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.

Please click here to subscribe to the electronic PDF version email list.

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

Board / Regional Coordinators Meet

November 7 - 10, 2019

One of the twice yearly Board meetings includes the Regional Coordinators, to contribute their wisdom to the Board discussions and also to confer on how best to coordinate in their regions. The November meeting agenda includes:

• Discern how to best guide the Affiliate movement, utilizing:

~  Group discussion of questions sent out previously

~ Reflection on how Pope Francis’s book Go Forth applies to individuals and the Affiliate movement

~ Artistic rendition of conclusions for group interpretation.

• Open space discussion: Where do we go from here? Turning ideas into concrete actions.

• Special topics: Call with Renate Schneider on Haiti, Covenant working group, Quo Vadis, MAC2020, Website redo.

• Regional Coordinators meet separately.


Coming Soon – Appealing Fish Story

Manny Hotchkiss, of the Affiliate Board Finance Committee, will be sharing a whopper of a fish story that relates to the sustainability of the Affiliate Movement as we follow the Fisher of All.

Be watching your mailbox for the annual
Maryknoll Affiliates Appeal Letter
to be mailed November 15th.



Wednesday, 30 October 2019 22:43

A Prayer from "Canticle of the Creatures"

Written by

By St Francis of Assisi

Praise to God with all the creatures,

Especially Brother Sun,

Who is the day that gives us light.

And the sun is beautiful and radiant with great

Bearing God’s likeness.

Praise for our Sister moon and the stars

In the heavens bright, precious, and fair.

Praise for our Brothers Wind and Air,

And fair and stormy, all weather’s moods,

That cherish all creation.

Praise for our Sister Water,

So useful, humble, precious and pure.

Praise for our Brother Fire,

Who lights the nights and is beautiful and playful and robust and strong.

Praise for our Sister,

Mother Earth,

Who sustains and governs us,

Producing varied fruits with colored flowers and

Praise for those who grant pardon out of love.

Blessed are those who endure in peace.

Thursday, 22 August 2019 23:21

Actions and Options

Written by

Action is one of the pillars of the Affiliate Movement, along with spirituality, community, and global vision. We can count on Affiliates to respond to opportunities and to find ways to take action, to be of service. In this issue, Bob Doyle shares his odyssey in Arizona, mourning the deaths of migrants in the desert and serving the survivors. The North Bay Affiliates were captivated by returned Maryknoll Lay Missioner Vicki Simon’s reflections after she volunteered at a migrant refuge in El Paso.

Vicki also lists some opportunities for service to immigrants. Dick Horstman describes a short-term mission opportunity for aiding migrants in Eagle Pass, Texas.

While we Affiliates are usually eager to do service, this issue also tells of 71 Catholics who recently chose another path, civil disobedience at the US Capitol, to protest the inhumanity of detaining children at the Border. Maryknoll encourages us to contemplate before and during our actions.

Whether we choose service, peaceful contemplation, or civil disobedience, we know that “Apathy is not an option.”

Tell us about your actions and options at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Articles in this issue:

Migration in the Nogales-Tucson Area – "While asylum seekers are being assisted at shelters in Tucson, some 800 others in Nogales, Sonora, are waiting to present their credible fear claim in hopes of being allowed to seek asylum in the United States." - Bob Doyle

MAC 2020 – The theme is: Witnessing Love in the Interim Time.

Vicki Simon at the Border – "One had to be ready for a “fluid reality,” as Vicki described it, and try to hold onto paying personal attention and listening to each migrant while attending to their immediate needs..." – Marie Wren

Sharing with our Chapter Companion – "Our Affiliate group was also happy to learn of Maryknoll’s program which sponsors men and women to come to the United States to study for the religious life." – Shelby Miller & Mary Williams

Is a Lay Missioner Coming to Your City? – "We saw that Affiliates could be helpful to the Maryknoll Lay Missioners in their promotional efforts..." – Paula Schaffner

Catholics Protest Immigrant Child Detention – It was “a privilege to participate in civil disobedience, to be arrested, to stand with detained families…” – Dan Moriarty

A Visit with Albany Affiliates –  "I know our Northeast Florida Chapter will try hard to extend Maryknoll hospitality to any of you who come our way!" – Mary Moritz

Border Actions to Consider – "If you cannot travel or volunteer at this time, get involved  "in organizations working with recently arrived refugees and migrants." – Vicki Simon

Hospitality In addition to the practical benefits of this hospitality, it provides an opportunity to get to know other members of the Maryknoll family.

Learn more about your Maryknoll Affiliate Board and Executive Coordinator in these articles:

John Moritz: Our Newest Board Member  

Letter from  Rich Lessard     

And be sure to enjoy the Features in this issue:

Pope Francis Reading Club   

Cultivating Nonviolence   

Short-Term Mission Opportunity 

Maryknoll Connections      

You Belong   

QTM #5    

 If you are more comfortable reading the Not So Far Afield in its print form, you may download a pdf of the September/October issue. 

Thursday, 22 August 2019 22:35

Short-Term Mission Opportunity

Written by

Dick Horstman – Houston Chapter

The Benedictine Sisters of Boerne have a mission house in Eagle Pass, Texas, across the Rio Grande from Piedras Negras, Mexico. Sister Ursula Herrera is the only Sister at the house. Last December, the Sisters converted the house to a migrant respite shelter. 

The migrants are delivered to the house around 7:00 in the evening. Sister feeds them dinner, gives them a change of clothes, and they sleep one night at the house. Sister feeds them breakfast the next morning, and they are then picked up at 9:00 AM to travel to San Antonio. Sister needs help cooking, washing bedding, making beds, cleaning and sorting clothes, buying groceries, etc. She averages approximately 28 migrants a night.

Sister does not have room for a group of volunteers. She has a very nice apartment with a full bath in a detached garage for two volunteers.   It is an ideal setup for a couple.

Because Sister Ursula is very busy, if you are interested in volunteering or have any questions, please contact me, Dick Horstman, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Thursday, 22 August 2019 22:19

Maryknoll Connections

Written by

Some chapters already had a special relationship with a Maryknoll Priest, Brother, Sister, or Lay Missioner when the Chapter Companions Initiative began. Others have requested a companion and are now enjoying getting to know their Maryknoll missioner. 

It’s not too late to ask the Chapter Companion team to help you connect with a Maryknoll missioner for mutual enrichment. Email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Thursday, 22 August 2019 22:07

Question of the Month #5

Written by

QTM #5: What story do you tell when people ask you about Maryknoll Affiliates?

This Question of the Month (QTM) was suggested by Tom McGuire, Chicago Chapter.

To answer this question, go to QTM #5.

 If you haven’t seen the Affiliates’ answers to the previous Questions of the Month, you’ll also find a link to them on that page.

We look forward to hearing your views on this and future Questions of The Month.


Thursday, 22 August 2019 22:00

Invitation to the Pope Francis Reading Club

Written by

Matt Rousso – New Orleans/Gulf South Chapter

We have begun a “Pope Francis Reading Club” in the New Orleans area to encourage Affiliates and as many people as possible to be in touch with the creative, visionary, and challenging thinking of our wonderful Pope Francis. We will only occasionally read a book by the Pope. Most of the time we will read copies of recent talks, homilies or excerpts from interviews he has given.

A highly enthusiastic group of 20 people helped develop the plan for the reading club. We will meet once a month at the Archdiocesan Retreat Center (the Cenacle), in Metairie, LA, on Monday evenings from 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM. There is no fee but we may make an occasional small free-will offering for the use of the Cenacle, the copy machine, etc.

For the month of August we are asking members to read The Joy of the Gospel, written in 2013, in which Pope Francis gives his fundamental vision for the church and society and includes most if not all of the issues he will deal with in more depth during his following years as Pope. We will discuss The Joy of the Gospel Monday, August 26. Our September meeting will be Monday, September 30.

If you are interested in joining the Pope Francis Reading Club and need a copy of The Joy of the Gospel or would like more information, please contact Matt Rousso: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The text is also available online: "Evangelii Gaudium".

We hope you will join us for what we believe will be a most fulfilling and enriching experience. If you don’t live in the New Orleans area and want to read along with the us you could email your comments or questions on the readings to Matt who might be able use them at their meeting.


Thursday, 22 August 2019 21:23

Migration in the Nogales-Tucson Area

Written by

Bob Doyle – Chicago Chapter

Paying respects to migrants who died about 5 miles south of Green Valley, Arizona

A pilgrimage in the desert. The desert should not be a death sentence, but the government knows the southwestern border is dangerous for migrants—and wants it that way. Some 8,000 people attempting to enter the United States have died in this region since the 1990s.

Wednesday, 21 August 2019 14:04

MAC 2020

Written by

We invite you to the always engaging and often transformative international Maryknoll Affiliate Conference. It will be held June 25-28, 2020, at the Graymoor Spiritual Life Center in Garrison, NY – 17 miles north of the Maryknoll Center in Ossining. The theme is: Witnessing Love in the Interim Time. $350 covers tuition and room & board (a $20 reduction from the previous MAC!). Travel grants will be available as in past years.

The MAC 2020 Planning Committee has made great advances in designing the theme, content, and flow of this 3½ day event. The Keynote speaker is Nancy Sylvester, IHM, very sought after in the conference world, and most of the workshop facilitators have already been confirmed. We are also planning a first-time, unique segment to include young adults (18- to 39-year-olds).

A MAC website is being constructed;  we anticipate that it should be ready in mid-September. It will provide an online registration form, travel grant application, schedule, and information you’ll need to know about the conference. Please mark the date and plan to be with Affiliates and other members of the Maryknoll family from throughout our global home.

Wednesday, 21 August 2019 13:50

Vicki Simon at the Border

Written by

Marie Wren – North Bay Chapter

On May 23, the North Bay Chapter hosted Vicki Simon, returned Maryknoll Lay Missioner to Kenya, to speak about her recent experience at the US – Mexico border.

Vicki spent two weeks volunteering in El Paso, Texas, at an Annunciation shelter in a La Quinta Inn. She told how she prepared for that experience by taking a Jesuit-sponsored five-day border immersion trip called The Encuentro Project. In addition, she took a Just Matters study module on migration, which brought home to her that migration is very extensive around the world even though we experience it mainly on the US - Mexico border.

We were captivated by her description of how the shelters are completely run and staffed by volunteers, how those two weeks were physically and emotionally demanding. She explained that between 50 and 120 asylum seekers would be referred to the shelter each day by ICE after having been processed as they came across the border. Generally, they were one parent and one or more children. When they arrived hungry, dirty, and often sick, they would be offered clean clothes, showers, meals , beds, and medical help. They would stay just long enough to have the volunteers contact their sponsor, who would buy a plane, bus or train ticket for them, and then the volunteers would accompany them to the airport or bus/train station. They were given provisions for the journey and a placard that said they didn’t speak English and asked for help finding their connections.

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