I have been working on answering that question my whole life. Perhaps that is what enticed me to become involved with the Maryknoll Affiliate pilot of the same name: Quo Vadis, Where Are You Going? Maryknoll Affiliate Executive Coordinator Bob Short, board member Bill Murphy, and Greater Boston Affiliate Kathy Morrison met to write the draft of this pilot program after learning that, according to some sources, over 2,000,000 people go on immersion trips each year. How are these cross-cultural experiences affecting their lives? What impact, if any, will their experiences have on decisions they make later in life? What kinds of jobs they will take; how will they view and treat those who look and act differently based on culture, race, and/or socio-economical differences? Where is God in all of this? These questions became the basis of the pilot program.
Santa Orlando – Albany, NY, Chapter
As an Affiliate, I have had numerous opportunities to spend time with Maryknoll Fathers, Brothers, Sisters, and many other Affiliates. I have been to the Knoll for conferences, celebrations, and Institute classes and just to visit friends. What was missing in my Maryknoll exposure was contact with the Maryknoll Lay Missioners. I found myself asking, who are they, and what do they do? The desire to know led me to join 14 other travelers for a FAB (Friends Across the Border) trip to Bolivia. I met up with them at the Miami Airport, equipped with my carry-on luggage, a positive attitude, and the willingness to participate fully in the experience.
MAC 2014 is now an event of the past—what are its lasting effects? At times the planning committee all wondered how we ever said yes to this monumental task. The Board praised us for starting early and being organized, and it’s good we were, as most of us were working up until the last week and, at times, to the last minutes. Of the committee of eight, three of us had attended the last MAC, so we had a loose idea of how things went and a wonderful sense of who the Affiliates really were. That was ultimately why we said yes and dragged others along. Our fellow committee members trusted us, trusted that this involvement would be special. We in turn trusted all the Affiliates, Sisters, Fathers, Brothers, and Lay Missioners to appreciate our efforts and forgive any shortcomings. We would do the best we could as people committed to the spirit of Maryknoll.
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.
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.
Rich Lessard and I made the trip down to Maryknoll to help direct traffic and park cars for the opening Centennial Celebration Liturgy. We were happy to help out the Sisters in anyway we could; we were even happier that the temperature was above freezing. As always we were graciously greeted and thanked for our interest and participation.
The Chapel was ready, Stars were everywhere; on the banners that lined the walls commemorating countries that Maryknoll sisters serve in, stars bearing the name of each Maryknoll Sister lined the drapes on the alter and billions of stars in all of the galaxies were depicted in a photo of the Cosmos. A large star that led the procession rested at the base of the altar, and the living Stars, the Maryknoll Sisters in attendance were shining brightly.
Book Presentation Spreads Mother Mary Joseph's Spirit
On The Threshold of The Future: The Life and Spirituality of Mother Mary Joseph Rogers, Founder of the Maryknoll Sisters." Our Chapter decided to read the book as a group to deepen our connection to Maryknoll and its beginnings. Many of our members had met Sr. Claudette in the past, and were taken by her enthusiasm and presence. Sr. Ellen McDonald accompanied Sr. Claudette for the weekend. Sr. Ellen is the co-founder of the Maryknoll Affiliates along with Fr. Jim Madden.On November 17.18, and 19, the Albany Chapter had the honor of hosting a presentation/ book signing by Sr. Claudette LaVerdiere for her book "