The Board and EC Speak

The Board and EC Speak (61)

Jueves, 27 Febrero 2020 18:56

The Affiliates’ Interim Time

Written by

Bob Short – Executive Coordinator,, MAC 2020 Committee member

At some juncture in our lives, a good number us have dithered over what would be a fitting, engaging title for a term paper, article, or workshop. It can be a grueling process. In one moment, there’s inspiration, and the next, exasperation; bouts of energy, then tedium; feelings of “I’ve got it” followed in short measure by doubt. So it was with the title for MAC2020: Witnessing Love in the Interim Time.

Witnessing Love was an easy sell. But several on the MAC2020 team initially asked what the heck “Interim Time” meant. Ultimately, we all came to see that this phrase, inspired by John O’Donohue’s poem, For the Interim Time, was actually key to understanding the place we find ourselves in these days. You might have an intuitive sense of this yourself. Something is fundamentally different. As posted on the website a few weeks back, Pope Francis said, “…it’s not an era of change, but a change or eras.”

Viernes, 03 Enero 2020 06:43

Maryknoll Affiliate Leadership

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After the November 2019 Affiliate Board meeting, Board Chair Rich Lessard reflected on Maryknoll Affiliate leadership.*

Board member Russ Feldmeier, MM, and Board chair Rich Lessard in conversation

“The work of leaders involves hearing and identifying the long notes which play out in daily life, and which point to what is happening at a deeper level, resulting in a discerned response.” This quote (from Sr. Patricia Murray, IBVM) identifies three very important tasks: to listen, to discern, and to respond. For me, the most important ... is listening: …. through engagement and dialogue.

Please go to State of the Heart - Joint Meeting November 2019 to read more from Rich on connection and communication, i.e. engagement and dialogue, and our exploration of Affiliate identity and unity.

* Rich’s reflection also appeared in the emailed “Maryknoll Affiliate Website Updates for 11/25/2019”


Viernes, 03 Enero 2020 06:15

Board Meeting Outcomes

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  • The Board Regional Coordinators (RCs) read Pope Francis’s book, Go Forth, and discussed it at the November meeting, using reflections  and questions John Moritz had sent beforehand. The Board suggests that Affiliate chapters read it. 

  • "Quo Vadis? Where Are You Going?" is an Affiliate program to help individuals who have had a cross-cultural experience integrate that experience into their lives. See Bill Murphy’s article below.

  • The Communications Committee plans to launch our revamped website,, very soon. Please send your photos of recent Chapter activities to Bob Short at Esta dirección de correo electrónico está siendo protegida contra los robots de spam. Necesita tener JavaScript habilitado para poder verlo.

  • Greater Connection. To enhance Board communication with Affiliate Chapters and individual Affiliates, Board members will be matched with specific Regional Coordinators.


Don’t forget our Maryknoll Affiliate Conference – MAC 2020


Thursday – Sunday, June 25-28

Graymoor Spiritual Center

Garrison, New York

Start the New Year right by registering to attend!

Visit for more information.


Jueves, 31 Octubre 2019 16:49

Will Your Chapter Be Represented?

Written by

Coming in June 2020 is the Maryknoll Affiliate Conference—a once-in-three-years experience not to be missed. MAC 2020 will be held at the Graymoor Spiritual Life Center in the Hudson Valley, New York, from Thursday through Sunday, June 25-28. To learn more about what is planned, see the conference website,

To encourage broad attendance, the Maryknoll Affiliate Board is again offering grants for full or partial coverage of the conference fee and travel costs. Ideally, every chapter of the over 50 chapters worldwide will have a representative at the Conference. Are finances keeping you from attending?

To apply for funding, go to and click on either English or Spanish at the top. On the drop-down menu, choose Register.  On that page, click on the Travel Grant option. Following instructions, fill out and submit the form. Ask your Chapter Contact or Regional Coordinator to send a letter of recommendation to the address shown on the form.

Along with the Travel Grant, we encourage you to explore and consider other supplemental funding sources. For example, some chapters may help with either funds or frequent flyer miles. At recent MACs, as many as 15 attendees benefited from grant assistance, and we hope that as many or more will be assisted through the 2020 program.

Questions? Please email Executive Coordinator Bob Short at Esta dirección de correo electrónico está siendo protegida contra los robots de spam. Necesita tener JavaScript habilitado para poder verlo..


Miércoles, 30 Octubre 2019 22:48

Board News: Board/Regional Coordinators Meet & More

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Board / Regional Coordinators Meet

November 7 - 10, 2019

One of the twice yearly Board meetings includes the Regional Coordinators, to contribute their wisdom to the Board discussions and also to confer on how best to coordinate in their regions. The November meeting agenda includes:

• Discern how to best guide the Affiliate movement, utilizing:

~  Group discussion of questions sent out previously

~ Reflection on how Pope Francis’s book Go Forth applies to individuals and the Affiliate movement

~ Artistic rendition of conclusions for group interpretation.

• Open space discussion: Where do we go from here? Turning ideas into concrete actions.

• Special topics: Call with Renate Schneider on Haiti, Covenant working group, Quo Vadis, MAC2020, Website redo.

• Regional Coordinators meet separately.


Coming Soon – Appealing Fish Story

Manny Hotchkiss, of the Affiliate Board Finance Committee, will be sharing a whopper of a fish story that relates to the sustainability of the Affiliate Movement as we follow the Fisher of All.

Be watching your mailbox for the annual
Maryknoll Affiliates Appeal Letter
to be mailed November 15th.



Domingo, 18 Agosto 2019 14:43

John Moritz: Our Newest Board Member

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I joined the Affiliate Board in November of 2018.  My chapter, Northeast Florida, was nurtured by Fr. Bob Carleton, MM; beginning our initial formation in 2009, we became a chapter in 2011. As the test case for the Affiliate Formation Program, we underwent an arduous nearly two years of reading, watching, discussing, and discerning. I was initially attracted to the Affiliates despite never having met a Maryknoller prior to our formation, though I generally knew of Maryknoll by their reputation for early mission efforts.

John shares his electrical skills during a November 2018 Affiliate mission effort—helping refurbish a flooded mobile home south of Houston.

I have been involved in ministries for most of my adult life.  I had attended a Cursillo retreat in 1975 and was active for about 25 years.  After that, my wife, Mary and I have worked in marriage preparation ministry to this day. Early in my involvement, I was concerned that our ministry did not mirror that of most Affiliates, but I was greatly supported by Fr. Jim Madden, who shared my concern for marriage and assured me that what we were doing was completely consistent with being an Affiliate.

Upon becoming an Affiliate, I agreed to co-coordinate the Southeast region with Mary.  We attended the 2011 MAC, which solidified my commitment to the Affiliates.   As RCs, we have made varied and often not so successful attempts to spread the Affiliate message in our region.  Also, as a survivor of the Affiliate Formation Program, I was asked to help revise the program to make it more appropriate for initial chapter use and for individual formation.  Truthfully, despite some limitations, I thought the program was great!

I am willing to contribute what gifts I have to the Affiliate movement. I believe that we Affiliates have an opportunity to be a vital element of mission in the future. How this evolves is in process. I have never thought about myself as a board member type of person. When people start talking about amending the minutes of the last board meeting, my eyes glaze over, I see in black and white, and all the words become blah, blah, blah. Nevertheless, I look forward to participating in the servant leadership of the Maryknoll Affiliate Board.


Sábado, 17 Agosto 2019 23:39

A Letter from Our Affiliate Board Chair

Written by

Hello Affiliates,

Last Fall, as the new Affiliate Board Chair, I emphasized two characteristics of a successful movement—connection and communication. These are equally related to the Affiliate Board’s key responsibilities, namely:

  • to discover and embrace the wisdom and ever emerging life of the Affiliate movement, and
  • to engage in deep listening with the wider Affiliate movement.

It would be difficult to achieve these without connection and communication. Considering the nature and loose structure of the Affiliates, to be successful will require that both Affiliate leaders and members commit to dialogue. I can’t emphasize this enough!

As my personal commitment to this dialogue, I want to keep reaching out and connecting with Affiliates. All Affiliates and/or Chapters are invited to participate. If you are reading this, you are invited. Participation can be one-on-one conversations or connecting during a Chapter meeting. We can connect by phone or on the internet, via Zoom video conferencing or Skype.  If okay, I’d like to expand this connection by inviting another Board member and/or Regional Coordinator to the call, as well.

To participate in this dialogue, please email me at 
Esta dirección de correo electrónico está siendo protegida contra los robots de spam. Necesita tener JavaScript habilitado para poder verlo. so we can arrange the particulars. This will be an ongoing effort, so expect reminders in the future.

These conversations are just one way to enjoy mutual dialogue and engagement between leadership and the wider Affiliate movement. I hope you can join with me in this effort. Let’s have morning coffee or a nightcap together!

Rich Lessard, Affiliate Board Chair


Sábado, 29 Junio 2019 17:04

Prototype Progress and Success

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At its May meeting, the Maryknoll Affiliate Board heard updates on the four prototype projects which had been proposed and initiated at the November 2018 Board meeting. This is what has been accomplished in just six months:

Chapter Companions – Gerry Mullaney, NE Ohio, said ten chapters have requested or already have a Chapter Companion—a Maryknoll missioner. To sign up your chapter, contact the Chapter Companions team at Esta dirección de correo electrónico está siendo protegida contra los robots de spam. Necesita tener JavaScript habilitado para poder verlo..


Quo Vadis – Per Bill Murphy, a local marketing team has been formed in the NY/New England area, and they are presenting the workshop to cross-cultural immersion groups to beta test it. If successful, the resulting final version of QUO VADIS will be presented at the November Board/RC meeting before broader marketing of the workshop.


Affiliates Connecting – Rich Lessard, Board Chair and Albany Affiliate, has connected with several Affiliates and Chapters through phone
and video chat. If you wish to connect with him, e-mail him at Esta dirección de correo electrónico está siendo protegida contra los robots de spam. Necesita tener JavaScript habilitado para poder verlo.. We are looking for new ways of Affiliates connecting; one such way is the Question of the Month. Be on the lookout for a new question in your e-mail inbox each month.


Affiliate Hospitality – Roxanne Hughes-Wheatland said a survey asks Affiliates about their willingness and ability to provide hospitality to traveling Maryknollers, including Affiliates. See “Welcoming Maryknollers”

Sábado, 29 Junio 2019 16:31

Poetic Response  to Contemplative Action

Written by

Bill Murphy – Maryknoll Affiliate Board

It was my turn to prepare a “State of the Heart” report at the conclusion of the May 3-5, 2019 meeting of the Maryknoll Affiliate Board. The meeting’s central theme was contemplative action, and my response to what I heard and experienced took the form of the poem below.

Fracking the Heart

How do I turn my heart of stone into a heart of flesh?

I used to think the waters of baptism were sufficient:

Gentle, flowing waters can soothe but rarely awaken;

Still waters warm and calm but hardly get me moving.

Maybe knowledge was the answer?

Theology or the facts and figures of science and computers 

Would guide me to a meaningful life and best solutions.


Slow down

Sit with the darkness; it becomes light

Listen in the silence

Share stories of life:

accompanying gospels of struggles, pains, joys -

compassion for ourselves as well as others

breaks open my heart.

Don’t just move, stand there


move in the direction that beckons me.


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.

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