Articles (262)

Remembering Berrigan: Priest, Poet, and Prophet


Barbara LaCombe at May 11 vigil

Fr. Daniel Berrigan, SJ, died on April 30th. He had taught theology at Le Moyne College and Fordham University, New York, and was known for opposing the Vietnam War and later criticizing US nuclear policy. The Washington County, OR, Peace Vigil noted his passing and honors him by continuing his work for peace and nonviolence. Peace Vigil participants included Mary and Manny Hotchkiss, Barbara LaCombe, and Gerald Osacho of Holy Trinity Parish.

Wednesday, 29 June 2016 15:28

Are You a Teacher?

Written by

This spring, Teaching Tolerance, a project of the Southern Poverty Law Center,,  surveyed approximately 2,000 teachers, asking them how the presidential campaign was affecting their students and their teaching. The results indicated that the campaign is having a profoundly negative impact on schoolchildren across the country, producing an alarming level of fear and anxiety among children of color and inflaming racial and ethnic tensions in the classroom. The full report and survey responses are at

Wednesday, 29 June 2016 15:19

A Mission of Accompaniment

Written by

Kris Neufeld – NSFA Staff Editor

As Affiliates, many of us have found ways to answer the call of Maryknoll—“to welcome the stranger and to walk with the people.” Members of the Sisters, Fathers and Brothers, and Lay Missioners often answer this call in the “field afar,” whereas most of us find the stranger, the deprived, the needy and lonely right here among us. Sometimes our answer to the call is short-term, like teaching English to new immigrants who then move on to self-sufficiency. Sometimes it’s visiting the incarcerated or working in a food pantry or offering rides to those without transportation.

Kitty Madden visits with a new mother and her baby at Casa Materna.

Whatever form our answer to this call takes, it is a special way of accompaniment. Kitty Madden, whom many of us know and support, calls accompaniment a “bridging work.” For the past 30 years, she has been a bridge between Nicaraguan women who need care in their pregnancies and friends in the North who help her in this work by financially supporting Casa Materna or, as some Affiliates have done, by going to Nicaragua on short-term mission. Imagine the power of the accompaniment that has been given to over 17,000 mothers since the beginnings of this outreach.

Mary Moritz – NE Florida Chapter,
Southeast Co-Regional Coordinator

Matt Rousso, with guests Monsignor Vincent Haut and Lou Lombana

On May 7, the Northeast Florida Maryknoll Affiliates, in collaboration with the Society’s mission education efforts, were happy to host a day of reflection on the encyclical, Laudato Si: On Care for Our Common Home. Maryknoll Mission Educator Matt Rousso led the day of reflection. He and his wife, Janet, long-time Maryknoll Affiliates, traveled from New Orleans for this special program.

At dinner the night before, where Matt and Janet informally met with our Chapter members, we discussed practical ways to be better stewards of the earth and its resources, including steps as simple as using real plates vs. paper ones (we used real!). Matt and Janet shared how they had invested in solar power for their home as a result of their concern for the environment.

Affiliates Jean Fields, Mary Williams (Northeast Florida Chapter Coordinator), and Janet Rousso

Sixteen of us, both Affiliates and guests from the local community, gathered for the Saturday program. We invited our guests to consider joining us for a future Affiliate meeting and have heard from three of them that they plan to do so. 

Matt Rousso

Fr. Ed Shellito, MM, introduced Matt and his important topic, and Matt began by talking about how Laudato Si differs from other encyclicals. He noted that the Pope used everyday (vs. “Churchified”) language. Also, the encyclical is addressed to every person living on this planet, whereas the first encyclical of Pope Francis had been addressed to all the members of the Church. Matt pointed out that Pope Francis was only the latest Pope to speak about the need to take care of our planet—we can hope that the message is finally being heard more widely.

One important point is the harmful effect that climate change has on the poor. For example, the poor are much more likely to lack clean water than are people of means. Matt said his mission trips to Guatemala have shown him firsthand that many people there lack clean water. Closer to home, the water challenges in the city of Flint, Michigan, came up in our discussion. 

We watched the video, “The Gospel of Creation” and a short video on Pope Francis’s February Prayer Intention. The Pope reminded us that the earth is our common heritage and that we should become free of “the slavery of consumerism.” The Pope made a special prayer request: “That we may take good care of creation, cultivating and protecting it for future generations.”

As an older person and a grandmother, a compelling question for me was, “What kind of world do we want to leave to those who come after us?” In our discussion, one person said he felt the need to re-dedicate himself to ecological educational efforts, and another shared her desire to become free of an excessive need to shop.


We were left with much to ponder about the conversion to which God is calling us. We are very grateful to Matt, who was God’s instrument and enriched us by his willingness to share his understanding of Laudato Si with us.

Wednesday, 29 June 2016 15:01

Albany Chapter Event

Written by
Archbishop Michael L. Fitzgerald

On a pleasant May weekend, Affiliates from the Albany Chapter visited the Maryknoll Sisters in Ossining. The occasion was a presentation and discussion led by Archbishop Michael L. Fitzgerald, a Missionary of Africa and one of the leading experts on Islam, Muslim-Christian relations and Interreligious dialogue among the senior hierarchy of the Catholic Church. Previously the head of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, Archbishop Fitzgerald has been the papal nuncio to Egypt and a delegate to the Arab League. 

Visitors from Albany Chapter: Rich Lessard, Denise Lessard, Chris Minnear, Santa Orlando, Frank Hegener, Connie Centrello, Bill Minnear, Joan Chesterfield, Diane Madrigal


Wednesday, 29 June 2016 14:40

Spotlight on the Sacramento Chapter

Written by

Patty Symkowick – Sacramento Chapter

Family Promise: (back row l to r) Bob Oceansak, Greg Wolfe, Kathy Ellis, Fred Rowe, Joe Symkowick. (front) Ann Carroll, Suzanne Christianson, Alice Rowe, Patty Symkowick and Dan Gilmour are working to provide a dinner for guests of Family Promise, a ministry which provides shelter, meals, and counseling for homeless families.

Our chapter began 14 years ago with six members. Two of us, Ernie Gillogley and Patty Symkowick, had traveled to Kenya with Maryknoll Friends Across Borders, where we learned about the Affiliate movement. When we returned we joined Kaz and Joan McFarland and Alma Paige who had been spending about three months every year in Thailand teaching English to Buddhist monks with Brother John Beeching, MM. Since some in our chapter were involved in the California State University, Sacramento, Newman Center, we recruited mainly from that community and opened our meetings to all who were interested in community, prayer, reflection, action, and global vision. Since that time we have grown to over 14 members. We have combined most of our activities with a very strong JustFaith Graduate community, and currently 19 people, most of them Maryknoll Affiliates, are participating in the JustFaith module on the Ecological Crisis.

Wednesday, 29 June 2016 14:09

On The Sultan and the Saint 

Written by

Penny Robinson – NSFA Staff Editor, Fox Cities Chapter, Wisconsin

Kathie Gribble, third from left, in small group of Muslims and Catholics

What’s it going to take for different cultures/faith traditions to co-exist peacefully?

What’s it going to take for people to get past their biases and fears of the “other,” to accept and live peacefully with each other? Participants may have found one answer in a JustFaith Ministries eight-week study, The Sultan and the Saint: Muslims and Christians Working Together for the Common Good, based on a book by that name. The springboard was a meeting between St. Francis of Assisi and the Sultan around 1219, during the Fifth Crusade.

Wednesday, 29 June 2016 13:56

You’re All Invited!

Written by


The Guatemala Maryknoll Affiliates Chapter cordially invites you to the Verbo Encarnado Retreat Center ( in Guatemala from November 9-12, 2017, for MAC 2017.

For the first time ever, our global vision takes us outside the US for the international Maryknoll Affiliate Conference (MAC). 

Wednesday, 29 June 2016 05:38

Calls to Mission

Written by

Mary Massaro – Board Nominating Committee 

Long ago, I responded to that call to mission, not sure of what I had to offer but eager to try. As so many missioners discovered, what we had to offer paled in comparison to what we received. And so it was that I spent nine years in Tanzania learning what it means to be in dialogue and community with those whose experience of God was different from mine but no less grounded in the Divine, people whose life struggles were so very immediate, and whose culture was so rich in affirming one’s connection to and sense of belonging in community.

My life’s journey then shifted from religious to married life, but never did I, or my husband, doubt that call to mission. I was blessed to continue service in partnership with Africans in their local communities through the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC). This Catholic learned so much from the Peace Testimony of Quakers openly and courageously responding and giving voice to communities ravaged by civil wars and the lack of basic necessities, nearly forgotten by the world community.

Tuesday, 28 June 2016 17:22

Affiliates Work for Wholeness

Written by

Lenore Smith-Aman – New Jersey Chapter

At a recent meeting, the New Jersey Affiliate Chapter explored what might be an Affiliate’s response to the present political climate, and ways to elevate the level of discourse. As people of faith and hope, imbued with the values of Maryknoll, what can we offer?

Our small group listed the concerns that are most pressing to us:

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