This was our third Maryknoll Fathers & Brothers immersion trip but the first time Peggy and I visited Jamaica. The main purposes of these immersion trips are to experience Christ wherever we go and to be present to all those we encounter. This trip certainly fulfilled these objectives for us.
It took many of us some time to get acclimated to the heat and humidity that we felt the minute we deplaned, but our accommodations were comfortable and the hospitality provided by our host was wonderful. We plunged right in with songs, prayers, and introductions so that we would get to know each other, since most of the 11 of us had not met each other before.
On our recent visit to Tanzania we were struck by how much has happened to the people we knew as children in 2004. We spoke to them in Swahili as elementary school children and now they are attending universities, speaking with us in English and, using all the modern communication techniques from computers to cell phones, sending us TSM messages and emails. It amazes us.
These beautiful Tanzanian children who are now young adults make a difference in our lives.
We had a quick visit with Sr. Rose Marie Cecchini, MM, and noted that the Pillars that animate Maryknoll Affiliates—Spirituality, Community, Global Vision, and Action—are also evident in her work.
Sr. Rose Marie Cecchini, MM, is based in Gallup, NM, and is the director of the Office of Peace, Justice, and Stewardship of Creation for the Diocese of Gallup. During her many years in mission in Japan, she learned of the lasting damage from nuclear disasters. Her diocesan office is now an ally of MASE, Multicultural Alliance for a Safe Environment, which addresses the legacy of uranium contamination and related illnesses in the Gallup area. Sr. Rose Marie spoke on this topic at the 2011 Affiliate Conference in Las Vegas. Related articles were in the NSFA in 2011 and 2013.
Marta and I traveled for five weeks, visiting two daughters and their families in Bangkok and Laos and Maryknollers in five countries. We found that the Maryknoll mission and service in Southeast Asia is still going strong. Our visit caused me to reflect on the presence and legacies of China and the United States in the region and to note its ties to Affiliates in San Diego today.
Hong Kong. The Maryknoll house in Stanley, Hong Kong, built about 80 years ago as a base for mission efforts in China, overlooks the South China Sea. During our nights there, monsoonal winds buffeted the house. It withstood them, like the mission itself, changing as China and Church have changed. Today’s Maryknollers—priests, brothers, sisters, and lay people—have carved out some well thought out, strategic niches in areas like education and communications, adapting with the local church to political and ideological constraints, turning over initiatives to laypeople who share the vision and charism. While we were there, Maryknollers were conducting a retreat for women religious superiors from different parts of the Chinese mainland.
Often credited with being the first Maryknoll Affiliate, Lynn Houston passed away on February 18th. We share stories of her Affiliate leadership over 25 years to remind ourselves what one person can do.
Lynn was a:
Buen Vivir —Living in Fullness
The concept of Buen Vivir is rooted in the indigenous cosmologies and traditions of thought of Latin America.
We will be hosted by the Guatemala Chapter at the Verbo Encarnado Retreat House, an hour from Guatemala City. Surrounded by beautiful gardens, the center is operated by the Congregation of the Sisters of Charity of Verbo Encarnado, out of Houston, Texas.
In November, at above 6,000 feet, San Lucas, Sacatepéquez, Guatemala, is cool and comfortable.
Simultaneous translation into English will be provided.
The cost of the conference—fees, rooms, and meals—will be similar to previous MACs. Additional tours and visits can be arranged at a reasonable cost.
The Maryknoll Affiliate Board encourages each chapter to send a member and will again offer travel grants to promote broad attendance.
MAC2017 promotes greater unity and sharing of Maryknoll Spirituality and seeks to be inclusive and to broaden the circle among the Maryknoll entities.
Come help us celebrate the
25th Anniversary of the Maryknoll Affiliates.
A new book discussion ..group, open to all Maryknollers, is forming. In response to the Affiliate survey and inspired by the new series from Orbis Books, Catholicity in an Evolving Universe
(http://www.orbisbooks.com/category-234/), several Affiliates suggest discussing Making All Things New: Catholicity, Cosmology, Consciousness, by Ilia Delio, OSF (http://www.orbisbooks.com/making-all-things-new.html).
Participation does not require travel because the discussions will be through free conference calls and/or on-line, but email and a telephone are needed. Participants will determine the group’s timeline and format.
Paul Wilkin – Salvatorian Novice
Former Seattle Chapter Affiliate
You may remember that I attended Seattle Affiliate meetings in 2010 and 2011. I lived on Vashon Island, ran my design company from home, and was discerning religious life as a priest or brother. That discernment process brought me back to my hometown of Cincinnati, OH, to find out how close I needed to be to my family. Through my experiences in 2012, I came to realize that I could live in any county, state, or country and still receive great family support. With that settled, I continued to look into approximately 25 religious orders.
In 2011, the Markyknolls were one of my first orders to contact; however, I am a “late vocation,” so my age kept me out. That same year, I found the Society of the Divine Savior (SDS)—Salvatorians, at vocationnetwork.org. When I saw their mission statement: the SDS “proclaims and teaches by all ways and means the goodness and kindness of Jesus the Savior,” it hit home since I am a jack-of-all-trades. A second draw to the Salvatorians was that they are international and part of what they do is missionary service. This missionary spirit is what is calling me.
The New Orleans Chapter of Maryknoll Affiliates invites all Affiliates to their Regional Conference! Spend a weekend on the shore of Lake Pontchartrain with fellow Affiliates and other Maryknollers. Hear and discuss the messages of the keynote speakers:
The schedule includes time for prayer and reflection, as well as many opportunities to connect with others during community-building activities, over meals, and at a Cajun fais do do and talent show. You will also gain access to Fr. Gerry Kelly, MM’s Third Wave resources for mission education.
(Arrangements may be made to extend your stay before or after the conference.)
Matt Rousso – 504-866-8516 or 504-376-4142
Take advantage of this opportunity to see a different side of vibrant and historic New Orleans.
The Maryknoll Affiliates New England Chapter met for our annual retreat at Watch Hill, RI, Nov. 13-15. Rather than follow a formal framework, attendees shared life events and spiritual insights related to the theme of the three A’s of Maryknoll Spirituality.
“Retreat master” Myra Plant instructed us to define the relevance of the three A’s which characterize Maryknoll Spirituality: affability, availability, and adaptability. Three groups took an hour to define these terms and compare the definitions with our daily lives and sense of mission. These are some of the thoughts and phrases that emerged:
The 2015 Maryknoll Affiliate Survey produced 60 pages of responses, giving Affiliate leadership guidance and challenges for years to come. In all, 82 people, mostly US Affiliates completed the survey, which was a mix of qualitative (dialog box) and quantitative questions. Board member Rich Lessard led the survey committee, from survey design through beta testing, compilation of responses, and presentation of preliminary results to the Board.
To connect with Affiliates more directly, the survey asked what being an Affiliate means to them, how they relate to other Maryknollers, and their deeper heart wishes, passions, and abiding commitments. The purpose was to clarify and strengthen our relationships as Affiliates-to-Affiliates and as Affiliates-to-Maryknollers—Sisters, Fathers and Brothers, and Lay Missioners, and to invite all Affiliates into greater ownership of future direction setting.
Scouting the massive Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah, set up for the 10,000 scheduled attendees, I was awed. A luxuriant parade of multi-colored folks from 80 countries were walking the corridors, meeting with friends, making new acquaintances, and scouting the environment like me. When else can you get to see some 40 different religious and spiritual traditions of the world in one place, with one heart and soul? So much peace and goodwill showed in everyone’s faces, and we shared the same mood of cheerful greeting. Awesome!
Chicago Affiliate Renate Schneider has invited many Affiliates to join her in Haiti since 2010. For several years, my wife Ann and I had been spending three cold Wisconsin winter weeks in sunny, warm Haiti, teaching at the University of the Nouvelle Grand’Anse (UNOGA) in the small city of Jeremie, surrounded by very, very, very rural Haiti.
Ann taught conversational English, and I taught a course in basic project management. Ann’s teaching English to Haitians was a no-brainer. Haitians are always anxious to practice their English with others, and knowing English could help them get a position with one of the many NGOs (non-government organizations) that have established residency on the island. There may be more NGOs in Haiti than there are trees. Ann went on to develop a structured curriculum that any future teacher could pick up and follow.
On November 21st, Father John Spain, MM, came to Caminando Por La Paz here in Guatemala City to offer a memorial Mass for our Founder, Thomas Goekler, MM, who died on Thanksgiving Day, 2010.
When Father Tom died, it was believed that Caminando had very little chance of continuing its projects in Paradiso II, one of the most marginalized barrios of Guatemala City. We feel assured God wants the program because it is still here and growing slowly. Yes, of course the loss of Father Thomas was a great tragedy, but so much has happened since.