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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Saturday, 27 August 2016 21:28

Emphasis on Action

Written by

A Chapter Profile

While California Central Coast (CCC) Affiliates share a potluck meal, they talk of their passions and missions. Affiliate Joan Bogle worked with the Alzheimer Association and helped lobby for successful legislation that secured funding for related programs. By facilitating a small Alzheimer support group, she repaid the support she received when her husband was suffering with Alzheimers and she was his sole caregiver. Now she looks for ways to involve the Senior Adult Ministry of her parish in mission.

Joyce Miller’s passion is the Montessori preschool she and her husband founded 35 years ago. She was happy to hear that the Maryknoll Sisters in Tanzania were involved in a Montessori school. Over the years she and her husband have also helped raise thousands of dollars for Alpha, a right-to-life organization that counsels pregnant women and supports mothers.

Easy Meeting:  Family – The Affiliate Community – The Kin-dom of God

(To reprint this Easy Meeting on two pages, go to the Download: Not So Far Afield – Supplemental Material – 2016 09 10 Easy Meeting.)

 

Begin by reading “Family of God” (Maryknoll Book of Prayer, page 18):

“I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”—John 13:34-35

The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts. … If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is part of it.-—1 Corinthinians 12:12, 26-27

     Nothing can separate us from the love of God and nothing can separate us from each other. We are made in the image and likeness of God.

     Prayer begins with the awesome recognition of our oneness with God. It continues with the realization of our unity with each other. We are all members of one family—the family of God. Let us Pray.

Read the articles mentioned below from the September/October 2016 NSFA, and consider these questions:

1. Compare your experience of family with that in the article from NTLH, “Family in Guatemala.”  

2. How do the statements from the Greater Los Angeles and North Texas chapters relate to your Affiliate community? (See LA Chapter Reflects on Survey Topics and Talking Points.)

3. How does your Affiliate community prefigure the Kin-dom of God?

Close with the prayer,  “God made us a family” (Maryknoll Book of Prayer, page 19):

God made us a family

We need one another

We love one another

We forgive one another

We work together

We play together

We worship together

Together we use God’s word

Together we grow in Christ

Together we love all people

Together we serve our God 

Together we hope for Heaven

These are our hopes and ideals.

Help us to attain them, O God,

Through Jesus Christ our Lord. 

—Florence Sossong, Pittsburgh, PA

Saturday, 27 August 2016 00:59

Family in Guatemala

Written by

Two simple questions were answered by family members from age three through adult of both genders, some members of Affiliates families: What is family for you? What do you most enjoy doing with your family? Their responses confirmed that love and care are essential elements for families of hope in a society.

Just as a plant needs love and care to develop in all its splendor, in families, love and care are the seeds necessary to the growth of a person capable of critical thinking, integrated, always seeking freedom for self and others, and in the future able to project the love and care they receive.

        

Here is a sampling of the responses*:

Saturday, 27 August 2016 00:51

LA Chapter Reflects on Survey Topics

Written by

14 Members of Greater Los Angeles Chapter

Hearing other Affiliate Chapters share...

  • Leads us to think outside the box. 
  • Shows that each Chapter is a unique personality.
  • Highlights that each Chapter has liberty to focus more strongly on any one of the 4 Pillars; i.e., some are mission-sending (short term), others are local service groups, others stress prayer, support, or social groups. 

What is a Maryknoll Affiliate? 

Being an Affiliate member...

Saturday, 27 August 2016 00:44

Talking Points

Written by

Ken Eppes – South Central Regional Coordinator

I got to thinking about talking points for the questions,

•  Why I should be a Maryknoll Affiliate?

•   Why I should form an Affiliate Chapter?”  

I asked my Chapter in North Texas (Dallas/Fort Worth area), and they came up with the following talking points. 

Saturday, 27 August 2016 00:36

FOSNA/Maryknoll Links

Written by

Manny Hotchkiss – Portland Chapter

At a Friends of Sabeel (FOSNA.org) Leadership Conference this July in Portland, Oregon, we were happy to see that Sabeel, the voice of the Palestinian Christians, intersects with Maryknoll. Naim Ateek, an Episcopal priest from Nazareth, founded the Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center in Jerusalem over 25 years ago. Orbis has published several of his books: Faith and the Intifada: Palestinian Christian Voices was published in 1992; Justice and Only Justice, and A Palestinian Christian Cry For Reconciliation discuss liberation theology as it pertains to Israel’s occupation of Palestine.

Saturday, 27 August 2016 00:30

Book Group Suggestions

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Participants in the first Maryknoll Affiliate Book Group session this summer replied to a survey sent by Executive Coordinator Bob Short, giving feedback about their positive experiences and making some suggestions. Some participants would prefer being in a smaller group or meeting at another time. Smaller groups could allow more time choices. 

Gabriella Maertens wrote: “I wondered how a book club by phone could work. I agreed before I received the book and then I wondered how we could discuss such a difficult book—Making All Things New. But I have been really happy with the group discussions that have taken place and impressed with the insights of our group. I look forward to “seeing” everyone each week.”

Saturday, 27 August 2016 00:26

Welcome Home Party for Bertha!

Written by
An African music group serenades Bertha Haas, right.

As a Maryknoll Lay Missioner, Bertha Haas founded the Huruma School for children with disabilities in Mwanza, Tanzania in 2004. Now, in her retirement, she spends about a month each year at the school, reconnecting with the teachers and children, working with the Tanzanian Board that oversees the school, seeing the progress, and dreaming with them about the future. 

To welcome Bertha home, the Portland Maryknoll Affiliate Chapter hosted a fund-raiser party complete with an African music group. Supporting the Huruma School is an important outreach for the chapter.

Saturday, 27 August 2016 00:21

Option for the Poor in County Jails?

Written by

Mary Ryan-Hotchkiss – Portland Chapter

Stored Value Cards, Inc., doing business as Numi Financial, targets county jails. In an August 2016 article, Arun Gupta noted that Numi contracts with counties to provide debit cards to return inmates’ money upon their release. (https://www.thenation.com/article/the-financial-firm-that-cornered-the-market-on-jails/)

In 2013, over 11 million people were released from county jails, making it a preferred market. The problem is that over 80 percent of the Numi debit cards end up paying onerous fees. The article states, “The terms for the card used in Multnomah County (Oregon) lists 11 possible fees—the $5.95 monthly fee, a $2.95 fee for ATM withdrawals, $0.95 for a declined transaction, $1 to check the balance, and $9.95 to have the balance refunded by check.” 

An estimated 30 percent of the debit cards holding released prisoners’ own money are never used and are completely consumed by the fees. Inmates who may be deported by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) suffer additional problems with the cards due to English-only written directions and customer service and higher international fees. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Electronic Funds Transfer Act do not cover this type of cards.

Numi Financial and similar companies should also be targeted by campaigns against for-profit prisons and the exploitive jail telephone systems.

Who gets preferential treatment in your county?

Friday, 26 August 2016 19:02

The Homeless

Written by

Don Foran – Friend of the Affiliates

Ten men clamber out of the creaking van,

Their sweaty bodies meeting a kiss

Of cool night air.

They drift, silently, sullenly

Toward the darkened church.

Mattresses lie, two or three to a room,

Along walls decorated with children’s

Drawings and almost casual crucifixions.

Carl, Eddie, Jake and the others

Throw their worn packs and bags 

Onto the makeshift beds, and John,

It’s always John, is first to ask 

If he can have his sack lunch now,

Not in the morning as we had planned.

“Sure,” I say, almost as anxious as he

To assuage this remediable hunger.

Several echo John, and soon all 

Are feasting on pb and j;  apples, celery,

And other healthy fare remains on the table,

But they’re happier now, even communicative.

One thanks me for setting a new pair of white socks

On each mattress.  Another offers a juice cup 

To a friend.  “Lights out!” Rick calls at ten,

And no one argues, no one hesitates.  Sleep

Knits once more the raveled sleeve of care,

Obliterates the hurt, soothes the jangled nerves.

Tomorrow will be another day,

Another cheerless day embroidered

With small triumphs, fragile dreams.

Note: “The Homeless” first appeared in Beyond Parallax, Centralia College (2003). Reprinted with permission.

 

 

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