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Thursday, 27 June 2019 04:29

Meeting Maryknoll in St. Louis

Written by Mary and Manny Hotchkiss
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Mary and Manny Hotchkiss – Portland Chapter

Left to right: Manny Hotchkiss and Mary Ryan-Hotchkiss join Patty
Hinton, Debbie Perotta, and Vicki Simon at lunch to learn more
about Midwestern Maryknoll actifiities.

Patty Hinton, Vicki Simon, and the Hotchkisses talked about their connections to Maryknoll over lunch in May. The Hotchkisses were passing through Missouri on their way home to Portland, Oregon, from an Affiliate Board meeting at Maryknoll, NY. Patty Hinton is the Regional Coordinator for the large Midwest region that includes Missouri, Minnesota, Illinois, Ohio, and other nearby states where there currently are no Affiliate chapters. She arranged for Vicki Simon to join us.

Vicki Simon is a returned Maryknoll Lay Missioner who served in Kenya. Since returning, Vicki is on the Maryknoll Lay Missioners’ Board and has served in various Jesuit-related roles in the St. Louis area. She commented that the JustFaith program had been active for over 12 years at St. Francis Xavier “College” parish, St. Louis. Racism and white privilege are discussed in many area churches. She recently volunteered at a migrant refuge affiliated with the El Paso Annunciation House of Hospitality. Having studied Latin American culture and taught Spanish for nine years, she said, “I felt called to do something!” She plans to work at the border again in August.

Vicki Simon, happy to connect with Affiliate groups, plans to visit the North Bay, CA, Affiliates this summer after a church date in San Francisco, where she will be sharing about her recent time at the US Border. Inviting the public to meetings featuring returning or visiting missioners is a great way for Affiliates to increase awareness of Maryknoll’s efforts.

Patty and Vicki emphasized that their diocese is very diverse and mission oriented, with a Jesuit sister parish in Belize and some diocesan priests on mission in Bolivia. A number of locally organized immersion or mission trips are available through their diocese and with the Jesuits’ Encuentro Project in El Paso.

Patty wished there were more Maryknoll-related mission opportunities she could advertise. Patty and Manny, who at the November 2018 Board meeting were placed on the same Prototype team, have been working together to organize a database that lists Maryknoll mission service possibilities, as well as a list of Affiliates offering hospitality to Affiliates and other Maryknollers in the US.

Patty also invited Debbie Perotta to join us. Although not an Affiliate, Debbie had attended several Affiliate events with Patty. Debbie offered us some excellent questions and suggestions. She noticed that Affiliates are usually over 50 years old. One group she knew of, Net Ministries, has youthful members interested in mission and evangelization. We agreed that working with similar groups on joint projects or inviting them to join us for a special gathering or presentation could possibly interest them in Maryknoll. When we admired a symbol Debbie was wearing, she asked, “What is the symbol of the Maryknoll Affiliates?”

Patty shared that as a young woman she considered becoming a Maryknoll sister, but instead started her family. Then she considered the Maryknoll Lay Missioners. She has also been connected with the Franciscans, Cursillos, and the Brothers and Sisters of Charity. She has taken mission trips to Nicaragua and Jamaica. Having recently retired from her work as an accountant, she is looking into new adventures, including teaching English as a Second Language and more mission trips.

Patty said she was also looking forward to MAC 2020 next summer, the RC/Board meeting next November, learning about the projects of other Affiliate chapters, and especially about the progress of the other three Prototype groups. We all agreed that connection and communication between and among Affiliates and the various Maryknoll entities is vital for our future.

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