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.
“I loved what they had to say, the courage, the testing, and the helping.”
So said Martin Scorsese about “Maryknollers” when interviewed about his film, Silence, in America Magazine, Dec. 19-26, 2016. (http://www.americamagazine.org/arts-culture/2017/01/17/martin-scorsese-his-faith-films-and-silence). The highly acclaimed film is about seventeenth-century Jesuits ministering in Japan long before Maryknoll arrived. James Martin, SJ, the interviewer, says, ”So it’s (the film is) less of a portrayal of the missionary that is just from the outside in, and more from the inside out.”
After reading this searching article and hearing all the buzz about the movie and the Oscars, I will make a point to see it (when our library has it available to loan!).
Editors: NSFA has not yet published a movie review, but if you see this film or another that you want to share with Affiliates, we’d love to publish your comments and suggestions.
Let the Portland Oregon Chapter transport you to Africa for an evening. You’ll enjoy:
all for a very worthy cause—the Huruma School for children with disabilities in Tanzania. Portland Affiliate Bertha Haas founded the school when she was a Maryknoll Lay Missioner in 2004, and the Portland Affiliate Chapter has chosen helping to support the Huruma School as their special project.
Taste of Tanzania 2017 will be April 8th, in the Portland area. Don your African clothes and join us! Too far for you to travel, but you’d like to be involved? Silent auction items are needed (use of a vacation home?). Visit the Taste of Tanzania website (tasteoftanzania.x10host.com/) for more ways to help. Donations can also be made at https://www.gofundme.com/huruma-school-in-tanzania.
When they came for the undocumented,
I remained silent;
I was legal.
When they came for the gays,
I remained silent;
I was straight.
When they came for the sick,
I remained silent;
I was insured.
When they came for the Muslims
I remained silent...
*Inspired by Martin Niemöller’s famous quote.
May 7-12 Michael Morwood, MA
(Sun – Fri) Whatever Happened to Jesus?
May 14-19 Barbara Fiand, SNDdeN, PhD
(Sun – Fri) Come, Drink Deep of Living Waters
May 21-26 Edwina Gateley, MA
(Sun – Fri) Mystics, Rebels, Prophets and You!
June 4-9 Janet K. Ruffing, RSM, PhD
(Sun – Tue) Nature and Poetry as Openings to the Mystical
June 11-16 Gail Worcelo, CP, MA
(Sun – Fri) Momentum of Grace: The Deepening of Being in a World of Becoming
July 16-21 Kevin G. Ahern, PhD
(Sun.- Fri.) Communities of Grace: Revitalizing the Lay Apostolate
July 23-28 Catherine Vincie, RSHM, PhD
(Sun.- Fri.) The New Cosmology and its Impact on Theology and Worship
Aug. 21-24 – Los Altos, CA: Michael Crosby, OFMCap
(Mon.-Thur.) Moving into the Mystical As We Mature
Sept. 4-8 – Monrovia, CA: Mickey McGrath, OSFS
(Sun.- Fri.) Green Hearts and Souls: Ecology and Wise Holy Women
The complete 2017 schedule is available at:
You may register online, or to obtain application forms—
Write: Maryknoll Mission Institute
PO Box 311
Maryknoll, NY 10545-0311
Telephone: 914-941-0783 @ 5671, or
Lent gives us a chance to grow in our relationship with God. The Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns offers us the means to a fruitful Lenten experience in the 2017 Lenten Reflection Guide (maryknollogc.org/resources/lenten-reflection-guide-2017).
Containing reflections, questions, prayers, and actions based on each week’s Gospel reading, it incorporates written reflections and discussions by 83 Catholic peacemakers who attended the Nonviolence and Just Peace conference in Rome in April 2016. This guide can be used individually or in small groups to reflect upon our life patterns, to pray more deeply, and renew our spirits to face the realities of our world.
We Affiliates have our work cut out for us! As the saying goes, if you’re not upset, you’re not paying attention. I hear that Affiliates are paying attention, they are upset, they have long been upset, and they are taking action.
In this issue, looking for long-term solutions, Marie Venner passionately insists we must end our addiction to fossil fuels for the good of her children, indeed all of our children’s children. Ron Covey, also looking to the future, focuses on the educating marginalized children in Guatemala City. Rosa Beatriz Castañeda de Larios, Guatemala Chapter, has devoted her life to education. Mef Ford tells us about the Boston Affiliate Chapter’s reflection on their careers, life choices, and service roles.
We know that not all of our efforts will be successful in the short term, but as St. Teresa of Calcutta reminds us, “God does not require us to be successful, only that we be faithful.”
I urge all Affiliates to examine your values and direction—with others in your chapter, if possible, to pray together, re-establish your priorities, and take action!
The Time is Now – "We are late in the game, so I must and will say very clearly: it is time for us to get off fossil fuels—now—all of us." – Marie Venner
Making Time for Kindness – The Affiliate Book Groups are enjoying reading the Orbis book, Abounding in Kindness, by Elizabeth Johnson.
On the Margins: Education and More – "We strive to be an important and accepted member of the community." – Ron Covey
What if 1.2 Billion Catholics Embraced Gospel Nonviolence? – "Which of the wars we have been in is a just war?" – Sister Matty, Mosul
"Light for the People" – "This year in April we mark the 30th anniversary of the assassination of Ben and his Nicaraguan co-workers." – Kitty Madden
Mission Journeys – "Many of our group came of age in the era of cinderblock bookcases, potted avocado plants, and Mateus wine bottle candleholders." – Mef Ford
Getting to Know the Guatemala Chapter – "Maryknoll Affiliates ... respond in community to the call of God to participate in the mission of Jesus." – Guatemala Chapter website
Rosa Beatriz—Educator for Life– She invited all of the attendees to make passion the key to their lives.
Update on MAC 2017 March/April 2017 – Forms for registration and post-conference mission visit options
The Challenge – "We all need to be wiling to be uncomfortable in the pursuit of justice, too." – Sr. Rose Marie Tresp, RSM
Communications Committee Update – Affiliates are asked to contact Bob if they would like their chapter highlighted (on the website).
Board to Meet in May – One area the Regional Coordinators (RCs) will review with the Board is how RCs are selected and how long they should serve.
Virtual Community? – "If you have thoughts or ideas, please let us know!"
Taste of Tanzania 2017 – "Don your African clothes and join us!"
Holy Week Discernment Retreat – "Are you called to Cross-Cultural Mission Service?"
A poem: Silent
A place to learn: Maryknoll Mission Institute 2017
A few announcements: March/April 2017
A Lenten reflection guide: Come Pray, Study, Act with Us
To view this issue in its print form, download the March/April 2017 PDF.
Change is good news, and possibly bad news. We rejoice with the native peoples who are standing up to protect the water. We are inspired by a Guatemalan Affiliate who received national recognition for her work for human rights. We are excited by Pope Francis’s recent message on nonviolence. But we are also concerned to see a backlash against reforms and programs that some may feel have threatened them and their needs. We regret the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II and fear the current threats against refugees and immigrants. We agonize about the escalating conflicts that we seem to have no control over.
David vs. Goliath: Competing at Standing Rock – "It is a learning experience for me—a white middle class man used to organizing, to be in the minority; to be quiet, to follow, to listen." – Kyle Chandler-Isacksen
MAC 2017 Update – January/February 2017 – Forms for registration and many more conference details will be available soon.
Retreat at Watch Hill – " 'The Wine Never Runs Out' ... drawing on the Biblical promise of the fullness of life and the symbolism of nuptial radiance." – Bob Short
Claudia Samayoa Speaks – "I have faced the powers that do not want to change, not with aggression but with respect." – Claudia Samayoa
Nonviolence 2017 – "Nonviolence is sometimes taken to mean surrender, lack of involvement and passivity, but this is not the case." – Pope Francis
Days of Infamy: 75th Anniversary – The woman had said, ”Maryknoll gave me a home when I needed one, so now I will give them my house.”
Learning About Immigration and Refugees – ...they are planning an evening presentation on these topics with the hope that the parish may sponsor a refugee family.
Table Talk – "It is difficult, as one grows older, to make new relationships, and yet it is necessary ..." – Kris Neufeld
Virtual Coincidence – Since the first virtual chapter attempts will be considered pilot projects, there is still a great deal of flexibility.
Seattle Chapter: Working Together – For fun, the Seattle Affiliates helped decorate the Seattle Maryknoll House in preparation for the Maryknoll Christmas party.
Connecting in Claremont – The Sierra Club has revived its midwinter, midnight walk among the homeless of Skid Row ...
A celebration of Maryknoll Affiliates' 25 years: 25 Years Ago
A book review: Living in Bubbles
A place to learn: Maryknoll Mission Institute 2017
A few announcements: January/February 2017
To view this issue in its print form, download the January/February 2017 PDF.
The Chandler–Isacksens run the Be the Change Project in Reno, Nevada. They live in voluntary poverty, grow lots of food, serve in their community, are war-tax resistors, and attempt to live their lives in alignment with their values. They attend the Reno Friends Meeting and have frequent contact with the Reno Affiliates. (See two previous articles in the NSFA: July/Aug 2015, p. 5, and Sept/Oct 2014, p. 6.)
We reached the Dakota Access Pipe Line construction site at about noon on September 27th. This was an hour after prayers and reminders from native leaders at the frontline camp and after driving 30 dusty miles over empty North Dakota back roads. The front line camp is just a mile up from the large Oceti Sakowin camp, home to a couple thousand people while we were there. “We have many warriors with us today who will protect the elders, the women, the children. Remember, this is a nonviolent action.”
One hundred packed vehicles made it to the action that day: overflowing pickup trucks with masked youth from the Red Warrior camp (those willing to get arrested and in it for the long-haul) sitting alongside gray-haired elders holding signs that say “Protect the Water,” horse trailers with horses, license plates from across the country, our family in a rental car getting dustier by the mile.
MAC 2017: The international Maryknoll Affiliate Conference to be held from November 9-12, 2017, at a retreat center outside Guatemala City
Registration. Forms for registration and many more conference details will be available soon. The Conference Committee—members of the Guatemala Chapter—are putting the final touches on their conference website and expect to have it up and running by the third week in January. Watch your Monday Morning Website Update emails for an announcement of its opening date.
Conference Fee and Travel Grants. To encourage representation from as many as possible of the over 50 Affiliate Chapters worldwide, the Maryknoll Affiliate Board is again offering Conference Fee and Travel Grants for MAC 2017. Because funds are limited, applicants should first explore and consider all possible funding sources. For example, their chapters might help with either funds or frequent flyer miles. In 2014, over 15 attendees benefited from grant assistance; we hope that as many or more will be assisted through the 2017 program.
The Greater Boston Affiliate Chapter held their annual retreat in mid-November at the Maryknoll Sisters’ retreat/vacation house in Watch Hill, RI. The retreat followed the 2016 election by only a few days, and the 14 Affiliate participants from five New England states arrived feeling rattled, despondent and holding emotions not felt in a long time. Thankfully, retreats, if they are good, have a way of opening our minds and souls to deeper, more hope-filled realities. This retreat surely did that. What’s more, the physical setting, with expansive views of the Atlantic Ocean accessible from many vantage points within the spacious house; and, outside, a leaf covered pathway that led one to that ocean shore in just minutes, politely colluded to usher in a sense of, “It’ll all be ok.”
Translated and condensed from No Tan Lejos del Horizonte Special Edition, November 2016.
On November 3, 2016, Claudia Samayoa, a Maryknoll Affiliate of the Guatemala Chapter, received the Myrna Mack Chang Order from Human Rights Ombudsman Jorge De León Duque on November 3, 2016. He established the Order in 2014 to honor Myrna Mack Chang, a Guatemalan anthropologist murdered by Guatemalan military forces for her investigative work and commitment to the population displaced by the Internal Armed Conflict in Guatemala.
Recognizing Claudia as an activist who raises her voice to defend the human rights of Guatemalans, Duque praised Claudia’s concern for her fellow man and her placing her academic training at the service of the cause of human rights. He said, “Today is an auspicious day to deliver this recognition because attacks on human rights defenders have increased. And today there is also an inappropriate use of criminal law to imprison defenders. Being a human rights advocate is a high-risk job.”
Human rights have always been part of my being. I had a problem with the dogma that only Christians are saved; If God created us all equal in dignity, we should all be recognized as equal and respected. I did not accept the terrible reality in which I grew up: the exiles of my parents’ friends, the murders of doctors known to my father, images of massacres collected in Amnesty International magazines and surreptitiously shared with my father by the priest of Chimaltenango.
Nonviolence is the theme of Pope Francis’s Peace Message.
Pope Francis recognized the 50th annual World Peace Day, January 1, by sending us the first Catholic document on nonviolence, entitled: Nonviolence: a Style of Politics for Peace.
Francis’s concise and readable seven-page message has sections on:
Find Pope Francis’s document on nonviolence at Vatican.va or with additional resources at usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/war-and-peace/world-day-of-peace.cfm .
More than 120,000 people of Japanese descent were infamously rounded up and sent to Internment Centers in various western states, by Executive Order from the President, February 19, 1942, 75 years ago.
Immediately after Pearl Harbor, Seattle’s Japanese community found a staunch supporter in Bishop Gerald Shaughnessy. In a pastoral letter read in every church in the diocese on December 14, 1941, the bishop called for a whole-hearted support of the war effort—and of people of Japanese descent: “Our Catholic heritage especially inculcates upon us in these momentous hours that we embrace our fellow American citizens of Japanese extraction in a special bond of charity.” (See www.stjames-cathedral.org/history/holythings/18maryknoll.aspx )