Tuesday, 22 December 2015 20:35

Spirituality, San Diego Style

Written by Editorial Staff
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A Chapter Profile

San Diego Affiliates used a meeting early in 2015 to ask themselves, “What drew you to become a part of this group?” and “What keeps you coming back?” Their answers, which member Michele Dunne summarized, were very revealing. Personal invitation and a personal connection to someone in the chapter drew them in, and Spirituality and Community (two of the Affiliates’ Four Pillars) keep them coming back.


“What drew you to become a part of this group?”

This Chapter of dedicated folks enjoys deep international connections. Some of their grown children work with the poor overseas. Jim Deharpporte has worked for Catholic Relief Services (CRS) for over 40 years and has lived in many countries. One couple continued living in Central America after being missionaries. Another is associated with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps. Several of the San Diego Affiliates are deeply involved with immigrants through Saint Vincent DePaul or other groups. 

Longtime employee of CRS, James DeHarpporte enjoys Charlie
and Marta Reilly’s hospitality at the Chapter meeting.

Charlie Reilly praised Affiliates Spencer and Erin Rickwa and their young family. With their four young children, two years ago they spent about five months on mission in Bolivia in affiliation with Maryknollers. “Now they lead an NGO—Bridges to Healing International (www.bridgestohealing.org)—that raises funds for medical support and nurses, working with 300 plus kids in two orphanages in Mexico and five in Bolivia. We all are their fans and some of our Affiliate group help them out.” 

Spencer Rickwa, on mission in Bolivia, treated a young child.



“What keeps you coming back?”

These Affiliates each have their work—their mission, and they come together not to work on a joint project, but rather to share, receive support, reflect, and enjoy sustenance in a like-minded community. While they support the broader Affiliate movement, their main connection is their local chapter. Nevertheless, in 2009 San Diego joined with the Los Angeles Chapter to host a Regional Conference on Peace at the University of San Diego. One San Diego Affiliate considered attending the 2015 Regional Conference in Seattle because of personal connections with a presenter. 

Other Affiliate chapters are encouraged to ask themselves these same questions, ”What drew you to become a part of this chapter?” and “What keeps you coming back?” Share your chapter’s answers with the Not So Far Afield.


Spencer Rickwa, on mission  in Bolivia, treated a young child. 



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