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.
After my volunteer assignment in San José, Costa Rica, I traveled by bus to visit Kitty Madden, a Maryknoll Affiliate in Matagalpa, Nicaragua. She has lived there for 29 years, putting her heart and soul into serving the needs of high-risk pregnant women. Casa Materna, established in 1991 as the very first maternal care center in Nicaragua, offers food, shelter, education, medical care, transportation and support for high-risk pregnant women from rural areas for one to two weeks before and after childbirth.
Only a few miles from Seattle, Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action shares fence line with the third largest nuclear arsenal in the world, Naval Submarine Base Kitsap-Bangor. This base contains more nuclear weapons than the countries of Israel, North Korea, China, India, Pakistan, England, and France combined. Ground Zero, founded in 1977 by Jim and Shelley Douglass, offers ongoing training in nonviolence and resistance to nuclear weapons. Ground Zero distributes leaflets to folks entering the base almost every week and has influenced some of them to support Ground Zero.
Imagine this: You are in a foreign country, waiting for a van in front of your hotel. You notice a woman who was on the bus from the airport the night before and at breakfast. She smiles and you start talking, haltingly in a combination of gestures, some English and assorted, memorized foreign phrases. You learn that she is on her way to Rome to study Italian for 15 days, leaving her husband behind for this short trip. You try to explain that you are there on a mission trip and are waiting for a van to pick you up. When the bus for the airport arrives, she smiles and gives you a hug “goodbye.”
This was one of my first experiences in Sao Paulo, Brazil, waiting for Catherine Heinhold, the Maryknoll Lay Missioner who would be our guide for 11 days. A hug at the end of a brief conversation! What kind of people are these Brazilians? I told this story to Catherine shortly after she picked up my husband Bryan and me. She commented that the lady I spoke to probably continued to think of me on her way to the airport and wonder about my life.
My husband, John, and I met Marie and Lee Parmly when we made our Cursillo weekends some 40 years ago. Marie and Lee were active in Cursillo, Marriage Encounter, and the Charismatic Movement. We knew their five children were grown and they were retired, but we still marveled at all that they did in service to God.
Several years after we met them, Lee and Marie were in a serious car accident. Lee died and Marie was injured. Marie’s faith sustained her during this difficult time, and after she recovered, she felt called to be a Maryknoll Lay Missioner. Eventually, Marie convinced the Lay Missioners that she wasn’t too old.
Marie went to Mexico as a Lay Missioner, and we didn’t see her for a while. Then we heard that Marie had been shot in Mexico and was returning to the states to recover. Finally, she came back to Florida and we would see her from time to time.
Beginning on Friday evening with a welcome from Northwest Regional Coordinator and Seattle Affiliate Jerrie Drinkwine, on through Sunday morning Mass, the Western Regional Affiliate Conference was a journey into mission, social justice, and community among attendees. We learned of those on the margins: migrant farm workers; trafficked men, women and children; the people of Haiti and El Salvador. Conference goers experienced an atmosphere of community, meeting and making friends.