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.
Compassion and Hospitality on the Border
Jerrie Drinkwine – Seattle Chapter
News flashes of a caravan of people from Central America moving through Mexico to seek asylum in the US filled television screens and social media throughout 2018. Scenes of children being separated from parents horrified most Americans. With these haunting reports, a team of five people from Holy Family Parish, Kirkland, WA, decided to go to the Texas/Mexico border in McAllen, to volunteer at the Humanitarian Respite Center in support of these asylum seekers and to gain information for a possible Adult Mission Trip in February 2019.
What happens after a family is processed by the Border Patrol and US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and enters the Respite Center mirrors the social teachings of Jesus. Families come off prison buses from ICE with one adult per family having a tracking device secured to one ankle. All shoe laces and belts have been removed by ICE to prevent potential suicide. Once in the Respite Center, they are welcomed warmly by a team of volunteers and four paid staff members. This is where the hospitality and compassion take place.
They have no need of our help
So do not tell me
These haggard faces could belong to you or me
Should life have dealt a different hand
We need to see them for who they really are
Chancers and scroungers
Layabouts and loungers
With bombs up their sleeves
Cut-throats and thieves
They are not
We should make them
Go back to where they came from
Share our food
Share our homes
Share our countries
Instead let us
Build a wall to keep them out
It is not okay to say
These are people just like us
A place should only belong to those who are born there
Do not be so stupid to think that
The world can be looked at another way
(now read from bottom to top)
Reprinted with permission.
Rev. Eugenia Gamble, pastor of Nipomo Community Presbyterrian Church, Nipomo, CA, adapted this prayer from an old monastic blessing. She closes the organizational meetings for a newly forming local interfaith coalition on immigration with it.
May God bless you with discomfort with easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships, so that you will live deeply and from the heart.
May God bless you with anger at injustice, oppression, and the exploitation of people, so that you will work for justice, freedom, and peace.
May God bless you with tears to shed for those that mourn, so that you will reach out your hand to them and turn their mourning into joy.
And may God bless you with just enough foolishness to believe that you can make a difference in the world, so that you will do those things that others say cannot be done.
Recipe: Bean & Tomato Stew—Square Edge
Shared by: Paula Schaffner – California Central Coast Chapter
For eight months in 1986, the David Schaffner family experienced life in Palmerston North, New Zealand, through a sabbatical exchange. One treat was having lunch at the vegetarian restaurant in the Square Edge Building—so named because it sits on the edge of the city center square.
Living in New Zealand gave us a taste for crossing borders, and bringing home some Kiwi recipes has helped keep alive memories of our life there. Now I make this bean stew occasionally for our at-home dinners or as an easy make-ahead dish for potlucks.
Bean & Tomato Stew – Square Edge
Contributed by Paula Schaffner
(Adapted from a recipe we enjoyed at the Square Edge Cafe, a great vegetarian café in Palmerston North, New Zealand.
The Square Edge Café shared its favorite recipes in a booklet.)
Put the ingredients into a crockpot (or large casserole dish) in the following order:
¼ Cup Oil
½ Cup Onions, sliced
2 Carrots, chopped in large chunks
3 Celery stalks, sliced
1 Cup Mushrooms
2 tsp. Salt
2 tsp. Garlic powder
1 tsp. Thyme (or dried basil)
2 tsp. Paprika
1 16 oz. can Garbanzo beans
1 16 oz. can Great White Northern beans
1 16 oz. can Pinto beans
1 Cup Tomato puree (or 1 16 oz. can diced tomatoes, blended)
½ Cup Sugar
¼ Cup Red wine
2 Bay leaves
Cover and simmer in crockpot (or low oven) for 4 hours.
For the sixth consecutive year, we carried out the March of Nonviolence on October 2. Marchers included the Lima, Peru, Chapter of Maryknoll Affiliates, lay people of the parish, area residents and college students, Father Jose Fedora, MM, Maryknoll Sisters Rosemary McCormack and Analyn Manauis, and the Ambassador from India in Peru.
This march celebrates the birth of Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of India’s Independence, and renews our commitment to follow in his footsteps. Historically, Gandhi’s actions demonstrated that pacifism was a valid instrument for achieving political objectives. Gandhi maintained his struggle through peaceful resistance and seeking concord, and gained India’s independence without bloodshed, in a century convulsed by two world wars and a number of tragic events.
During the March of Nonviolence, we are sensitized against using violence toward children, men, women, animals, or Mother Earth, and we are reminded that peace should lead us to love each other, no matter what religious creed each person practices. We pray to God that with the passage of time the March will take us to take us further along the path of nonviolence where we create an atmosphere of respect and harmony between the population to the south of Lima and Mother Earth.
*Translated from “Marcha por la No Violencia en Perú,” in No Tan Lejos del Horizonte #35, Nov-Dec 2018.
On Friday noon, after four and a half days of restoring a house with the Houston Chapter Mission project, two of the facilitators, Bob & Ruth Kleeman, took the Affiliate mission members on a trip to give us a taste of rural Texas. We hopped into three cars and headed out on a two-hour ride across the vast, flat landscape of southeastern Texas to a little town called Nada.
For those with even a cursory knowledge of Spanish, “Nada” initially seemed like a perfectly fitting name. The town-folk we spoke with estimated that there were a little over 300 people in town. However, the last available census in 2000 counted only 165. The discrepancy is probably attributable to genuine local pride. Reportedly, Nada boasts a grocery store and US Post Office. All any of us could see that day along Highway 71, which cuts through the center of town, were an auto garage and Leo’s Place, a bar and restaurant. Checking on Facebook for “Things to do in Nada, TX” brings up a photo of an open crop field with a John Deere combine and a truck in the distance. No other photos or text appear on the page.
Have you ever wondered, as I do, what caused the miracle of Caminando Por La Paz to continue? In the nearly ten years since Father Tom Goekler's death, we at Caminando have received an unbelievable amount of support from our fellow Affiliates. We believe that God has used the Affiliates to continue the miracle of Caminando.
When I first became involved with the Caminando Por La Paz Catholic Worker House, the Catholic Worker House in New Haven, CT, sent us some money for our educational efforts. I was not sure how I could communicate sufficiently with the folks at Caminando, so I arranged a meeting with the Affiliates of the Guatemala Chapter. That Guatemala Chapter continues to be in strong solidarity with us, giving encouragement to us and all our activities. Rosa Beatriz (Guatemala chapter and Affiliate Board member) says, “Our meetings make us feel as one community.” She also says it is such a joy to see our red truck coming with the people from “Zone 18,” as they refer to us from Caminando.
An exciting exploration of new ways to be Affiliates is blossoming in Kenya. Fourteen prospective Affiliates from Mombasa, Nairobi, California, Chicago, Florida, and Germany have been coming together for formation, discussion and prayer, in person and virtually, since 2017. Interfaith collaboration is a guiding principle of their chapter. Members include Catholic and non-Catholic Christians and a Muslim. The chapter has a strong interaction with various Maryknollers. The Affiliate Board accepted their application in January. We look to learn much from this new chapter.
As Executive Director for Maryknoll Lay Missioners since December 2017, I also serve on the Maryknoll Affiliate Board as its liaison with the Maryknoll Lay Missioners. In this position, I am discovering ways that all Maryknollers can work together in mission.
My mission background started when I was “ruined for life” with a little help from the Jesuits. After my B.A. at Loyola University, Maryland, and M.A. from Bucknell University, I volunteered with Jesuit Volunteers for two years in education and youth empowerment programs in Belize and Guatemala.
Since then, I have served in parish ministry, Catholic high school education, and archdiocesan leadership development for more than three decades. My most recent position was as Catholic Relief Services’ Relationship Manager for Youth and Education and coordinator of the agency’s youth outreach in the US. I’m humbled that the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry awarded me a national award for leadership in youth ministry in the area of gospel values of peace and justice.
Fun Facts: My favorite pastimes include time with my niece and two nephews, following the Baltimore Orioles, and swimming, camping, and hiking, the latter fueling my passion to work for climate justice.
The new year beckons. Are we open to change? Will our actions and words change us, or others?
On our cover, Evelyn Brush experiences Radical Hospitality and says she is forever changed. Seattle Affiliates learn that racism cripples all of us, but that the words and actions of the transformational values of abundance, transparency and collaboration could change unjust systems.
Pope Francis’ new peace prayer urges communication with new words and actions as the way to peace. Our executive coordinator, Bob Short offers the possibility of a deeper knowing with wordless contemplation, as does a new virtual chapter.
Articles in this issue:
Border Crossing - "I had been truly out of my element."—Evelyn Brush
Building the Beloved Community: Racism and Beyond - "As Christian Americans seeking justice, we need to face up to our role in racism."—Kitty Schiltz
The Inspiration for Chapter Companions - "Now we are working to get the word out to all chapters, wherever they are, that they can have a Maryknoller as a companion."—Mary Moritz
The Blessings of Companionship - "There is such potential in the Companions program to add to the richness of the Affiliate experience."—Gerry Mullaney
Houston Chapter’s Maryknoll Affiliate Mission - "It was obvious that the Holy Spirit sent the right people with the right skills to get the job done."—Judy Horstman
Sustaining Huruma - "So many awe-inspiring developments in the past year!"—Bertha Haas
Easy Meeting—Global Vision – "Over our meal, we had many conversations with each other about our global connections."—Mary Ryan-Hotchkiss
Nicaragua: Speaking Truth to Power - "No one could have imagined the catastrophic changes about to emerge."—Kitty Madden
Learn more about your Maryknoll Affiliate Board and Executive Coordinator in these articles:
Knowing in the Wordless Spaces - Jim Coady insightfully added that almost always, “We learn more from experiences than from documents.”
A Presence with Past Connections – "Because of my interest in our Affiliate movement, I am happy to be one of the liaisons to the Maryknoll Affiliates."—Sr. Norie Mojado, MM
And be sure to enjoy the Features in this issue:
If you are more comfortable reading the Not So Far Afield in its print form, you may download a pdf of the January/February 2019 issue.
A presentation on human trafficking I attended was both informative and disturbing. Thankfully, the presenters included a list of actions and opportunities if we wanted to be more involved. One opportunity was at Rahab’s Sisters.
Rahab’s Sisters, a safe space for women to gather each Friday night, offers dinner, time off the street or away from ‘boyfriends,’ and needed supplies: socks, underwear, and hygiene items. It operates out of Sts. Peter and Paul Episcopal Church in Portland, Oregon. Volunteers serve the female guests (and those who self-identify as female), most of whom are unhoused and over 45 years old. Some are prostitutes; many are addicts, and many are women of color.
Rahab’s Sisters emphasizes Radical Hospitality. Their vision is a city where all women are safe from physical and sexual exploitation. They offer a warm, safe environment with nutritious food, hot coffee, and conversation. From 7-10 in the evening, it is a place for women helping women, whatever the guest’s condition. Actively using drugs is discouraged, but “Our sisters are welcomed without judgment, no strings attached.” (https://rahabs-sisters.org)
The Affiliate Book Group resumes April 2019!
Come join us. We suggest reading and discussing ~
edited by Marie Dennis
and time for a weekly telephone conversation, and any
additional books or authors you’d like us to consider.
How do you participate in your chapter?
Your chapter appreciates your involvement!
In November, instead of their usual meeting, seven Seattle Affiliates attended the Intercommunity Peace & Justice Center’s workshop by that name. It was presented by two Notre Dame Sisters who work with Pax Christi: Patricia Chappell, Executive Director, and Anne Louis Nadeau, Director of Programs. This dynamic duo presented a fast-paced exposé of racism—its history and effects. They defined racism as America’s original sin against people of color, including those of African, African-American, Caribbean, Latino, or Middle Eastern ancestry.
In groups, we discussed why talking about racism is taboo among white people and how we identify ourselves as white. Our group had a mixture of people of color and white. It came down to the belief that white people, mostly in denial of their role in racism, feel shame, fear, or pain when discussing it. White privilege is both conscious and unconscious. Racism combines personal racial prejudice and the misuse of power by systems and institutions.
Come - move your feet,
Take that step
subdue that fear of being
different uncomfortable vulnerable.
Being a stranger goes both ways –
through the threshold of this hut/home
new worlds open
Karibu, calls -
what do you hear?
what do you do?
*a Swahili greeting of welcome in East Africa