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.
You may also download PDF versions of Not So Far Afield here.
Maryknoll Affiliates persist in planting seeds knowing that we might not see the harvest. We grieve when we lose someone—but we can rejoice when we find new ways of mission, such as the Coadys endowing a chair to continue their mission work. We admire and want to work with all those who follow their own diverse paths, searching for the transcendent, such as those at the Parliament of World Religions, or those who join other religious orders.
Seeds planted by Affiliates last summer in a survey are now springing forth in plans and action from the Board and Executive Coordinator. At our 25th anniversary, we are in young adulthood, poised for continued evolution and development. Executive Coordinator Bob Short reminds us that, “Only love can transform us.”
We Affiliates persist in planting seeds with love even as the media abounds with shouts of walls, fear, exclusion, and hate, warping the truth and heralding the short-comings of others. Our love will lead to a win/win. Spring is coming!
The Endowed Chair – "It was time for me to get out of the way."—Jim Coady
25 Years and Growing – "The Affiliate model is said to have enough structure to hold it accountable and provide solidity and form but not so much as to make it burdensome."—Bob Short
Parliament of the World's Religions—Awesome – "So much peace and goodwill showed in everyone’s faces, and we shared the same mood of cheerful greeting."—John Martin, MM
Survey Report Posted – "To connect with Affiliates more directly, the survey asked what being an Affiliate means to them, how they relate to other Maryknollers, and their deeper heart wishes, passions, and abiding commitments."—David Schaffner
New England Retreat – "[It] reinforced the need to keep the three A’s of Maryknoll Spirituality front and center in our daily lives."—James Comes
Affiliates Need Your Help – "If you could serve, or know someone who needs a special invitation, please contact Bob Short."
Regional Conference in New Orleans – "Spend a weekend on the shore of Lake Pontchartrain with fellow Affiliates and other Maryknollers."—Matt Rouso
Hello, Affiliates – "Thank you, all who welcomed me so kindly to the Affiliate meetings and who gave me insights into your mission trips overseas."—Paul Wilkins
To read this issue in its print version, you may access and download the pdf at Downloads- Not So Far Afield - 2016 03 04 NSFA. And don't miss the entries in this issue's Features and The Board and EC Speak!
Phil and Kathy Dahl-Bredine recently presented their new book, Milpa! From Seed to Salsa, to enthusiastic audiences on the East and West coasts of the US. Milpa is a four-year work of love, done with the indigenous people of Oaxaca, Mexico, where they have lived and worked for 15 years, first as Maryknoll Lay Missioners, and since 2010 with Instituto Paz. The book, written with campesino leader Jesus Leon Santos, with photos by Judith Haden and recipes arranged by Susana Trilling, heralds the values of the indigenous communities: respect for all beings—including Mother Earth, mutual aid, community service, complementarity, and buen vivir—alternatives to development focused on living well in a broad sense. The Dahl-Bredines say these indigenous values could be a way to save all of humanity from the over-consumptive, exploitive, and violent Western culture that is drowning us. Pope Francis echos this idea in Laudato Si, citing the important values of the indigenous peoples of the planet.
The bilingual book has striking photos on almost every page and enticing, traditional recipes for holidays and specialties of the villages. The book is available through their nonprofit, Instituto Paz en Las Americas, 2645 Mountain View Rd. Silver City, NM 88061;
$40 covers purchase, shipping, and handling.
The Mission Institute offers six-day programs (Sunday-Friday) May-October, 2016. The June programs are:
June 5-10 Robert J. Wicks, PsyD
Strengthening Your Inner Life in
Challenging Times (3-day retreat and
3-day Reflection w/Resource Persons
June 12-17 Kathleen Duffy, SSJ, PhD
Fire and Radiance of Teilhard
June 19-24 Larry Lewis, MM. PhD
Mercy, Within Mercy, Within Mercy:
God’s Love Awaits our Response
Jun 26-Jul 1 Christine M. Bochen, PhD
Spirituality of Thomas Merton
For the complete 2016 schedule, go to: https://maryknollsisters.org/maryknoll-mission-institute-2/
A tuition scholarship is available for any Affiliate who would like to attend but needs assistance. To inquire, use the Mission Institute email address below.
Online registration is available, or write for forms:
Maryknoll Mission Institute, Maryknoll Sisters
P.O Box 311, Maryknoll, NY 10545-0311
Tel: 914-941-7575 @ 5671
Paul Wilkin – Salvatorian Novice
Former Seattle Chapter Affiliate
You may remember that I attended Seattle Affiliate meetings in 2010 and 2011. I lived on Vashon Island, ran my design company from home, and was discerning religious life as a priest or brother. That discernment process brought me back to my hometown of Cincinnati, OH, to find out how close I needed to be to my family. Through my experiences in 2012, I came to realize that I could live in any county, state, or country and still receive great family support. With that settled, I continued to look into approximately 25 religious orders.
In 2011, the Markyknolls were one of my first orders to contact; however, I am a “late vocation,” so my age kept me out. That same year, I found the Society of the Divine Savior (SDS)—Salvatorians, at vocationnetwork.org. When I saw their mission statement: the SDS “proclaims and teaches by all ways and means the goodness and kindness of Jesus the Savior,” it hit home since I am a jack-of-all-trades. A second draw to the Salvatorians was that they are international and part of what they do is missionary service. This missionary spirit is what is calling me.
The New Orleans Chapter of Maryknoll Affiliates invites all Affiliates to their Regional Conference! Spend a weekend on the shore of Lake Pontchartrain with fellow Affiliates and other Maryknollers. Hear and discuss the messages of the keynote speakers:
The schedule includes time for prayer and reflection, as well as many opportunities to connect with others during community-building activities, over meals, and at a Cajun fais do do and talent show. You will also gain access to Fr. Gerry Kelly, MM’s Third Wave resources for mission education.
(Arrangements may be made to extend your stay before or after the conference.)
Matt Rousso – 504-866-8516 or 504-376-4142
Take advantage of this opportunity to see a different side of vibrant and historic New Orleans.
The Maryknoll Affiliates New England Chapter met for our annual retreat at Watch Hill, RI, Nov. 13-15. Rather than follow a formal framework, attendees shared life events and spiritual insights related to the theme of the three A’s of Maryknoll Spirituality.
“Retreat master” Myra Plant instructed us to define the relevance of the three A’s which characterize Maryknoll Spirituality: affability, availability, and adaptability. Three groups took an hour to define these terms and compare the definitions with our daily lives and sense of mission. These are some of the thoughts and phrases that emerged:
The 2015 Maryknoll Affiliate Survey produced 60 pages of responses, giving Affiliate leadership guidance and challenges for years to come. In all, 82 people, mostly US Affiliates completed the survey, which was a mix of qualitative (dialog box) and quantitative questions. Board member Rich Lessard led the survey committee, from survey design through beta testing, compilation of responses, and presentation of preliminary results to the Board.
To connect with Affiliates more directly, the survey asked what being an Affiliate means to them, how they relate to other Maryknollers, and their deeper heart wishes, passions, and abiding commitments. The purpose was to clarify and strengthen our relationships as Affiliates-to-Affiliates and as Affiliates-to-Maryknollers—Sisters, Fathers and Brothers, and Lay Missioners, and to invite all Affiliates into greater ownership of future direction setting.
Scouting the massive Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah, set up for the 10,000 scheduled attendees, I was awed. A luxuriant parade of multi-colored folks from 80 countries were walking the corridors, meeting with friends, making new acquaintances, and scouting the environment like me. When else can you get to see some 40 different religious and spiritual traditions of the world in one place, with one heart and soul? So much peace and goodwill showed in everyone’s faces, and we shared the same mood of cheerful greeting. Awesome!
This year we celebrate 25 years as an Affiliate movement. There are over 700 active Affiliates in 55 Chapters in 9 countries – Bolivia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Korea, Mexico, Peru, Philippines, Tanzania and the US. I wonder if the founders of the movement, Jim Madden, MM, and Ellen McDonald, MM, could have imagined such expansive growth in such a short time. These numbers only hint at how many hearts have been moved, how much solidarity felt, and justice realized as we live out the Maryknoll charism that inspired the movement
Mignon Wolfe (82), a longtime Affiliate with the New Orleans Chapter, went home to God on January 2nd with a heart full of love and dressed with her red dancing shoes! Mignon suffered a stroke in October 2015 and worked hard in therapy to recover her loss of memory. She returned home just before Christmas with the hope and motivation of being well again. Unfortunately, she had a second stroke on January 2nd and did not regain consciousness.
Mignon, a free spirit known for her energy, joy, and love of God, loved everyone as her best and “precious friend.” With a brother who is a former Maryknoller, naturally she joined our Affiliate group as soon as we began. As an Affiliate, Mignon was committed to Maryknoll and to our community, praying in earnest for each of us, especially during our involvement in mission immersion trips and other projects. We will miss Mignon—our precious friend.
Chicago Affiliate Renate Schneider has invited many Affiliates to join her in Haiti since 2010. For several years, my wife Ann and I had been spending three cold Wisconsin winter weeks in sunny, warm Haiti, teaching at the University of the Nouvelle Grand’Anse (UNOGA) in the small city of Jeremie, surrounded by very, very, very rural Haiti.
Ann taught conversational English, and I taught a course in basic project management. Ann’s teaching English to Haitians was a no-brainer. Haitians are always anxious to practice their English with others, and knowing English could help them get a position with one of the many NGOs (non-government organizations) that have established residency on the island. There may be more NGOs in Haiti than there are trees. Ann went on to develop a structured curriculum that any future teacher could pick up and follow.
On November 21st, Father John Spain, MM, came to Caminando Por La Paz here in Guatemala City to offer a memorial Mass for our Founder, Thomas Goekler, MM, who died on Thanksgiving Day, 2010.
When Father Tom died, it was believed that Caminando had very little chance of continuing its projects in Paradiso II, one of the most marginalized barrios of Guatemala City. We feel assured God wants the program because it is still here and growing slowly. Yes, of course the loss of Father Thomas was a great tragedy, but so much has happened since.
We’ve read about it, maybe even met them, ...radicals. Some become radicalized at the border, or when working in another country.
Maura, Ita, Francis, and Jesus, were radicals. They embody radical love, radical hospitality, radical mercy —and nonviolence. In this NSFA issue, Maryknoll Affiliates experienced radical hospitality and love when they went to the border, in Haiti, in Guatemala, and El Salvador, New Orleans, or Georgia. Countercultural, radical views often develop through Maryknoll mission experiences, as does nonviolence.
Spirituality, San Diego Style – These Affiliates each have their work—their mission, and they come together not to work on a joint project, but rather to share, receive support, reflect, and enjoy sustenance in a like-minded community.
Together in God’s Mission of Mercy – During the Year of Mercy, as missionary disciples through Baptism, you are invited to share mercy moments that you have witnessed or acts of mercy that you have offered to or received from others.
Northeast Ohio Views the Border – "Dialogue between all the different persons involved in immigration opens up space for growth, deeper understanding and
change.." —Kathy Ress
Building Community & Dialogue – "May we walk into our future together with a commitment to wholemaking that (in the words of the Maryknoll Sisters) 'discovers God’s
energy all around us and celebrates our larger selves.' "—Ann Carr
Resistance at the SOA – "Today, the stronger-than-ever message from the SOAW Vigil is that the issues of the disenfranchised are profoundly interconnected, that we are all accountable for the condition of humanity and the condition of the earth on which we depend."—David Stocker
Martyrs Live on As Inspiration – "The speakers’ very personal stories all shared a common message: the martyrs continue to strengthen them to work for the poor and build the Reign of God here on earth."—Joe Hastings
Martyrs Remembered in the US – "We remember and honor them and hold them close."—Ellie Hays
An Act of Mercy – "It’s what I think Pope Francis calls 'going to the peripheries.' "—Matt Rousso
Are We One of God’s Little Miracles? – "We invite visitors to help in whatever role fits them, including teaching English or working with the children."—Ron Covey
To read this issue in its print version, you may access and download the pdf at Downloads- Not So Far Afield - 2016 01 02 NSFA. And don't miss the entries in this issue's Features and The Board and EC Speak!
People in business carry a business card. As an Affiliate, it makes sense to carry an Affiliate card. When we meet people with whom we’d like to connect in the future, we can offer them our card and ask for their contact information. If they don’t know about Maryknoll, giving them our card presents an opportunity to explain.
You can print your own card or order some over the Internet.