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.

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You may also download PDF versions of Not So Far Afield here.

Wednesday, 21 August 2019 13:44

Is a Maryknoll Lay Missioner Coming to Your City?

Written by

Paula Schaffner – California Central Coast Chapter

A couple years ago, my husband, David, and I were contacted by Maryknoll Lay Missioner Sam Stanton and his wife Cecelia Espinosa, to see if we could help her with a church date in northern Santa Barbara County while he covered a church farther south. We had a wonderful visit with Cecelia while offering not only bed and board, but also transportation to a couple different Masses.

We saw that Affiliates could be helpful to the Maryknoll Lay Missioners in their promotional efforts, and the Hospitality Initiative suggested to Ted Miles, current Executive Director of the Maryknoll Lay Missioners, that we may be able to offer Maryknoll Lay Missioners a place to sleep, possibly local transportation, and support at the churches where they are speaking. In late July, Ted shared the list of 2019 dates on which Lay Missioners will speak at churches to raise awareness and funds for all their mission needs. Offering this hospitality not only expresses our charism of welcoming, but it is a local short-term volunteer opportunity—a way to be of service to the Maryknoll Lay Missioners in their missionary efforts.

Please check the list of 2019 Church Dates and see if a Maryknoll Lay Missioner will be speaking near your home. Your hospitality will not only help further their efforts; you’ll probably make a lasting connection with a fellow missioner.   

Wednesday, 21 August 2019 13:39

Sharing with our Chapter Companion

Written by

Shelby Miller & Mary Williams – NE Florida Chapter

Father Bob Carleton, our Northeast Florida Affiliate Chapter Companion, met with us via Skype on May 9th. We had requested that he speak to us about the Church in China. Fr. Bob has been on the board of the US–China Catholic Association for many years and lived in China for three years teaching English. The Association’s website includes a video with a brief history of the Catholic Church in China and vividly describes the deep and continuing faith of the people. China was one of the first mission fields for Maryknoll priests, dating back to 1911.

Our group gathered around the dining room table in the home of Mary and Bryan Williams; we used Skype to see and hear Fr. Bob. He spoke to us from his room at the Maryknoll retirement home in Los Altos, CA. During his time teaching English in China, Fr. Bob taught a class on, “Who was Jesus Christ?” He did this as students might continue their studies or work in the West and should know about Christianity. However, he was not in China to make converts. We could tell that Fr. Bob remembered his students and his time in China with much fondness as he told us about his ongoing correspondence with some of his students from that time.

Rose Marie Berger, peace activist and member of the Catholic Nonviolence Initiative, wrote in Sojourners magazine, July 25, 2019 (,

I spent five hours as a guest of the US Capitol Police last week. It was hot, really hot. And those plastic handcuffs leave bruises.

I was one of 71 Catholics arrested by the US Capitol Police in the rotunda of the Russell Senate building in Washington, DC, for “crowding, obstructing, or incommoding,” while praying the rosary. My prayer was—and is—to end the warehousing of immigrant children in cages—63,624 of whom have been apprehended by border patrol at the southwestern border between October 2018 and June 2019, and seven of whom have died after being in federal custody since September. More than a dozen Catholic orders and organizations sponsored the event. Seven Catholic bishops sent letters of support.

Dan Moriarty’s article for the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, “Building a Movement to End Child Detention,” tells of his and other religious leaders’ involvement, describing it as “a privilege to participate in civil disobedience, to be arrested, to stand with detained families…” Others from the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, the Westchester Affiliates, and other Maryknollers also participated. Pax Christi USA was one of the organizers and had distributed colorful flyers nationwide, that said,


Rose Marie closed her article with a challenge:

I spent five hours as a guest of the Capitol Police. Detained migrant children are spending five weeks or five months in Border Patrol camps. What increased risk will you take to say “no”?


Tuesday, 20 August 2019 16:54

Cultivating Nonviolence

Written by

As we struggle to make appropriate responses to the situations in our families, in our neighborhoods, and in the world, Cultivating Nonviolence offers alternatives. Affiliates  are invited to learn more online and in person about nonviolence. The Cultivating Nonviolence program was developed for JustFaith in conjunction with Maryknoll and Pax Christi. It will help us to:

  • Develop personal peace,
  • Learn more about nonviolence,
  • Use nonviolence in all our relationships,
  • Envision a better world.

The eight-week October/November session consists of:

  • On-line readings and videos,
  • Personal and virtual discussions, and
  • Nonviolent practices to stretch our capabilities.

Each week we will share our thoughts and learnings through conference calls, emails, and Facebook.

We will read key sections of the engaging book, Personal Nonviolence, A Practical Spirituality for Peacemakers, by Gerhard A. Vandehaar. Copies can be ordered through Amazon, or we will email copies of short sections.

Contact Mary Ryan-Hotchkiss (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) for information or to register.

Tuesday, 20 August 2019 15:40


Written by
Why a pineapple? Christopher Columbus tasted the pineapple in the Caribbean and embraced the fruit. He returned to Europe, where the pineapples, being rare, became a symbol of great wealth, and royalty honored distinguished guests by gifting them with the extremely fashionable pineapples.

Maryknoll Affiliates have put their homes on the Maryknollers Hospitality List. The list catalogs Affiliate households that are available to offer hospitality for Maryknollers and Affiliates who are visiting a geographic area. To date, 28 Affiliate households have been listed.

The geographic areas covered are:

  • Phoenix, AZ 
  • Arroyo Grande, CA 
  • Long Beach, CA 
  • Petaluma, CA   
  • Denver, CO 
  • Littleton, CO 
  • Salem, CT 
  • Jacksonville, Fl 
  • Orange Park, FL 
  • Weeki Wachee, FL
  • New Orleans, LA
  • Columbia, MD 
  • Hatfield, MA
  • Oneonta, NY
  • Brooklyn, NY 
  • Clifton Park, NY   
  • Hartsdale, NY 
  • Rochester, NY 
  • Raleigh, NC
  • Portland, OR   
  • Southampton, PA
  • Houston, TX 
  • Des Moines, WA 
  • Lacey, WA 
  • Appleton, WI 
  • Hudson, WI 

When Maryknollers request hospitality in a given area, they will contact Bob Short. Bob will assess the details of the request and then have the Affiliate member who is offering the hospitality contact the interested Maryknoller. In addition to the practical benefits of this hospitality, it provides an opportunity to get to know other members of the Maryknoll family.

Offers of hospitality continue to be accepted. To add your home to the list, please email Bob Short (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).



Tuesday, 20 August 2019 04:51

A Visit with Albany Affiliates

Written by

Mary Moritz – Southeast Regional Coordinator

John Moritz is welcomed by Denise and Rich Lessard.

In May, my husband, John, and I were blessed to spend a few days at the home of Rich and Denise Lessard in Albany, New York.  Rich and Denise invited some of the members of their Albany Affiliate Chapter to meet with us one evening.  You may remember the Albany Chapter as the energetic sponsors of the 2014 Maryknoll Affiliate Conference.

During a wonderful supper prepared by Denise, and spurred on by John Moritz, we had a lively discussion about symbols.  John had recently given a meditation on symbols at the Affiliate Board Meeting and they were still on his mind. 

As the leader of the Northeast Florida Chapter, I enjoyed comparing notes with Chris Minnear, the co-leader of the Albany Chapter.  We noted some differences between our groups.  They have a large chapter of 30+ people and we are very happy if eight can make it to a meeting.

John chats with Frank Hegener.

Despite the size difference, a lot of the challenges are the same.  We both hope to have Chapter meetings where people can be revitalized and helped to grow.  Albany often reads a book together and reviews it at a meeting.  Northeast Florida has never read a book together; but our most avid reader, John Moritz, reports at each meeting about the newest Orbis-published books and we have an active lending library.

John and I thoroughly enjoyed both the hospitality of the Lessards and meeting Albany Affiliates.  It is good to know that one of the new initiatives of the Affiliate Board is developing a database that will inform us about where there are Affiliates who are happy to host or otherwise connect not only with Maryknollers but also with other Affiliates.  I applaud this initiative and am eager to see it developed.

I know our Northeast Florida Chapter will try hard to extend Maryknoll hospitality to any of you who come our way! 

Tuesday, 20 August 2019 04:43

Border Actions to Consider…

Written by

Vicki Simon – Returned Maryknoll Lay Missioner

Participate in a border immersion experience: Learn about life at the Border in a 4-5 day immersion experience.

  • The Encuentro Project, a Jesuit sponsored immersion program in El Paso/Juarez, considers groups of 12-15. Contact Fr. Rafael Garcia, SJ (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), for more information and your group’s interest and needs.
  • The Loretto Community’s Latin American and Caribbean Committee ( coordinates a Border experience trip each year out of Tucson, AZ, to Nogales.

There are many other such programs offered throughout the US.

Volunteers: Volunteers who can stay two weeks or longer are needed. Spanish is helpful, but many jobs do not require Spanish. If you decide to apply, go in good health and well-rested as the days are intense and long. Log on to Annunciation House of Hospitality ( for up-to-date information, the application process, and forms.

Financial donations: Financial donations are needed urgently, rather than specific items, so they can buy exactly what they need, responding to the changing needs of our guests. Make donations payable to Annunciation House and mail to 815 Myrtle Avenue, El Paso, TX 79901,  or donate via their website.

Local opportunities: If you cannot travel or volunteer at this time, get involved locally in organizations working with recently arrived refugees and migrants.

Write and contact: Send letters to your state representatives. Send letters and post on social media, sharing what you know about Immigration matters and current anti-immigration bills.

Sunday, 18 August 2019 14:49

You Belong

Written by

Chapters, consider creating your own welcome statement for use
when inviting others to join you in actualizing your vision.*

We would like to let you know that you belong...

People of African, Asian, European, or First Nations descent, and people of mixed and multiple descents. We say, “You belong.”

People along the continuum of gender identity and expression: gay, bisexual, heterosexual, transgender, cisgender, or queer folks, and everyone for whom those labels don’t apply. We say, “You belong.

Bodies with abilities and challenges, living with chronic medical conditions, visible or invisible, mental or physical. We say, “You belong.”

People who are activists and those who aren’t. Mystics, believers, seekers of all kinds. People of all ages. We say, “You belong.”

Your emotions: joy, fear, grief, contentment, disappointment, surprise, and all else that flows through you. We say, “You belong.”

Your families, genetic and otherwise. Those dear to us who have died. Our ancestors and the future ones. The ancestors who lived where these buildings are now . . . we honor you through this work that we are undertaking. We say, 
You belong.”

People who feel broken, lost, struggling; who suffer from self-doubt and self-judgment. We say, “You belong.”

All beings that inhabit this earth, human or otherwise: the two-legged, the four-legged, winged and finned, those that walk, fly, and crawl, above the ground and below, in air and water. We say, You belong.

*This statement was adapted from “Diversity Welcome,” which is made available for download by
Training for Change, along with a long list of other tools for workshops.


Sunday, 18 August 2019 14:43

John Moritz: Our Newest Board Member

Written by

I joined the Affiliate Board in November of 2018.  My chapter, Northeast Florida, was nurtured by Fr. Bob Carleton, MM; beginning our initial formation in 2009, we became a chapter in 2011. As the test case for the Affiliate Formation Program, we underwent an arduous nearly two years of reading, watching, discussing, and discerning. I was initially attracted to the Affiliates despite never having met a Maryknoller prior to our formation, though I generally knew of Maryknoll by their reputation for early mission efforts.

John shares his electrical skills during a November 2018 Affiliate mission effort—helping refurbish a flooded mobile home south of Houston.

I have been involved in ministries for most of my adult life.  I had attended a Cursillo retreat in 1975 and was active for about 25 years.  After that, my wife, Mary and I have worked in marriage preparation ministry to this day. Early in my involvement, I was concerned that our ministry did not mirror that of most Affiliates, but I was greatly supported by Fr. Jim Madden, who shared my concern for marriage and assured me that what we were doing was completely consistent with being an Affiliate.

Upon becoming an Affiliate, I agreed to co-coordinate the Southeast region with Mary.  We attended the 2011 MAC, which solidified my commitment to the Affiliates.   As RCs, we have made varied and often not so successful attempts to spread the Affiliate message in our region.  Also, as a survivor of the Affiliate Formation Program, I was asked to help revise the program to make it more appropriate for initial chapter use and for individual formation.  Truthfully, despite some limitations, I thought the program was great!

I am willing to contribute what gifts I have to the Affiliate movement. I believe that we Affiliates have an opportunity to be a vital element of mission in the future. How this evolves is in process. I have never thought about myself as a board member type of person. When people start talking about amending the minutes of the last board meeting, my eyes glaze over, I see in black and white, and all the words become blah, blah, blah. Nevertheless, I look forward to participating in the servant leadership of the Maryknoll Affiliate Board.


Saturday, 17 August 2019 23:39

A Letter from Our Affiliate Board Chair

Written by

Hello Affiliates,

Last Fall, as the new Affiliate Board Chair, I emphasized two characteristics of a successful movement—connection and communication. These are equally related to the Affiliate Board’s key responsibilities, namely:

  • to discover and embrace the wisdom and ever emerging life of the Affiliate movement, and
  • to engage in deep listening with the wider Affiliate movement.

It would be difficult to achieve these without connection and communication. Considering the nature and loose structure of the Affiliates, to be successful will require that both Affiliate leaders and members commit to dialogue. I can’t emphasize this enough!

As my personal commitment to this dialogue, I want to keep reaching out and connecting with Affiliates. All Affiliates and/or Chapters are invited to participate. If you are reading this, you are invited. Participation can be one-on-one conversations or connecting during a Chapter meeting. We can connect by phone or on the internet, via Zoom video conferencing or Skype.  If okay, I’d like to expand this connection by inviting another Board member and/or Regional Coordinator to the call, as well.

To participate in this dialogue, please email me at 
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. so we can arrange the particulars. This will be an ongoing effort, so expect reminders in the future.

These conversations are just one way to enjoy mutual dialogue and engagement between leadership and the wider Affiliate movement. I hope you can join with me in this effort. Let’s have morning coffee or a nightcap together!

Rich Lessard, Affiliate Board Chair


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