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.

Thursday, 27 February 2020 19:07

Maryknoll Mission Institute – 2020

Written by

Once again, a rich slate of powerful speakers is offered. To view the programs available from May 10th through July 31, 2020, go to maryknollsisters.org/maryknoll-mission-institute.

If you’re in New York for MAC 2020, a week at the MMI would be a valuable add-on. You may register online or request an application form by:

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Phone: 914-941-7575 @ 5671

Mail: Maryknoll Mission Institute
Maryknoll Sisters
PO Box 311, Maryknoll, NY 10545-0311

 

Thursday, 27 February 2020 18:56

The Affiliates’ Interim Time

Written by

Bob Short – Executive Coordinator,, MAC 2020 Committee member

At some juncture in our lives, a good number us have dithered over what would be a fitting, engaging title for a term paper, article, or workshop. It can be a grueling process. In one moment, there’s inspiration, and the next, exasperation; bouts of energy, then tedium; feelings of “I’ve got it” followed in short measure by doubt. So it was with the title for MAC2020: Witnessing Love in the Interim Time.

Witnessing Love was an easy sell. But several on the MAC2020 team initially asked what the heck “Interim Time” meant. Ultimately, we all came to see that this phrase, inspired by John O’Donohue’s poem, For the Interim Time, was actually key to understanding the place we find ourselves in these days. You might have an intuitive sense of this yourself. Something is fundamentally different. As posted on the website a few weeks back, Pope Francis said, “…it’s not an era of change, but a change or eras.”

Friday, 03 January 2020 18:54

Taking Maryknoll Places 

Written by

I am very grateful that my life has been influenced by Maryknoll, but I hadn’t thought how I might also have affected Maryknoll. Ellen McDonald, MM, said in 1994, “We [Maryknoll] need those of you who have been touched by Maryknoll and have taken Maryknoll’s call out to places we did not dream of.”

In carrying Maryknoll to new places, this issue touches on all four pillars of the Maryknoll Affiliates: Spirituality, Community, Global Vision, and Action. John Moritz shares a new paradigm for a religious community. Renate Schneider continues hoping and working for Haiti.

We in North America are stretched by the Affiliates in Central and South America. See “Circular Economy” and “Peru March For Nonviolence." Like the Perú Affiliates, we want a Church of nonviolence. In NE Florida, the Williams work in prisons, and others write letters, listen, and dialogue. Rich Lessard especially asks us to dialogue with Affiliate leadership; he wants to listen and explore with us our Affiliate identity. We need connection and communication through engagement and dialogue.

In 1994—and today, Ellen McDonald asks, “What is my personal call at this time? And how am I faithful as part of Maryknoll’s call?” Where has Maryknoll taken you? Where are you taking Maryknoll? Tell us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Articles in this issue:

Co-Meditation: A Sacramental Experience  –  "I participate in this communal gift of self, a very real communication of “I am the group, the group is me.”—John Moritz

Who is Maryknoll? – "We need those of you who have been touched by Maryknoll and have taken Maryknoll’s call out to places we did not dream of."—Sr. Ellen McDonald, MM

!Presente!  – "There were no plans for civil disobedience this year but we were all asked to commit to the principles of nonviolence."—Manny Hotchkiss

Circular Economy: A Practice for Good Living  – "At present, the overall economy is stuck in a system in which everything seems to favor the linear model of production-consumption-waste."—Marcela Gereda

Perú March for Nonviolence  – "This year, the march was attended by more than 800 people, including school children, neighbors, and leaders of the sector."—Carlos Apcho

Haiti in Turmoil – "The worst was to be a prisoner in my own house, hesitant to venture out."—Renate Schneider

Deported to Cambodia! – "His knowledge of the written and spoken Cambodian language and culture was very limited."—Marie Wren

Crossing Borders and Coming Together  – "We hope that they will also visit us and build a connection with our chapter."—Mary Ryan-Hotchkiss

Catholic Nonviolence Initiative - "The Catholic Nonviolence Initiative asks that we no longer use or teach “just war theory.”

A Letter to Pope Francis  – "We struggle to be Church and value your leadership."

Meeting Topic: Addiction  – "Many products and activities are potentially addictive, not just those we traditionally think of as vices..."—Shelby Miller

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

Board Meeting Outcomes  

Maryknoll Affiliate Leadership 

And enjoy these features:

Quo Vadis: The Next Step 

Being Myself   

Maryknoll Mission Institute - 2020 

  If you are more comfortable reading the Not So Far Afield in its print form, you may download a pdf of the January/February 2020 issue. 

 

 

Friday, 03 January 2020 06:50

Quo Vadis: The Next Step

Written by

Bill Murphy – Boston Chapter

The half-day workshop, Quo Vadis – Where Are You Going?....The Next Step, consists of exercises to assist individuals in debriefing any cross-cultural immersion experiences they may have had—not just international, but also socio-economic or ethnic or religious encounters within their own country. Reflective, inspiring, and practical all at the same time, Quo Vadis helps participants shape their unfolding future.

Quo Vadis can benefit existing sending organizations:

  • High school immersion programs
  • College study-abroad and shorter-term immersion programs
  • Parishes or faith-based groups and sister parishes
  • Peace Corps and other governmental and nongovernmental agencies.

Having enlisted the help of the Maryknoll Affiliate Board and Regional Coordinators in marketing Quo Vadis, I now ask all of you to contact groups you know like those described above.

If you need more information or your Affiliate Chapter wants to promote Quo Vadis, please talk with your Regional Coordinator or an Affiliate Board Member, or contact me, Bill Murphy, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Whatever you can do or dream,
you can begin it.
Boldness has genius, power & magic in it.

 

Friday, 03 January 2020 06:43

Maryknoll Affiliate Leadership

Written by

After the November 2019 Affiliate Board meeting, Board Chair Rich Lessard reflected on Maryknoll Affiliate leadership.*

Board member Russ Feldmeier, MM, and Board chair Rich Lessard in conversation

“The work of leaders involves hearing and identifying the long notes which play out in daily life, and which point to what is happening at a deeper level, resulting in a discerned response.” This quote (from Sr. Patricia Murray, IBVM) identifies three very important tasks: to listen, to discern, and to respond. For me, the most important ... is listening: …. through engagement and dialogue.

Please go to State of the Heart - Joint Meeting November 2019 to read more from Rich on connection and communication, i.e. engagement and dialogue, and our exploration of Affiliate identity and unity.

* Rich’s reflection also appeared in the emailed “Maryknoll Affiliate Website Updates for 11/25/2019”

 

Friday, 03 January 2020 06:15

Board Meeting Outcomes

Written by

  • The Board Regional Coordinators (RCs) read Pope Francis’s book, Go Forth, and discussed it at the November meeting, using reflections  and questions John Moritz had sent beforehand. The Board suggests that Affiliate chapters read it. 

  • "Quo Vadis? Where Are You Going?" is an Affiliate program to help individuals who have had a cross-cultural experience integrate that experience into their lives. See Bill Murphy’s article below.

  • The Communications Committee plans to launch our revamped website, MaryknollAffiliates.org, very soon. Please send your photos of recent Chapter activities to Bob Short at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  • Greater Connection. To enhance Board communication with Affiliate Chapters and individual Affiliates, Board members will be matched with specific Regional Coordinators.

 

Don’t forget our Maryknoll Affiliate Conference – MAC 2020

 

Thursday – Sunday, June 25-28

Graymoor Spiritual Center

Garrison, New York

Start the New Year right by registering to attend!

Visit www.mkmac.org for more information.

 

Friday, 03 January 2020 05:35

Meeting Topic: Addiction

Written by

Shelby Miller –- NE Florida Chapter

At Northeast Florida Chapter’s recent meeting, David Courtwright, Affiliate Shelby Miller’s husband, spoke about his 2019 book, The Age of Addiction: How Bad Habits Became Big Business.* David’s scholarship has centered on the history of addiction in the US and worldwide. 

Using illustrations and eliciting comments from the group, he traced how humans searched for new and potentially dangerous pleasures, from honey sought by cave dwellers to today’s digital technology and highly processed food. Many products and activities are potentially addictive, not just those we traditionally think of as vices: alcohol, gambling, prostitution, pornography, and drugs. Today, we face compulsive overeating, machine gambling, excessive social-media use, and even habitual tanning. These have medical and social costs and potential for addiction.

What is an addiction? It is a vice that has become unusually strong, preoccupying and damaging. An addiction is usually a subset of vice, and a vice is usually a subset of pleasure. Addictions cause harm.  What counts as a pleasure, vice or addiction changes with time, culture and technology. For example, in Europe and the Americas sugar-rich food is being redefined as a vice, while the traditional vice of marijuana use is becoming a commercial pleasure though a contested one. Tobacco products are another example. Through global public health counter-offensives, cigarette use has declined.  However, other forms of excessive consumption and addiction continue with the help of global industries, governments, and criminal organizations.

Is there anything we can do? Age restrictions on certain products help, but we must learn how products are enhanced to make us unwilling consumers.

After the talk, Mary Moritz said, “It was very meaningful to think of all the ways we can become addicted. It reminds us to be mindful of what we do and why we do it. David said that our brains actually get changed by addiction so that we need more and more of what we are addicted to in order to be satisfied.” 

*An on-line book forum, ROROTOKO, describes the book and explains why David wrote it.  See http://rorotoko.com/interview/20191204_courtwright_david_on_book_age_addiction_bad_habits_big_business/?page=1

 

Friday, 03 January 2020 05:19

Catholic Nonviolence Initiative

Written by

Mary Ryan-Hotchkiss – Portland, OR Chapter

Imagine the one billion Catholics worldwide insisting that the just war theory is against our religion. Not only that, we won’t allow capital punishment to be done in our name. I had that vision after Marie Dennis joined the closing session of our Cultivating Nonviolence group. She told us about the Catholic Nonviolence Initiative (CNI) formed by Pax Christi, our own Maryknoll Office of Global Concerns, and other Catholic organizations.

The CNI website, https://nonviolencejustpeace.net, gives information about their meetings and the workshop, 2019 Path of Nonviolence: Towards a Culture of Peace, held at the Vatican’s Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development.

The Catholic Nonviolence Initiative asks that we

  • integrate Gospel nonviolence explicitly into the life of the Church,
  • promote nonviolent practices and strategies,
  • initiate a global conversation on nonviolence within the Church,
  • no longer use or teach “just war theory,”
  • lift up the prophetic voice of the church to challenge unjust world powers.

A two page statement from the April 2019 meeting  (PCI-CNI Statement from Path of Nonviolence workshop 2019) lists many efforts we could participate in. At the closing session of our Cultivating Nonviolence group, we committed to asking our local Catholic colleges to implement nonviolence training in their curricula, and we made or repeated the Vow of Nonviolence (https://paxchristiusa.org/resources/vow-of-nonviolence/). Join us in our New Year’s resolutions to help all to live in nonviolence.

 

Friday, 03 January 2020 04:59

A Letter to Pope Francis

Written by

Ken Butigan, a nonviolence trainer with Pace e Bene, suggested that the participants of our Cultivating Nonviolence study group write a letter to Pope Francis asking the pope for an encyclical on nonviolence.

Your Holiness,

We struggle to be Church and value your leadership. You wrote, “In our complex and violent world, it is truly a formidable undertaking to work for peace by living the practice of nonviolence.” in a message to participants in the “Nonviolence and Just Peace” conference in Rome in 2016.

 Manny Hotchkiss and Mary Ryan-Hotchkiss – Portland Chapter

Most of the Northeast Florida Chapter

We are inspired and challenged whenever we come together with Affiliates. We try to contact Affiliate chapters or Maryknollers wherever we travel. The Hospitality List maintained by Bob Short shows that many Affiliates and Chapters welcome visitors. Recently, Mary and John Moritz in Jacksonville, Florida, arranged for us to join them and a couple from their chapter, Mary Morris Williams and Bryan Williams, for a casual dinner in the Moritz home.

Page 2 of 41