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.

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.



Friday, 26 August 2016 18:57

A Theology of Peace

Written by

A Review of: Jesus Christ Peacemaker, A New Theology of Peace by Terrence J. Rynne, Orbis  

Every page of this book contains inspiring revelations about the Christian call to peace and nonviolence. The book’s key points are: 

  • the new theology of peace, 
  • the explanation of the historical development of the Church’s attitudes towards violence and militarism, 
  • the hope that Rynne sees in the Church’s 20th century statements and letters, such as Pacem in Terris, Gaudium et Spes, and The Challenge of Peace, that strongly support nuclear disarmament and restate the early Church’s rejection of violence.

Rynne describes a theology based on the life and teachings of Jesus, one that puts the just war theory in its appropriate subordinate place. “Just war theorists too often engage when war is looming…blissfully unaware of the larger and broader task to cultivate a peaceful world.” Rynne quotes Pope Benedict XVI, who described nonviolence for Christians as “not a mere tactical behavior but a person’s way of being ... [a person] who is not afraid to confront evil with the weapons of love or truth alone.”

The book quotes ancient and modern writers and has an extensive bibliography and index. Jesus Christ Peacemaker would be ideal for a book club. 

Friday, 26 August 2016 17:45

Event Announcements Sept/Oct 2016

Written by

Board Meets in October

What issues should the Maryknoll Affiliate Board discuss? What actions do you recommend?

Your input is welcome and encouraged! Ideas sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. will be forwarded.


Campaign Nonviolence – Take Action!

What do Laudato Si, BDS, and No to Gun Violence have in common? They are the nonviolent themes of some Campaign Nonviolence actions, Sept. 18 to 25, 2016. What issues in your community could you or your chapter address during the campaign? See hundreds of planned actions at

Please write to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and tell the Affiliates about the actions that take place in your community. 


Boldly Living the Gospel  

on Nonviolence and Just Peace!

Saturday, September 24, 2016
Burien, WA 

The major presenter, Marie Dennis, Co-President of Pax Christi International, is a former director of the Maryknoll Office of Global Concerns. She helped to organize the recent Vatican Conference on Nonviolence and Peacemaking. 

Learn about: 

  • Gospel teaching on peacemaking and nonviolence 
  • The recent Vatican Conference on Just Peace
  • Our personal and communal call for peace
  • Practical ways to engage in nonviolence and peacemaking in our area. 

Sponsors include JustFaith local leadership, Intercommunity Peace and Justice Center (, local Pax Christi groups, and the Missions Office of the Archdiocese of Seattle. 


Maryknoll Mission Institute 2016 

Go to


Wednesday, 29 June 2016 18:08

Wholeness or Divisiveness?

Written by

It seems many people are accepting a negative political and international atmosphere that leads to fear, prejudice, and withdrawal. In contrast, several Affiliates have provided articles for this issue which highlight their efforts to move towards wholeness. Their positive ideas, advocating for peace and nonviolence, having environmental discussions, participating in interfaith groups, and performing service work are all in the direction of wholeness. 

The Maryknoll Affiliate Book Group is reading Ilia Delio’s book which discusses wholemaking. In an article in this issue Lenore Smith-Aman asks, “Since we are connected to each other as Affiliates, how can we consciously and creatively work to transform the present political climate from extreme divisiveness to wholeness?”

We encourage Affiliates and Affiliate Chapters to talk about what they are seeing, to not be silenced by the fears and the rhetoric we hear, but rather to intensify our efforts in wholemaking, building Community and taking Action, with a prayerful and loving Global Vision. Then share your concerns and efforts with us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Articles in this issue:

Affiliates Work for Wholeness – "As people of faith and hope, imbued with the values of Maryknoll, what can we offer?"—Lenore Smith-Aman

Book Group Divides – "It’s exciting to have this opportunity to build community among far-flung Affiliates and other Maryknollers as well."—Paula Schaffner

Calls to Mission – "As a member of the Maryknoll Affiliate Leadership Board, I invite you to consider accepting our call to serve on the Board."—Mary Massaro 

You’re All Invited – "For the first time ever, our global vision takes us outside the US for our international Maryknoll Affiliate Conference (MAC). "—Rosa Beatriz Castañeda de Larios

On the Sultan and the Saint – "There are no barriers except those we put up ourselves."—Penny Robinson

Spotlight on the Sacramento Chapter – "We do not have any one project that all of our members are involved in, but individuals participate in many ministries throughout Sacramento and the world."—Patty Symkowick

Albany Chapter Event – "On a pleasant May weekend, Affiliates from the Albany Chapter visited the Maryknoll Sisters in Ossining."

Laudato Si: Care for our Common Home—A Day of Reflection – "As an older person and a grandmother, a compelling question for me was, “What kind of world do we want to leave to those who come after us?”—Mary Moritz

A Mission of Accompaniment – "The theology of accompaniment doesn’t require any grandiosity."—Kris Neufeld

Are You a Teacher? – Southern Poverty Law Center surveyed approximately 2,000 teachers, asking them how the presidential campaign was affecting their students and their teaching.

Remembering Kerrigan: Priest, Poet, and Prophet – The Washington County, Oregon, Peace Vigil noted his passing and honors him by continuing his work for peace and nonviolence.

Calling All United States Christians – We hope that you will read the statement carefully and join those who have already signed their names.

Nonviolence Conference – Nonviolence and Just Peace, a new global initiative launched at the conference, reaffirms the centrality of active nonviolence to the vision and message of Jesus...

Notices – Conference, Guatemala Immersion Trip, and more!






Wednesday, 29 June 2016 17:43

July/August 2016 Notices

Written by

Register Now 

Affiliates connect at 2005 South Central Region Conference.

South Central Region Affiliate Conference 
New Orleans - September 30 to October 2, 2016

Contact: Jim Huck – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or
    Janet Rousso – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.







Girlie Gary visiting a Guatemalan home, 2013

Only Two spots  Left

Registration for the upcoming Maryknoll Mission Immersion Program in Guatemala, October 9 - 17, closes on August 15th. 

Check Guatemala Immersion for full information. 






Take Action!

Has your chapter planned an action for Campaign Nonviolence week, September 18-25? In the past, several chapters have joined the hundreds of other groups around the world who take action nonviolently to abolish war, end poverty, reverse climate change, and challenge all violence. See for ideas or to find a local action to join.


Maryknoll Mission Institute 2016

The Mission Institute offers six-day programs (Sunday-Friday) May-October, 2016. Upcoming  programs:

July 10-15 Robert Ellsberg, MA

Saints, Prophets and Witnesses for Our Time will challenge us to think more creatively about being faithful and active in our own historical context.

July 17-22 Maria Teresa Davila, PhD

Embodying the Option for the Poor explores the theological insights in the context from which the phrase sprang and in our current contexts.     

July 24-29 John F. Haught, PhD

Religion and the Cosmic Story: A Look Inside studies the new framework for understanding our species’ ageless religious quest, in conversation with both Christian Theology and contemporary scientific naturalism.

Sept. 25-30 in Monrovia, CA and  Oct. 3-6 in Los Altos, CA: Margaret Silf, MA

Living God’s Dream                                                                              

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


In support of Education

Emusoi Center in Arusha, Tanzania (, founded by Sr. Mary Vertucci MM, continues to help Maasai girls get an education and delay marriage and child-bearing until they’re ready, but needs scholarships for fees and books for secondary school and college. Donations should be sent through the Maryknoll Sisters.

Caminando Por La Paz – Guatemala ( needs angels! $500/year or $50/month supports the education of one student. Angels receive periodic  information from the student they sponsor. Your contributions in any amount will assist greatly in Caminando’s efforts to continue the wonderful work initiated by founder Father Thomas Goekler, MM.  




Wednesday, 29 June 2016 17:34

Nonviolence Conference

Written by

An Appeal to the Catholic Church to Re-Commit to the Centrality of Gospel Nonviolence


The May–June 2016 issue of NewsNotes from the Maryknoll Office of Global Concerns (MOGC) contains the full statement affirmed by participants at the Nonviolence and Just Peace conference held in Rome, April 11-13, 2016. Working and planning for many months beforehand, Pax Christi International, the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, UISG/USG, and many other international Catholic organizations, including MOGC, co-convened the landmark conference on nonviolence and just peace in the Catholic tradition. 

Maryknoll Sister Teresa Hougnon represented the Maryknoll Sisters’ African peace-building team. Her reflection on the conference, “Nonviolence and Just Peace: The way of Jesus,”* also appears in NewsNotes.

Nonviolence and Just Peace, a new global initiative launched at the conference, reaffirms the centrality of active nonviolence to the vision and message of Jesus, to the life of the Catholic Church, and to the long-term vocation of healing and reconciling both people and the planet. 

The web site gives further background and notes that the conference’s final statement calls on the Church to: 

  • Continue developing Catholic social teaching on nonviolence 
  • Integrate Gospel nonviolence explicitly into the life, including the sacramental life, and work of the Church
  • Promote nonviolent practices and strategies
  • Initiate a global conversation on nonviolence
  • No longer use or teach “just war theory”
  • Lift up the prophetic voice of the Church. 

*The statement is also available online at  

Wednesday, 29 June 2016 16:54

Calling All United States Christians

Written by

The statement—“An Appeal to Christians in the United States”—reflects a growing alarm that our country is entering a very dangerous period in which some political leaders and some media are directly challenging our most fundamental Christian convictions. The statement is consequently a theological affirmation. We hope that you will read the statement carefully and join those who have already signed their names.* The full text is available at

An Appeal to Christians in the United States

Because of fear we too easily caricature or condemn those who are different from us. Politicians and too many in the media stereotype African Americans, Asian Americans, people from Hispanic background, and followers of Islam. If we follow their lead, we slander our neighbors and blaspheme against the one God of all peoples. We resist such stereotypes and pledge to work for laws and practices that honor the dignity of all people. 

We …... pledge that we will seek to limit the proliferation of guns in the U.S.

We ……pledge to be advocates for laws that regulate in a just and orderly manner the flow of refugees and immigrants.

We …... pledge  to work for systems of security that guard human dignity and protect the vulnerable as well as the strong.

Let us help shape the character of our much loved land not by an abandonment of our most cherished Christian convictions but by following the counsel of the Prophet Micah--to act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with our God. 

* This excerpt from Groundswell (an online social action platform powered by Auburn Theological Seminary) much of which was published in April 2016 Sojourners Magazine, is also at

Remembering Berrigan: Priest, Poet, and Prophet


Barbara LaCombe at May 11 vigil

Fr. Daniel Berrigan, SJ, died on April 30th. He had taught theology at Le Moyne College and Fordham University, New York, and was known for opposing the Vietnam War and later criticizing US nuclear policy. The Washington County, OR, Peace Vigil noted his passing and honors him by continuing his work for peace and nonviolence. Peace Vigil participants included Mary and Manny Hotchkiss, Barbara LaCombe, and Gerald Osacho of Holy Trinity Parish.

Wednesday, 29 June 2016 15:28

Are You a Teacher?

Written by

This spring, Teaching Tolerance, a project of the Southern Poverty Law Center,,  surveyed approximately 2,000 teachers, asking them how the presidential campaign was affecting their students and their teaching. The results indicated that the campaign is having a profoundly negative impact on schoolchildren across the country, producing an alarming level of fear and anxiety among children of color and inflaming racial and ethnic tensions in the classroom. The full report and survey responses are at

Wednesday, 29 June 2016 15:19

A Mission of Accompaniment

Written by

Kris Neufeld – NSFA Staff Editor

As Affiliates, many of us have found ways to answer the call of Maryknoll—“to welcome the stranger and to walk with the people.” Members of the Sisters, Fathers and Brothers, and Lay Missioners often answer this call in the “field afar,” whereas most of us find the stranger, the deprived, the needy and lonely right here among us. Sometimes our answer to the call is short-term, like teaching English to new immigrants who then move on to self-sufficiency. Sometimes it’s visiting the incarcerated or working in a food pantry or offering rides to those without transportation.

Kitty Madden visits with a new mother and her baby at Casa Materna.

Whatever form our answer to this call takes, it is a special way of accompaniment. Kitty Madden, whom many of us know and support, calls accompaniment a “bridging work.” For the past 30 years, she has been a bridge between Nicaraguan women who need care in their pregnancies and friends in the North who help her in this work by financially supporting Casa Materna or, as some Affiliates have done, by going to Nicaragua on short-term mission. Imagine the power of the accompaniment that has been given to over 17,000 mothers since the beginnings of this outreach.

Page 19 of 34