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.
They found him in chains—he and another boy who was also deaf. Someone brought the boys here to our Deaf Development Programme (DDP) in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where deaf students 15 years old and up learn sign-language, as well as basic education and life skills. By all indications, these two boys had been abused, traumatized, and isolated for a long time. Often, in remote villages, people do not understand deafness. The deaf person is thought to be mentally deficient, possessed, or even being punished for their or a parent’s wrongdoing.
The NE Florida affiliate community had a brief but joyous visit, which can most accurately be described as a holiday family visit, by a part of our extended Maryknoll family. On Dec 18, 2014, Sister Margarita Jamias, MM, shared with local affiliates and the wider community her passion for cosmology and the environment. Our chapter hosted a gathering where Sr. Margarita showed the video, Journey of the Universe, followed by a discussion of what moved and challenged us in the video.
Is there a Peace Choir in your area? After seven years of organizing Search For Peace art events and participating in a weekly peace vigil, I thought I’d sought out everything peace-full in the Portland area. Last fall I was surprised to find the Portland Peace Choir on-line and then in person. Luckily, we were allowed to join the 50-person group without an audition. Since then, they have performed at a Martin Luther King, Jr., commemoration highlighting nonviolence and have sung African songs at Taste of Tanzania, a fundraiser for the Huruma school for disabled children.
The Peace Choir is clearly secular and has a repertoire that includes popular, ethnic, traditional civil rights, and even a few religious songs. They all highlight love, peace, nonviolence, and cooperation. We recently participated in a concert where five peace choirs, consisting of about 200 people from western Oregon, harmonized beautifully in sound and thought. We we told that peace choirs are a movement that is spreading across the country. What better way to make peace than to think peace, listen carefully, and live harmoniously in solidarity with your neighbors, wherever they may be. Sing out your gift of peace to the community.
In the Jan/Feb NSFA, Fr. Gene Toland, MM, invited Maryknollers to enroll in U-Lab, a Massive Online Open Course (MOOC), offered by MIT and the Presencing Institute.
Thus several Affiliates, and 25,000 of our closest friends from around the world, signed up for the free six-week course based on Otto Scharmer and Katrin Kaufer’s book, Leading from the Emerging Future: from Ego-System to Eco-system Economies, Applying Theory U to Transforming Business, Society and Self. Ideally, participants met in small groups to watch the course’s videos, to prototype, and to receive coaching on their own projects face-to-face or by Skype.
After leaving Africa, Bertha Haas, now a Portland Affiliate, envisioned a compassionate community that would continue to support Huruma. Huruma is the school for disabled children that she founded in Tanzania ten years ago as a Maryknoll Lay Missioner. After she and Lay Missioners David and Caitlin Rosser of Seattle left Tanzania, no Maryknollers remained to work at the school, so Maryknoll can no longer provide support.
The involvement of the Maryknoll Affiliates and numerous other groups in the Portland area made Taste of Tanzania, a special dinner/fundraiser, very successful both financially and in forming community.
Do you hear the call of far-away places? Here are a few volunteer opportunities:
Study in Africa
Through the Maryknoll Institute Of African Studies – St. Mary’s University, Minnesota, and Tangaza College, Nairobi, participate directly in the contemporary cultures and religions of Kenya. These graduate courses combine lectures, directed professional field research assisted by a personal tutorial assistant, a 15-page research/ integration paper, and pastoral reflection. All courses are intensive, immersion-style and completed in three weeks. Courses are registered at St. Mary’s University as four-credit graduate courses. www.mias.edu
Maryknoll Institute also runs full semester programs for non-East Africans and other foreigners who come for a sabbatical of three months.
China Teachers Program
Ever consider spending a year in China teaching English as a second language? The Maryknoll China teachers program offers a unique opportunity to share and live out your Christian calling educating young Chinese university students. www.ChinaServ.org
China Teachers’ Summer Program
From mid-July to mid-August at Jilin Medical College, Jilin City. Help third-year Medical and Nursing students with spoken English through small group discussions and oral drills in four class periods per day. Eight to fourteen teachers live in community on the campus of Jilin Medical College. Program requirements and benefits are the same as the full year program.
Fr. Brian Barrons, MM, Asia Regional Superior
Bookmark this special Maryknoll Society website: http://maryknollmissiontrips.org. Visit it frequently to discover the latest opportunities not only for short-term service but also for immersion and study programs. For further information, please contact:
Rev. Michael J. Snyder, MM, Short Term
Maryknoll is one of nearly 100 Catholic national and international member groups in the newly formed Global Catholic Climate Movement (http://catholicclimatemovement.global/fast/).
This coalition of laity, religious, clergy, theologians, scientists, and activists agree with scientific findings that humanity’s greenhouse gas emissions contribute to widespread and mostly harmful changes to planetary systems. Its focus is on the moral and spiritual issues involved, and to raise awareness of Church teachings on the care of creation.
As an NGO with UN consultative status, Maryknoll was present at events aligned with the UN Climate Change Conference held in Lima, Peru in December 2014. World leaders are working to establish the fundamentals of a strong, global agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, hopefully to be finalized in Paris in 2015.
The faith-based coalition OurVoices organized #LightForLIMA, a global, multi-faith prayer vigil held in locations around the world prior to the Lima Conference. They now invite us to join in prayers from our Ambassadors to inspire us for the road to Paris (http://ourvoices.net/limaprayers).
If I can feel the wood and know who’s whittled,
Read paragraphs and know the author’s name,
Can hear one riff and know Grapelli’s fiddled,
Or sense in silhouettes the dancing flame,
Why can’t I scan for style erratic lines
And temperamental scribbling on earth’s page:
Consistent inconsistencies, design,
Caprice, rich legacies of tenderness and rage?
Perhaps the world I cherish is chaotic,
Perhaps its pedagogy is insane,
But if it is sufficiently quixotic,
The signature, for students, will be plain.
Ah, crazy-witty worldlings, pitch a tent,
Absorbing and translating sacrament.
A review of Julian’s Gospel: Illuminating the Life & Revelations of Julian of Norwich,
by Veronica Mary Rolf, published by Orbis*, 2013.
Veronica Mary Rolf is a most interesting writer. A recent podcast with America magazine reveals she spent much of her life in the professional theatre, as a playwright and actress. She also trained and directed professional actors around the world. Now, Rolf teaches Christian meditation and the history of Christian mysticism. She brings her dramatic sensibility and vivid descriptions of Julian’s context and time to Julian’s Gospel in a unique approach to the favorite spiritual guide of Thomas Merton, Richard Rohr, and many others.
Love in Action, the theme of the 2015 Western Region Maryknoll Affiliates Conference, is also a fitting theme for this issue of the NSFA. Indeed, Love in Action pretty well describes Maryknoll Affiliates and our Four Pillars of Spirituality, Community, Global Vision, and Action. The love in this issue acting in at least 13 locations in 8 different countries, including Brazil, Tanzania, Oregon, Florida, and Guatemala, and in our reaching out to immigrants.
In the secular news we see that the lack of love leads to violence, torture, fear, exploitation, and discrimination. While most of us experience some level of privilege, we also have occasionally felt fear and discrimination. We know that when violence is an acceptable response, no one is safe.
In No Tan Lejos del Horizonte, our Spanish Affiliate newsletter, an Affiliate from Merida, Mexico, Cecilia Quijano asks us to respond with Love and Action to the disappearance of 43 students in Ayotzinapa, Mexico. She says, (translated from the Spanish):
“Prayer has helped us to collect our thoughts and feelings and leads us to act. Small or large, easy or difficult, actions arising from reflection and discernment of the Christian values that we hold will have an impact on building a culture of peace, so necessary for everyone.”
Articles: (Click on the title to go to the article.)
My Adventures in Mission – “I am amazed at how many skills and experiences I draw upon as a missioner.” – Carolyn Trumble
Ayotzinapa – “We must recognize that this event is not isolated from others.” – Cecelia Quijano
Daring to Dream Anew – “The entire Chapter proceedings were imbued with the spirit of prayer to discern what the Spirit is calling Maryknoll to today in her mission endeavors.” – John Meyer
Angels Come in All Sizes – “Your support of the Affiliates has been outstanding. Over the past four years, the number of contributors has increased sharply, from 120 to 190 households.” – Dave Schaffner
You Are Invited! – “The most important dimension of all great leadership—Who am I? What am I here for?” – Gene Toland, MM
A Tanzanian Seminary for Girls – “God is in us, with us, working through us. Working with the kids, you see God’s presence.” – Agnes Menard
Taste of Tanzania to Help disabled Children – “Huruma means compassion in Swahili, the local language in Tanzania. The disabled children at Huruma truly need compassion and in many ways are the poorest of the poor.” – Bertha Haas
The Way & Maryknoll – “How does this ‘mission trip’ relate to our Chapter?” – Carol-Ann Black
Let There Be Light! - “In the evening, the lamp provides enough light to illuminate their small dwelling while the family completes their routine of prayer, study, and family meal.” – Curt Klueg
Visiting Bolivia & Peru – “We did not ask, but in every gathering they spontaneously spoke of how Maryknoll priests, sisters, brothers and, where present, lay missioners gave them a sense of self-dignity and missionary vision.” – Bob Short
Caminando Continues – “We constantly try to improve the program and to foster positive change in this small corner of the world—Paraiso II, Zone 18, one of the most marginalized, impoverished, violent zones in Guatemala City.” – Ron Covey
Be sure to check out our Events—upcoming Western Regional Affiliate Conference, and Features—book review, prayer, and news notes!
Many Affiliate Chapters are collaborating with:
JustFaith Ministries: http://justfaith.org/
Pace e Bene: http://paceebene.org/programs/campaign-nonviolence/
Pax Christi: http://paxchristiusa.org
Recently we have heard or read of to incredible violence by organizations founded to protect the people: the killing of young black men by police in Ferguson and elsewhere, the militarization of police organizations, a published report on the use of torture by the CIA, and the disappearance of 43 students in Mexico. This disturbing pattern of violence has spawned widespread demonstrations and pledges of investigative action. We need to be in solidarity with those who protest against and attempt to remedy this violence.
This translation of Cecilia Quijano’s article in the December, 2014, issue of No Tan Lejos del Horizonte* discusses the disappearance of the 43 students.
It was an honor and privilege to represent the Maryknoll Affiliates as an observer to the 13th General Chapter of the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers held September 2014.
The entire Chapter proceedings were imbued with the spirit of prayer to discern what the Spirit is calling Maryknoll to today in her mission endeavors. Pope Francis, in Joy of the Gospel (#262) states that good discernment requires “the ability to cultivate an interior space which can give a Christian meaning to commitment and activity.” The Chapter meetings included an opening Eucharist and retreat, daily Morning Prayer, and a meditation from Joy of the Gospel. Each day closed with a Celebration of the Eucharist and special evening prayer services which recognized the Maryknoll martyrs, Fr. Gerard Donovan martyred in 1938 in China to Sr. Maura Clarke and Sr. Ita Ford martyred in 1990 in El Salvador.