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.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond
... Your playing small does not serve the world.
... We are all meant to shine, as children do.”
The Greater Boston/New England Affiliate Chapter meets bimonthly to enjoy reflection, personal sharing, prayer, and a potluck meal together. About a dozen members include those who have served mission needs on their own or with other groups, as well as former lay missioners, sisters, and priests. Maryknoll brothers and fathers had attended until recently but have since moved elsewhere.
At our meeting this month, we reflected on Nelson Mandela and Jim Madden, MM, men who were not afraid to play big, as well as on personal models who saw our individual lights and encouraged our living full-out. But laying wreaths at the feet of others can beg the challenge to fill our own shoes. So we went on to reveal to each other ways in which we are playing small or are confronting fear and taking the risk to act powerfully.
“Good meeting” was the feeling all around.
Our Fox Cities-Wisconsin Chapter is active in various local and global activities, but we meet as Maryknollers only three times a year. This February we had an exceptional meeting. Only four of our six members were present, but the simple Easy Meeting format carried us through all the information we needed to share and enter into a deeper experience.
We honored the memory of our dear co-founder, Fr. Jim Madden, MM, following the Irish Funeral Prayer format. After “Touchdown”—sharing in a few sentences our most current concern, interest, or joy, we highlighted recent Maryknoll developments:
Kelly Gordon, my former student and a Red Bank Maryknoll Affiliate for three years, was killed on April 10th as she attempted to cross 84th street in New York City.
Kelly, a senior at Boston College due to graduate in May, was in NYC with her sister to interview for a job. Kelly was a quiet and wonderful young woman who had a deep sense of compassion for all, but especially for children.
Take Care of the People
We have a small grocery store in our neighborhood called Abarrotes Don Chucho. Abarrotes are groceries; Don is a title of respect, and Chucho is a short name for Jesús. If you remember your Spanish you can translate the extenso surtido (great choice) they offer.
Where Am I Eating? by Kelsey Timmerman, published by Wiley, 2013.
Author Kelsey Timmerman, having previously taken readers through the question, Where Am I Wearing?, next tackles food products (Wiley, 2013). Traveling to countries that are major exporters of coffee, chocolate, bananas, lobster, and apple juice, Timmerman seeks to experience a day in the life of the grower/harvester of each product.
Bob Short – Executive Coordinator
An announcement was made during our church’s Easter morning liturgy that an Easter egg hunt for the children would take place immediately after Mass. To the best of my knowledge, no one found, nor did anyone think to hide, the elusive cosmic egg that day.
We are currently seeking nominations of individuals for appointment to the Maryknoll Affiliate Board. We need members who are dedicated to serving the Affiliate movement and who will share our commitment to building a strong and sustainable organization.
Sr. Rose Duchesne Debrecht, MM, a Maryknoll sister since her entry in St. Charles, MO, in 1940, died Feb. 22, 2014. Serving the youth in Hong Kong for over 60 years, she was a teacher, principal, spiritual directress, journalist, and English tutor.
Sr. Rosemary Bass, MM, a Maryknoll Sister for 64 years, died March 16 at the age of 88. She taught English to Japanese students at all levels, in Los Angeles and in Japan. In the 1970s, she was in charge of the Center’s Direct Mail Department and then cared for her ailing mother.
Sr. Agnes Cazalé, MM, after a long illness, died on April 8th. Born in New Orleans, LA, in 1923, she entered Maryknoll in 1943 and was a Maryknoll Sister for 71 years. She served in China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, primarily in spiritual direction and counseling.
Most of this issue of the NSFA relates to Father Jim Madden, MM, who passed away this January. He initiated our Movement and formed Affiliate chapters in the US and Peru. Even if you didn’t have the blessing of meeting him, we trust that you will be inspired by his article and the challenge which he wrote as his last words to us Affiliates. He envisions us growing, on a mission of love and life.
Please read Father Jim’s message in its entirety and meditate on your role in the aspects he lovingly details. Perhaps your chapter could reflect on them as the basis for an upcoming meeting.
Love is a consciousness of belonging to another, of being part of a whole. To love is to be on the way toward integral wholeness, to live with an openness of mind and heart, to encounter the other-not as stranger-but as another part of oneself. When we enter into the heart of love, that integral wholeness of love that is God, we enter into the field of relatedness and come to see that we are wholes within wholes. This is the consciousness we need today, an integral wholeness of love that is open to new life; a being-at-home in love that can evolve.”
—The Unbearable Wholeness of Being: God, Evolution, and the Power of Love, Ilia Delio, OSF.
The most critical decision humanity needs to face in the first half of the 21st century is whether we will chose life or continue on the current path toward suicide for our human species and many other life forms.
If mission is going to continue past our lifetimes, we must reach young people, and young people live in the culture of social media.
Social media is a culture with its own language. As missioners, we must learn this culture and language, just as we learn the cultures and languages of peoples in foreign lands. That was the wisdom of the United States Catholic Mission Association conference held in St. Louis in October, 2013. Much of it is applicable to our Affiliate chapters and ministries.
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.