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.
Preparation for a Kairos retreat consists of three hours on each of eight Friday nights. Each of the 20 times I’ve done these 24 hours of preparation, I am greatly rewarded with a deep, lasting joy.
In a New York State prison, we give a four-day active retreat of talks, discussions, posters, and explanations. The Kairos Christian, interdenominational retreat welcomes all Christians, Jews, Muslims, atheists, etc. Each table of four residents (prisoners) and two Kairos volunteers becomes a community—a table family. We punctuate the retreat days with hymn singing led by a Kairos band, meals, and a break outside the gym in the fresh air and sunshine of the yard.
“Thinking Wrong” is a process to generate creative ideas, thinking outside the box. Where better to find such thinking than among retired Maryknoll Sisters in Monrovia, California, and ten or so undergraduate Kansas University design students—members of a Studio X project? Studio X projects use “Thinking Wrong” to create new possibilities.
The Sisters invited Greater Los Angeles Maryknoll Affiliate Chapter members to participate in “Thinking Wrong.” Three Affiliates—Jane Bivona, Hugh Menton, and Jean Menton—joined with the Sisters, KU students, and Pando Populus members to envision new happenings at the Sisters’ Monrovia community located against the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains, on a beautiful November day. Four groups presented their ideas after a day of reflection and dialogue. Do you hear the Affiliates’ sense of spirituality, community, action, and global concern in the story?
As of January 2019, the Maryknoll Chapter Companion Initiative had its first successful Chapter Companions match: Fr. Bob Carleton, MM, has been matched with the Northeast Florida Affiliate Chapter that he started years ago.
“We are very excited to connect with Fr. Bob again,” said Mary Moritz, the Chapter Coordinator. “We believe that our chapter will be blessed by this connection.”
Five other chapter requests are pending with the Sisters and the Lay Missioners, and those matches will hopefully be finalized soon. In addition, three chapters have elected to formalize their ongoing relationship with a Maryknoll missioner as their Chapter Companionship.
Judy Pinney of Walla Walla, Washington, writes: Currently, we are working with our Catholic Social Concerns Committee on holding a possible bilingual prayer service to Our Lady of Guadalupe to pray for immigrants and asylum seekers. Our parish is over half Hispanic yet has been virtually silent regarding what is happening at the border and the call for Catholics/Christians to support immigrants. Some of us from both the Anglo and Hispanic communities have come up with a format for this possible service using materials from the USCCB website and are contacting the pastor this week for approval. If this comes to fruition, we would be happy to share the meeting outline with you in case any of you would like to use it in your parishes or in one of your meetings.
NSFA editor Paula Schaffner responds: My parish needs opportunities to bring our Anglo and Hispanic communities together, too. We’ll be looking forward to receiving your meeting outline!
Hugh Menton, Regional Coordinator for California, suggests: In the spirit of Affiliate connections and global vision, Jean [Hugh’s wife] prepared for our Affiliate meeting potluck the New Zealand-origin dish, Bean & Tomato Stew—Square Edge, that you [Paula Schaffner] shared in an email to your Chapter participants and copied me some time ago. It was delicious, as all in our Chapter who attended today’s meeting testified.
Has NSFA ever included an international potluck item recipe column? My impression is that almost every Chapter gathers around food and it is an easy avenue to introduce global awareness.
NSFA editors respond: We agree that sharing food can both build community and increase global awareness. We’ll start with this issue—look for the Potluck Recipe Exchange on page 8. It will also appear in occasional future issues.
So Many Books, So Little Time...
Because of a light response and busy schedules, Book Group 2019 is being delayed until fall.
Be with us at the
Maryknoll Affiliate Conference!
SAVE THE DATE:
June 25-28, 2020
The site, Graymoor Spiritual Life Center at Garrison, NY has easy access from the Metro-North train line and is less than 25 minutes from the Maryknoll Center.
A small, initial Planning Team of Celine Woznica (Chicago Central), Ginny McEvoy (Long Island) and Bob Short (Greater Boston) will provide updates as plans evolve.
Watch for invitations to contribute your skills and help make this conference memorable in the fine MAC tradition!
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Visit www.facebook.com/maryknollaffiliates/ and LIKE or FOLLOW us. Post your Affiliate photos, activities, or an inspiring quote or article you’ve seen.
Another View of Leadership
Patrisse Cullors, Black Lives Matter Movement founder, says, “We are not leaderless, we are leader-full.” ...It is difficult to infiltrate, undermine, or disrupt an organic movement that draws its power from regenerating communal cells.
—Richard Rohr, 4/13/18
What makes America great?
Military might or material wealth?
Democratic ideals or Republican values?
Freedom to say and be and do what you please?
A history of helping those in need?
The right to criticize elected officials and
government policies without fear?
The peace in which to worship God
or the choice not to believe at all?
Tolerance for those who disagree?
All, some or none of the above?
What makes America different?
That we are a nation without faults or
that we have the wisdom and courage
to acknowledge and correct them?
That we close our minds and borders
or that we welcome all who come
—as once we or our ancestors did—
seeking freedom and a better life?
That in America all must think, talk, eat,
dress, act, love, pray and live alike?
Or that each individual can pursue
his or her own vision of happiness?
What makes America different?
Our tolerance for differences.
Diversity makes America great.
Diversity makes America strong.
Each addition to our ranks enriches
and empowers the whole.
We hold these truths to be self-evident.
Reprinted from Maryknoll magazine Vol 89, Number 7, 1995, Maryknollmagazine.org.
We received a holiday update from David Stocker who participated in the Affiliates Mission Nonviolence Conference in Oregon this fall and shared “The Art of Nonviolence” in the Nov/Dec NSFA. He tells us:
I visited Rivera Sun (another speaker at Mission Nonviolence) in Taos after the Encuentro. We shared stories, and she is a great voice for the Insurrection.
On December 11th, one of our organizers in Tucson—Alejandra, a powerful advocate for immigrants’ rights and a woman who led part of the protest at Eloy Detention Center—was ordered to be deported. We are sure her activism has made her a target of ICE. What to do if all vulnerable people are silenced?
David also thanks readers of the NSFA for their donations to the SOA Watch Puppetistas:
With your support, Puppetistas were able to present the drum making workshop in two community centers in Mexico and at three locations in the US. Our music, arts, and drums were present at the Eloy protest and at the trial in Tucson of the border guard who killed a Mexican teen six years ago. Many of the children and their parents from the Mexican schools attended our Sunday gathering where the kids were featured in song and dance.
This is groundbreaking for SOAW and I’m proud that we were a part…. Through it all kids are still kids. In this world there can be no ‘others’ because all of the children belong to all of us. It really does take a village…. Thanks.
Compassion and Hospitality on the Border
Jerrie Drinkwine – Seattle Chapter
News flashes of a caravan of people from Central America moving through Mexico to seek asylum in the US filled television screens and social media throughout 2018. Scenes of children being separated from parents horrified most Americans. With these haunting reports, a team of five people from Holy Family Parish, Kirkland, WA, decided to go to the Texas/Mexico border in McAllen, to volunteer at the Humanitarian Respite Center in support of these asylum seekers and to gain information for a possible Adult Mission Trip in February 2019.
What happens after a family is processed by the Border Patrol and US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and enters the Respite Center mirrors the social teachings of Jesus. Families come off prison buses from ICE with one adult per family having a tracking device secured to one ankle. All shoe laces and belts have been removed by ICE to prevent potential suicide. Once in the Respite Center, they are welcomed warmly by a team of volunteers and four paid staff members. This is where the hospitality and compassion take place.
They have no need of our help
So do not tell me
These haggard faces could belong to you or me
Should life have dealt a different hand
We need to see them for who they really are
Chancers and scroungers
Layabouts and loungers
With bombs up their sleeves
Cut-throats and thieves
They are not
We should make them
Go back to where they came from
Share our food
Share our homes
Share our countries
Instead let us
Build a wall to keep them out
It is not okay to say
These are people just like us
A place should only belong to those who are born there
Do not be so stupid to think that
The world can be looked at another way
(now read from bottom to top)
Reprinted with permission.
Rev. Eugenia Gamble, pastor of Nipomo Community Presbyterrian Church, Nipomo, CA, adapted this prayer from an old monastic blessing. She closes the organizational meetings for a newly forming local interfaith coalition on immigration with it.
May God bless you with discomfort with easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships, so that you will live deeply and from the heart.
May God bless you with anger at injustice, oppression, and the exploitation of people, so that you will work for justice, freedom, and peace.
May God bless you with tears to shed for those that mourn, so that you will reach out your hand to them and turn their mourning into joy.
And may God bless you with just enough foolishness to believe that you can make a difference in the world, so that you will do those things that others say cannot be done.
Recipe: Bean & Tomato Stew—Square Edge
Shared by: Paula Schaffner – California Central Coast Chapter
For eight months in 1986, the David Schaffner family experienced life in Palmerston North, New Zealand, through a sabbatical exchange. One treat was having lunch at the vegetarian restaurant in the Square Edge Building—so named because it sits on the edge of the city center square.
Living in New Zealand gave us a taste for crossing borders, and bringing home some Kiwi recipes has helped keep alive memories of our life there. Now I make this bean stew occasionally for our at-home dinners or as an easy make-ahead dish for potlucks.
Bean & Tomato Stew – Square Edge
Contributed by Paula Schaffner
(Adapted from a recipe we enjoyed at the Square Edge Cafe, a great vegetarian café in Palmerston North, New Zealand.
The Square Edge Café shared its favorite recipes in a booklet.)
Put the ingredients into a crockpot (or large casserole dish) in the following order:
¼ Cup Oil
½ Cup Onions, sliced
2 Carrots, chopped in large chunks
3 Celery stalks, sliced
1 Cup Mushrooms
2 tsp. Salt
2 tsp. Garlic powder
1 tsp. Thyme (or dried basil)
2 tsp. Paprika
1 16 oz. can Garbanzo beans
1 16 oz. can Great White Northern beans
1 16 oz. can Pinto beans
1 Cup Tomato puree (or 1 16 oz. can diced tomatoes, blended)
½ Cup Sugar
¼ Cup Red wine
2 Bay leaves
Cover and simmer in crockpot (or low oven) for 4 hours.
For the sixth consecutive year, we carried out the March of Nonviolence on October 2. Marchers included the Lima, Peru, Chapter of Maryknoll Affiliates, lay people of the parish, area residents and college students, Father Jose Fedora, MM, Maryknoll Sisters Rosemary McCormack and Analyn Manauis, and the Ambassador from India in Peru.
This march celebrates the birth of Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of India’s Independence, and renews our commitment to follow in his footsteps. Historically, Gandhi’s actions demonstrated that pacifism was a valid instrument for achieving political objectives. Gandhi maintained his struggle through peaceful resistance and seeking concord, and gained India’s independence without bloodshed, in a century convulsed by two world wars and a number of tragic events.
During the March of Nonviolence, we are sensitized against using violence toward children, men, women, animals, or Mother Earth, and we are reminded that peace should lead us to love each other, no matter what religious creed each person practices. We pray to God that with the passage of time the March will take us to take us further along the path of nonviolence where we create an atmosphere of respect and harmony between the population to the south of Lima and Mother Earth.
*Translated from “Marcha por la No Violencia en Perú,” in No Tan Lejos del Horizonte #35, Nov-Dec 2018.
On Friday noon, after four and a half days of restoring a house with the Houston Chapter Mission project, two of the facilitators, Bob & Ruth Kleeman, took the Affiliate mission members on a trip to give us a taste of rural Texas. We hopped into three cars and headed out on a two-hour ride across the vast, flat landscape of southeastern Texas to a little town called Nada.
For those with even a cursory knowledge of Spanish, “Nada” initially seemed like a perfectly fitting name. The town-folk we spoke with estimated that there were a little over 300 people in town. However, the last available census in 2000 counted only 165. The discrepancy is probably attributable to genuine local pride. Reportedly, Nada boasts a grocery store and US Post Office. All any of us could see that day along Highway 71, which cuts through the center of town, were an auto garage and Leo’s Place, a bar and restaurant. Checking on Facebook for “Things to do in Nada, TX” brings up a photo of an open crop field with a John Deere combine and a truck in the distance. No other photos or text appear on the page.
Have you ever wondered, as I do, what caused the miracle of Caminando Por La Paz to continue? In the nearly ten years since Father Tom Goekler's death, we at Caminando have received an unbelievable amount of support from our fellow Affiliates. We believe that God has used the Affiliates to continue the miracle of Caminando.
When I first became involved with the Caminando Por La Paz Catholic Worker House, the Catholic Worker House in New Haven, CT, sent us some money for our educational efforts. I was not sure how I could communicate sufficiently with the folks at Caminando, so I arranged a meeting with the Affiliates of the Guatemala Chapter. That Guatemala Chapter continues to be in strong solidarity with us, giving encouragement to us and all our activities. Rosa Beatriz (Guatemala chapter and Affiliate Board member) says, “Our meetings make us feel as one community.” She also says it is such a joy to see our red truck coming with the people from “Zone 18,” as they refer to us from Caminando.