional mini-conference, Mission Nonviolence, to be held Sept. 21-23 in Portland, Oregon, will provide tools to follow the nonviolent Jesus into Action. [See Mission Nonviolence for more information.] We hope you will join us for training in nonviolent methods and an opportunity to meet others who also practice active nonviolence. 

What is your chapter leading you to take action on? Share you ideas with us at Esta dirección de correo electrónico está siendo protegida contra los robots de spam. Necesita tener JavaScript habilitado para poder verlo. or at the Maryknoll Affiliate Facebook page.

Articles in this issue: 

A Journey – "Our world is bigger and more complicated than was our experience before the journey."—Kathy Ress, Pam Cibik, and Gerry Mullaney

The State of My Heart – "Did I have enough experience as a Maryknoll Affiliate to be an asset and an effective board member?"—Roxanne Hughes-Wheatland

Continuing Buen Vivir – "We can each share what we are doing personally..."—Kitty & Roger Schiltz 

Amazing Affiliates – "Rudy often spoke of Maryknoll values, especially compassion for others."—Dan Heuer

This Land Is Your Land – "Are we Americans who value all other Americans or are we not?"—Tom Hastings

Active NE Ohio Chapter – "They were quick to advocate for immigrants and refugees, gun control and concern about shootings, and the poor and hungry."—Mary Ryan-Hotchkiss

North Carolina Chapter – "Blessings from all of our Chapter."—Gloria Tan

Doing Mission in the 21st Century – "Thus, we must continue to go where we are needed—at home or abroad; perhaps wanted, perhaps not."—Ron Covey

News from the Board and Executive Coordinator:

Race, Genetics, and Spirituality 

A History of Service 

Events you should know about:

#FamiliesBelongTogether

Poor People’s Campaign 

Mission Nonviolence 

Maryknoll Mission Institute 2018   

Features:

Current Orbis Offerings 

If you prefer to see the NSFA in its printed form, you may download a pdf of the July/August 2018 Not So Far Afield.

Viernes, 29 Junio 2018 15:42

Race, Genetics, and Spirituality 

Written by

Bob Short – Executive Coordinator

The present-day consensus among biological and social scientists is that race is a social construct, not a biological (genetic) one. It is estimated that as a species, we humans share 99.9% of our DNA with each other. The few differences that do exist reflect variances in environments and external factors, not genetics.

We might assume that the advances in human genetics and the evidence of such trifling differences (0.1%) between all people would put an end to racist arguments. On the contrary, genetics has been used to further racist and ethnocentric views and, for those so inclined, offer justification for discriminations and atrocities. As we know more than ever in these times, for many in power, facts and solid evidence are of little consequence when it comes to behavior and policy. What is it about race (primary eye and skin color and height) that has so very deeply tarnished our history and our relationships with each other?

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