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.

You may subscribe to Not So Far Afield by email or to be notified when it is posted on our website.

Please click here to subscribe to the electronic PDF version email list.

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

Viernes, 28 Febrero 2020 19:41

At MAC2020: Talk with Those Who Walk the Talk

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One of the most exciting things about attending the Maryknoll Affiliate Conferences (MACs) is the opportunity to talk with people about what is happening in the countries where they live. While you’re at the MAC, don’t miss visiting with these people:     

Kitty Madden – Having spent the last 34 years in Nicaragua, Kitty can fill you in on current conditions there.    

Renate Schneider – To learn what Haiti is like these days, Renate can report on changes since her article in the January NSFA.  

Peruvian Affiliates – Several have applied for visas. (Pray for their success.)     

Rosa Beatriz, Rosa Maria de Leon, and Anabella Penados – They can talk about various aspects of mission in Guatemala.    

Sun Shil Theresa Kim – She can speak to what it means to be an Affiliate in South Korea.          

Fred and Jet Goddard –What has our previous executive coordinator been doing in Philippines?

There will probably be even more worldwide representatives, not to mention folks from other regions of the US.

Be sure to enhance your global vision by attending MAC 2020 and joining in the conversation. Better yet, enrich that conversation by encouraging other Affiliates you know to attend as well.

For details and to register, go to  
www.mkmac.org.

 

Viernes, 28 Febrero 2020 00:07

One’s Own Country

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What makes Maryknoll Affiliates so exceptional? Generosity? Deep spirituality? Openness to new ideas? Love for our neighbors? Willingness to take action? Global Vision?

Articles in this NSFA issue show Affiliates sharing their Global Vision through the Quo Vadis program and by helping at Maryknoll church dates in the US. We see Affiliates open to new ideas with immigrants and nonviolence. Others take action by forming communities and extended families abroad. Affiliates are all called to rise above the clamor of the comfortable simplicity of a litmus test and see that our Global Vision connects us in a complex web. I’m reminded that every complex problem has a simple answer—and it’s WRONG!

What can we be doing, especially in this interim time of changing eras? As people of Love and Action Affiliates can be a yeast that spreads though the world prioritizing the common good. Can we reframe a narrow issue? How do we bring others to our big, complex table?

Please tell us at Esta dirección de correo electrónico está siendo protegida contra los robots de spam. Necesita tener JavaScript habilitado para poder verlo. about your and your chapter’s special outreach with those for whom dedication to a particular focused issue obscures the big us. May the Affiliates Global Vision guide these actions in our own country.

 

Articles in this issue:

Quo Vadis Success at Le Moyne College – "The Albany Affiliate team was deeply touched by being present to the students and sharing their experiences."—Santa Orlando

A Maryknoll Partnership – "...Seattle Affiliates decided to partner with the visiting priests by helping to alleviate some of their work load at the parish level."—Carolyn Creighton

Fox Cities Immigration Task Force – "We meet monthly at a local church and invite interested citizens to join us in our efforts for a better life for our immigrant families."—Nancy Bourassa

A Letter from Nicaragua –  "I send gratitude to all of you for continuing to hold the people of Nicaragua in your prayers."—Kitty Madden

Nonviolence Expert Speaks to Our Chapter – "As a group, we were very moved by his stories of how nonviolent approaches stopped violent attacks and turned people around."—Marie Wren

The Right to Stay in One’s Own Country "Standing up for children and youth is particularly important in Guatemala ... "—Steve Barrett

Gail Forms a Mission Community – "We will always remember her and miss her.  May she rest in peace.”—Teresa Mariche

Tanzania Party: Maryknoll Values Live On – "Today, Fathers, Sisters, and lay Tanzanians carry on that whole Maryknoll set of values."—Roger Schiltz   

Our Chapter Retreat: A New Tradition – "I thank all the chapters that inspired me to plan this retreat."—Mary Moritz

At MAC2020: Talk With Those Who Walk the Talk - "Be sure to enhance your global vision by attending MAC 2020 and joining in the conversation."

The News from the Board is all about MAC 2020: 

The Affiliates’ Interim Time 

Don't forget our various feature articles: 

Confused Catholics Called to Rise Above – a poem by Al Drinkwine

Everyday Spiritual Readingsthe review of a book co-authored by Affiliate Mary Moritz

What Is Your Theme for Lent? – spiritual resources available at Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns

Maryknoll Mission Inst. 2020 – Maryknoll Sisters' institute beginning in May

If you prefer to read the Not So Far Afield in its printed form, you may download it here: NSFA March/April 2020

 

Jueves, 27 Febrero 2020 23:57

Quo Vadis Success at Le Moyne College

Written by

Santa Orlando – Albany, NY Chapter

Quo Vadis, Latin for Where are you going?, is an Affiliate program designed to help returnees from an immersion trip (most often college students) to process and incorporate the experience into their lives going forward. 

 

Santa Orlando and a team from the Albany Chapter met  in February with 30 students from LeMoyne College in Syracuse, NY, to help them process their immersion trips to Jamaica, El Salvador, and the Dominican Republic, This Day of Discernment helped the students recall the surprises, events, and gifts that will forever remain etched upon their hearts. Affiliates believe post-reflection is an important aspect of cultural immersion trips. Many programs prepare groups prior to their trips, but don’t plan time to process the experience after returning. Quo Vadis provides this service to groups returning from immersion trips to encourage them to share their experience with others who have taken trips such as these and have been changed by the experience.

An Albany Affiliate team of six facilitated this day, encouraging the students to remember events that touched them, to share these experiences with those present, and to let the experiences speak to them in the silence of their hearts. The students were thoroughly engaged throughout the day, sharing with each other in pairs, small groups and large group discussions. We felt privileged to hear their stories, many of which brought back similar memories of immersion trips that we ourselves have taken.

Students shared moments of joy: being welcomed like family by residents of their host country, or dancing and celebrating with children and entire communities. They embraced being out of their comfort zone by tossing aside fear of the other and instead celebrating the commonalities. Many students wished our country would value relationships more than schedules. They were surprised at seeing armed guards everywhere, and the fact that it made the locals feel safer, whereas the presence of increased armed personnel in our country causes fear and anxiety. The students commented on how the political decisions in one country have a great effect on the lives of the people in other countries; no country exists in isolation.

Some students expressed sadness to realize that they were feeling isolated and alone upon returning home. At most they receive a nod of the head in passing, instead of a connecting touch, a warm and authentic greeting. They have seen for themselves that material things do not necessarily bring joy.

Most students plan to have more cross-cultural interactions in the future. The worldwide concerns that they have studied have now become very real and personal. The students are a positive reflection of Le Moyne’s academic education, as well as proof of the spiritual and organizational prowess of their campus ministry director, Ms. Alice Zicardi.

The Quo Vadis* program, developed by Bill Murphy and other Affiliates, is adaptable and flexible so it can speak to groups of various ages. We encourage other Affiliate chapters to reach out to groups who take immersion trips to promote the program. The Albany Affiliate team was deeply touched by being present to the students and sharing their experiences. We also spoke of the Affiliate Pillars: Spirituality, Community, Action, and Global Vision. Know that the Maryknoll Affiliate charism is alive and well.

*Contact Bill Murphy (Esta dirección de correo electrónico está siendo protegida contra los robots de spam. Necesita tener JavaScript habilitado para poder verlo.) for more information.

Jueves, 27 Febrero 2020 23:35

What Is Your Theme for Lent?

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The Maryknoll Office of Global Concerns encourages us to examine and deepen our lives with their 2020 Lenten Reflection Guide 
(https://maryknollogc.org/resources/scripture-reflection-guides), which offers weekly reflections on ecological conversion.
Or you may feel drawn to a theme from past years, such as nonviolence (maryknollogc.org/resources/lenten-reflection-guide-2018). 

   

While you’re on the MOGC website, you might take a few minutes to see what other resources are available.
For example, Sr. Ann Braudis’s meditations on the solar eclipse and the autumnal equinox are listed.

 

 

Jueves, 27 Febrero 2020 23:26

A Maryknoll Partnership

Written by

Carolyn Creighton – Seattle Chapter 

For many years Maryknoll has had a missionary cooperative agreement with the Seattle Archdiocese.  Maryknoll priests come to educate regarding mission work by sharing their personal experiences during Mass.  In a three-year cycle, most parishes set aside one weekend during the summer for this missionary visit to learn about the overseas work of the Church.

The Seattle Archdiocese provides the list of parishes desiring a Maryknoll priest’s visit, as well as the dates and parishes to which they have been matched.  Most priests stay overnight at Maryknoll House and have use of the house car. Usually the priest will take the supplies (Maryknoll Magazine, donation envelopes, pencils, brochures, etc.) with him.  Sometimes Maryknoll House ships the supplies to the parish in advance.  The number of Masses served on the weekends—from three to six or seven—can sometimes be overwhelming for a single priest. 

Three years ago, the Seattle Affiliates decided to partner with the visiting priests by helping to alleviate some of their work load at the parish level.  We only assist at the parishes within the greater Seattle area and the Portland Affiliates assist at parishes in the Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, Washington, area.  

Jueves, 27 Febrero 2020 23:21

Fox Cities Immigration Task Force

Written by

Nancy Bourassa – Fox Cities Chapter, Task Force Chair

ESTHER is a faith-based organization working for social justice.  Four members of its Immigration Task Force are Fox Valley Maryknoll Affiliate Chapter members. Kathleen Gribble, chapter coordinator, has offered her home for asylum seekers waiting for their court date.

The ESTHER Immigration Task Force has evolved over the years into a wide-reaching group with ties to many groups in the community and beyond.  Currently, we are working on auto insurance for undocumented immigrants, we are educating the community through entertainment, we gather and share information about conditions on the border, and we advocate for local immigrants in abusive situations.

Safe Roads is an initiative aimed at culminating in a bill that will allow our undocumented immigrants to be tested to drive legally and carry insurance. A few members of our task force are working on the bill with other groups around the state. It would be a win/win for the state but is still meeting with opposition.

Jueves, 27 Febrero 2020 23:14

A Letter from Nicaragua

Written by

Kitty Madden – Affiliate

As I continue my time-of-life review and recycling, I am grateful for the opportunities I have had these past 34 years to document my experiences with the Sandinista revolution of the 80s and also our accompaniment of Nicaraguan women and families through 27 years of Casa Materna Mary Ann Jackman in the northern highlands of Matagalpa.

The ending of the Casa in December of 2017 seemed to be an early example of the government’s desire to do away with or strongly control all nongovernmental organizations. We are just grateful that we were able to attend close to 18,000 women with high risk pregnancies and contribute greatly to the reduction of maternal deaths in Nicaragua.  Of the Casa mothers, there were only two maternal deaths, neither of which happened in the Casa.

I apologize that I am not able to send an update on Nicaragua for the Affiliate NSFA newsletter at this time, but I am looking forward to sharing my perspective with any interested Affiliates when we gather for MAC 2020 in New York in June. I send gratitude to all of you for continuing to hold the people of Nicaragua in your prayers.

Jueves, 27 Febrero 2020 23:05

Nonviolence Expert Speaks to Our Chapter

Written by

Marie Wren – North Bay California Chapter

On Saturday, January 11, Affiliates from the San Francisco-North Bay Chapter and their friends (19 in all) gathered at Bob and Nancy McFarland’s home to hear an inspirational talk and video by Professor Michael Nagler, followed by questions and answers. Professor Nagler, cofounder of the Peace and Conflict Studies Program at UC Berkeley, received an international award for promoting Gandhian Values Outside India. He has authored several books, including The Search for a Nonviolent Future, and speaks on peace and nonviolence in many venues. Founder and president of the board of the Metta Center for Non-Violence Education in Petaluma, he is a student of Sri Eknath Easwaran and also founded the Blue Mountain Center of Meditation, where he lives. 

We sat spellbound as Nagler talked about his new book, The Third Harmony: Nonviolence and the New Story of Human Nature, which comes out in March, to be followed by a film of the same name (see Thirdharmony.org), with coverage on social media and PBS. The first harmony is with the universe, the second with nature and the third is the harmony within us and among us as human beings.

He talked about “the old story” of human beings, which is materialistic, promotes separateness, isolation, and competition; exploits the environment, leading to climate crisis; gives rise to dictators; dominates, destroys, and leads to reaction. It’s about war and violence, poverty and scarcity. Today’s mass media news mostly deals with the old story.

The “new story” is about consciousness, humans as spiritual beings, helping others, cooperation and collaboration, interconnectedness, and the convergence of modern science and spirituality. The new story is about nonviolence as a way of life—it is the only method that can get us to a new paradigm. Violence cannot change hearts, but in the presence of nonviolence, hostility falls away.

Nagler recommends:

  • Avoid mass media – it alienates us (go to alternative sources for news, of which he is compiling a list)
  • Learn nonviolence
  • Have a spiritual practice, which increases knowledge of self and the universe and decreases fear.
  • Tell the story of nonviolence in actions and words, where it can do the most good,
  • You were born with a role, find it, do it with the right means, and don’t be attached to the results.
North Bay-San Fancisco Chapter Affiliates and friends. Professor Nagler is 3rd from the left.

As a group, we were very moved by his stories of how nonviolent approaches stopped violent attacks and turned people around. Two films were mentioned as related and worth seeing: A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood and A Hidden Life (about Franz Jägerstätter’s resistance to serving under Hitler—it is inspiring and beautiful).

 

Jueves, 27 Febrero 2020 22:48

The Right to Stay in One’s Own Country

Written by

Steve Barrett – Guatemala Chapter

Steve has been in Guatemala for most of the last 40 years, working in education. Since 1989, he has collaborated with CEIPA as their educational consultant.

Frequently, in the context of the current worldwide immigration nightmare, the right of people to stay in their own countries and the obligation of the governments of those countries to fulfill their most basic human rights do not receive as much attention as they should. 

The Ecumenical Center for Pastoral Integration (CEIPA) in Quetzaltenango, in the southwestern region of Guatemala, has been working to defend the rights of working children and adolescents since 1989.  Children and adolescents, most of them of Maya-K’iche’ or Maya-Mam ethnicity, become well versed in their rights through a critical pedagogy on which the three programs that comprise CEIPA are based:  education, socio-productive training (vocational workshops), and political advocacy.  Children and adolescents are learning to become active citizens who work for change in their country.  The three programs offer a wide range of opportunities for children and youth.

Through CEIPA’s educational program, this graduate just finished the 9th grade, quite a feat for most youth in Guatemala.

Working children and youth who have aged out of the public-school system attend CEIPA’s three elementary schools, one of them located in the largest market of Quetzaltenango. Many students work there or in the adjoining bus terminal.  Classes for 7th through 9th grades, referred to as “básico” in Guatemala, are available on the grounds of the organization.  Students in the elementary program range from 9 to 17 years; those in the básico program are from 13 to the early 20s.  Students in the weekday program attend classes from 1:30-5:30, which does not interfere with their work schedules.  CEIPA also offers a weekend program for youth at both the elementary and básico levels.  Students in this program do not have the luxury of attending school during the week because of their work obligations but are able to attend classes all day on Saturdays.   

These students are engaged in CEIPA’s year-long cooking workshop.

The vocational education program offers a variety of workshops that students attend for an entire year.  Many of the participants in this program come from the surrounding municipalities and rural communities and did not attend one of the CEIPA schools.  The workshop offerings have varied over the years, according to the shifting needs of the local economy.  At the closing of the 2019 school year (classes in Guatemala begin in January and end in October, but in CEIPA they end in November), some 120 youth concluded workshops in cooking, baking, confectionery, sewing and dressmaking, and cosmetology.  Those who have successfully finished the program now have two options for the coming year:  they may receive support in finding work in their fields in established businesses, or they may receive supervision over a period of several months while starting and maintaining their own small businesses. 

 

Young people participate in a group community- building activity in CEIPA’s “socio-productivo” program.

CEIPA staff members who work in the political advocacy program divide their time among three subprograms:     

  • The formation and maintenance of children’s and youth councils that work alongside local government in several municipalities advocating for youth rights;
  • The human rights school, in which approximately 13,000 children and youth have participated since its inception in 2010; and
  • The writing of public policy to defend the rights of children and youth.
Certificates on completion of a CEIPA vocational program help students qualify for jobs.

Standing up for children and youth is particularly important in  Guatemala, where 51% of the population is under age 18 and 70% is under age 30.  Add to this that the average grade level completed is fifth grade elementary and that half of the population under age 5 is malnourished— the sixth highest rate of child malnutrition in the world.  In all three programs at CEIPA, students examine and question the context in which they live and seek solutions to their problems.  It is very much a pedagogy of questions, as Paulo Freire stated in Pedagogy of the Oppressed

For more information, you may contact me at Esta dirección de correo electrónico está siendo protegida contra los robots de spam. Necesita tener JavaScript habilitado para poder verlo..  You can also check out the website at ceipa-ac.org.

 

Jueves, 27 Febrero 2020 22:44

Gail Forms a Mission Community

Written by

Gloria Tan – Comunidad Santa Maria Chapter

 

I have known Gail since 2010, when she came to train us to be Maryknoll Affiliate missionaries.  She was very dedicated and optimistic about forming a new chapter of Hispanic ladies, the only Spanish-speaking chapter in the US. She didn’t mind driving two hours from Raleigh and was always on time and ready for the meeting.

On April 30, 2011, we had our covenant signing with special guests Father Robert Kus and Father David LaBuda.  After that, she called often to see how the chapter was doing and to advise us on different subjects that we could work on.  She always made sure that we were treated with respect.  In 2011, I had the opportunity to go with her to the Maryknoll Affiliate Conference in New York. 

As the chapter grew, she knew that all the new members needed to know what Maryknoll means and what we were doing.  So she came on weekends to make sure everyone could assist in new-member orientations.  She explained how Father Price founded this mission and how fortunate we were to be in the place where he grew up.  After the short training, we renewed our vows at the church.  It was a very emotional moment.

Teresa Mariche is a newer member of the chapter.  Teresa said about Gail, “She was a great example.  She always inspired me to do my best.  In spite of knowing her very little, I cared a lot for her.  We will always remember her and miss her.  May she rest in peace.”

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