News from and about Maryknoll Affiliate Chapters
Hope has two beautiful daughters;
Their names are Anger and Courage
Anger at the way things are,
And Courage to see that they do nothave to remain as they are.
We live in two worlds, one world is the world of following Jesus and the other world is the world of being a member of a nation. We would love for the two worlds to match up perfectly. Sometimes there is overlap and often times, not. In fact, many try to force the issue and make that happen by declaring that our nation is ordained by God to do God’s work and thus we are an exceptional nation in the world. The air seems filled today with truths and absolutes, lots of litmus tests for sure.
"Wherever two or three are gathered in my name, I am with them," (Matt. 18:20),
So as we travel we make a point to gather with Affiliates and know that Christ is with us. We gathered with Affiliates several times as we traveled this May to the Maryknoll on the Hill: A Centennial Event in Washington D.C.
I participated along with about 20 others in an immigration vigil at the Tacoma Detention Center after our Affiliates meeting on April 14. We stood as witnesses to the deeds (and misdeeds) of the staff at this "prison for profit" and showed our solidarity to the families and friends visiting their incarcerated loved ones by our hospitality and listening to their stories.
The vigils are held the second Saturday of each month at the ICE Northwest Detention Center, 1623 East J St, Tacoma from noon to 3 PM sponsored by the Washington Sanctuary Movement and a number of other organizations. Please go to their website www.washingtonsanctuary.webs.com for more information. A special Mothers Day vigil will be held Saturday May 12 and all are welcome.
Click on the picture to enlarge it.
Here are some of my impressions of the Regional Meeting, later we will send the rapporteur of the event.
In attendance were participants from Oaxaca, Merida, El Salvador, USA, Guatemala: Monte María, Zone 18, Quetzaltenango, Quiché, and Junior Affiliates. There were approximately 34 people.
Three of us from the Albany Affiliate chapter had the pleasure of attending the Maryknoll Sisters Centennial Symposium: Hearts on Fire on April 20, 21. We were warmly welcomed as per usual by the Sisters who always greet us as though we were family.
The Invocation Native Hawaiian Chant by Britina Kirway , MM, opened the Symposium. Immediately the diversity of the MK Sisters is evident; in the music and dance, in the symbols and in the faces. They celebrate diversity yet their words always focus on what is shared throughout all cultures not what is different.
Friday morning's speakers Joanne Jaruko Doi, MM and Antoinette Gutzler, MM spoke of the Collective Memory of all women, of all cultures, thru all times; who heard the voices of the heart and did what needed to be done. They spoke of the Courage and Radiance of the women who accepted the challenge, and moved forward tapping into the depth of God's love. They moved forward with the grace of a World Wide Heart that also included the Grace of Doubt that allowed them to question all, but continue to trust in God.
On April 15, Red Bank Catholic High School was among the honorees at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. They were one of five high schools to received the 2012 Charity & Social Service Honors Award. You can already see pictured on the Maryknoll Affiliate Youth Facebook page. Check back here for other news on the event.
www.SearchForPeaceArt.org ha s finally been updated with all the art from the 2012 events, except for that from Adelante Mujeres, over 100 pieces! I invite you to explore the website. Please let us know if you discover any problems in it.
Since the exhibit, we have shown some of the actual art from the exhibit to folks in California and Arizona, and plan to show it in Washington DC and Las Vegas later in the year.
An article about the Search For Peace exhibit was in a paper in the Portland area:
Please let us know your ideas for inspiring and educating about Peace and Nonviolence.
On Valentine's Day with my brother, Eric, and I left New York for Haiti. We had to spend the night in the Fort Lauderdale airport. The next morning, we boarded the plane for Port-au-Prince where we were met at the airport by the faithful driver of the hostel, Matthew 25, where we were staying. On landing in Port-au-Prince I noticed that the tent cities around the airport have diminished in numbers since I had seen them a year before. However, the roads have not improved nor have the crowds diminished.
Although small in number, we remain active. In Feb., we hosted John Dear at Dominican University with an audience of 60. In exploring ways to raise the consciousness of local folks with regard to social justice issues, it occurred to us to try to meet people where they are. We worked together to sponsor a 3-part series of talks on Catholic Social Teaching, entitled, "The Church's Best Kept Secret: Catholic Social Teaching," which Matt Dulka will conduct at a parish in Marin County where we meet, open to people in the churches in Marin, as well as the Archdiocese of San Francisco.
Rich Younkin, one of the founding members of our Chapter, will be ordained a Deacon on June 24th. Leslee Coady recently visited the Philippines and saw first-hand the effects of poverty and corruption as well as the resilience of the people who live under such hardship. Bob and Nancy recently gave another presentation of their experiences in Palestine to a newly forming Affiliate chapter in Concord where they also heard the stories of Srs. Nancy and Ruth who had spent years in war-torn Sudan. While we are active, our monthly meetings are centered in prayer and reflection, led by Rich Younkin. It has continued to be the very "highlight" of our gatherings, and not incidental to them. It is what sustains us as we try to live out Gospel values in ALL that we do. Marie Wren and Nancy and Bob McFarland will attend the Maryknoll on the Hill event in May.
Missioner Kitty Madden left Matagalpa, Nicaragua to visit in the United States in March, starting her visit in Florida. Seven of us from the Northeast Florida Maryknoll Affiliate Chapter drove to Keystone, Florida to meet with Kitty and her friend and supporter, Carol Meyer.
Kitty is a volunteer and major fundraiser for Casa Materna in Matagalpa, where she lives. Kitty helped establish Casa Materna about 20 years ago. Kitty's good friend Mary Ann Jackman, was in a serious car accident while pregnant and soon after delivered her baby, unfortunately too prematurely. Both Mary Ann and her baby died. Casa Materna was named in her honor. The Casa provides pre-natal and post-natal care and education for mothers from rural areas with high risk pregnancies.
At one time, Kitty was a Maryknoll Lay Missioner ministering at Casa Materna. When Maryknoll decided to focus their efforts on nearby El Salvador, Kitty decided to stay in Nicaragua and continue working with the Casa. Maryknoll Sisters helped train their staff and helped Casa Materna during a time of crisis in the mid 90's.
I want to take a moment to give special thanks to Affiliates Tom Sibley of Grand Rapids, Mi and Nancy and Bob Link of Sacramento, CA
Tom first visited us at the Casa Materna in 2006 when he was on his way to volunteer with Fr. Ted Custer MM in his Rancho Grande parish in the northern part of our Matagalpa region. For many years Tom's wonderful R.O.M.E.O. group in the Grand Rapids area has included the Casa Materna as one of the groups benefited by their annual auction sending their gift through Friends of the Casa Materna(FCM) in Detroit, MI.
Nancy and Bob Link from the Sacramento Affiliate group were volunteers at the Casa in February of 2008 and in subsequent years set up a Casa Circle of Support as part of their monthly Affiliate meeting. They encourage members to collect their "loose change" all month and bring it to the meeting as their monthly donation toward food for the mothers. Most recently, the Detroit Central United Methodist church (also a Circle of support) has adopted the practice set up by the Sacramento affiliates and have made a commitment to support a Casa staff salary every year.
At their recent meeting, the Chicago Central Chapter held a discussion regarding how they will be involved in the actions around the upcoming NATO and G8 meetings in the United States this May. While the G8 meeting was moved from Chicago to Camp David, the NATO meeting will still be in Chicago. To that end, the Chicago Central Chapter is looking at ways to educate people around the issues.
Kirstin De Mello shared with the Chapter that "American Friends Service Committee has put together a powerpoint on NATO/G8--who are they, what are their interests, what does it mean to us, what can we do, etc. This powerpoint can be used by anyone. It has notes that go along with each slide, so it's pretty straightforward. If you move through it with little discussion it takes about 35 minutes."
Kirstin shared, "I was part of team that presented it to Earlham College students. We interwove the powerpoint with small and large group discussions and we took 2 and a half hours. We could have even used more time with all of the good questions arising from the students."
They hope to post another PowerPoint that is shorter and geared towards high school students. So keep going back to the link below in the next week or so to look for other resources.
Kitty and I have been home in Lacey, Washington for nearly a month. The following pictures depict somewhat the experiences we have in Tanzania. A Maryknoll father was asked, "What should you do when you go to mission?" He said, "Do what gives you joy." I hope you can see in the following pictures what gives us joy. "Why it's almost like being in love. That can happen to you in Africa.