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Friday, 11 July 2014 00:00

A Mission Community Rises to the Occasion

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Santa Orlando – Albany Chapter

MAC 2014 is now an event of the past—what are its lasting effects? At times the planning committee all wondered how we ever said yes to this monumental task. The Board praised us for starting early and being organized, and it’s good we were, as most of us were working up until the last week and, at times, to the last minutes. Of the committee of eight, three of us had attended the last MAC, so we had a loose idea of how things went and a wonderful sense of who the Affiliates really were. That was ultimately why we said yes and dragged others along. Our fellow committee members trusted us, trusted that this involvement would be special.  We in turn trusted all the Affiliates, Sisters, Fathers, Brothers, and Lay Missioners to appreciate our efforts and forgive any shortcomings. We would do the best we could as people committed to the spirit of Maryknoll.

The spirit was surely present as we met monthly, leaving our egos at the door. We had many differences of opinions and some tense moments; luckily our sense of humor and our love and respect for each other allowed us to work together as a team. This was truly a team effort by the planning committee and the others in our chapter who worked with us in so many ways. I thank them all from the bottom of my heart.

On a personal note, Maryknoll is my home and the Affiliates are my family. I have finally found where I fit in, albeit it took me most of my life. For one who always has a question, pushes the envelope, and walks the edge of most of the rules, the Affiliate movement is where I fit in. My goal as coordinator of Prayer and Liturgy was for everyone to come away knowing that we all fit, we all belong. I hope that the diversity of the weekend’s prayers conveyed that message. 

As MAC 2014 approached, I just wanted to get to Stony Point, to be done with the planning and to trust that all would happen as planned. Yes, we had surprises and snafus; these rich moments will be part of what we remember. If nothing else, they served to keep us humble, realizing that no one of us is perfect. This “go with the flow” attitude, along with the “very social” socials, set the tone for a truly relaxed group of Affiliates who had a great time with one another. 

Trying to involve as many people as I could from around the world in the prayer services allowed me to personally connect with people I might not have had a chance to meet. When my chapter members told me they had saved me a seat, I would explain I wanted to sit with those I didn’t know. Yes, it’s all about the people. One memory that will stay with me from this conference is watching the English and Spanish readers for the prayer services work with each other to decide the cadence of the readings. The random pick of these readers became the catalyst for others to personally connect—great fun for me to watch. 

I have come away with an even a greater commitment to Maryknoll. The entire planning committee did our best to be good hosts; we hope we made you feel welcome and that we conveyed the Maryknoll Spirit of hospitality. The emotional and logistical support during this process of Bob Short, who is functioning as the glue holding the Affiliates’ string, chewing gum and rubber bands together; was truly a Godsend. Finally, I thank the entire Maryknoll family for their endorsement and support of the Affiliate movement. Until next time, Namaste.

 

 


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