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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Kitty Madden – Affiliate in Nicaragua

The nights here in Matagalpa grow longer as we await the coming of the Light. I write from the Casa Materna, a project I have helped to nurture and one that has so lovingly nurtured me…for over 27 years. It is an appropriate moment to thank all of the Maryknoll Affiliates who have been a bright light for us both spiritually and financially.

I am remembering the warm invitation I received from Mary Ann Jackman in 1985 to “come and work with me and my people in Nicaragua.” Though she did not live to see the Casa that would bear her name and welcome so many mothers, we feel her presence here with us daily.

In early November, I was overjoyed to be with many of you at the gathering so graciously hosted in Guatemala by our sister/brother Affiliates there. At that time, I shared the somewhat bittersweet news that the work of the Casa Materna would end December 31st. We are grateful that we have fulfilled our primary goal of providing services for rural mothers with high-risk pregnancies, reducing maternal death here in Nicaragua.

Saturday, 23 June 2018 18:43

A Buen Vivir Lent

Written by

Patty Hinton – Midwest Regional Coordinator, St. Louis Chapter

Buen Vivir—“living in harmony and equilibrium with the cycles of Mother Earth, the cosmos, and life in all its forms,” caused me to reflect on Lent in some different ways.  This Lent, we might do a few things to connect with all creation:

Take a walk at least once a week and appreciate the beauty of nature—listen and let it speak to your heart.

Connect with an Affiliate you don’t know well—if possible, someone outside your own country.

Read a book and reflect/pray on our connection with all  life. Check out Orbis books (http://www.orbisbooks.com) for some ideas.

Make it a point to use that leftover food and be conscious of not wasting.

Try a vegetarian life-style, if possible during all of Lent, or at least more often than on Fridays.

Fast more frequently, in varying degrees: skip lunch and send the money saved to Maryknoll projects.

Contact your state/local representatives and stand up against injustice. Many issues are described at the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, maryknollogc.org.

Read NSFA or NTLH cover to cover, and pray for those mentioned.

Volunteer at a homeless shelter or food pantry/outreach program in your area.

May some of these ideas, and other ways you think of to connect with creation during Lent, bring a sense of new life to you this Easter.

 

Saturday, 23 June 2018 18:40

Telling our Maryknoll Stories

Written by

 Sister Teruko Ito, MM, – Affiliate Board Member

After the 2017 Maryknoll Affiliate Conference in Guatemala, I reconnected with my former mission site and renewed my life energy and hope in mission. I was able to visit San Marcos, a beautiful town in the Western Highland of Guatemala near the Mexican border located about five hours northeast of Guatemala City, at an altitude of about 3000 feet. Another Maryknoll sister and I, as members of the Diocesan Pastoral Team for Women, visited many of the parishes, empowering their women’s teams.

Many women, mostly Mayan, shared their joy at being able to see the bigger world more clearly, as though being led out of the smoke in their kitchens. Besides themes from the Bible, we discussed women’s health, women’s rights, ecological projects, and managing profit-generating handcrafts. Many women shared their struggle to find safe places.

Saturday, 23 June 2018 17:57

Global Vision informs local Action

Written by

This issue illustrates that as Maryknoll Affiliates, global vision informs and influences our response to problems. We salute the Affiliates and Maryknollers in the Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons. Our global vision teaches us that wars and nuclear weapons not only threaten the warring countries, but as President Eisenhower stated in the 1950s,”Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger…” This NSFA offers a Pax Christi prayer to aid reflection on the UN Nuclear Weapon Treaty and on the US role with nuclear weapons stealing from the hungry and the poor.

Kevin Foy’s global vision, developed overseas and in the southern US, leads him to recognize and address racism at home. Marie Venner stresses the urgency of doing something about climate change since the contribution from highly industrialized areas such as the US disproportionately impacts low-lying or poor countries.

Informed by global vision, Affiliates in San Rafael, California, reach out  to refugees and immigrants knowing that US trade and immigration policies contribute to the migration. Tell us how your Affiliate global vision shapes your response to the problems in our midst at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Articles in this issue:

From the Board and Executive Coordinator:

Saturday, 23 June 2018 17:30

ICAN Wins Nobel Peace Prize

Written by
Our Maryknoll/Pax Christi International delegation in June when the treaty was passed at the UN. L-R Judy Coode, Catholic Nonviolence Initiative, Beth Begley (NJ Chapter Affiliate), PCI UN rep; Jonathan Frerichs, PCI Disarmament Coordinator; Alice Kooij, PCI Policy Director; Jasmine Nazario Galace, PC Philippines, ICAN, Miriam College Manila; Gerry Lee, Director MOGC; Marie Dennis, Co-President of PCI; and Mary Yelenick, PCI UN rep.

Beth Begley – New Jersey Chapter

The Nobel committee awarded the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize to ICAN—International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons for its work to draw attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons and for its ground-breaking efforts to achieve a treaty-based prohibition of such weapons.”

ICAN—International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons draws “attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences
of any use of nuclear weapons and [works] to achieve a treaty-based prohibition of such weapons.”—Nobel Prize Committee

Maryknoll and Pax Christi International were integral members of the ICAN campaign to achieve the Nuclear Ban Treaty, and their efforts continue toward ratification in each signing nation and entry into force.

It had been very discouraging that our efforts brought so little awareness, especially here in the US.  Then we awoke on October 7th to the Nobel Peace Prize. As part of the campaign, my email has been happily flooded with congratulations and encouragement from our campaigners all over the world.

The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons was opened for signatures on September 20th. There need to be 50 ratifications for it to enter into force. Three states have ratified to date—the Vatican was first. In spite of pressure from the US, we expect the treaty to be in effect within two years and to serve as a moral benchmark. (Editor: The US has not signed or ratified.)

Although the nuclear states try to discount this accomplishment, I see it as a part of a new expression of empowerment by the nonnuclear and less powerful states and by a new generation of activists working from the ground up and giving priority to reducing the humanitarian effects of war and violence. The Land Mine Treaty and the Treaty on Cluster Munitions were the first steps in this movement.

Note: To learn more about the negotiations at the United Nations to adopt a treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons leading toward their total elimination, read Sister Elizabeth Zwareva, MM’s report in the July-August 2017 issue of NewsNotes at http://maryknollogc.org/article/un-nuclear-ban-treaty-negotiations.

 

Saturday, 23 June 2018 17:25

Our Cup Is Full

Written by

In early November, around 100 Affiliates and friends will be attending MAC 2017, our international Maryknoll Affiliate Conference, in Guatemala. The MAC Coordinating Committee tells us,

The assembly cup is full. We welcome Maryknoll Affiliates who will live the harmony between people and Mother Earth inspired by the theme of Buen Vivir.

The Coordinating Committee asked for responses to these questions: What valuable learnings do I hope to leave with?  In what ways would I like to see the theme “Buen Vivir” (Living in Harmony with All) become part of the commitment of the Affiliate Movement? What will be my own special contribution in this MAC 2017 assembly to strengthen the four Pillars (Community, Spirituality, Global Vision, Action) to the Maryknoll Affiliate Movement?

One person shared the thought, “Living in harmony with all challenges us to remember that the Blessing that awaits us is often outside our comfort zone!”

Read more of the thoughtful and inspiring responses they received (in English and Spanish), in the No Tan Lejos del Horizon Special MAC Edition and plan to hear a full report on our first truly international MAC in the next issue of NSFA.

Saturday, 23 June 2018 17:17

Renewable Energy—A Simple 1-2-3

Written by
Air and traffic pollution have an unexpectedly large
impact on life, health, and wellbeing.

Marie Venner – Denver Chapter

Are you concerned about climate change but don’t know where to start?  Here’s a path forward.  For cleaner air, more jobs, and involvement for all, think 1-2-3 and prioritize!

  1. Shift control of our electricity to the community level.
  2. Electrify everything—no more investments
    or taxes supporting fossil fuel.
  3. Efficiency improvements can provide the quickest and best return. 

By taking even some of the steps below, we can make progress toward our top priorities!

Kevin Foy – Maryknoll National Director for Teacher and Catechist Outreach

Kevin collaborated regularly with the Seattle Affiliates from 2011-2015 and currently with the Affiliates in Chicago, where he now works.

Reflecting on testimony from residents of Charlottesville following the recent racist demonstrations, I am struck by a major disconnect. While many white residents are quick to say, “This is not us,” their black neighbors point out that racism is indeed very much a part of Charlottesville: African-Americans are the targets of 80 percent of traffic stops, despite making up only 20 percent of the local population. The same white residents who showed up to protest racism also regularly reject their appeals for reforms in education, employment, and housing policies that disproportionately harm people of color.

Like you, I am trying to make sense of Charlottesville and its aftermath. But after nearly a dozen years of stepping beyond my comfort zone to see the world from different angles, I recognize how disturbingly common it is for people to live in close proximity but very different worlds. I offer some insights that may help folks respond to this moment with greater consciousness of racial injustice.

Six hundred ICAN campaigners gather in Vienna ahead of the conference.

The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons opened for signature at United Nations headquarters in New York on 20 September 2017 and will remain open indefinitely. Once 50 nations have ratified or acceded to it, it will enter into force. The US has not yet ratified.

This prayer service is derived from Pax Christi International’s Interfaith Prayer Service for Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty Negotiations, conducted on March 28, 2017, at the Isaiah Wall, NYC. Your chapter might use it at a chapter meeting or arrange an interfaith prayer service in your area.

Saturday, 23 June 2018 16:45

Spread the Word

Written by

Sr. Arlene Trant MM, recently returned from mission in Macau, reached out to us for ideas and help with Mission Education in the US, her new assignment with the Maryknoll Sisters. She offers a few areas for brainstorming:

  • Get Maryknoll magazine to schools/parishes?
  • Diocesan Mission Office—aware of Maryknoll?
  • Mission education in Catholic schools?
  • Maryknoll related service hours for confirmation
  • Work with Catholic colleges/universities or Newman Centers/campus ministers?

We will be talking with her and developing ideas. If you could help, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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