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.
Communication, good or bad, will significantly influence whether we succeed or fail as an organization, local group or as individuals.
In today’s world a hefty amount of communication is electronic via the Internet: email, texting, Facebook, Twitter, etc. For Affiliates, given that a few of us are over 17 years old, electronic media, particularly social media like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, could be foreign, perhaps frightening. Some among us might even have emotional or spiritual reasons to reject the digital world, feeling it is just too soul smothering and dehumanizing. I sometimes have those thoughts myself.
I am sitting at my dining table on All Souls Day evening in the silence of my home, remembering with joy the time I spent in Santa Ana with a wonderful community of Maryknoll Affiliates. I want these memories to never leave my heart and soul. I am so thankful to have been part of this Affiliate mission pilgrimage to Guatemala. It was a time of prayer, forming community and being with those who are materially poor. We crossed borders to discover the meaning of mission spirituality, and we experienced walking with the poor by living among them in a simple mission house.
Dan Driscoll-Shaw – Chicago Central Chapter
Our Chicago Central Maryknoll Affiliates community has been blessed to share many times in one of the highlights and most significant experiences of all the Maryknoll entities, the Sending Ceremony.
Our most recent Sending Ceremony took place December 15, 2013. We blessed Merwyn and Kirstin DeMello as they go forth to begin a three-year commitment in Afghanistan with the Mennonite Central Committee.
In 1991 I began a three-year service position in the newly created joint Maryknoll Mission Archives. I had barely been assigned a desk when Fr. Jim Madden came in looking for two things: the book, The Maryknoll Movement, by Fr. George Powers, and Sr. Barbara Hendricks’ article on the Maryknoll charism. Jim liked to recall that moment as the beginning of our collaboration. Apparently I said something about being interested in what he was doing, and he immediately pulled up a chair to talk about it. He admitted that he wanted the Affiliates to be called “Maryknoll” Affiliates, but that that could only happen if the new movement was collaborative within Maryknoll.
Stories were told at the wake of Jim’s humility, inspiration, and vision. One described his courage. Once, in Peru, armed local leaders confronted Jim in a public square, accusing him of being a spy, challenging his presence. “Why are you here? You don’t belong here,” they screamed. Jim walked right up to the group, stood tall before them and flipped their challenge saying, “It is YOU who don’t belong here. You have cheated and exploited the people. Why are YOU here?” The people then rose up and said, “He’s with us and we’re with him.” Confronted by this cool, daring young priest and his supporters, they backed down. A co-worker later asked Jim if he’d been scared. “Terrified,” he said.
[Translated by Bob Short]
You will always be with us, our dear Father Jim.
Our Mass in celebration of the life of Father Jim Madden was held in Arequipa, Peru, on January 16th, the day that Father Jim was waked [in New York]. Father Edmundo Alarcón, a friend of Father Jim, presided over the celebration. In attendance were Affiliates from the three chapters in Arequipa and some Affiliates from Puno, Peru.
Chicago affiliates held a beautiful reflection this afternoon on the life and gifts of Jim Madden MM. After some initial sharing of stories and personal experiences with Jim, we let Jim speak to us as we read together his essay on “Visioning with the Maryknoll Mission Movement.” We ended with the following chant:
At wind-swept gatherings of the Aymara community on the Altiplano, ¡Presente!
At cross-cultural celebrations that find the Sacred in all peoples and traditions, ¡Presente!
At chapter and conference meetings of Maryknoll Affiliates all over the world, ¡Presente!
At vocation seminars and one-on-one accompaniment, ¡Presente!
At Society gatherings, fellowship, and liturgical services, ¡Presente!
At Congregational collaborations and joint visioning, ¡Presente!
At local and national actions to live and promote social justice, ¡Presente!
As long as we live, he too will live; for he is now a part of us, as we remember Jim. ¡Presente!
Pat Denevan: I was 19 years old when I entered the Maryknoll Seminary in Mt. View, CA, to study Latin for one year. With a young heart burning with missionary zeal, I completed 8 more years of study and was ordained a Maryknoll priest in 1963. However, in 1970, after seeing the hopes of Pope John XXIII fading and the windows of the 2nd Vatican Council being closed, I decided to leave the priesthood. With a sad and confused heart, I left Maryknoll and was “reduced to the lay state,” according to the official document I received from Rome.
New chapters in South Korea, Cochabamba, Bolivia, and Lima, Peru, were recognized in 2013. The Cochabamba Chapter has close ties with Bolivia’s Maryknoll Mission Community. Korean Chapter Affiliates work in mission with adults with special needs, abused women, children at risk, Hansen’s disease patients, and others. The Lima, Peru, Niño Jesus Chapter, a group including dedicated catechists, educators and pastoral workers, has a rich history of formation with Maryknollers. Please greet these three new chapters and more than 40 new affiliates at www.facebook.com/maryknollaffiliates.
Sr. Eleanor Keeney, who died on Nov. 29, was born in NJ, trained as a nurse and then joined Maryknoll in 1948. Her medical expertise took her to Ceylon, Thailand, Zimbabwe, and the US, where she established various programs: AIDS support, rural clinics, hospice, home care, and more.
Sr. Joan Campbell died on Dec. 14, 2013, after 66 years as a Maryknoll sister. Born in NJ and educated in PA, she served in Tanzania as a teacher/headmistress.
Sr. Elizabeth Lee, a Maryknoll sister for over 70 years, died on Feb. 4, 2014. Teaching gradeschool, ESL, and teachers of ESL, she worked mostly with Chinese populations in the US and Taiwan.
Compassion. It’s the theme of this issue, and the emphasis of Phase One of the JustFaith program. Compassion is a missioner’s hallmark and the first step to loving service. Appropriately, compassion is evident in the articles in this issue.
We feel a special compassion for Fr. Jim Madden who has done so much to spread and support the Affiliate Movement. A few years ago we roasted Sr. Ellen MacDonald as the mother of the Affiliate Movement. Jim Madden, who was co-coordinator with Ellen, should be considered our father. Remember him in your prayers as he deals with his illness.
One joy of being an Affiliate is walking together in the expression of our Global Vision pillar. Sometimes we support one another without fully realizing the full extent of our contributions. One project that Affiliates have encouraged has blossomed into a multinational campaign to eliminate domestic violence.
My daughter, Kimberly Bautista, is an activist filmmaker. Since the Greater Los Angeles Chapter was an early contributor during a kick-starter campaign, she shared a screening of a rough cut of her documentary film, Justice for My Sister, at the Western Regional Affiliate Conference in San Diego in 2010. The film explores the problems of femicide (murder of women) and impunity in Guatemala by following the lead character, Rebeca, as she seeks justice for the murder of her sister. A rich discussion was held after the screening regarding the themes in the film. As a result several Affiliates made financial contributions towards the completion of the film.
For the third consecutive year, your contributions have fulfilled our budgeted goal of around $21,000. This budget funds operations, the only section of the budget pie the Affiliates provide. Our Maryknoll partners—the Society, Congregation, and Lay Missioners—pay for the Executive Coordinator’s salary and benefits.
This year, the Annual Appeal received over 190 responses, an increase of over sixty percent from three years ago! It is most heartening to see this increase, which occurred at all levels of participation. My take on the increase is that you see the Affiliates as an important part of your faith and life journey.
For 2014, our budget goal is a modest $20,600. These funds cover the daily necessities of the Affiliate movement at the international level: travel for our Executive Coordinator, Bob Short; publication of Not So Far Afield; and other necessary expenses. Your contributions, in addition to the generosity that you show both locally and globally, keep the Affiliates robust.
The 2014 Appeal Letter and form were mailed in late October. We hope you have responded or have them in a place where they will float up to the top of your to-do list. If you do not have them, the letter and form are on the Affiliate website at: www.maryknollaffiliates.org. If the phone is easier for you, call the Fathers and Brothers at 1.888.627.9566 and say that you are giving to the Affiliates Mission Account 4014. Thanks for the ways that you give.
“Who do you say that I am?”
Have you met the thems? Did they speak another language? Do they have AIDs? Do they observe another faith? Are they mentally ill, immigrants, disabled, homosexual, felons, or a different race or economic class?
The Maryknoll Affiliate Mission Statement asks us to cross borders, geographic and otherwise. The Maryknoll Lay Missioners say they build bridges connecting us to others.
During our brief time with Bertha Haas in Mwanza, Tanzania, she told us that when she was a Lay Missioner through 2011, she saw disabled children being regarded as them. That treatment inspired her to found the Huruma Centre School for handicapped children. David and Caitlin Rosser, MKLM, carry on her work.
Some parents from an adjacent school asked Caitlin, “Will my child get sick if he plays with them?” A principal at a public school was incredulous when she saw that a young girl with misshapen arms was not only able to type on a keyboard but could actually read what she typed. Some other Tanzanians doubted that any teachers would be willing to work with disabled children not their own.