News from and about Maryknoll Affiliate Chapters
It is with great honor that I accept the position of Maryknoll Affiliates Northwest Regional Coordinator. Pat Bader and Kitty Schiltz have been an inspiration in their leadership as the Affiliates NW Regional Coordinators over the last two years. Their solidarity and communication with individual Chapters in addition to their commitment to the Maryknoll Affiliates’ Four Pillars of Spirituality, Global Vision, Community and Action, challenge me to live out these guiding principles to the fullest degree possible.
Jean and I spent ten weeks in Asia earlier this year. Initially we were in Japan for a week and then went on to Bangkok, Thailand for six weeks where we taught English to Buddhist monks in a program sponsored by Maryknoll. During our last three weeks we toured China. It was a wonderful opportunity to experience worlds very different from our own in the US. Below is a slide show we hope you enjoy
The Western Regional Conference was held in Las Vegas, Nevada, over Labor Day Weekend. Mary Ryan-Hotchkiss wrote:
Affiliates from 13 chapters gathered in arid Las Vegas, Nevada, for the Western Region Maryknoll Affiliate Conference to contemplate Water as Sanctifier and Quencher. Inside a sumptuous casino/resort we drank from metal water bottles bearing the Affiliate logo, while outdoor temperatures over the Labor Day Weekend soared to nearly 100 degrees. Indoors we heard the biblical treatment of water and of current water issues around the world. Sr. Rose Marie Cecchini M.M. told of the poisoning of aquifers by uranium mining on the Native People's lands near Gallup NM where she now works. A video,”Water For All” and our prayer and discussions motivated us to be better informed and to affirm the resolution that “Every Friday Maryknoll Affiliates will make special efforts to be aware of and to conserve water to be in solidarity with those suffering a lack of water.”
The DC Affiliate Chapter is working more closely with the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns (MOGC) and has also been meeting in their office space in DC for some two years now. As you know MOGC speaks for all the Maryknoll entities on issues of global justice and peace. Our DC Affiliate Chapter would like to be helpful to all the Chapters as some of their “eyes, ears and hands” in the Nation’s Capitol.
Maryknoll through the MOGC is one of the signers of a recent letter sent to all the members of Congress on October 5th with copies to President Obama and Secretary of State, Clinton. The letter on accountability for Military Aid to Israel and an invitation to sign a letter of support are included below. (to read please click):
Many people we meet ask us, "What do you do over there in Tanzania? Where did you ever get the idea to be in Africa? " Our answer is that we don't know where the idea came from . We only know that we can't stop wanting to be there. We will be returning to Tanzania next Monday, October 15.
Portland Maryknoll Affiliates, Mary and Manny Hotchkiss, attended an African Sister Parish Conference in Seattle in Preparation for their trip this summer with a parish group to Tanzania.
Kevin Foy of the Seattle Maryknoll House presented:
Twinning and the Spirituality of Solidarity
By Kevin Foy, Maryknoll Mission Promoter
Opening question: “Solidarity” is a common buzzword in many church circles, but what
does genuine solidarity really look like, especially in a parish twinning relationship?
Vatican II gives us a new understanding of church and mission, which rejects paternalism
(“be like us and you will be saved”) and embraces the notion that we are pilgrims
traveling towards the Reign of God with our partners in the developing world.
What Does Solidarity Look Like?
In Called to Solidarity (1997), the USCCB states that solidarity:
· “…is action on behalf of the one human family…”
· “…binds the rich and the poor.”
· “…makes the free zealous for the cause of the oppressed.”
Each of these principals makes certain spiritual requirements of Catholics:
· One Human Family: We must strive to recognize that we are made in God’s
image, made to be “suitable partners” (Gen. 2:18) for one another, and need to
love our neighbors (all humanity) as ourselves.
· Bound Together: We must strive towards a genuine commitment to the
common good, not a “vague compassion or shallow distress” (Solicitudo Rei
· Cause of the Oppressed: We must strive to listen and learn from our partners
to work towards their goals, not our own.
Building a Spirituality of Solidarity: Requires Integration of Prayer and Action
Visits should occur regularly, with us visiting our partners in the developing world and
inviting them to visit us here (to the extent possible). Visits should focus on being with
instead of doing for. Reflect before each visit, “Why are we going?” Some of the
answers include: a) to continue to be converted, b) to see the world, ourselves and our
partners anew, and c) to strengthen our bonds with our partners.
Instead of judging our partners or rashly assessing what they “need,” we should step back
and learn from and about them. Here is a recommended reflection process:
· Observe and describe: Begin by simply putting words to what you see
· Emotional Inventory: Name and assess your own feelings about what you see
· Interpret Observations: Engage in a conversation with your partners about
why you see what you see
· Decide and Act: Discuss with your partners how you might address some of
what you see together
Outside of visits, we can work to build solidarity in the following ways:
· Share images and stories that assert the dignity of our partners
· Continue to learn about the structural causes of our partners’ poverty
· Continue friendly conversation with our partners (letters/email/etc.)
· Engage in reciprocal prayer (ask them to pray for your parish’s confirmation
class, for example, and ask them what they would like you to pray for
Albany Maryknoll Affiliates meeting of September 8, 2012
Present: Tom Hayes, Carol Ambuhl, Sr. Chris, Loretta Carney, Bill Hall, Bill and Chris Minnear, Jeanne Gracon, Cathy Svenson, Sharon Mitchell, Frank Hegener, Warren Bowhall, Joan Chesterfield, Joan Everitt, Mary Wichtowski, Santa Orlando, Mary Lou Lamb, Pat and Joanna Monachino, Diane Madrigal, Laetitia Rhatigan
Connie Centrello, Rich and Denise Lessard and Jane Hegener sent word they would not be able to attend.
The Opening Prayer was from Morwood's book, Praying the New Story: "Celebrating Family."
The first hour of the meeting was devoted to an animated discussion of Chapters 1 & 2 of Prophets in their Own Country. The book was well received by the chapter and Bill Minnear noted that Sandra Schneiders herself gave testimony to the premise of the book through the way she wrote the book.
Following lunch prepared by Sharon Mitchell and Jeanne Gracon, the chapter reconvened for the business meeting. Since the lunch was limited, due to a power failure, Sharon and Jeanne decided to provide lunch for the next meeting as well. It was decided to devote the first part of the next chapter meeting to discussing the rest of Schneiders' book. It was further decided to use Michael Crosby's Orbis book, Repair My House, Becoming a "Kindom" Catholic, for the next book study. Tom Hayes will order copies and make them available at the next meeting on October 13.
It was noted that Laetitia Rhatigan, Santa Orlando, Joan Everitt and Sr. Chris plan to attend the Maryknoll Symposium on September 28/29 at the Sister's Center at Maryknoll.
Joan Everitt reported on the Quilt Raffle fund raiser for the Beca Scholarships for the youth of Lemoa, Guatemala. Kathleen Doyle paid for the tickets for the raffle. Joan is donating the quilt. Joan Chesterfield constructed a triptych to use at the ticket sales. Joan Everitt will get the schedule of craft sales from Brenda Rosenbaum of Mayan Hands and Barbara DiTomasso of the Commission on Peace and Justice, and distribute it by email to all before the next meeting. At the next meeting, affiliates should be prepared to sign up for various sales and locations to sell the raffle tickets. Laetitia Rhatigan suggested two other sites for sales: the Diocesan Gathering at CBA on October 20 and the Maryknoll Sisters' Bazaar at Maryknoll. She will check to see whether sales would be permitted.
Tom Hayes gave a brief update on the plans for MAC2014. The search for a keynote speaker has begun. The planning committee will meet again on September 24 at St. Thomas at 7:00pm.
Sharon Mitchell reminded chapter members of the Northeast Maryknoll Affiliates Regional Gathering which is set for May 4, 2013. The event is being planned by the Subway Group. Tentatively the theme is called: "Where we are today: New Visions of God, New Visions of Mission, New Visions of the Affiliates." It will take place in the Founders' Room in the Society Building with registration beginning at 8:15am. The gathering will begin at 9am and end at 4pm.
Next meeting is set for October 13 at St. Mary's beginning at 11:00am.
Sixteen members of the MK Albany Affiliates gathered on Friday August 31 for an evening of friendship and camaraderie on the Saratoga Polo fields in Saratoga NY. For many it was the first polo match they had attended but most likely not their last. Four cars gathered with chairs, food and the willingness to try something different. A slight breeze tempered the sunshine, and although the thermometer was hovering around 90 degrees it was quite comfortable on the field. The polo ponies are magnificent animals; the riders expertise make this difficult sport look much easier than it truly is as they thunder past only a few feet away from the crowd.