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.
The Nominating Committee of the Affiliate Board—that would be me, Gerry Mullaney—is calling on all Affiliates to consider candidates for the Board and bring them forth for nomination. Don’t be shy. Don’t deny anyone this opportunity. Competition will not be fierce unless we are inundated with nominations.
Board membership involves a 3-year term (with renewal possible for another 3 years), two Board meetings per year along with conference calls, and application of leadership, wisdom, and creativity for policy development and decision-making. We occasionally have some fun as well. It is certainly a joy to come together with good people to form the Affiliate leadership that supports and encourages our world wide membership to advance Jesus’ mission in the world.
Following this spring’s Affiliate Board meeting, my wife, Denise, and I stayed on at Maryknoll in Ossining, NY, and attended the Maryknoll Mission Institute (MMI). It was an overdue gift to ourselves, and also served as the perfect way to ease into my third week of retirement.
Some Affiliates may be unaware of this opportunity. 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.
Hello, everyone! I know that I have met at least two or three hundred of you over the past 20 some years at the international Affiliate Conferences in New York, at the Regional Conferences (Seattle, San Francisco, Portland, Albuquerque, Las Vegas, New Orleans) or just traveling across the good old USA, visiting Affiliate Chapters along the way. Do I remember all your names? Probably not, but I usually will recognize your smile, and sometimes that will pop your name out to me as well. In all the years I’ve been an Affiliate, I have loved meeting you, talking with you, eating with you, and especially praying with you.
Spring weather and ongoing challenges have us anxious and on the move. Where are you going? The Albany Affiliates are helping college students process their immersion trips. The Los Angeles Affiliates march for peace and for the homeless. Many other Affiliates and Maryknollers have marched and are advocating for science, for the environment, and for action on climate change. John Moritz and the Northeast Florida Affiliates are helping many Catholics to become aware of Pope Francis’s encyclical on the environment, Laudato Si’.
Bob Short and the Guatemala Affiliates remind us that our Maryknoll charism leads us to Buen Vivir and a better connection with the environment. Bob says, ”The everyday faith commitment of Maryknoll Affiliates who continue to “show up” in the way they live and speak up to confront the voices of nationalistic empire that appear to be getting louder each day” are a sign of hope.
Articles in this issue:
Widening Visions: Sharing Laudato Si’ at a Diocesan Gathering – "I feel that using the theme was a more effective way of engaging people in a non-invasive and non-threatening manner."—John Moritz
BUEN VIVIR Through Maryknoll – "We are invited to move out of ourselves and be open to the diversity around us."—Lizbeth del Rosario Gramajo Bauer
Where Are You Going? – "Returnees from immersion trips need a forum in which to process their many experiences."—Santa Orlando
Palm Sunday Peace Parade Addresses Homelessness – 'When I was homeless, I felt that I was in a subculture and I always wanted to be a part of my community."—Dorothy Edwards
Mining Ban in El Salvador – "The government had denied mining permits to a new project; the company then sued for lost profits."
Protect Our Mother Earth – "Please post your actions and/or photos on the Maryknoll Affiliates’ Facebook page..."
Affiliates in Action – Houston – "Several members will be traveling to Guatemala in November to participate in MAC 2017."
Ralph Maughan—Persistent Affiliate – "The area they visit in Northeastern Myanmar has been one of the most problematic and dangerous parts of the country."—Janet Quillian
A place to learn: Maryknoll Mission Institute
Report on an author's speech: Contemplation, Asceticism, and Advocacy
To view this issue in its print form, download the May/June 2017 PDF.
Since the sharing last year by Maryknoll Mission Educator Matt Rousso on “Laudato Si,” our Affiliate community in Northeast Florida has had the opportunity to reflect on what the encyclical letter of Pope Francis is teaching us and calling us to. In a local social and economic environment that is substantially sustained by the use of fossil fuels and where many people are biblical literalists, the development of ecological awareness is both delicate and challenging.
As I report on the state of Affiliate finances, I must mention your generous response to our recent appeal for Peruvian Flood Relief. In a short time, over $5,500 was contributed—thank you for your abundant generosity in support of our Peruvian Affiliate sisters and brothers who were caught up in this natural disaster of unimaginable proportions. You helped fund a team that has travelled to the Department of Ancash to assist where much of the devastation occurred.
Here at home, our Affiliate appeal year runs from November 1 to October 31. We are responsible for our operating budget: travel, computer/technology, and office expenses. In recent years we have made or exceeded our fund raising goals, and that has allowed us to provide travel grants to Affiliates from around the world to attend MAC2017, to be hosted by the Guatemala chapter this November.
At this time, about half way into our appeal, we have received $10,000 toward our $22,000 budget goal. This is somewhat less than where we have been in recent years at this time. While I am confident that by November we will have met goal, at the same time it is important for all of us who have not already contributed what we are able to offer, to put the Affiliate appeal on our “to-do” list.
Thank you for your past and future support. Having served since 2009, this is my last report to you as Finance Committee Chair. Long-time Affiliate Manny Hotchkiss, Portland Chapter, is joining the board at our spring meeting and will assume Finance Committee Chair responsibilities. We welcome Manny and thank him for joining us.
Maryknoll is a movement that began over 100 years ago in the US and has since developed its missionary work throughout the world. This movement is made up of four expressions: Maryknoll Society of Priests and Brothers, Maryknoll Sisters, Maryknoll Lay Missioners and Maryknoll Affiliates. Even though the four expressions evolved at different moments in history and with specific mission focuses, we ask the question, what unites us?
About every other edition, the co-editors of NSFA ask me (I kiddingly claim with some arm-twisting going on) to consider writing an article. Sometimes they suggest a theme and provide leading questions to do so. Here are the fluffy-soft questions they came up with this time: What signs of hope do you see among us? How have we been connecting with the rest of Maryknoll? What is our biggest challenge? All any of us would need to effectively address these questions is a lifetime plus a few more weeks. Of course, these are very worthy questions for where we find ourselves today. With that in mind, and with unawareness of my limitations, some thought on those questions follows.
I have been working on answering that question my whole life. Perhaps that is what enticed me to become involved with the Maryknoll Affiliate pilot of the same name: Quo Vadis, Where Are You Going? Maryknoll Affiliate Executive Coordinator Bob Short, board member Bill Murphy, and Greater Boston Affiliate Kathy Morrison met to write the draft of this pilot program after learning that, according to some sources, over 2,000,000 people go on immersion trips each year. How are these cross-cultural experiences affecting their lives? What impact, if any, will their experiences have on decisions they make later in life? What kinds of jobs they will take; how will they view and treat those who look and act differently based on culture, race, and/or socio-economical differences? Where is God in all of this? These questions became the basis of the pilot program.
Local churches and community advocates took to the streets for a Palm Sunday Peace Parade of about 225 community members, including five Maryknoll Affiliates and eight Maryknoll Sisters. The Los Angeles Maryknoll Affiliates and several other organizations sponsored the Pasadena Palm Sunday Peace Parade. The parade marchers first gathered at the Reformation Lutheran Church where they listened to brief inspirational words from community members before parading to Paseo Colorado. They went out with “palm branches in one hand and peace signs in the other” in a Palm Sunday-style celebration of peace.
The word “water” is cited forty-seven times in Pope Francis’ encyclical, Laudato Si’. This demonstrates the great value and concern Pope Francis places on water as a sacred and essential part of life.
Though water is essential to life, we take it for granted when we reach for a glass of water. Most humans will perish after three days without drinking water. It is so central to maintaining life on our planet that, at times throughout history, water has been used as a tool in military confrontations and has been the source of regional and local conflicts and transboundary disputes.
Pope Francis identifies key problems related to water:
Since we are looking forward to the 2017MAC in Guatemala, which is offering a post conference trip to El Salvador, anything Salvadoran catches our eye. The Catholic News Service and other publications recently announced that a law passed in 2017 phases out all mining for metals in that Central American country. Last year the Salvadoran government won a $300 million lawsuit brought against it by a unit of a Canadian-Australian mining giant, Oceana Gold. The government had denied mining permits to a new project; the company then sued for lost profits. Activists reported that recent deaths were related to disputes over mining and that mining operations have caused water and soil contamination. Demonstrations, a petition signed by 30,000 people, and advocacy by the Salvadoran Catholic Church pushed their congress to institute the ban.
Similarly, a New York Times article, “El Salvador, Prizing Water Over Gold, Bans All Metal Mining,” reported, “Declaring that El Salvador’s fragile environment could not sustain metal mining operations, legislators across the political spectrum approved the ban, which had broad support, particularly from the influential Roman Catholic Church.” (March 29, 2017 - https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/29/world/americas/el-salvador-prizing-water-over-gold-bans-all-metal-mining.html?_r=0)
Did you or your Maryknoll Affiliate chapter celebrate Earth Day? Were you able to participate in the Climate March in Washington, DC, April 29, or in some related event in your community?
In Washington, DC, the Maryknoll Office of Global Concerns met for Mass at St. Dominic Church before the Climate March on Saturday, April 29th. The day before the March, MOGC invited participants to the Catholic Climate Covenant’s free lobby training (http://www.catholicclimatecovenant.org/) , followed by a pot luck dinner, film, and prayers.
A recent communication from Maryknoll Affiliate Robert Guice of Houston shows what active missioners the Houston Affiliates are:
In January, Dick Horstman joined a group of parishioners to take more than 100 gifts to the children of Piedras Negras, help at a soup kitchen, and deliver other gifts to an orphanage there. In March and April, he helped take youth and adults from four different high schools and a parish on mission trips to Eagle Pass, near the US/Mexico border.
Bob and Ruth Kleeman also went on a mission trip to Eagle Pass at a different time in March.
Ron Covey continues spending considerable time at his mission, Caminando Por La Paz in Guatemala City, where they work in many ways to be good neighbors, including tutoring 60 young students and distributing free shoes. Ron and Robert also staffed the Maryknoll Booth at a Vocation Expo at St. Mary’s Seminary in Houston. In July, Ron and Henry Yu will staff the “Sweatshop” booth at the Diocesan Youth Conference.
Several members will be traveling to Guatemala in November to participate in MAC 2017. If you will be there, too, plan to chat with the Houston Affiliates for ideas to take home to your own chapter.