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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Miércoles, 20 Febrero 2019 04:22

The Biggest Joy of My Life

Written by

Noel Krebs – Goshen-Westchester Chapter

Preparation for a Kairos retreat consists of three hours on each of eight Friday nights. Each of the 20 times I’ve done these 24 hours of preparation, I am greatly rewarded with a deep, lasting joy.

To learn more a bout Kairos, visit

In a New York State prison, we give a four-day active retreat of talks, discussions, posters, and explanations. The Kairos Christian, interdenominational retreat welcomes all Christians, Jews, Muslims, atheists, etc.  Each table of four residents (prisoners) and two Kairos volunteers becomes a community—a table family. We punctuate the retreat days with hymn singing led by a Kairos band, meals, and a break outside the gym in the fresh air and sunshine of the yard.

Miércoles, 20 Febrero 2019 04:13

“Thinking Wrong” in Monrovia

Written by

Hugh Menton – Los Angeles Chapter
Eugene Shirley – Pando Populus 
Sr. Dolores Mitch, MM – Monrovia Maryknoll Sisters

“Thinking Wrong” is a process to generate creative ideas, thinking outside the box. Where better to find such thinking than among retired Maryknoll Sisters in Monrovia, California, and ten or so undergraduate Kansas University design students—members of a Studio X project? Studio X projects use “Thinking Wrong” to create new possibilities.

The Sisters invited Greater Los Angeles Maryknoll Affiliate Chapter members to participate in “Thinking Wrong.” Three Affiliates—Jane Bivona, Hugh Menton, and Jean Menton—joined with the Sisters, KU students, and Pando Populus members to envision new happenings at the Sisters’ Monrovia community located against the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains, on a beautiful November day. Four groups presented their ideas after a day of reflection and dialogue. Do you hear the Affiliates’ sense of spirituality, community, action, and global concern in the story?

Miércoles, 20 Febrero 2019 04:01

Chapters Team Up with Maryknoll Companions

Written by

As of January 2019, the Maryknoll Chapter Companion Initiative had its first successful Chapter Companions match: Fr. Bob Carleton, MM, has been matched with the Northeast Florida Affiliate Chapter that he started years ago.

“We are very excited to connect with Fr. Bob again,” said Mary Moritz, the Chapter Coordinator. “We believe that our chapter will be blessed by this connection.”

Five other chapter requests are pending with the Sisters and the Lay Missioners, and those matches will hopefully be finalized soon. In addition, three chapters have elected to formalize their ongoing relationship with a Maryknoll missioner as their Chapter Companionship.

Martes, 19 Febrero 2019 00:13

You Talk – We Listen

Written by

Judy Pinney of Walla Walla, Washington, writes: Currently, we are working with our Catholic Social Concerns Committee on holding a possible bilingual prayer service to Our Lady of Guadalupe to pray for immigrants and asylum seekers. Our parish is over half Hispanic yet has been virtually silent regarding what is happening at the border and the call for Catholics/Christians to support immigrants. Some of us from both the Anglo and Hispanic communities have come up with a format for this possible service using materials from the USCCB website and are contacting the pastor this week for approval. If this comes to fruition, we would be happy to share the meeting outline with you in case any of you would like to use it in your parishes or in one of your meetings. 

NSFA editor Paula Schaffner responds: My parish needs opportunities to bring our Anglo and Hispanic communities together, too. We’ll be looking forward to receiving your meeting outline!

Hugh Menton, Regional Coordinator for California, suggests: In the spirit of Affiliate connections and global vision, Jean [Hugh’s wife] prepared for our Affiliate meeting potluck the New Zealand-origin dish, Bean & Tomato Stew—Square Edge, that you [Paula Schaffner] shared in an email to your Chapter participants and copied me some time ago.  It was delicious, as all in our Chapter who attended today’s meeting testified.

Has NSFA ever included an international potluck item recipe column? My impression is that almost every Chapter gathers around food and it is an easy avenue to introduce global awareness.

NSFA editors respond: We agree that sharing food can both build community and increase global awareness. We’ll start with this issue—look for the Potluck Recipe Exchange on page 8. It will also appear in occasional future issues.

Affiliates: Please send your questions or comments to Esta dirección de correo electrónico está siendo protegida contra los robots de spam. Necesita tener JavaScript habilitado para poder verlo.. We love to hear from you and will share your good ideas.

Lunes, 18 Febrero 2019 23:42

Notices - March/April 2019

Written by

So Many Books, So Little Time...

Because of a light response and busy schedules, Book Group 2019 is being delayed until fall. 

We encourage Affiliates to read Choosing Peace, edited by Marie Dennis, on their own, and comment on Facebook, or send comments to us at Esta dirección de correo electrónico está siendo protegida contra los robots de spam. Necesita tener JavaScript habilitado para poder verlo.. We’d also appreciate book suggestions for the Fall Book Group, and book reviews for the NSFA.

Be with us at the

Maryknoll Affiliate Conference!


June 25-28, 2020

The site, Graymoor Spiritual Life Center at Garrison, NY has easy access from the Metro-North train line and is less than 25 minutes from the Maryknoll Center.

A small, initial Planning Team of Celine Woznica (Chicago Central), Ginny McEvoy (Long Island) and Bob Short (Greater Boston) will provide updates as plans evolve.

Watch for invitations to contribute your skills and help make this conference memorable in the fine MAC tradition!

Do you “Like” us?

Visit and LIKE or FOLLOW us. Post your Affiliate photos, activities, or an inspiring quote or article you’ve seen.

Do you enjoy communicating on Facebook? The Affiliates need someone to nurture our Facebook page as 
their special mission. Contact Paula or Bob at Esta dirección de correo electrónico está siendo protegida contra los robots de spam. Necesita tener JavaScript habilitado para poder verlo. for more information.

Another View of Leadership

Patrisse Cullors, Black Lives Matter Movement founder, says,  “We are not leaderless, we are leader-full.” ...It is difficult to infiltrate, undermine, or disrupt an organic movement that draws its power from regenerating communal cells.

—Richard Rohr, 4/13/18



Lunes, 18 Febrero 2019 23:33

All-American Mosaic

Written by

Joseph R. Veneroso, MM


What makes America great?
     Military might or material wealth?
Democratic ideals or Republican values?
Freedom to say and be and do what you please?
A history of helping those in need?
The right to criticize elected officials and
     government policies without fear?
The peace in which to worship God
     or the choice not to believe at all?
Tolerance for those who disagree?
All, some or none of the above?

What makes America different?

That we are a nation without faults or
that we have the wisdom and courage
     to acknowledge and correct them?
That we close our minds and borders
or that we welcome all who come
—as once we or our ancestors did—
seeking freedom and a better life?

That in America all must think, talk, eat,
dress, act, love, pray and live alike?
Or that each individual can pursue
his or her own vision of happiness?

What makes America different?

Our tolerance for differences.

Diversity makes America great.
Diversity makes America strong.

Each addition to our ranks enriches
     and empowers the whole.

We hold these truths to be self-evident.

Reprinted from Maryknoll magazine Vol 89, Number 7, 1995,


Lunes, 18 Febrero 2019 23:02

News from Encuentro and the Border

Written by
David Stocker making drums at Portland Mission Nonviolence.

We received a holiday update from David Stocker who participated in the Affiliates Mission Nonviolence Conference in Oregon this fall and shared “The Art of Nonviolence” in the Nov/Dec NSFA. He tells us:

I visited Rivera Sun (another speaker at Mission Nonviolence) in Taos after the Encuentro. We shared stories, and she is a great voice for the Insurrection.

On December 11th, one of our organizers in Tucson—Alejandra, a powerful advocate for immigrants’ rights and a woman who led part of the protest at Eloy Detention Center—was ordered to be deported. We are sure her activism has made her a target of ICE. What to do if all vulnerable people are silenced?

David also thanks readers of the NSFA for their donations to the SOA Watch Puppetistas:

With your support, Puppetistas were able to present the drum making workshop in two community centers in Mexico and at three locations in the US. Our music, arts, and drums were present at the Eloy protest and at the trial in Tucson of the border guard who killed a Mexican teen six years ago.  Many of the children and their parents from the Mexican schools attended our Sunday gathering where the kids were featured in song and dance.

This is groundbreaking for SOAW and I’m proud that we were a part…. Through it all kids are still kids. In this world there can be no ‘others’ because all of the children belong to all of us. It really does take a village…. Thanks.


Lunes, 18 Febrero 2019 22:56

Compassion and Hospitality on the Border

Written by

Compassion and Hospitality on the Border

Jerrie Drinkwine – Seattle Chapter

News flashes of a caravan of people from Central America moving through Mexico to seek asylum in the US filled television screens and social media throughout 2018. Scenes of children being separated from parents horrified most Americans. With these haunting reports, a team of five people from Holy Family Parish, Kirkland, WA, decided to go to the Texas/Mexico border in McAllen, to volunteer at the Humanitarian Respite Center in support of these asylum seekers and to gain information for a possible Adult Mission Trip in February 2019.

Al Drinkwine, left, and Karen and Mark Smith make sandwiches.

What happens after a family is processed by the Border Patrol and US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and enters the Respite Center mirrors the social teachings of Jesus. Families come off prison buses from ICE with one adult per family having a tracking device secured to one ankle. All shoe laces and belts have been removed by ICE to prevent potential suicide. Once in the Respite Center, they are welcomed warmly by a team of volunteers and four paid staff members. This is where the hospitality and compassion take place.

Lunes, 18 Febrero 2019 22:53


Written by

 Brian Bilston

They have no need of our help
So do not tell me
These haggard faces could belong to you or me
Should life have dealt a different hand
We need to see them for who they really are
Chancers and scroungers
Layabouts and loungers
With bombs up their sleeves
Cut-throats and thieves
They are not
Welcome here
We should make them
Go back to where they came from
They cannot
Share our food
Share our homes
Share our countries
Instead let us
Build a wall to keep them out
It is not okay to say
These are people just like us
A place should only belong to those who are born there
Do not be so stupid to think that
The world can be looked at another way

(now read from bottom to top)


Reprinted with permission.
Lunes, 18 Febrero 2019 22:51

Old Monastic Benediction

Written by

Rev. Eugenia Gamble, pastor of Nipomo Community Presbyterrian Church, Nipomo, CA, adapted this prayer from an old monastic blessing. She closes the organizational meetings for a newly forming local interfaith coalition on immigration with it.

May God bless you with discomfort with easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships, so that you will live deeply and from the heart.

May God bless you with anger at injustice, oppression, and the exploitation of people, so that you will work for justice, freedom, and peace.

May God bless you with tears to shed for those that mourn, so that you will reach out your hand to them and turn their mourning into joy.

And may God bless you with just enough foolishness to believe that you can make a difference in the world, so that you will do those things that others say cannot be done. 



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