Not So Far Afield is a bimonthly publication of the Maryknoll Affiliates. The name is a play on the title of the original Maryknoll Magazine: The Field Afar.

You may subscribe to Not So Far Afield by email or to be notified when it is posted on our website.

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You may also download PDF versions of Not So Far Afield here.

Sunday, 24 June 2018 20:36

The Challenge of the Joyful Poor

Written by

Kevin Foy – Maryknoll National Director for Teacher and Catechist Outreach*

A big part of my work is helping people process and relate to encounters with social and economic inequality, and to do so with the intentionality necessary to develop nuanced, respectful responses that engender authentic solidarity. This requires my own continued examination of common reactions by privileged people to encounters with people in more marginalized positions, and to develop intentional language to preempt, challenge, and reframe those reactions.

In that vein, I’ve been thinking a lot about the all too common takeaway, “They’re poor, but they’re joyful.” I’m not unique in feeling that this language is problematic (to paraphrase Paul Farmer in regard to impoverished Haitians: they may have nice smiles and good senses of humor, but they still know they’re living in desperate conditions). But I am finding it necessary to more thoughtfully reflect on what accounts for this reaction, what truths are present within it, and, more importantly, why we need to challenge others (and ourselves) to think and speak differently.

Sunday, 24 June 2018 20:30

Living Buen Vivir in LA

Written by

Hugh Menton – Greater Los Angeles Chapter

If you attended MAC 2017 in Guatemala, you will enjoy reading about the Greater Los Angeles Maryknoll Affiliates Chapter’s recent visitors. We learned that Daniel Caño, the Mayan spiritual guide who presented about Mayan spirituality and led a ceremony at the MAC, would be in the Los Angeles area in February, and after much communication, Tim Moffett, Sr. Kathleen Shannon, Kathee Bautista, and I, and a few others, spent an afternoon with Daniel Caño, his wife Teresa, and his sister-in-law Ana. 

Standing: Tim Moffett, Sr. Kathleen Shannon, Bill (with Tim), Daniel Caño, Kimberly Nuvem Bautista; seated: Teresa Caño and Kathee Bautista at an Olvera Street restaurant.

We gathered at Olvera Street, the location of the early Mexican founders of Los Angeles. After walking among the various booths, we returned Daniel’s hospitality to those of us at MAC with an enjoyable, tasty lunch at an Olvera Street restaurant. Over lunch we had rich conversation with Daniel, Teresa, and Ana about Mayan spiritual practice.

After lunch, some of us took Daniel and Teresa to Our Lady Queen of the Angels Cathedral, a few blocks away.  We enjoyed the tapestries of John Nava and saw an exhibit of Catholic high school students’ artwork in a variety of mediums.  We were all impressed that those young people had produced such interesting art.  Daniel had his camera with him and took photos throughout the day.

Kimberly and Andres helped with translations. Kimberly Nuvem Bautista, who is bilingual, has lived in Guatemala, and Andres Garcia is an intern at the nearby Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers LA office. Daniel and Teresa thanked us frequently. The Caños’ connection with Los Angeles continued as Kimberly, who has friends who are spiritual leaders from indigenous traditions in Mexico, prepared dinner for Daniel and Teresa and her friends.

Buen Vivir

Revive your spirit of Buen Vivir by getting together:

  • Plan a special chapter gathering.
  • Ask friends to join you in an action.
  • Contact an Affiliate you haven’t seen in a while.
  • Visit another Affiliate Chapter.
  • Host or attend a Regional Affiliate meeting.
Sunday, 24 June 2018 20:26

Earth Day

Written by

From the Global Catholic Climate Movement

Earth Day is Sunday, April 22. 
We’re raising a united Catholic voice to make the most of this moment. The Global Catholic Climate Movement (GCCM) is creating a complete resource kit for Earth Day to help your community celebrate, advocate, and educate for creation. The kit ncludes:

  • Materials for a Creation mass, including homily helps and youth lesson plans
  • Materials for an after-mass event to learn why clean energy matters
  • Materials to advocate for your parish or diocese to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to protect vulnerable people from climate change.

Register now (http://catholicclimatemovement.global/earth-day-2018/) to receive GCCM Earth Day updates, first-look materials, and more.

 

Sunday, 24 June 2018 20:24

Pope Francis on Climate Change

Written by

Marie Venner – Denver

Last November Pope Francis pointed out four perverse attitudes to avoid. First denial and indifference, but also resignation—that temptation to decide some of what is needed is impractical or not possible—and trust in inadequate solutions!

Laudato Si 165 says we must shift off of fossil fuels without delay, in our electricity/utilities and transportation. Now it’s time for moral action inspired by Pope Francis, Maryknollers, and the Global Catholic Climate Movement. Come Holy Spirit!

Sunday, 24 June 2018 20:18

Beyond the Jubilee

Written by

Bill Murphy – Board Member, Boston Chapter

Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” Mary Oliver

My wife, Jane, and I joined 21 Maryknoll jubilarians, who were marking 65th, 60th, 50th, or 40th anniversaries of ordination last June. The two-day celebration involved small gatherings of families and friends, as well as a huge and colorful liturgy in the chapel. Representatives of the four Maryknoll expressions—the Society, Congregation, Lay Missioners, and Affiliates—attended, and the chapel’s walls and windows reverberated with the sounds of brass horns, basses, and drums in full accompaniment.

After filling up on the spirit in the liturgy, we feasted on that special Maryknoll hospitality, a picnic with no end to the variety and quantity of food. People may not live by bread alone, but food is a good place to start.

Sunday, 24 June 2018 19:59

Easy Meeting: The Power of Questions

Written by

Ask and you shall receive.

Preparation

1. Read through this whole Easy Meeting. If your chapter is exploring a particular issue or concept, you could substitute your own issue.

2. Plan to have a practice run at the beginning of your meeting, asking questions on a general interest concept or issue.

3. Decide who will read the prayers and who will lead the discussions.

4. Have available some large pieces of paper and markers to record the group’s questions, and paper and pens for individual use.

5. If you wish, you may download a pdf of the print version of this meeting plan at: 

Meeting Plan

Opening Prayer:

Ask and it will be given you; search and you will find; knock and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks, receives, and everyone who searched finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. Matthew 7:7-8

Reading:

This Easy Meeting will use questions to help your chapter explore and unpack two issues or concepts. First practice the questioning process.

Roseyn Devlin – Hawaii Chapter and Mary Ryan-Hotchkiss – Portland Chapter

Hawaiian Maryknoll Affiliate Patti Shannon emphasized: “We need to be bringing more young folks into our Maryknoll Affiliate Movement. They are our future.” Others added that the Affiliates need to reconnect the students of the Maryknoll School in Honolulu to their Maryknoll roots.

Hawaiian Maryknoll Affiliate Roseyn Devlin showed visitors Mary Ryan-Hotchkiss and Manny Hotchkiss the Maryknoll School in Honolulu, Hawaii, where she served as librarian for 22 years before retiring. Maryknoll School graduate Yvonne Morris was happy to talk about the school. Yvonne, who works with the Maryknoll Foundation which supports the Maryknoll School, emphasized that the school is “a loving place.  That’s what the Maryknoll Sisters taught us.”  The school’s motto is Noblesse Oblige: To whom much is given, much is expected.  Yvonne said the Maryknoll Sisters taught them this responsibility by their example: after teaching all day, the sisters went out to help others.

Sunday, 24 June 2018 16:36

Who is the Stranger?

Written by

Mef Ford – Boston Chapter

Hitchhiking across the country in his twenties, Sebastian Unger, author of Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging, carried a tent, sleeping bag, cookpots and stove, and a week’s worth of food. As he waited on the highway, a dirty, wild-haired man walked up the ramp and studied him. “Where you headed?” he asked. “California.” “How much food you got?” Nervous and afraid of being robbed, Unger lied. “Oh, I just got a little cheese.” The man shook his head and said, “You need more than that to get to California.”

He said he lived in a broken-down car and every morning walked three miles to a coal mine to see if they needed fill-in work. This was one of the many days that they didn’t. “So, I won’t be needing this,” he said, opening his lunch box. “I saw you from town and just wanted to make sure you were okay.” With that he gave him a bologna sandwich, apple, and bag of chips, probably from a local church.

What kept Unger thinking about this all his life was not that the man had been generous; many people are. But that this fellow had walked half a mile out of his way to make sure he was okay. He had treated the hitchhiking stranger like a member of his tribe.

Sunday, 24 June 2018 16:32

ICE Harasses a Permanent Resident

Written by

Mary Ryan-Hotchkiss – Portland Chapter

William Gonzalez thanks ACLU volunteer legal observer Cecile Baril (seated) and Manny Hotchkiss for coming to his hearing.

A minor victory cheered the more than 30 supporters attending William Gonzalez’s hearing at the Portland Courthouse this January. Some feared that the president’s removal of Temporary Protected Status for Salvadorans who came to the US decades ago might already be impacting people in our community.

William, a permanent resident, came to the US 38 years ago as a 12-year-old, with his mother who was granted asylum because of threats against her life in El Salvador. He has been harassed by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) since he applied for citizenship. In 2017, ICE required him to wear an ankle bracelet though he has not been a flight or security risk and has only had one DUI infraction since about 2001. William has worked 10-12 years as a cook at the famous Benson Hotel and has been involved in the union. He says the bracelet has to be recharged about every 8 hours, making it hard to get a full night’s sleep. Sometimes ICE can’t detect its signal from the basement kitchen where he works. When ICE can’t detect it, they can come to his house to question him.

William and his lawyers said the support of 40 letters and over 30 people at the hearing positively influenced the judge who ruled that the bracelet was to be removed and the harassing visits to William’s home to stop. William still had to pay a bond and further hearings will determine his immigration status.

People at the hearing were from The Immigrant Support Network, Interfaith Movement for Immigrant Justice (IMIrJ), ACLU, Havra Shalom Jewish congregation, Quakers, the Benson Hotel, and Unitarian and other churches. A representative from IMIrJ said it’s gratifying to see so many people at the hearing, but what is really needed is passage of compassionate Immigration Reform and the Real Dream Act.

 

Sunday, 24 June 2018 16:27

Looking for a Book Club?

Written by

Our fourth Book Group session will begin soon after Easter. We need your help to determine good times to meet and to select a book to read and discuss. The committee has come up with four possible titles:

Faith in the Face of Empire

A Sense of Wonder

Thomas Berry, Selected Writings

Flannery O’Connor, Spiritual Writings

Check out these and more Orbis Books at: http://www.orbisbooks.com. We also welcome your suggestions. To join a group, please contact Bob Short at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

If our telephone book group doesn’t work for you, an alternative is available. Robert Ellsberg, Orbis Books publisher, has recently announced:

For those who enjoy Orbis books, and look forward to the type of spiritual and theological engagement reflected in this month’s new titles, we invite you to join our new Orbis Book Club.

Next month we’ll be launching this new reading club on our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/orbisbooks), beginning with Jim Forest’s acclaimed work, At Play in the Lions’ Den: A Memoir and Biography of Daniel Berrigan.

Members will receive a discount and an opportunity to interact with the author and other readers. Help us spread the word!
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