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Monday, 05 May 2014 00:00

A Chapter Meeting to Remember

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Affiliates (seated, l. to r.) Kathie Gribble (in blue ESTHER shirt), Penny Robinson, and Nancy Bourassa (in teal shirt), Chair of the Immigration Task Force, at an Immigration Task Force meeting. Affiliates (seated, l. to r.) Kathie Gribble (in blue ESTHER shirt), Penny Robinson, and Nancy Bourassa (in teal shirt), Chair of the Immigration Task Force, at an Immigration Task Force meeting.

Kathie Gribble – Fox Cities Chapter, Affiliate Board Member

“Good meeting” was the feeling all around.

Our Fox Cities-Wisconsin Chapter is active in various local and global activities, but we meet as Maryknollers only three times a year. This February we had an exceptional meeting. Only four of our six members were present, but the simple Easy Meeting format carried us through all the information we needed to share and enter into a deeper experience.

We honored the memory of our dear co-founder, Fr. Jim Madden, MM, following the Irish Funeral Prayer format. After “Touchdown”—sharing in a few sentences our most current concern, interest, or joy, we highlighted recent Maryknoll developments:

  • Formation Resources
  • The upcoming MAC 2014
  • JustFaith Collaboration
  • Affiliate Website and Social Media update plans
  • Midwest Regional Coordinator nomination progress and concern for the loss of regional connection in the past few years.

We also considered ideas for Maryknoll Affiliate youth and connecting to young adults in the U.S., noting that the Affiliate chapters in Central and South America have strong youth involvement.

For our Reflection, we used an Easy Meeting: John Meyer’s “Affiliates & Interfaith Dialogue” ( pdf 2013 07 08 ez mtg (1.66 MB) ) in the July/Aug NSFA. The opening prayer by Fr. Veneroso, MM, and the context statement from Pope Paul VI’s Nostra Aetate, were a great start. We were asked to “silently consider” two initial questions as we read about the Arizona Interfaith Movement. Our group shared readily about personal experiences of interfaith relationships: stories of families’ attitudes about other religions, personal faith journeys, and the gift of those good friends of other faiths. The sharing flowed easily. We heard a deep gratefulness for current interfaith leadership development in our area and for the gift of having both Muslim and Jewish presence on our community organizing-for-justice group—the ESTHER Board.

Taking turns, we read the list of events of the Arizona Interfaith Movement, and then the points of agreement from representatives of the world religions listed by Fr. Thomas Keating, OSCO, in “An Experience of Interreligious Dialogue.” These seven points catalyzed more sharing and wonder at the development of our spiritual journeys and our sense of oneness with the mystery of Ultimate Reality. We were grateful for the Maryknoll Movement’s long, rich history of respecting and learning from other faiths. We grew in appreciation for opportunities in our own community, as well as overseas, to share in events with people of other faith traditions. To close, I gave each person a copy of “The Golden Rule” as expressed in the holy books of twelve different faith traditions. [add image]

Affiliates (seated, l. to r.) Kathie Gribble (in blue ESTHER shirt), Penny Robinson, and Nancy Bourassa (in teal shirt), Chair of the Immigration Task Force, at an Immigration Task Force meeting.

The business meeting included notices of local activities and collaboration events, with reports on: prison ministry initiatives; JustFaith modules— one for Muslims and Christians together, a new Social Justice education module, and a Prison Ministry module; and scheduled Immigration Simulation events. Regarding ESTHER, notices included:

  • Chapter member Penny Robinson, our ESTHER president, spoke at St. Norbert College’s Simulation event; see the video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9BRN7F_Uqzk&list=UUZSE2DLTCJXiXo7cw9vxH4g&feature=c4-overview.
  • Faith-based community organizing, such as our ESTHER (Gamaliel Foundation) was praised in Commonweal’s, “Getting Organized, Catholics and Community Activism,” (Nov. 15th 2013): “This should be the pride of the Catholic Church in the US today and should be held up as the moral voice of Catholicism in a time of unprecedented inequality and greed in American life.”

We enjoyed Fr. Carl’s Meulemans’ piano rendition of Brahms, a meal together, and prayer. Ed Kleckner shared pictures from his recent trip to Cochabamba, Bolivia, to counsel and support the education of orphans in a Salesian orphanage and the connected transition house for the young women over age 18. “Good meeting” was the feeling all around. We had gained a new appreciation for each other, for our connection with the Maryknoll family, and for people of faith everywhere.


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Kathleen Gribble

This is a test of the new system. Personal details from the old website about intertests and missiomal experiencesh asve not been taransferred over.

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