Saturday, 23 June 2018 20:41

State of the Heart – Today and Tomorrow

Written by David Schaffner
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David Schaffner – Board Chair

We are thankful for 2017’s many good memories: chapters hosting Maryknoll missioners, marching for the homeless in Los Angeles, working tirelessly for immigrant rights, and more.

The Board presented members of the MAC 2017 Organization Committee ceramic tiles commemorating their appreciation.

Affiliates also gathered in Guatemala for MAC2017, our triennial international conference. The Capítulo de Afiliados Maryknoll of Guatemala superbly organized our first one held outside the US. The Affiliate Board appreciates their creativity and hard work in bringing a conference to us that will become a highlight of Affiliate history.

The various post-conference mission trips also deserve special mention: three in Guatemala and one in El Salvador, in which I participated. Fr. John Spain, MM, who lived through the years of the Salvadoran Civil War, brought history alive for us. We visited diverse and inspiring mission projects, particularly those of the Lay Missioners, who are led by Peter Altman, MKLM Regional Coordinator for El Salvador.

Looking forward to 2018, we are continuing to ask, “Where do we want to be in five years?” At our combined Board/Regional Coordinator meeting in Guatemala City, we appointed an ad hoc committee—Rich Lessard, Albany; John and Mary Moritz, Northeast Florida; Bob Short, Executive Coordinator; and hopefully one international representative—to develop four topics identified at the Guatemala City meeting: collaboration, identity, international cross-cultural aspects, and models.

At the Fall 2018 Board/RC meeting, we will use these topics to develop initiatives and suggest actions for Affiliates. In the meantime, many chapters have used the September/October NSFA “Easy Meeting” to brainstorm the future direction(s) of the Affiliates. If it hasn’t done so yet, I encourage your chapter to try this process.

Comings and Goings:

  • We welcome our newest chapter, Springfield, MA, to the Affiliate family. Deacon Kevin McCarthy provided leadership in the formation and recognition process.
  • Sadly, the NYC Subway chapter, one of the earliest founded, has decided to disband.
  • Lee Fermin, Las Vegas chapter, accepted the position of Regional Coordinator for the Mountain/Southwest Region. Lee has served a couple of stints on the board, and we appreciate his willingness to rejoin the leadership team.
  • Two Board members, Patty Barneond, Guatemala, and John Meyer, Phoenix, both serving six years, rotated off the board. We thank both for their contributions over the past six years and hope to have some prospective new board members to announce in the near future.
  • Your generosity in responding to our annual appeal keeps our basic operational budget stable but also allows us to pursue special initiatives, such as assisting Board members who could not otherwise afford to travel to Board meetings. Finance Chair Manny Hotchkiss sent out this year’s appeal letter in November. If it’s lost in your holiday mail, perhaps it is not too late to dig it out.

Blessings on your new Affiliate year!

 

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