News from and about Maryknoll Affiliate Chapters
-By Kristen Kendall and Tara Bitterly
Halfway around the world, children in Cambodia leave the slum they call home and set out on their morning walk to school. The roads they travel along are unpaved. The school they arrive at is nothing more than four concrete walls, lacking electricity and basic supplies. But by attending school, they are offered the opportunity to receive an education along with the incentive of a substantial meal each day.
In another world, the students at Red Bank Catholic (RBC), the Caseys*, prepare for another school day. They will be driven to school and will enter a building with the latest technologies and all the other resources they could ever need in order to succeed.
An ocean 8,832 miles and an eleven hour time difference separate New Jersey from Cambodia; however, today these drastically different worlds will merge. As the students of RBC remember one of their own, students in Cambodia receive a gift beyond monetary value. This gift will honor the memory of a beloved RBC graduate.
September 27, 2010, Kiminini, Kenya
Dear Caseys and Maryknoll Affiliates,
Hello from Kiminini, Kenya! I am so happy that you are interested in the work I am doing in Kenya. As you know, I am a Maryknoll Lay Missioner and was sent to Kenya in January, 2009, after a three month orientation program at Maryknoll near Ossining, New York.
I am a Physicians Assistant and did my original training at Cornell University Medical Center in New York City a long, long time ago – 1975!! So I am fortunate to be able to help the people here in Kiminini with my medical experience and knowledge. It’s been a dream of mine since the 1990’s to work overseas. I was inspired by the work of Mother Teresa after I saw a video of her life and work. I was struck dumb by the dedication and love she showed to the poorest of the poor. But my children were teenagers and I was a single parent, so I had my hands full raising my two boys and educating them through college.
On Saturday, September 25, 2010, I had the opportunity to attend my first “normal” San Diego Chapter meeting. It had been more than two years since I had attended a monthly meeting without the focus being on conference preparation. Unfortunately, Peggy was not able to join me at the Coastal Reilly’s (Marta & Charlie). On a personal note, we ask for your prayers for Peggy who will be having a pacemaker implant on Wednesday, September 29.
Rudy and Betty Cypser were recently mentioned in a letter to the editor in America. Rev. Theodore Parker from Detroit wrote in a letter titled Visiting the Prisoners:
From 1982 to 1991 I was the Catholic chaplain at Fishkill Correctional Facility in Beacon, N.Y. During those years I had the assistance of bright, capable lay men and women from St. Mary’s Church in Wappingers Falls; St Columba’s in Hopewell Junction; and the great support of a dynamic couple who have made criminal justice their life’s work, Mr. and Mrs. Cypser of Katonah. The Cursillo movement inspired them to minister, and I am grateful to these men and women for their selfless ministry to men and women in prison.
Without their assistance, no doubt the ministry at Fishkill would have been very much diminished. They made it possible for us to have three Residents Encounter Christ retreats each year for nine years. It was a time of great grace for me, as well. I thank Mrs. Schultz for reminding me of those great years when I had the God-given opportunity to devote my younger life in ministry to those men in great need.
|Fr. Robert Kus, Fr. Marcos Leonand Fr. David Labuda MM|
On September 12, the Fr. Price Chapter in Wilmington, North Carolina, had their own kickoff for the celebration of the Maryknoll Centennial at St. Mary's Parish. On this date in 1910, Father Thomas Frederick Price, a diocesan priest from North Carolina, met with Fr. James Anthony Walsh, from Boston, at a Eucharistic Congress in Canada and together decided to establish the first America foreign mission society, what would eventually become the Catholic Foreign Mission Society of America, popularly known as Maryknoll.
Fr. Price, known as the Tar Heel Apostle, was the first North Carolinian to be ordained to the priesthood in 1886. He died in China on September 11, 1919. You can read about his cause of canonization here.
As you are aware, Peggy and I have been named the Regional Coordinators for the California Region of Maryknoll Affiliates Chapters. We are excited to again be closely involved in the evolution and growth of the Affiliates movement.
We want to also acknowledge the tremendous effort and hard work that Marta and Charlie Reilly have done as the initial Regional Coordinators under this continuing organizational experiment. They are a tough act to follow.
To the Maryknoll Affiliates in the Northwest Region,
Over the last few months we have received a number of nominations for Regional Coordinators. Hans Zuuring and I are happy to announce that of the those excellent nominees, Kitty Schiltz and Pat Bader have accepted and will be serving as your Regional Co-Coordinators. They are both members of the Seattle Chapter and have been involved in Maryknoll for years. They have provided brief biographical statements below for those of you who have not yet met them.
Haiti August 20th to August 27th
Colleen and I went to Haiti for a week to volunteer at a home for 13 HIV positive orphans. Trisha and Ray Comfort are an American couple who after a missionary trip to Haiti felt called to stay there as Missionaries.
At this time they are caring for thirteen orphans and building a new facility at another site in a neighboring town. They are extremely overcrowded at the present home. The kitchen is the size of a Bronx apartment kitchen. The dinning area is so crowded that if someone has to get up from the table a number of children have to get up to open a passageway. They have no open space to play but for a small concrete area. The tiny bedrooms are stacked with bunks. We were on concrete all the time.
Listed below are the children at the Comfort Home
“When the night was in silence and the world was in the midst of itscourse……..” Wisdom 18:14
Ah, yes, a partial phrase from Scripture that I have always loved. It finishes with a powerful foretaste of Christmas. But for me right now, I recall how it set the mood for what I felt during a three a.m. trip, up a hill to the outhouse in Ngoswani. I had never, ever seen a more magnificent star filled sky. Picture a piece of black velvet covered with three thousand shiny diamonds, sparkling in pure radiance.
One of the Maasai men has a delightful wife and family of six boys and one little girl. Two of the boys have been my companions and guides as we went for our walks in the late afternoon, early evenings. How excited I was when they showed me fresh elephant tracks…..I thought from a VERY BIG elephant….they laughed and said…..no…not too big………not too big at all.
There are many other sharings that were true GOD MOMENTS to me.
Many children were with their parents on that mountain –top where the people had sat in circles on the ground. The children stared at us intently as we waited outside the building while others were getting it ready for our clinic. I am sure that some had never seen a white woman, particularly one with silver-gray hair like I have. I stared at the mountains mostly since I did not want to stare at the people.
This God Moment is a much deeper one. Deeper in the explanation and in the actual getting there----the “there” where it leads……..
On our last day in Ngoswani our departing team was gifted with a special cloth that was tied around our shoulders by a Maasai woman. On the cloth was imprinted a picture of Jesus showing us His Sacred Heart. The Maasai words written beneath it read thus.
It is time to pass the baton! Please disseminate this form to all your chapter members. We hope to get nominations by the first of September. Elections should follow shortly. In anticipation of your quick response, we thank you and asks God's blessings on you.