Tuesday of Thanksgiving week, my wife Janet, along with a friend and co-volunteer from the St. Vincent de Paul Learning Center, took over our kitchen and began a feverish cooking spree. Several hours later, they filled the trunk of their car with huge pans of bread stuffing, bowls of salad, cranberry relish, etc., and headed for a center in one of the impoverished neighborhoods of New Orleans. There they met up with five other Maryknoll Affiliates and five volunteers from the Catholic Worker House. Along with Janet and Francis’s pans of food, more pans of mashed potatoes, baked turkeys, bread, and desserts were brought in and set up for serving.
In commemoration of the 35th Anniversary of the death of the Martyrs in El Salvador, Ita, Maura, Dorothy and Jean, who died on Dec 2, 1980, I will be taking my 28th annual Vow of Nonviolence at the Carmelite Sisters in Reno.
Jessie Poynton, MM, reminded many of us, “My friend Maura Clark entered Maryknoll the same year I did, in 1950, and was a close friend. And Ita Ford who worked in one of the most difficult missions in Chile for some seven years. Another dear friend. I also knew the other Sister and the lay-person, Jean, because I went to El Salvador when Carla Piette died there about six months earlier, in a flash flood. So I met all those great women. They are people of peace and reconciliation.”
We remember and honor them and hold them close.
On December 2, all the branches of the Maryknoll family in El Salvador gathered in the rural town of Santiago Nonualco to commemorate the lives of four churchwomen—Maryknoll Sisters Maura Clarke and Ita Ford, Ursuline Sister Dorothy Kazel, and Jean Donovan, a lay missioner for the Diocese of Cleveland—on the 35th anniversary of their martyrdom. All Maryknollers and the people of El Salvador, and many beyond share the inspiration these women offer.
David Stocker* – NSFA Staff Editor
Just back from a week in Georgia, I went to Columbus to attend the annual School of the Americas (SOA) protest and to meet the remarkable and controversial Roy Bourgeois, former Maryknoll priest and founder of the SOA Watch. As a priest, Bourgeois was an outspoken critic of US policy in Latin America. Subsequent to the murder of four American churchwomen, two of whom were Maryknoll Sisters, by SOA-trained assassins, Bourgeois founded SOA Watch and has maintained a 26-year tradition of civil disobedience and protest, including documentation of atrocities in Latin America linked to SOA training programs.
Pamela Cibik – “We must secure the border.” Is this not the refrain we so often hear when US politicians are asked to comment on immigration? Pam Cibik, Kathy Ress, and Gerry Mullaney—Northeast Ohio Maryknoll Affiliates—travelled to Douglas, Arizona, in late April to see the border. It is indeed secure, thanks to huge sums our government is spending on miles of “Keep Out” fencing, surveillance cameras, ground sensors, and the ubiquitous US Border Patrol presence. Our gracious hosts, the School Sisters of Notre Dame, gave us a view of this “border security.”
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.
Santa Orlando – Albany, NY, Chapter
As an Affiliate, I have had numerous opportunities to spend time with Maryknoll Fathers, Brothers, Sisters, and many other Affiliates. I have been to the Knoll for conferences, celebrations, and Institute classes and just to visit friends. What was missing in my Maryknoll exposure was contact with the Maryknoll Lay Missioners. I found myself asking, who are they, and what do they do? The desire to know led me to join 14 other travelers for a FAB (Friends Across the Border) trip to Bolivia. I met up with them at the Miami Airport, equipped with my carry-on luggage, a positive attitude, and the willingness to participate fully in the experience.
The free flow of global capital and the restriction of migrants desperate to escape violence is a paradox for today. It is impossible to understand the tragedy of poverty, corruption, and violence in Latin America without placing in context the systems of economic extraction and oppression that have gripped the region for five centuries. Knowing our own part in the history of empire, we can begin to discern critical connections, for example, between wildly gyrating global financial markets and millions of refugees in Europe; between the US War on Drugs and the disappearance of 43 students in Ayotzinapa-Mexico; between US rapprochement with Cuba and the immense US military build up in Colombia.
The October 2015 Board meeting completed Ann Carr’s final year as chair of the Maryknoll Affiliate Board. At a reception that weekend, Board members and many other Maryknoll missioners expressed gratitude for her dedicated service.
Below are statements drawn from a collection of tributes to Ann that were presented to her that evening. If you would like to add your remembrances of Ann not only during her tenure as Board president, but from any time in her life as a missioner, please feel free to post them on our Maryknoll Affiliates Facebook page.
Ann’s dedication to the Affiliates has kept us going, on track, and growing. I can only imagine the amount of time she has spent in thorough, thoughtful and respectful emails, phone calls, and meetings, late into the night.—Mary Ryan-Hotchkiss
Affiliates of the New Orleans/Gulf South Chapter eagerly shared what being an Affiliate means to them and how they maintain an active chapter.
New Orleans Affiliates say:
We are pleased to introduce our new Northwestern Region Co-Coordinators, both from the Seattle Chapter. They may be new to you, not having attended many conferences, but their resumes are impressive, filled with the quiet work of dedicated Affiliates.
Ralph Maughan – As an active Maryknoll Affiliate since 1996, Ralph Maughan has volunteered locally and globally. Br. Tim Raible learned that Ralph could be relied on to “table” for Maryknoll at various conferences and gatherings and called on him repeatedly. The Food Bank and the Intercommunity Peace and Justice Center also appreciate his ongoing volunteer work.
In this series of articles on Formation, we are intentionally not looking at the five themes in the order listed in the website: Affiliate Identity, Mission, Spirituality of Mission, Community, and Prophetic Witness. These themes are not linear or sequential; they are all relational with the other themes and build on each other. In upcoming articles, we will look at how the themes of Community and Mission contribute to our identity as Maryknoll Affiliates. Today, we look at the Formation theme of Prophetic Witness.
We are all prophets, every day. By where we live, what kind of car we drive, everything we do, we proclaim what we hold dear to us. As with all five Formation themes, Prophetic Witness is not so much about knowing things but is a process of discernment.We all make choices about how we live, and that speaks volumes about who we are. Both individually and communally, what we announce and denounce in word and action is what identifies us to the world around us.
Karen Bortvedt – Maryknoll Lay Missioner, Cambodia
My brain often feels like a station wagon from a 70s movie, loaded down with people, noise, and commotion, cruising along an empty highway until, suddenly, someone notices smoke seeping from under the hood. It pulls over, and someone opens the hood, no doubt burning his or her fingers, and releases a great cloud of steam. At this point, the whole gang realizes they are going nowhere soon or fast.
On a good day, I can make it until lunch without my brain fizzling out—from overheating either literally or metaphorically. Often, I have to push it from behind just to keep it moving forward. Either way, I am going nowhere fast in Cambodia – it is just not the culture.