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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Monday, 02 March 2015 00:00

Breaking the Chains

Written by

Nancy Davies – Lay Missioner, Cambodia

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.

Monday, 02 March 2015 00:00

A Holiday “Family” Visit 

Written by

John Moritz – NE Florida Chapter

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.

Monday, 02 March 2015 00:00

Peace Choirs

Written by

Mary Ryan-Hotchkiss – Portland Chapter

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.

Monday, 02 March 2015 00:00

Students Report on U-Lab

Written by

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. 

Monday, 02 March 2015 00:00

A Community of Compassion

Written by
Nicole Kephart of Portland Peace Choir accepts quilt she won in the raffle from Bertha Haas (left), who sewed it of cloth from Tanzania.

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. 

Monday, 02 March 2015 00:00

Maryknoll Overseas Experiences

Written by

Michael J. Snyder, MM

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.

Maryknoll Institute also runs full semester programs for non-East Africans and other foreigners who come for a sabbatical of three months. 

Rev. Michael C. Kirwen, Mm, Director and Associate Dean at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

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.


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
at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Bookmark this special Maryknoll Society website: 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
Volunteer Coordinator, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 Telephone: 888.627.9566 

Monday, 02 March 2015 00:00

Lenten Fast for Climate Justice

Written by

Maryknoll is one of nearly 100 Catholic national and international member groups in the newly formed Global Catholic Climate Movement (

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.

Monday, 02 March 2015 00:00

Prayers to Light the Way

Written by

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 ( 

Monday, 02 March 2015 00:00


Written by

Don Foran – Friend of the Affiliates

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.


“Attribution” appeared in America, (Feb. 8, 1992)
Monday, 02 March 2015 00:00

14th Century Author—Good News for Today

Written by

Marie Venner – Denver Chapter

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.  

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