- Not So Far Afield Vol 19 No 4 – July/August 2010
- Fields of Dreams
- Maryknoll Affiliate Clubs
- Vessel of Clay: The Inspirational Journey of Sister Carla
- Upcoming Maryknoll Affiliate Events
- Maryknoll Affiliates Youth Club Feeding the Homeless in Hawaii
- Wisconsin Affiliates Reach Out To Youth - Locally And In Bolivia
- Chicago West Chapter Meets with College of DuPage Catholic Newman Association
- Students practice global solidarity during protest at army school
- The First Youth Chapter
- Dead Man Walking High School Theatre Project
- Young Catholics in the 21st Century
- Hokey Pokey
- Claiming our Community!
- Fred Goddard Celebrates 10 Year Anniversary with the Affiliates
- News from the Knoll
- All Pages
Youth and the Maryknoll Affiliates
This issue of Not So Far Afield focuses almost entirely on youth, how they are active with the Maryknoll Affiliates and how we can be getting them involved in mission. We hope you find the stories both inspirational and motivating and that they give you and your Chapter new ideas for working with youth. We hope you share your own ideas and experiences with us by adding a comment (click on "Add comment" below—for registered users).
There are many organizations working with youth. We can find many valuable ideas from and partner with them as we work with young adults. Pax Christi, in particular, provides a wonderful resource through their programs.
Fields of Dreams
We often ask ourselves, “how can we get younger people involved in our Chapters?” The approach that we have usually taken to this, though, has been—to paraphrase the quote from Field of Dreams—“if you build it they will come.” Well, we have been “building” the Maryknoll Affiliate movement for almost twenty years now and find ourselves more frustrated than not with the reality that youth have not come. This may be because they have been building their own “fields of dreams”—dreaming of a better world—and our call is to join with them.
There can be no better example of this than what Mary Logan has done with students at Red Bank Catholic High School in Red Bank, New Jersey. Mary started a Maryknoll Affiliate Club at Red Bank Catholic where she teaches. Mary says, “High school students (for the most part) are not going to join pre-existing Chapters; the Chapters need to be where the kids are. There is such energy and enthusiasm during those teen years. The challenge is to channel that energy into a direction that so many students are interested in, but they do not know how to access (or create) the connection to mission. ” She has tapped into the energy and enthusiasm of these students and helped them to connect to mission and the world.
When Mary first wrote to us in 2008 requesting official recognition as a Chapter, she and the students had already been meeting for two years. Mary wrote, “The students have met regularly for prayer and discussion in our high school chapel; they have held a private retreat/discernment day in our school's convent (led by our campus minister) and they have been very involved in studying about social justice and some of the work in the missions. The students have also been busy raising money for some specific missions such as Cambodia, Kenya, Guatemala and the Marshall Islands. They have had email contact with missioners from those regions and have been in an exchange with people there. Through their efforts the student body has raised over $5,000 in the past year alone.”
At the beginning of a school year, Mary holds a preliminary meeting of students who are interested in obtaining more information. They go through the Four Pillars, explain their goals and plans and then have the students fill out a simple application form. Each student has to write an essay describing why he/she feels called to this vocation, about their own personal gifts and talents and state with which of the four pillars they felt they can best help out.
The students form committees, such as prayer/retreat leaders, finance committee, school awareness committee, educational committee and fund raising. Every student is required to read Maryknoll magazine each month, and during the meetings, they select one or two articles to discuss and pray about. They also have a prayer intention book that they keep in the school chapel. They have two retreat days, and only at the end of the winter will the students be officially invited to become Affiliates. Their geographical proximity to Maryknoll is a distinct advantage since speakers have visited the school and the students can visit Maryknoll.
The number of students involved in and the activities of the RBC Maryknoll Affiliate Club have steadily increased over the years. Mary Logan shares, “We have been in contact with Sister Mary Vertucci MM and her Emusoi school in Tanzania and are beginning a ‘pen pal’ correspondence with some of the older girls. We also had an ice cream sundae sale and raised just over $700 for that school. But the project that we did swing into, and have been working on for 2 years, is Fair Trade and the group TransFair USA ( ). There is a Ten Thousand Villages store in Red Bank ( ), and I have taken my classes to visit the store and attend presentations on fair trade for 2 years or more. It is also a strong part of my curriculum… and Fair Trade will be our local focus point.”
Other activities have included:
- Writing and reciting prayers over the school PA system for our morning prayers, including a few prayers from the Maryknoll prayer book
- Writing special prayers during the month of October for mission awareness month
- Sharing emails with missioners in Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Cambodia, El Salvador and Bolivia
- Meeting to discuss fund raisers and to decide how best to help the missions with which they are involved
- Holding ice cream sundae sales during school lunches to raise money for the above missions
- Sponsoring a ‘dress down day’ where students donate a $1 to the missions and get to wear jeans and sneakers for the day!
- Sponsoring Sisters to visit our school and give presentations about the missions
- Supporting the school’s annual Thanksgiving Food drive to collect items for a full Thanksgiving dinner for needy families in the area
- Supporting the efforts of RBC’s Haitian students to make monetary donations for Haitians and to bring in materials such as bandages, first aid creams, soap, Tylenol, etc. to make first aid kits for Haiti
- Making Christmas cards and friendship bracelets after learning to write various greetings in Spanish to send to children in El Salvador and Bolivia.
The students now teach second and third graders mission awareness at St. James Elementary School twice a year. This is a new part of the program, and both the grammar and high school students have been very enthusiastic.
Their passion for mission does not end when the students graduate from Red Bank Catholic. One alumna and former Maryknoll Affiliate, Kelly Quinn, volunteered in Ghana. Kristen Brundage, who just completed her freshmen year at Bucknell, went on a work/awareness trip to Nicaragua through the University (See Bucknell in Nicaragua at ). An article about these two young women in the RBC High School alumni publication, Casey Connections, concluded with the following observation: “When Kristen returned to Bucknell, she found she had trouble sleeping. There were no birds, bugs or monkeys making noise. It seemed odd to have only one roommate. And her dreams were different. She has dreams when her eyes are wide open of happy, inspiring, devastatingly poor people. She dreams of changing their lives. She has started to make that one come true.”
Mary Logan’s own reflection on this is, “As the students move on in their lives, I am seeing that this might be a purpose for the high school Affiliate Chapters—it creates awareness of mission but also of possibilities for mission that are not necessarily connected directly to Maryknoll. Perhaps it is our role to toss those seeds into the wind and see where they take root.”
As Maryknoll and the Maryknoll Affiliates move into the future, some of us have begun to talk about our role as mentors to the next generation. Let us return to the field analogy and another famous quote, this one by Bishop Kenneth Untener (often attributed to Archbishop Oscar Romero), “We plant the seeds that will one day grow. We water seeds already planted, knowing that they hold future promise.” The youth of today do hold the promise of tomorrow in their “fields of dreams.” Learning from the experience of Red Bank Catholic High School, we can work with youth and young adults in planting the seeds of a better future.
The following are a few quotes taken from the students' application forms. The pictures are from their visits to Maryknoll (Photos by Fred Goddard).
I would like to be a Maryknoll Affiliate because I love to help others. I am aware that the area we live in is well off and we all should help others. I help in my community, but I would like to help other countries. I have the understanding that when we become an Affiliate it does not end when we graduate, we should always help the less fortunate. I think the best feeling in the world is knowing that you have helped someone.
Ever since first grade, I have always wanted to help people in needy countries. I did a report on Mother Teresa. I learned about her compassion for caring for the sick and elderly, and I wanted to be just like her. When I started high school, I learned about Maryknoll, and I knew I wanted to be a part of it. Last year, I was an Affiliate and I absolutely loved it. I learned so much about different cultures and countries and how people live. I want to make a difference in the world, and being a Maryknoll Affiliate is the best place to start.
By becoming a Maryknoll Affiliate, I look to help the lives of people who have no hope and to show them that life can be better. I just want to help others gain the kind of opportunity my parents gave to me.
When I was younger, I thought I was going to solve all of the world’s problems. I thought I would end global warming, save endangered species and stop world hunger all by myself! Once I had a reality check, I realized that this was a little exorbitant, but I still wanted to help the world and its people. I want to help not only people locally, but globally as well. I am not just a resident of Monmouth Beach, NJ, rather, I am a resident of the world. Being a Maryknoll Affiliate is a way that I can help the global community
I want to be a Maryknoll Affiliate because I am passionate about helping people, and this is a great opportunity to fulfill that. My favorite quote is “Be the change you wish to see in the world” (Gandhi).
This means that you should not just sit back and see what happens but actively get involved to make the change you wish to see. I also believe that if you are not a part of the solution then you are a part of the problem. Even the simplest prayer or gesture is enough to impact those who are in need of it.
I would like to be a Maryknoll Affiliate because Maryknoll has changed my life. I have found my identity by giving children hope. Our projects at RBC have helped to change the lives of children in countries in all different parts of the world. Of all the gifts, such as education, food, water, the most important thing the children receive is hope. They are given a chance for a better life. I feel that God has called me to Maryknoll so I may use the gifts He has blessed me with so that I can do His work on earth.
Maryknoll Affiliate Clubs
Maryknoll Affiliate Clubs are a way to raise the awareness of and involve youth in the mission efforts of Maryknoll. While directed primarily at high-school-aged youth, a club can include college-age young adults and even youth in the junior high or elementary age.
- To create an awareness of Maryknoll and its work among elementary, high school and college age youth.
- To increase the awareness of these youth/students with respect to issues of social justice and Catholic teaching in areas such as health and education in countries where Maryknoll serves.
- To increase the students’ curiosity to learn about Catholic social teaching, economic and political sources of injustice, macro and microeconomic structures and possible alternatives, such as fair trade.
- To allow students to channel their desire to help others into fund raising activities to help particular missions.
- To plant the seeds of awareness in students of the possibility of mission in their future with Maryknoll as a Lay Missioner, Priest, Sister, Brother or Volunteer.
What is needed?
A group of students or youth interested in forming a club as part of their school, parish or other organization and a teacher/faculty member, counselor, youth minister and/or parent volunteer to serve as an advisor to the club.
What is involved?
- Establishing a link between the club and Maryknoll, specifically a Maryknoll mission site overseas through letters, email and other forms of communication;
- Sharing what the youth/students learn with the wider school, in a parish or in the community through talks, fairs, videos and other activities; and
- Finding appropriate ways to support the Maryknoll missioner and their community, when possible.
What are some of the resources?
Maryknoll has many resources for working with youth. These include:
- The Maryknoll Magazine and Classroom Study Guides
- Maryknoll World Production videos, posters, etc.;
- Maryknoll Missioners, themselves, who can make themselves available to speak to a club; and
- A local Maryknoll Affiliate Chapter that can support the club and/or the advisor.
For more information please contact:
Vessel of Clay: The Inspirational Journey of Sister Carla
Maryknoll Affiliate Jackie Maggiore (Milwaukee) is pleased to announce that her book Vessel of Clay: The Inspirational Journey of Sister Carla will be available in July. It may be ordered through and also through (1-800-621-2736).
On Saturday, October 23, Jackie will be at Maryknoll, NY, for a display/selling at the Maryknoll Sisters’ International Bazaar. More information about the book can be found on.
Upcoming Maryknoll Affiliate Events
Northeast Regional - October 9, 2010, Maryknoll, NY (watch for details)
2011 Maryknoll Affiliate Conference – Companions on the Journey, Celebrating the Maryknoll Affiliate Vision – June 23 – 26, 2011. Place:
A central focus will be celebrating our 20 years as a movement. PLEASE NOTE THE CHANGE OF VENUE. Watch here and on our website for more information and plan to come!
2010 Annual Mission Congress - October 28-31, 2010, Albuquerque, New Mexico
God’s Mission, Many Faces: A Portrait of U.S. Catholics in Mission. Seefor details.
- October 22-24, Jos, Nigeria
Participants from all over the world will come together to address the pressing concerns and challenges of our collective social existence from faith and youth perspectives.
- December 9-12 - New Orleans, LA
Gerry Kelly MM and Matt Rousso (New Orleans) are doing a workshop on Youth in Mission at this conference.
Maryknoll Affiliates Youth Club Feeding the Homeless in Hawaii
I am a Maryknoll Affiliate in Hawaii who teaches American history at . After being invited to attend a Maryknoll Affiliates meeting two years ago by Jared Kaufman, a good friend and fellow teacher at the high school, I was overwhelmed by the giving and caring spirit of those who met and shared their views about current events, Maryknoll missions around the world, and the history of Priests, Sisters, Brothers, Affiliates, and more.
In the last year, I have tried to piece together a Maryknoll Affiliates Youth Club for students at the Maryknoll High School in Honolulu, Hawaii. It is always a challenge to bring students into a new club that focuses on community service because the schedules of students are already extremely busy and our Maryknoll students already give much to the community.
However, we have had several meetings this year and have agreed to meet every Saturday morning at a beach near Waikiki to feed the homeless there. Each Saturday, our students wake up very early in the morning to prepare a meal, drive it down to the beach, and finally, feed the homeless.
The Maryknoll Affiliate Youth Club has been doing this for about a year, but our campus ministry at Maryknoll School has been feeding the homeless for several years. Together, we combine forces to feed approximately 40 to 60 homeless people each Saturday morning in one of the most beautiful places in the world—Waikiki. In the process, many parents of students also come along to help assist in preparing and serving the food. Students at first seem uncomfortable, possibly because they generally come from families that are financially well off and are not often in contact with those who are homeless. But after a couple of visits, there is a great change in the way students interact with those we feed. It is a wonderful thing to see.
Our hope is to begin helping others in the community in addition to the homeless and encourage even more students to help society by continuing the spirit of the mission here at Maryknoll High School in Hawaii that was started nearly a century ago.
Wisconsin Affiliates Reach Out To Youth - Locally And In Bolivia
Two members of the Appleton, Wisconsin, based Maryknoll Affiliate Chapter have, in their own ways, been involved in youth ministry. Before recently retiring, Kathleen Gribble, Fox Valley Affiliate coordinator, kept the books for an innovative youth retreat program that facilitated over 150 retreats for more than 5,000 Catholic youth last year, while sponsorship of several Bolivian orphans led Affiliate Ed Kleckner and his wife Kathy to another kind of mission.
Helping orphans thrive in Bolivia
When the lack of an agreement between the US and Bolivian Governments prevented any possibility of obtaining an adoption, or student visas for three orphaned Bolivian sisters, Maryknoll Affiliate Ed Kleckner and his wife, Kathy, have instead been empowering them to thrive where they are. Their youth involvement began 13 years ago with a single Christian Foundation for Children and Aging sponsorship of then 10-year-old Marianela at the Hogar Maria Auxiliadora (HMA) project in Itocta, a small rural community on the edge of Cochabamba, in central Bolivia. Marianela is now a university graduate and is employed at a German-owned bank there.
A 2004 visit by the Kleckners led to sponsoring the three orphaned sisters and eventually after years of legal work and many trips to Bolivia, a Bolivian court gave guardianship of the girls to their aunt with support from the Kleckners.
Nine trips to the HMA orphanage over the past six years led to an ever deepening relationship with their three sponsored daughters, as well as with the 54 other children of the Hogar which is managed by the Daughters of the Divine Savior (HDS), a religious order from El Salvador. Bolivian aspirants will eventually manage this facility themselves.
It was obvious that to escape the cycle of poverty, it was critical for the girls to get a better education. Working closely with HMA and many other supporters, the Kleckners have established an Education Program Fund to assist those girls who have demonstrated responsibility and who have committed to live by Christian values. In the past two years, 13 students have received a technical school education, and five more are now attending a university in Cochabamba.
Ed has also helped raise funding to construct the Casa de San Miguel el Archangel (CSM - transition home) for girls who have aged out of the orphanage (at 18). The Education Program fund he established turns dreams of a higher education into reality. These degree programs take from two to five years and cost Between $650 to $800 per semester, considerably less than higher education in the US. An education not only gives these girls new self-esteem and hope, it empowers them to escape from poverty and a difficult life on the street. Among other opportunities, they can choose to teach, manage a hotel, work in a business office, or as a nurse or pharmacist.
SPIRITUS - a new model of youth ministry
In Menasha, Wisconsin, Affiliate Coordinator Kathleen Gribble has been working as bookkeeper and accountant for Mount Tabor Center, which just completed its first year with a new model of youth ministry. Instead of the usual adult retreat master or two, SPIRITUS, a team of young people in their 20s, gives nine months of their lives to facilitate different types of retreats for Catholics in grades three through 12. This team has just completed over 150 retreats, and Mt. Tabor is already recruiting another SPIRITUS team.
Many retreats are in-house at the center, which houses up to 60 students overnight, or at Camp Tekakwitha, north of the Fox Cities, although most are held at parishes or schools all over the state. The team also raises awareness of the program's impact and appeal for needed funds by speaking at masses at the participating churches.
SPIRITUS team members receive housing and food, medical insurance, and a small monthly allowance, with a $2,000 stipend upon completion of the nine months of service. In addition to several weeks of initial training to learn the retreat formats, they also participate in on-going training and formation. They live in community by gender and refrain from dating while serving on the team. More information can be found at.
Chicago West Chapter Meets with College of DuPage Catholic Newman Association
Starting in 2009, the Chicago West Chapter began discussion on the desire to add diversity to the Chapter membership or at least to explore the possibility of interaction with young adults in our communities. One of the meetings included participation with Maura Neuffer, the Catholic Campus Minister who serves at the College of DuPage ( ), located in the Chicago western suburbs. As a result of this dialog, the Chicago West Chapter participated in one of the Newman Association’s meetings.
On April 28, several members of the Chicago West Affiliate Chapter participated in College of DuPage’s “Circle of Faith.” This group is made up of college students who are members of the Newman Association, a student organization sponsored in part by the Joliet Diocese Office of Campus Ministry. The Affiliates present had an opportunity to share information about the Maryknoll Affiliate movement locally and around the world. Opportunities to Volunteer was the theme for our meeting.
The Affiliates’ presentations were relevant to the students’ reflection on Earth Day from the previous week. It led us to realize that choosing to be good stewards of the earth has consequences for humanity. Many of the refugees in our country are here due to the exploitation of natural resources and the wars that are being fought over these resources.
Maryknoll Affiliate Dave Rezek talked about Growing Home Inc. ( ). Growing Home is a non-profit organic agriculture business that provides job training for homeless and low-income people in Chicago. During a seven month time frame, individuals pursue a curriculum that not only educates them about organic farming but teaches life skills such as personal money management. Produce is grown on two small sites in the city and on a farm about 75 miles southwest of Chicago. An example of the success of the program is that in 2009, an estimated l0,000 pounds of produce was harvested on a 2/3 acre site in the city. The produce was sold at several farmers’ markets in the inner city where many residents traditionally have not had much access to fresh produce. Individuals participating in this program have the opportunity to prepare for the GED and even enter college or a job training program through a partnership with Kennedy King College. Opportunities to volunteer as a mentor, workshop leader, or tutor were discussed.
Maryknoll Affiliate Warren Roth shared his experiences with the People’s Resource Center ( ), a non-profit organization that provides a wide range of services in DuPage County. Warren currently serves on the board but was involved from the beginning of the organization in the mid 70s. At that time, a small group of people were concerned about low-income individuals who were not receiving appropriate prenatal care. From that first concern, a multi-faceted organization has evolved that now provides many services at two sites in DuPage County. The People’s Resource Center runs a food pantry where individuals are given a grocery cart and allowed to fill their carts with groceries to meet their families’ needs. Last year, 6,961 hungry DuPage County families received food from People’s Resource Center food pantries, equal to 29,329 grocery carts filled with food. The Center also provides gently used clothing to families in need. Even job assistance and emergency rent or mortgage assistance are available at the Center. The Center also provides computer training. Anyone who goes through this training gets to take a computer home. Volunteers have refurbished these computers, which are donated by businesses in the community when they buy new computers. In addition to all these services, adult and family literacy has become an important component of the People’s Resource Center. Last, but not least, the Center operates an Arts Studio where individuals who so desire have a chance to express themselves through art. Clients now come from over 100 countries. Warren explained that all of these services are heavily dependent on volunteers.
Maureen Doyle introduced Ben Lowe, a neighbor and associate. Ben is a recent college graduate who, at age 26, has already published the book, . Ben writes, “We cannot love God fully unless we also love what he has made, and we cannot separate loving our neighbor from caring for the natural resources we all depend on to survive.”
Ben told the inspiring story of his journey. While in college pursuing environmental studies, he spent a summer in Tanzania working on a water project. There he came to realize how precious water is to our survival and how much waste there is in the developed world. Since then, he has become a strong advocate of the “stewardship of all of God’s creation.” He showed a YouTube video of how he recently worked with a group of college students who volunteered to clean up Prairie Path, a local bicycle path, in celebration of Earth Day.
After working as a community organizer in inner city Chicago, Ben now resides in Wheaton, IL He has a passion for the environment and for the poor, who usually are most impacted by the exploitation of resources. This has led to his decision to run for the US Congress.
Maura reported that the students found our stories to be inspirational and were motivated to get involved and volunteer in some of the service opportunities discussed. Those of us representing the Chicago West Affiliate Chapter were also encouraged by the students’ enthusiasm and desire to express their faith through action. Maura expressed her hope that we can continue to connect with students in the fall; that is also our hope.
Students practice global solidarity during protest at army school
Note by the author: Maryknoll Father Roy Bourgeois MM is a founder of the SOA Watch, which organizes this protest, and many Maryknollers attend. Maryknoll Affiliates, Judy Bierbaum, Toni Balot, and perhaps others, have spent time in jail for “crossing the line” in acts of nonviolent civil disobedience at the SOA protest. The Hotchkisses had arranged to attend (but not cross the line!) in 2009 and had met with the Jesuit High School students and their teachers before the protest. At the last minute we had to change our plans and could not attend.
Eleven students and their teachers from Jesuit High School in Portland, Oregon, attended a protest this fall at an Army school that has for decades trained Latin American soldiers, some who have committed atrocities.
2009 was the 20th anniversary for the protest at the School of the Americas. Gatherings began in 1989 when graduates of the institution were implicated in the execution of six Jesuit university professors and their housekeeper and her teenage daughter in El Salvador.
Demonstrators convene each year at the gates of Fort Benning, which hosts the school now called the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation ().
, which organizes the rally, has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
The protest takes into account disappearances, torture, and murder of hundreds of thousands of peasants, community and union organizers, clerics, missionaries, educators and health workers by foreign military personnel trained by the U.S. military at the school.
The June 2009 coup in Honduras, ousting the democratically elected president, was carried out by School of the Americas graduates Gen. Romeo Vásquez Velásquez and Gen. Luis Prince Suazo.
The Jesuit students and an estimated 15,000 people peacefully gathered in Columbus, Georgia.
Some of the students had made an immersion trip to El Salvador and learned about the murders of the Jesuits. In preparation for the protest, the students also watched, a video about the SOA by Jesuit High School graduate Peter Glenn.
The students, who paid their own way, said they wanted to go to the SOA protest to learn more about how they can participate in social justice.
“I believe it is really easy to get stuck in my sheltered bubble of southwest Portland,” one said. “Going to the SOA will increase my international awareness and hopefully make me more politically active. I want to promote a sense of solidarity.”
At the rally, students received nonviolence training and participated in liturgies and memorials for the thousands who have disappeared during political conflicts in South and Central America.
They heard rousing music and listened to speakers who had experienced human rights abuses at the hands of SOA graduates.
Scott Powers, a service coordinator at Jesuit High, says these students are learning what it means to be a person for others and to stand with people struggling for justice.
Protesters prayerfully marched through the streets of Columbus to the gates of Fort Benning, carrying white crosses or small coffins bearing names of the deceased and disappeared.
The leaders of the march called the names of those victims on the crosses. The crowd responded “Presente!”
That means the dead are not forgotten, but are still present. A few people chose to cross the line and trespass onto federal property.
Over the years, 183 people have collectively served more than 81 years in prison for their civil disobedience at the SOA protest. Many have been priests and nuns.
For 20 years, protesters have lobbied Congress to investigate and restrict funding for the School of the Americas.
Rep. David Wu, D-Ore., with 89 other members of Congress, is cosponsoring H.R 2567 to investigate the school.
Looking for an online resource? Check out
The First Youth Chapter
When I was on the Affiliate Board in 1996 and we discussed the idea of expanding our Chapters to include different age groups, I got to thinking about kids. I was a nurse working with the poor in a clinic in a school in the inner city of Hartford. So I decided to start up an Affiliate group with the kids I had gotten to know through the clinic. I wrote letters to the parents explaining about the Affiliates and asking their permission to have their children, seventh graders, join a Chapter. All agreed and we were off to a great start.
There were many things that made it a bigger challenge than just starting the usual Chapter as these kids had no phones and no transportation. The total weight of the Chapter and all that entailed was on me. That never changed as the children were unable to take responsibility for planning and carrying through with a topic for a meeting.
We usually met at my home, so I would pick them up and take them home. We discussed issues of poverty, human rights and social justice. The kids zeroed in on these topics instantly as they, themselves, were victims of many of these issues. We worked on issues such as funding for school breakfast and lunch programs, as these were often the only meals the kids in their school had each day. The topics were vitally important to them.
Then we focused on understanding how our government's budget is proportioned and the impact of that on education and health care, and started to look at global issues. I used the Maryknoll Magazine and NewsNotes as tools. My husband, who was teaching history and economics, joined us at times to help provide a wider economic perspective. He taught at a private boys preparatory school and was extremely impressed and surprised at how well these inner city kids grasped the issues and how they could so easily make connections between the policy of the US and outcomes in the wider world, especially for the poor.
For one project we read Jonathan Kozol'sand discussed it chapter by chapter. The kids knew poverty well, but this book provided a whole new dimension. They lived in public housing projects and suffered daily the fear of crime and the general insults of such a life, so they understood the complexities of the situations described in Kozol's book. We also took several trips to Maryknoll for meetings or conferences. One highlight was that they were told at meals that they could go back for as much Ice cream as they wanted. They really feasted bodily and spiritually. A Passionist priest who is a very close friend of mine invited us to the monastery where he lives and gave them a “mini-retreat”.
They learned how to lobby the legislature for their rights and for fair policies and learned about situations all over the world. It was a joy to see them grow and mature. The Chapter ended when we moved out of state. One of them won a full scholarship to the school where my husband taught and then went on to college but dropped out due to family problems and health issues. Another, after finishing her training as a CNA, is putting herself through nursing school while raising a child. A third has had two children and is a working single mom. They will always have a different and more mature perspective on the world, and a more enriched life, for having been a part of Maryknoll.
Dead Man Walking High School Theatre Project
I am involving Oregon youth in death penalty repeal by promoting Dead Man Walking School Theatre Project at local Catholic high schools. This year, Central Catholic High School in Portland will produce the play as Jesuit High School in Beaverton and Marist High School in Eugene have done a few years back.
This play is written by actor Tim Robbins and is specifically written for young people in high school or college. The play concerns the experiences of Sister Helen Prejean with Death Row prisoners in Louisiana. The play is quite an undertaking because each school that produces it must involve the entire school in learning about death penalty repeal. At least two other disciplines, for example, religion and social studies, must offer lessons related to the death penalty for student study.
Schools that participate find the play experience awe-inspiring and compelling. If you are interested in involving young people in this play, contact the executive director, Steven Crimaldi at or learn more at their web site .
Young Catholics in the 21st Century
In Mark’s gospel, Christ entrusted to his disciples a universal mission. “He told them ‘Go out to the whole world and proclaim the good news to all creation’” (Mk 16:15).
At Pentecost, the wonder of this mission impelled the disciples to proclaim the good news in every tongue so that all humankind could participate in God’s grace through Christ (Acts. 2:4).
Today, Catholic young people in America face a church that is rediscovering its rules and rites, a church of theological purity that reverts to the scholastic thinking model as the benchmark of orthodoxy. Maybe the church leadership is not yet comfortable with the proclamation of the good news of salvation in the language of today. Or, maybe the ideological challenges of our time lead the church to look at the world, not as the target for evangelization, but, at best, as a blank slate that must by brought into enlightenment, and at worst, as an enemy. In this view, what will happen to the ‘unenlightened’? Will they be deemed unredeemable?
The Catholic young people of today will have to deal with this reality. What will their response be? How will they relate to the church institutions in this century? We know that, ultimately, men and women of faith from all nations and tongues will come together to be the Church in the new century. They will be in the world like “stars in the sky” (Phl 2:15). But this Church “goes forward together with humanity and experiences the same earthly lot which the world does” (Gaudium et Spes, 40). This Church will have to traverse obscurity and travail, as its Savior did on the Mount of Olives (Lk 22:44).
We already have some clues as to what this travail might be. We see our society profoundly divided, not along generational lines, but rather on an ideological and political basis. This division overflows into other areas of our life, even into our religious beliefs and attitudes. Our young people are not immune to this division that often turns into animosity and hostility. We can assume that they will be divided too.
On one hand, those whom the Spirit inspires to be “conservative Catholics” will honor and faithfully adhere to the traditional practices of the church. These young people—most likely—would say the rosary, use blessed salt, vote conservatively, pray the chaplet of Divine Mercy, choose the parishes with pews, bow before taking Communion, maybe even distrust the work of the Second Vatican Council, and in many cases, they would dismiss the church’s social teaching.
On the other hand, we may find another segment of American youth. These are the people to whom the Spirit would reveal that “it is for freedom that Christ has set us free” and that we should “not take on again the yoke of slavery” (Gal 5:1). They would know that what Paul is referring to in his letter to the Galatians is nothing less than the Jewish Law, the purification rites, the circumcision, the restrictions of the Sabbath, all of those items that were the glory of Israel. They would have heard Paul call the Galatians “you foolish Galatians” (Gal 3:1), and just in case anyone would have any doubt about what Paul had in mind, they would continue to read on, “I just want to know this one thing from you: did you receive the Spirit by doing what the Law requires or through the obedience of faith?” (Gal 3:2). In Paul’s mind, those who are trying to be justified through the Law “have cut themselves off from Christ” and have “fallen off from grace” (Gal 5:4).
How would this latter segment of the Catholic youth behave in regard to their church? Unpredictably. A realistic forecast is not possible at this time, because the Spirit blows wherever and whenever in renewing the face of the earth. All we can hope for is that they would join other Americans, young and old, men and women, rich and poor, brown, white and black, who are moved by the Spirit. We hope that they would know how to relate to the institutions of today’s church without breaking up with Peter’s successor in Rome and without losing their freedom, the freedom that Christ earned for them by “becoming a curse for us” (Gal 3:13).
One day we may also realize that this segment of our society is actually thriving. How could it be otherwise? If “the love of God has been poured abundantly in our hearts through the Holy Spirit” (Rom 5:5), let’s not make the usual mistake of expecting these people to position themselves in opposition to the first segment. If Christ was able to tear down the barrier between Jews and Gentiles, so can He erase the separation between those who define themselves as “conservative Catholics” and those who embrace the spirit of the Vatican Council. Through Christ, in fact, God has enabled all of us “to participate in the inheritance of the saints in the light” (Col 1:12). Our young people will discover, as the fathers of the Vatican Council did half a century ago, that “respect and love ought to be extended also to those who think or act differently than we do in social, political and even religious matters” (Gaudium et Spes, 28).
What really counts is to be a new creation, a new creation in the Spirit. Through Him we all are enabled to bear much fruit for the construction of God’s Kingdom. The Catholic Church, in union with the Lutheran World Federation, reminds all members of the People of God that, if it is true that “by grace alone, in faith in Christ’s saving work” we receive the Holy Spirit, it is also true that the same Spirit “equips us and calls us to good works” (Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification, October 1999).
Maybe it will be the new generation of Catholics in America that will not only overcome the divisions of our society, but will start the undoing of the dissension that has divided God’s Church since the 16th century; maybe they will initiate the reunification of all those who invoke the name of Christ in a community of faith that will proclaim His salvation to all people.
Manuel also regularly posts to a blog at.
Last night Kitty and I were inspired by a young woman about Jesus’ age who is performing in in many locations across the country. Tevyn East is a dancer, singer and poet offering her heart, body, soul and whole faith on the line in the story of creation and what is needed to save it. She has worked with the Maryknoll Office of Global Concerns.
The following is our letter to her after being with her in conversation and in the audience.
Dear Tevyn East,
So what is important when everything is trite? Why you and the dance and chocolate cookies Monday night at the Longview Presbyterian Church? Your beautiful dance showing us the need to take care of each other and the earth that God made for us is important. Thanks.
I want you to know I hold a world record in dancing the Hokey Pokey. I danced the Hokey Pokey with 300 AIDS orphans during the celebration of the Day of the African Child 2006. Your Affording Hope Project in which you bring your whole self to small communities all over the U.S. has a lot in common with the Hokey Pokey. I’ll try to explain.
The world and its institutions are in a slump just like batters in baseball. The batters with histories of greatness can’t hit a fastball bigger than a soccer ball right down the middle of the plate. They will try anything to get out of the slump; shift their feet, change their stance, hold the bat differently, change their underwear, go to a quiet place and pray and still fail to get out of the slump. Just like the batters who go into themselves for their individual solutions to the slump, our institutions try to find solutions in their isolated domination and greed. They both fail, but the answer to rid themselves of their isolated slump is obvious.
The answer is take the poets by the hand and listen to their song. Take the dancers by the hand and dance, paint with the painter. Take the hand of the man with the gold dress and cone hat. Take the hand of those with ragged clothes, take a hand and begin a circle one by one around and around God’s creation, this beautiful place where we were all made beautiful and loved. And when you have all the hands together in the infinite circle, stop and put your right hand in and put your right hand out; put your right hand in and shake it all about; do the hokey pokey and turn yourself around; that’s what it’s all about!
And that’s how a batter gets out of a slump. “There’s no crying in baseball.” Even the Maryknoll Sister from Brooklyn has to forgive the “Bums” that moved the Dodgers out of Brooklyn. And even the kids who share the world’s record for doing the Hokey Pokey change when all of us together place our big, fat hips in and shake them all about. Tevyn East, you put your whole self into your dance, sharing with us God’s love and God’s task for each of us to make this earth a better place.
Tevyn is supported by the gifts at one performance to get her to the next performance. You can find her story at her website.
With all the sadness and trauma going on in the world at this moment it is worth reflecting on the death of a very important person, which almost went unnoticed last week. Larry LaPrise, the man who wrote the Hokey Pokey died peacefully at the age of 93.
The most traumatic part for his family was getting him into the coffin, they put his left leg in. And then the trouble started.
[Actually, Larry LaPrise died on April 4, 1996 at the age of 83, but for humor’s sake…]
Claiming our Community!
Building Our Maryknoll Affiliate Community was the theme of the Maryknoll Affiliate Regional Coordinators meeting with the Board, April 2010. Any time Affiliates gather, we feel the Spirit moving, but gatherings at Maryknoll are extra special, and we really felt the mission spark at this meeting.
Hans Zuuring, Regional Coordinator from Missoula, MT, kept telling us that we discover the Maryknoll mission spark, we catch it from Maryknollers and Affiliates, and then we claim that flame or passion to do our own mission work. Now is the time to invite others to catch that passion for mission from us. Ann Carr used a graphic like the one here, drawn by Paula Schaffner (wife of Board member David Schaffner who acted as recorder for the meeting), to illustrate our ongoing discovery, catching, and claiming of the Maryknoll spirit or charism.
We discovered the resources the Affiliates Formation/Renewal Committee is developing for new Chapters. The Potential Chapters in North Florida and Wilmington, North Carolina, which would be our first U.S Hispanic Chapter, who are in the formation process, have given the program rave reviews. Mature Chapters could use this resource to refuel their mission flame. It includes resources and videos, many of which can be read, viewed and downloaded on our website (you must be logged in to access them).
A new booklet, Maryknoll Affiliates – Creating Global Community, will be especially useful to help new people to discover and catch the Maryknoll Affiliate spirit. This summer, we anticipate the booklet will be sent to all Affiliates. The booklet gives an excellent overview of the Maryknoll Affiliates and includes items important to all.
Many Chapters sent ideas for ways to better enliven, support, and connect Chapters and Regional Coordinators including: prayer partners for missioners in the field, regional newsletters, regional conference calls, knowing who's in neighboring Chapters, etc. Chapter projects or national projects would animate some Chapters. Mission education is a natural for Affiliate Chapters and is sorely needed because of Maryknoll's shrinking resources. A full list of these ideas was sent to every Chapter Contact Person.
Other exciting news and opportunities for community building are plans for the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers and Sisters’ Centennial Celebrations in 2011 and 2012. Gaye Hieb announced the theme for the Affiliates General Conference in 2011, the Affiliates 20th anniversary: Companions on the Journey, Celebrating the Maryknoll Affiliate Vision. We resolved to a make a special effort to get one person from each Chapter to attend the General Conference and regional meetings. We encourage local Chapters to plan their own Centennial and 20th Anniversary celebrations, which could be a great time to invite potential new members.
Newly-elected Regional Coordinator Alice Murray from Milwaukee joined us for the first time at this meeting. She is the first to be chosen through a region-wide election process, emphasizing the on-going evolution of the Affiliates’ Regional Coordinator structure. She will eventually be joined by Liz Lebron, who is still in the midst of her studies. Larry Griffin (Great Plains/Southwest), Gail Kelley (Southeast), Charlie and Marta Reilly (California) and Hans Zuuring and I (Northwest), who have been in the position for almost two years, discussed plans for nominations and elections for our replacements. Ron Guidry and Pat Hayes were both present from the Northeast Region and shared that they were in the midst of an election process (subsequently, Pat Hayes was elected the new Regional Coordinator with Ron Guidry chosen as her assistant). Sandy Atha (South Central) was chosen through a consultative process. Sandy, Ed Caharian (Philippines) and Jim Madden (Peru) were unable to make the meeting.
Those of us at the meeting felt a strong affirmation and support from all the Maryknoll entities, when we celebrated a mass with members of the Society, Congregation and Lay Missioners. At the end of the liturgy, the leadership of the four expressions of Maryknoll, Ann Carr (Maryknoll Affiliate Board Chair), Ed Dougherty MM (Superior General of the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers), Janice McLaughlin MM (President of the Maryknoll Sisters) and Sam Stanton (Executive Director of the Maryknoll Lay Missioners) signed a Joint Agreement affirming the mutual relationship and support between the Maryknoll Affiliates and the three Maryknoll entities.
The Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns sent encouragement for closer ties with individual Affiliates. Our next issue of Not So Far Afield will focus on new developments with the Office for Global Concerns and our efforts at more concerted efforts.
Fred Goddard shared new developments with Maryknoll Magazine and Revista Maryknoll, who would like to include an article about the Maryknoll Affiliates in every issue starting in 2011. They will let us know the themes for the coming year. The theme for Not So Far Afield will coincide with that of the Magazine and Revista. We will solicit articles for NSFA based on the theme. The Magazine and Revista will then select one from among the articles and develop it in a way that would be appropriate for their audience.
Inspired by our time together, we know that Affiliates will continue to discover, catch and claim the Maryknoll mission spirit and will renew their efforts to grow our movement and engage in mission together.
Fred Goddard Celebrates 10 Year Anniversary with the Affiliates
Just over 10 years ago, the Affiliates initiated an experiment to invite a layperson to join the Executive Coordination team. At that time, there was a sense of emerging growth and a desire to create committees that would help to further the work of our Affiliate movement. A third coordinator would assist with establishing and working with these committees. It also seemed the right moment to bring in a layperson. Little did we imagine that our new lay Executive Coordinator would bring so many gifts and make such tremendous contributions. Fred has enriched our Affiliate community in countless ways and we are deeply grateful that he has continued with us in this vital role as Executive Coordinator for over a decade.
Early on, Fred embraced his role as one of building relationships and promoting service. In fact, he suggested this title for the first strategic plan adopted by the Affiliate Board as it seemed a good fit for both who we are and who we are working to become. Fred certainly lives out these principles and is one of the finest examples of a servant leader that we could imagine! All of us have experienced his kind and gentle manner in interfacing with people, his creativity in structuring group processes, his work with NSFA and, of course, his amazing electronic communication skills. More recently, Fred has taken on all responsibilities as the single Executive Coordinator (from a team of three) and has played the central role in working with our new team of regional coordinators.
At the April gathering of the Regional Coordinators and Board, we offered tribute to Fred by presenting him with a poem and a wooden carving of St. Peter fishing. Why fishing, you might ask? Fred’s background in fishing is not widely known, but his first mission experience in the Philippines was through a Peace Corps fisheries program. Over the years, it would seem that Fred has continued as a fisherman, open to things unpredictable, and yet always trusting that somehow the nets of our Affiliate movement will continue to be filled with good things.
We invite you to send Fred messages of thanks and congratulations on his 10 year anniversary with the Affiliates. He can be reached at. Below we share the poem written in his honor. The gospel story of the apostles fishing after the resurrection, quoted after the poem, plus Fred's service to the Affiliates, helped to inspire it.
The Fisherman’s Journey
Cast your net out into the deep waters
A paradoxical calling that would take
a gentle young man from Midwest plains to Filipino seas
Fisheries fishing opening to the gifts
of unknown great depths, lowering
treasures of the ocean bountiful.
But really only a means
Early on, awakened to the truth that he sought not
flash of silver fins, rather
the gleam of love in human eyes,
from human hearts
A journey from Isles of the Philippines to Nicaragua
and then home again
Almost to quietly slip away, hearing the call to return
to Midwest plains
A loving mother’s diminishment would bring
new uncharted waters
Then, in the midst of December, the season of our waiting
A call both to remain and to return
An invitation to join a new movement within
the family of Maryknoll
which he had so come to love
And now these ten years,
Casting his nets in faithful toil, plumbing
the great depths
A fisherman like Peter
Visionary and creative
Yet lacking his impetuousness
Perhaps more like John in
Steadfastness and loyalty
But always a fisherman,
Always a seeker of God’s gifts
Laying his overflowing nets at the feet of others
Ten years now a faithful, noble fisherman
To Fred, with grateful hearts, we say
Thank you Mil Gracias Daghang salamat
Peter said to them, “I am going fishing”… So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. When it was already dawn, Jesus was standing on the shore; but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus. Jesus said to them, “Cast the net over the right side of the boat and you will find something.” So they cast it, and were not able to pull it in because of the number of fish. So the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord.” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he tucked in his garment, for he was lightly clad, and jumped into the sea. The other disciples came in the boat, for they were not far from shore, only about a hundred yards, dragging the net with the fish… So Simon Peter went over and dragged the net ashore full of one hundred fifty-three large fish. Even though there were so many, the net was not torn.” John 21: 1-14
News from the Knoll
Sisters’ Leadership Visits Hawaii
Sisters Rebecca Macugay MM and Janice McLaughlin MM of the Maryknoll Sisters Congregational Leadership Team were blessed by the “aloha” spirit of the Central Pacific Region when they visited during Holy Week in late March and early April 2010. During that visit, they were able to go to the Maryknoll High School and the Grade School where it “was a delight, meeting teachers, staff and students alike” (see the article ).
Sister Margarita Jamias MM – Outstanding Woman Awardee
Sister Margarita Jamias MM received the Outstanding Woman Award as an “Ecological Preservation Advocate” on International Women’s Day, March 8, 2010. She was one among 10 of the 2010 Outstanding Women Leaders of Baguio, Philippines, who have contributed to the empowerment of women and the development of the community. Margarita works closely with the Maryknoll Affiliates in Baguio.
The Red Cross Hong Kong is honoring the late Maryknoll missionary Father Sean Patrick Burke MM with its Humanity Award for his dedication to the marginalized in the country. A statement praised Fr. Burke who had “worked for the betterment of life of the disadvantaged in Hong Kong for three decades.”
Maryknoll Lay Missioners 35th Anniversary
The Maryknoll Lay Missioners will celebrate 35 years as a program on August 28, 2010. Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York will be the main celebrant at the liturgy. That same weekend, the Maryknoll Lay Missioners will be holding class reunions for those who entered in 1975 and 1985. The class of 1985 includes Fred Goddard and Sam Stanton, the Executive Director of the Maryknoll Lay Missioners and a member of the Maryknoll Affiliate Board.
Maryknoll Sisters Apostolic Visitation
The Maryknoll Sisters were chosen to be one of the women’s religious congregations in the U.S. to receive an Apostolic Visitation. The leadership of the congregation and many of the Sisters expressed that it was a very positive experience. The three Sisters that came to do the interviews were welcomed in the usual ritualistic fashion of the Maryknoll Sisters. They then interviewed the Sisters in groups and on an individual basis. The Apostolic Visitation included a “Focus Group” of people who know and have worked with the Maryknoll Sisters, included Maryknoll Affiliate Executive Coordinator Fred Goddard. Their time ended with another ritual and celebration. When asked, one of the visiting Sisters said she volunteered to do the interviews so the wonderful stories of the women religious in the U.S. would be told.
100th Jubilee Celebrations
Plans are well underway for the 100th Jubilee Celebrations of the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers (2011) and Maryknoll Sisters (2012). Here are just a few of the planned activities. These are subject to change, so be sure to check our website for the latest information.
January 2011: Formal opening of Jubilee Year with Eucharistic Liturgy & Celebration for the Society
June 24-26, 2011: Society Foundation Day & Annual Jubilee Weekend celebrations
September 15-18, 2011: Society Alumni “Welcome Home” celebrations (Society Center)
October 6-8, 2011: Mission Symposium at Catholic Theological Union (CTU-Chicago) cosponsored by Maryknoll Society & CTU
October 30, 2011: 2:00 PM Eucharistic Liturgy at St. Patrick’s Cathedral to celebrate 100 years of the Society
November 17-19, 2011: Participation in the biennial National Catholic Youth Conference (NCYC) in Indianapolis, IN (Visit their Facebook page at )
December 2011: Formal closing of Society Jubilee Year with Eucharistic Liturgy & Celebration
January 6, 2012: Opening Liturgy/Ritual for Congregation’s Jubilee Year
June 2, 2012: Dedication of the Garden of Gratitude and Promise at Maryknoll Sisters
June 3, 2012: Celebration of Sisters’ Land Preservation
September 28-October 1, 2012: Mission Symposium at Society & Congregation Centers
There will also be celebrations throughout the US and in the countries where Maryknoll has worked. We will try to post that information on our website, too.
Rev. C. Thomas Wilcox, M.M. June 18, 2010
Bro. Augustine “Gus” Horkan, M.M. June 9, 2010
Sr. Mildred A. Payne, M.M. May 24, 2010
Rev. George F. Painter, M.M. May 13, 2010
Sister Barbara Lupo, M.M. May 2, 2010
Sr. E. Ann Faherty, M.M. April 26, 2010