Monday, 02 May 2016 18:50

Lynn Houston, the first Affiliate

Written by Editorial Staff
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Often credited with being the first Maryknoll Affiliate, Lynn Houston passed away on February 18th. We share stories of her Affiliate leadership over 25 years to remind ourselves what one person can do. 

Lynn was a:

  • Youth Chapter leader
  • Affiliate Global Concerns chair
  • Affiliate Board member
  • New Chapter mentor, and
  • Proponent of virtual chapters

Kitty Madden recalls especially one summer long ago when Lynn picked her up at the bus station in Hartford to take her to the Maryknoll Affiliate gathering. She says, “I will be calling on Lynn to continue watching over our Casa mothers and newborns together with all the Casa Materna staff.” Per Kitty, Lynn also tried her best some years ago to get a small virtual chapter started that would include folks like her who had no regular chapter connection.

Lynn’s Youth Chapter and other youth at a MAC conference.

While the RN at an inner city school in Hartford, CT, Lynn founded the first Affiliate Youth Chapter in 1996, with four core young people.  A wonderful mentor to the young students, she kept in touch with them after they graduated. Lynn worked with Celine Woznica and Joe Thaler, MM, to organize a parallel youth conference at the 1997 MAC Conference. 

After several years in Harford, CT, Lynn and her husband Harrison moved to Nantucket, where she worked on getting a Chapter started, but the island’s relative isolation made it difficult. When they subsequently moved to Florida, she formed the Florida Space Coast Chapter. Because people were travelling great distances, the Chapter split into two, with Lynn as the dynamo and patient mentor behind both groups.  While many had doubts—weren’t quite sure what an Affiliate Chapter should be doing—Lynn was an experienced and reassuring guide. 

When Fr. Bob Carleton, MM, organized the Northeast Florida Chapter, of which current Southeast Regional Coordinators John and Mary Moritz are charter members, Lynn accompanied them in formation, skillfully utilizing the newly developed formation materials. She could only come to the first couple of meetings before her back problems prohibited travel; however, Mary Moritz recalls that she called after every meeting to “keep tabs” on them and offer suggestions. 

Lynn represented the Affiliates at the Latin American Indigenous Maryknoll meeting in Oaxaca, Mexico, around 1996, when Affiliates were just beginning to be invited to attend Maryknoll meetings. In the late 90s, she served as committee chair throughout the lifespan of the Affiliate Global Concerns Committee. In 1998, she partnered with Gail Kelley as the first SE Regional Coordinators. She also attended the first joint meeting of RCs and Board Members in May 2009, in Topsail, NC, and helped compile the summary document from that meeting.

Affiliates Mary and John Moritz, Ann Carr, Ellen McDonald, MM, and Agnes Walsh (front), greet Lynn’s
sister Bonnie (2nd from left) and brother Rob (4th from left) at Lynn’s funeral.

Known as one of the kindest, most dedicated people in the Maryknoll Affiliate movement, Lynn had a great heart for Maryknoll and was always looking for ways to deepen and widen the circles of the Maryknoll Affiliate family. 

Read Lynn’s empathetic and encouraging message that appeared in the 
“Mercy Moments” feature of
Maryknoll Magazine’s March/April 2016 issue.

Read 654 times Last modified on Tuesday, 03 May 2016 01:40
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