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.
Jake (whom you may have known as Jane), the oldest child of Roger and Kitty, is in California recovering from surgery to complete his transition to becoming a man. He would probably be surprised to know about this note. We think it would be great if as many people as possible would send him a card of support and good will for his recovery and his future happy life. If you would like to send a card or message of love and encouragement, his address until the end of April is: - - - - - .
We wrote this email to let people know about Jake and to encourage others that change and evolution are constant and good. To let our friends know that we are okay with this change even though we do not fully understand it. There is always good and growth that come from evolving.
Mary Ryan-Hotchkiss – Portland Chapter
We are teachers of the people who have come on a new vision of things. We struggle to embody that vision day after day, to make it a reality among those we live with, so that people are literally disarmed by knowing us; so that their fear of change, their dread of life are exorcised, and their dread of human differences slowly expunged.
—Daniel Berrigan, The Village Voice
Priest, peace activist, poet, and felon, Dan Berrigan, SJ, passed away peacefully at age 90 in 2016, but he is not forgotten.
Affiliate Nancy MacFarland brought John Records to the editors’ attention by reposting his thoughts (shared below) on her Facebook page. When we inquired, she told us, “John Records is an inspiring man who had lived in our community (Petaluma, CA) for many years. He created a homeless shelter that comprehensively met the needs of homeless people in a holistic way which became a model for other shelter programs. He is a spiritually centered person who has deeply touched the lives of all those around him.”
I’ve given a lot of thought to the message that follows, knowing it may offend some. It’s not meant to be political. I ask those who take offense to look into my heart and recall what I stand for.
At age 66, I’ve been involved in many social changes and movements: opposing the Vietnam war, marching against nuclear arms, teaching meditation to people with HIV/AIDS when it was untreatable, working against the tobacco industry’s campaigns to hook children, working for homeless folks, and now supporting dying people and those who care for them. I’ve been stretched to what I thought was my limit and beyond many times.
Rich, a Maryknoll Affiliate in the Albany Chapter since 2006 and a Board member since 2013, loves being in the company of other Affiliates and Maryknollers. His wife Denise and two young adult children, bring him much joy as he adjusts to retirement.
On the Affiliate leadership team, Rich meets regularly with Lay Missioners, Sisters, and Fathers and Brothers to discuss present challenges and to help plan for the future. To advance the Affiliate movement, Rich wants to:
Rich’s personal desire is to be in mission overseas when the opportunity presents itself. For now he looks forward to spending time with Affiliates and other Maryknollers in Guatemala at MAC 2017.
Global Vision is a special perspective of Maryknollers, including Affiliates. Our Mission Statement says Affiliates “go beyond borders, locally and globally.” We recognize that our local actions have an impact across the globe.
This issue of the Not So far Afield tells of Affiliates in the US, Korea, and Peru responding with urgency and generosity to the needs of the flood-stricken in Peru. As people of God, Affiliates also look to welcome the stranger in difficult times. Houston Affiliates Bob and Ruth Kleeman remember their local saint, Mark Zwick, of the Houston Catholic Worker House, Casa Juan Diego. The Casa welcomes immigrants from many Spanish-speaking countries who fled their own repressive regimes or who suffered from policies of the US. Gerry Mullaney tells of his experience seeing another Cuba. Read the profiles of the speakers for the November 2017 MAC in Guatemala to gain a broader view of the world, including the indigenous philosophy of Buen Vivir.
Articles in this issue:
Affiliates in Solidarity – "Without all the help from the Affiliates and the faith they placed in us, we would not have been able to help as we did."—Carlos Apcho
“If We Had Any Guts, We’d Start a Catholic Worker House” – "Mark would say there is no such thing as “illegal immigrants”—some may be undocumented, but being a person is not illegal."—Bob & Ruth Kleeman
Welcoming the Stranger – "Some Affiliates visit immigrants in detention. Others accompany immigrants to appointments or to court."
2017 Climate March – "A continual stream of people carrying funny, creative, and inspiring signs kept us entertained."—Mary Ryan-Hotchkiss
NOLA Marches Forward – "The earth, our common home, is beginning to look like an immense pile of filth.” —Pope Francis
¡Meet the MAC 2017 Speakers! – "I have learned about the value and beauty of land from a cosmic worldview; about culture and the legitimacy of indigenous peoples’ claim to full recognition as people; their right to organize their collective life according to their ancestral norms; and their aspiration to “Live Well”, opting for a life in harmony and balance with nature."—Laura Hurtado Paz y Paz
Another Cuba, Another Fidel – "It seems that the churches have succeeded at convincing the government that the church social programs are compatible with the aims of the government."—Gerry Mullaney
Maryknoll Mission Institute—What A Gem! – "Let me introduce you to the MMI and encourage you, if you are able, to seriously consider spending one of the best weeks one could experience."—Rich Lessard
From the Board and Executive Coordinator:
And don't miss our Features:
To view this issue in its print form, download the July/August NSFA PDF.
Thank you, brother and sister Maryknoll Affiliates, for your support of the people of Peru who recently suffered from terrible natural disasters.
We are very grateful for your strong gestures of solidarity with our brothers and sisters affected by the natural disasters that our country, Peru, suffered a few months ago. We continue to suffer the consequences of the intense rains—landslides and overflowing rivers. Cities and towns were flooded, thousands of people were left isolated, and agricultural and cattle lands were destroyed. These disasters left more than 100 dead, affected 150,000 people directly, and impacted almost one million nationally, according to the Center for Operations of National Emergency, which monitors natural disasters in Peru.
What book would you like to read next? Both current and potential book discussion group members are invited to suggest titles. We have found Orbis Books (www.orbisbooks.com) to be an excellent source, with the advantage of their 40% discount for Maryknoll Affiliates and book group members.
At the May 2017 Maryknoll Affiliate Board Meeting, the Board agreed to a new policy regarding email communication with our members. When the mailing lists are updated, all members will receive both the Monday Morning Update emails and the bimonthly email with the digital Not So Far Afield. Members signed up for the paper version will continue to receive it by mail.
Most of our readers are familiar with Dorothy Day and the Catholic Worker Movement, but perhaps not everyone is familiar with Mark and Louise Zwick in Houston, Texas.
They were volunteer missioners in El Salvador in the late 1970s but were forced to leave following death threats related to the civil war at the time. Upon their return to the US, they saw the need to help the refugees from Central America and commented that, “If we had any guts, we’d start a Catholic Worker House.” They founded a house of hospitality under the name of Casa Juan Diego in 1980, and ever since they have dedicated their lives, on a fulltime volunteer basis, to helping the needy.
How is your chapter, your community, responding to immigrants?
Since many immigrants in the US are threatened with deportation, various organizations are offering sanctuary and solidarity:
What can we do? What will we do?
What would Jesus do?
“We Speak for the Earth.”
Even at 90 degrees in the shade, we were exhilarated by the more than 200,000 upbeat, committed activists who came to Washington, DC, on April 29th to emphasize their concern for the earth. We started the day with a Mass attended by several hundred Catholics brought together by the Catholic Climate Covenant, the Franciscan Action Network, and the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns.
New Orleans Chapter Affiliates participated in the New Orleans Peoples’ Climate March on Saturday, April 29th, joining thousands from around the country. Kevin Cahalan prepared our marching banner, highlighting Pope Francis’ words from Laudato Sí, “The earth, our common home, is beginning to look like an immense pile of filth.” One lady from Fort Worth, Texas, who was attracted to our banner, came up to our group proclaiming her great affection for Pope Francis. In addition to our five Affiliates, there were some 400-500 participants shouting in a loud voice: “This is what democracy looks like!”
We welcome the presenters who, with their diverse backgrounds and varying gifts, will nourish the spirit of Buen Vivir throughout the MAC 2017 Conference (November 9-12 at Casa de Retiros Verbo Encarnado, Guatemala.) They introduce themselves in the order in which they will present at MAC 2017. (Meet the Mayans, liturgists, and musicians in the next issue.)
A contingent of Affiliates from the Northeast Ohio Chapter—Jan and Curt Alberti, Pam Cibik, Gerry Mullaney, and Kathy Ress—had the privilege of visiting Cuba last December. An added and unanticipated element of this visit was the opportunity to experience the mourning period for Fidel Castro in his homeland. Our group came of age in the 1950s and 1960s, a time when Fidel Castro and the Cuban Revolution were demonized by the US government. The message we heard was the call to condemn and eradicate Castro’s atheistic, communist movement in our backyard.
What we did not hear a half century ago was the voice of a leader and a people who experienced the inequalities and injustices of the US-backed regime of Fulgencio Batista. This voice was determined to make changes.