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.
The start of the new year is a good time to make plans. I hope you are planning Affiliate chapter meetings for the coming months. Each chapter does it differently. The Seattle chapter, for example, sets aside the second Saturday of each month, September through May, for their meetings. Then as the year goes on, a speaker or topic is chosen for each meeting. In this way, a consistent schedule is maintained for the year. The Affiliates know the dates of the meetings even though all the details of each meeting may not be fully planned months ahead. Sharing your activities to your chapter webpage or submitting to the Affiliate website gives other Affiliates and chapters ideas for their chapter activities. The Affiliates website (www.maryknollaffiliates.org) gives news about current chapters and also new chapters being formed.
The Spirit-filled Centennial Mass and reception last Sunday at the Cathedral is highlighted on the St James Parish website http://www.stjames-cathedral.org/Events/2011/album-maryknoll.htm. Such a joyous occasion honoring the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers!
My two-week volunteering trip this month centered on the Oaxaca Ecology Project ranch in the hills above the city of Oaxaca that former Maryknoll Lay Missioners Pat and Mary Denevan started a few years ago. The city of Oaxaca lies in the central mountain range of the country about 300 miles south of Mexico City.