The Greater Boston and Albany Chapters collaborated on a Saturday (3/18/17) workshop to Siena College students in Albany, NY. The workshop, entitled Where Are You Going (Quo Vadis) was originally developed by Bill Murphy of the Greater Boston Chapter with help from Chapter members Kathy Morrison and Bob Short. Where Are You Going is meant to help students who have participated in a short term cross-cultural experience more carefully and consciously reflect upon that experience so that the immersion with another culture will not only be better appreciated, but be integrated into their lives as they discern where they are going as their live journey evolves.
On this cold March morning at Siena following a major snow storm just days before, 4 students and their service director participated in the 4 hour workshop. Santa Orlando and Bill & Chris Minnear of the Albany Chapter along with Kathy Morrison and Bob Short of the Greater Boston Chapter (Bill Murphy was in California at the time) facilitated the workshop. The students, two of whom had an experience in the St. Francis homeless shelter in Philadelphia and two others in Haiti, where engaged from the start and seemed to very much appreciated the opportunity to debrief their experiences in a supportive and relaxed context and learn how that short cross-cultural experience would help inform their life decision ahead.
Our hope is that the Where Are You Going Discernment Day will take root in college campuses and parishes throughout the country. In addition to helping the students to develop a deeper sense of mission, it is a way to make the Maryknoll name more visible... most especially to younger generations.
Our next workshop is slated for April at Clark University in Worcester, MA.
MISSION TRIPS – GENERAL INFORMATION
MISSION VISITS (Click the link below and scroll down to Mission Visits – English): http://afiliadosmaryknoll.wixsite.com/guate/nossos-professores
FOR MISSIONS # 1, 2, 4 [Southwest Coast/Western Highlands/El Salvador]
MISSION # 3 [Guatemala City]
A Guatemalan Chapter member will take you to the airport if the hotel does not provide that
Participants will need to make their own arrangements for the hotels. Make reservations before hand in due time.
We recommend the following two options that are near The Maryknoll Residence. The cost for each is approximately $100.00 per night:
As a US Maryknoll Affiliate, MLK Day and the presidential inauguration caused me to step back to re-evaluate and consider how we might step forward. So I have gone back to notes and excerpts from books I’ve read the last couple years to look for helpful guidance. 2017 is an amazing time, in so many respects. I feel very unqualified to be living now and to respond to all that this era demands. In particular, we face a crisis of millennia with climate change – a crisis we/our culture have brought on, and which will take the lives of many if we do not do something about it very soon. We are late in the game, so I must and will say very clearly: it is time for us to get off of fossil fuels—now—all of us. Ethical, even pro-life action carries a deeper urgency and moral call. This is something we must do. It’s as big a deal as the Holocaust.
The 2017 Maryknoll Affiliate Book Groups are enjoying reading the Orbis book, Abounding in Kindness, by Elizabeth Johnson. The two groups, who meet on Tuesday and Sunday, are composed of people calling in from across the United States. They look forward to the weekly telephone conference calls and share highlights of the discussion by email. Some questions and reflections are posted on Facebook or the Affiliate web site.
Caminando Por La Paz focuses on education of children in one of the most marginalized barrios of Guatemala City. However, this Catholic Worker house, staffed by Affiliates from both Guatemala and Texas, uses a variety of ways to educate, including financial support, tutoring, healthy meals, community connections and spiritual activities, enrichment and development trips, and coffee sales.
Now, in 2017, 24 children in various schools, including four students in universities, receive financial support. Some children receive full scholarships while others receive only partial assistance, based on need.
Tutors work with the older children in the morning and the younger in the afternoon. The tutoring program, an important aspect of the educational effort, includes more than 60 kids and is growing. It is close to outgrowing the space available. As part of our tutoring program, we provide a nutritious meal before tutoring begins. Cross Catholic International provides partial support for the meals.
Although educating children remains our focus, we have provided several educational and spiritual trips for students and neighbors to allow them to better know their own culture and to build community. We have taken these biannual trips to Esquipulas and Antigua. We visited the revered black crucifix in the southern city of Esquipulas and took a guided walk in Antigua to visit locations related to the life of the local saint, Hermano Pedro. In addition to planned activities on the trips, some free time is allowed, and the day ends with a holy hour.
We also hold a holy hour each week at the Caminando Por La Paz house. The holy-hour format is simple: an opening prayer, the readings of the day, discussion, and a closing prayer. The number of neighbors participating varies and is slowly increasing.
We strive to be an important and accepted member of the community. A new program that we will continue in 2017 is shoe distribution. In 2016, we distributed shoes from Shoes to the World (http://www.shoestotheworld.org/) to about 200 neighborhood children.
We are very excited that MAC 2017 will be in Guatemala and have helped in the planning. We hope conference attendees can bring donations for our program. We need school and sports supplies, and more. You may download a list of needs (Click here.). We are praying for a super angel to help replace our aging pick-up truck and even to obtain another house to be used for tutoring and other programs. (Contact Ron with your questions or for financial donations.)
We look forward to seeing you at the conference and invite you to visit Caminando Por La Paz whenever you come to Guatemala.
Excerpts from the article by Rose Marie Berger, appearing in December 2016 Sojourners.
“JUST WAR IS KILLING US! There is no just war.”
That proclamation by a Catholic sister from Iraq, and others like it, resounded at a Vatican gathering this spring  and fell on surprisingly receptive ears.
Sister Nazik Matty, an Iraqi Dominican, joined others from around the world in Rome in April to wrestle with how the Catholic Church could “recommit to the centrality of gospel nonviolence.” She has watched members of her religious community die for lack of medical care during war.
“Which of the wars we have been in is a just war?” asked Sister Matty, who was driven from her home in Mosul by ISIS, also known by the Arabic acronym Daesh. “In my country, there was no just war. War is the mother of ignorance, isolation, and poverty. Please tell the world there is no such thing as a just war. I say this as a daughter of war.”
The Rome gathering was unprecedented, bringing together members of the church hierarchy with social scientists, theologians, practitioners of nonviolence, diplomats, and unarmed civilian peacekeepers to discuss Catholic nonviolence and whether in the contemporary world armed force can ever be justified. [Marie Dennis, Pax Christi, and the Maryknoll Office of Global Concerns helped plan and participate in the conference on Nonviolence and Just Peace.]
Of course, with such diverse participants, there was not a common mind on whether just war theory, a doctrine of military ethics used by Catholic theologians, has outlived its usefulness as church teaching.
Reprinted with permission from Sojourners, (800) 714-7474, www.sojo.net. This link : https://sojo.net/magazine/december-2016/game-changer, gives access to this preview of the article and a sidebar with links to these articles:
“My son was brutally murdered for bringing electricity to a few poor people in northern Nicaragua. He was murdered because he had a dream and because he had the courage to make that dream come true. ... Ben told me the first year that he was here, and this is a quote, ‘It’s a wonderful feeling to work in a country where the government’s first concern is for its people, for all of its people.’ ”
Elizabeth Linder spoke thus at her son’s funeral in Nicaragua after he was shot at close range by the Contras in 1987. Ben Linder’s death at the hands of the Reagan-supported Contras made headlines in his hometown, Portland, and around the nation. The death of Linder, coming as Congressional hearings investigated the Iran-Contra Affair, fueled the debate in the US over the covert war in Nicaragua. The next year, Congress refused to renew aid to the Contras. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ben_Linder)