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.

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Sunday, 24 June 2018 02:53

Board News – Paying It Forward

Written by

Bill Murphy – Boston Chapter

I have been connected with Maryknoll in one form or other since my high school days: first, as a seminarian, then as an ordained missioner in Tanzania. After I left and married my wife, Jane, I continued my connection as an alumnus through the Maryknoll Joint Committee and ultimately in 1992 was part of the founding group of the Maryknoll Affiliate Chapter in Boston. The simple truth is I have always liked the people I find in Maryknoll—they tend to be inquisitive, reflective, positive, and serious about Gospel values, but with a sense of humor. I find these qualities in all the men and women in Maryknoll and throughout all the four entities.  I am especially grateful for the way I was treated when I left the Society – namely, with respect and graciousness as well as genuine compassion and practical help. This was not the typical response of religious orders at that time to those leaving the priesthood.

When I was invited to join the Maryknoll Affiliates’ Board, I thought, how can I not? I was confident I would be working with extraordinary people with Gospel values at a unique time in history. So many people, younger and older, are struggling with institutional religion and yet becoming increasingly involved in justice and peace at home and abroad. I have found in the Maryknoll Affiliate movement a very practical and meaningful connection of spirituality, community, global vision, and actions for justice and peace. So why not pay it forward and challenge the present day fishermen of Galilee to: “Come and and see.”

Board Agenda

At their April 2018 meeting, our Board will be discussing:

  • MAC 2020 – Who, What, Where, When?
  • Committee Report: “Where Do We Want to be in Five Years?”
  • Plan the 2019 website review and update
  • Other current issues

On Saturday of their weekend at Ossining, they will attend the NE Regional Conference (see page 2).

 

Saturday, 23 June 2018 23:30

Maryknoll Mission Institute 2018

Written by

Once again, the Maryknoll Sisters are offering a full slate of pertinent workshops. Does one of these topics offered in May-June have your name on it? Register soon to obtain a space. (A limited number of tuition scholarships are available.)

Saturday, 23 June 2018 22:43

MAC and Beyond

Written by

In this issue we have tried to transmit what transpired in Guatemala at the 2017 Maryknoll Affiliate Conference (MAC)—Harmony, Unity, Love—all that Maryknoll is to us. We hope that the Pillars of the Affiliate Movement: Spirituality, Community, Global Vision, and Action, will be reinvigorated in you as you travel through this issue with the Affiliates who visited various mission sites of the Sisters, Fathers and Brothers, Lay Missioners, and Affiliates in Guatemala and El Salvador after the Conference. Mission has planted many seeds. So much is coming to fruition. So much remains to be done. We hope to share in a later issue our visits to the sites of the Salvadoran martyrs, recognizing what mission can demand.

Beyond the MAC, the Affiliates are building the future. Please read Patty Hinton’s Lenten article on page 11, which provides some concrete examples for Affiliate Action. We also urge you to review your experience of Maryknoll, plan the year in your chapters, and as David and Manny remind us, support the Maryknoll Affiliates financially. One of our newer Board members, Sr. Teruko Ito, MM, suggests, “…. tell our new Maryknoll story—how our lives were transformed through interconnectedness in the web of Maryknoll.” Share your story at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Articles in this issue:

From the Board:

Features:

To read the print version of this issue, download the January/February 2018 Not So far Afield here.

Saturday, 23 June 2018 22:30

Buen Vivir: Living in Harmony

Written by

Kitty Schiltz – Seattle Chapter

Kitty sent her reflection as she and Roger were preparing to leave for Africa to attend the graduation of one of the children they have been helping with school since they were Maryknoll Lay Missioners in Tanzania.

Harmony seems like a stretch in these days of super egos and partisanship, but I saw it develop and flourish over the four days of the MAC 2017 in Guatemala. The deepest feeling I have about the conference is oneness. It wasn’t an invasion of North Americans telling Central Americans; it was complete sharing. The celebration of Mayan spirituality brought us together as a sharing in the cosmos. We arrived as individuals and left as one.

All the ceremonies/liturgies, group work and celebrations brought us together. Language was not a problem—there were words spoken in Spanish translated into English and English into Spanish but no need to translate the smiles and good will of all. Singing, dancing, walking, eating together blossomed into a unity of purpose and engendered a new Maryknoll Affiliate essence. At 25 years, we are still beginning.

 

Saturday, 23 June 2018 20:49

MAC 2017 Guatemala

Written by

We will aspire to “be of one heart”
...to be at peace, in harmony and in balance
with ourselves, with others, with Mother Earth, and with the Cosmos.


We celebrated
the oneness of all Maryknoll:
Lay Missioners, Fathers & Brothers, Sisters, and Affiliates.

Noted Mayan spiritual guide Daniel Caño led us in the Mayan Ceremony in Thanksgiving to the Grandmothers and Grandfathers.

At MAC 2017, 120 Maryknollers came together to reflect, analyze, and dream about the present moment and the future for Affiliates, for all of Maryknoll. Read the results (in Spanish or English) at http://afiliadosmaryknoll.wixsite.com/guate/post-mac-2017.

Rosa Beatriz Castaneda, left, and two committee members finalize details of Opening Ceremony as Fr. Bill Mullen and Affiliate Steve Barrett prepare to pray and translate for the gathering crowd of Affiliates.
Maryknoll and gifts from Affiliate regions. Behind are the organizing committee. Third from left, coordinator Rosa Beatriz and Executive Coordinator Bob Short, who assisted from the US, listen as Board chair David Schaffner says thanks. Steve Barrett, far right, translates.
Saturday, 23 June 2018 20:46

We Are Corn and Beans

Written by

Daniel Caño – Mayan Spiritual Guide

Here we are.

I am the corn

and you are the bean plant.

Your roots intertwine

with mine

underground,

and embracing

we flourish together

in this field

that is life.

Originally published in Daniel Caño’s Spanish/Mayan/English book of 
poetry, Savage Prayer. Reprinted with permission.

 

Saturday, 23 June 2018 20:41

State of the Heart – Today and Tomorrow

Written by

David Schaffner – Board Chair

We are thankful for 2017’s many good memories: chapters hosting Maryknoll missioners, marching for the homeless in Los Angeles, working tirelessly for immigrant rights, and more.

The Board presented members of the MAC 2017 Organization Committee ceramic tiles commemorating their appreciation.

Affiliates also gathered in Guatemala for MAC2017, our triennial international conference. The Capítulo de Afiliados Maryknoll of Guatemala superbly organized our first one held outside the US. The Affiliate Board appreciates their creativity and hard work in bringing a conference to us that will become a highlight of Affiliate history.

The various post-conference mission trips also deserve special mention: three in Guatemala and one in El Salvador, in which I participated. Fr. John Spain, MM, who lived through the years of the Salvadoran Civil War, brought history alive for us. We visited diverse and inspiring mission projects, particularly those of the Lay Missioners, who are led by Peter Altman, MKLM Regional Coordinator for El Salvador.

Saturday, 23 June 2018 20:30

Serving the “Other” in Coatepeque

Written by

Patty Hinton – Midwest Regional Coordinator, St. Louis Chapter

I had the good fortune to travel with three other Affiliates—Susan Porrovecchio, Jim Comes, and Gerry Mullaney—on our post-MAC tour to the Coatepeque region of Guatemala.

James Comes, in the rear, looks on as Sr. Dee smith works with one of the patients, who had recently been wheel-chair bound and, through PT at the center, is gaining the strength to walk.

First, we spent time with Sister-Doctor Dee Smith, MM, and saw her tremendous accomplishments—finding and treating those diagnosed with HIV in and around Coatepeque. Most of those infected live in extreme poverty and also must deal with the stigma of this disease and rejection by their families. With a caring and dedicated staff, Sr. Dee has developed an outreach program to educate not only those in schools, but also families dealing with an infected family member.

Sr. Dee began the Santa Maria center in 2004, where attention is given to improving not only physical but also emotional care. They provide counseling, spiritual support, nutrition education, and physiotherapy as those inected continue their anti-retroviral treatment. Part of their holistic approach is to encourage the families to establish gardens with vegetables and healing herbs, as nutrition is key to strengthening immune systems. The center needs two new exercise bikes to help counter the various degrees of paralysis the disease can cause.

Sr. Jane and Sr. Mary Lou visit with health promoters at their clinic.
Sr.Dee supervises a health promoter tending a patient’s feet.

Then we were on our way to Catarina, San Marcos, to visit Sister-Doctors Jane Buellesbach and Mary Lou Daoust, MM, at their clinic where they see patients on Mondays. The rest of the week, they travel to 15 pueblos in rotation. They have a pharmacy and lab as well as a diabetic clinic which offers testing, treatment, and monitoring. While there, we also met a group of health promoters who were having a training session. They are educated by the sisters to diagnose through observation and treat common illnesses. They can dispense the basic medication the pharmacy provides.

Two of the health promoters at a rubber plantation clinic.

 

 

 

 

Several of the outlying clinics are associated with fincas (large farms), where the workers, usually with several children, live in substandard housing and work under deplorable conditions, making about $7/day. Despite working long hours, they volunteer their time to staff the clinics one day a week. The sisters also have a vented woodstove project, as well as a water filtration project, where the families pay half and the Maryknoll Sisters pay the other half of the cost of home water filters. These projects help alleviate a variety of lung and parasite problems.

As with all mission trips, I discovered the connections that exist between all of us, and that even though we are many, we are one!

Saturday, 23 June 2018 20:26

Salvadoran Affiliates and CONTRASIDA

Written by

Mary Ryan-Hotchkiss – Portland Chapter

CONTRASIDA* was the mission of Maria Recinos and Irma Ventura de Ábrego years before they began attending the Maryknoll Affiliate gatherings. Dr. Mary Annel, MM, founded the CONTRASIDA Center in the 1990s in one of the poorer districts of San Salvador, El Salvador. Sr. Gloria Ardenio Agnes, MM, is now the only Maryknoll sister at the CONTRASIDA Center, but several other of the Salvadoran Maryknoll Affiliates also volunteer there. Affiliates and CONTRASIDA volunteers Norma Araujo de Orellana and Luis are in the photo. Affiliate Irma, not pictured, said she had worked with Sr. Mary  (who only recently returned to the US due to illness) at CONTRASIDA for 13 years.

Sister. Mary initially wanted to elevate the dignity of the AIDS patients, to prepare them to die, but now the center prepares the patients to live fully. Their 170 patients range in age from 2 to 74 years. After receiving retrovirals, one patient has now survived 22 years.

John Moritz – Southeast Regional Coordinator, Northeast Florida Chapter

L-R: Affiliates Connie Centrello, Steve Barrett, Ann Carr, and John Moritz

Following MAC 2017, 11 of us journeyed via the Pan American Highway into the western mountains of Guatemala. Our trip took us first to the beautiful volcanic area of Lake Atitlan and the towns around the lake, where one of our guides, Sr. Bernice Kita, MM, spent many years in pastoral ministry. We traveled by water taxi from San Antonio Palopó across the lake to the town of Santiago Atitlan, where we saw the location of Fr. Stanley Rother’s martyrdom, and, perhaps more poignantly, the massacre of many indigenous peoples with whom he lived in solidarity. This was a prayerful and meditative time for all of us. Because of her close association with Fr. Stan, Sr. Bernice made this experience come alive for us.

Then we visited the mission site of our second guide, Maryknoll Affiliate Steve Barrett. in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala’s second largest city. There, street children who work in the marketplace from a young age are provided with onsite learning opportunities that complement rather than conflict with their necessary work time. This ecumenical effort offers fundamental educational opportunities as well as vocational training, within an incredibly holistic approach to becoming a fulfilled human.

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