About every other edition, the co-editors of NSFA ask me (I kiddingly claim with some arm-twisting going on) to consider writing an article. Sometimes they suggest a theme and provide leading questions to do so. Here are the fluffy-soft questions they came up with this time: What signs of hope do you see among us? How have we been connecting with the rest of Maryknoll? What is our biggest challenge? All any of us would need to effectively address these questions is a lifetime plus a few more weeks. Of course, these are very worthy questions for where we find ourselves today. With that in mind, and with unawareness of my limitations, some thought on those questions follows.
Maryknoll Affiliate Board
Meets May 5-7, 2017, at Maryknoll
MAC 2017 in Guatemala is uppermost in the Board’s thoughts this spring, but they will also be discussing reports and plans of the three committees formed in response to the 2015 Affiliate Survey: Communication, Connection, and Sustainability/Growth. The consideration of new chapters and of virtual chapters is also on the agenda.
So that the Regional Coordinators (RCs) can focus their travel time and expenses on MAC 2017 in Guatemala, they will be “virtually” included in this Board meeting via Skype. One area the RCs will review with the Board is how RCs are selected and how long they should serve.
Driving into the Hudson Valley for our October board meeting, I saw the magnificent and glorious fall colors; seasons are something that elude us here on the California Central Coast. Though basking in the colors, my thoughts were muted by the news from Chicago Affiliate Renate Schneider. She works with various development projects in Jeremie, Haiti, one of the areas hardest hit by Hurricane Matthew.
We are currently seeking nominations for appointment to the Maryknoll Affiliate Board. Are you dedicated to serving the Affiliate movement and committed to building a strong and sustainable organization? Please contact us if you, or someone you know, is able and ready to respond to this invitation.
Our annual invitation for you to participate in keeping Maryknoll Affiliates going will arrive soon. We need your help to cover the costs of communicating: newsletters, website, telephone, Executive Coordinator travel, paper clips...
Working together we can do it!
Seeking Global Community is our Affiliate vision statement. “Seeking” might not be the perfect verb (up until a few years ago, it was “Creating,” but that seemed a touch grandiose). Nevertheless, global community was and is at the heart of our intention.
So, we ask if the world today is more unified or less unified than it was yesterday? Is there a sense, if still faint, that we are a part of a wondrous whole, an integral, connected global community? The evidence for and against this supposition is abundant.
As the Affiliate Board and Regional Coordinators (RCs) met at Maryknoll for their combined Spring meeting, the atmosphere in the meetings matched that outside, with renewal and promise, where the daffodils and tulips were leading the budding of shrubs and trees. Of many decisions taken by the Board/RCs that are promising and exciting, I will highlight two.
This year we celebrate 25 years as an Affiliate movement. There are over 700 active Affiliates in 55 Chapters in 9 countries – Bolivia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Korea, Mexico, Peru, Philippines, Tanzania and the US. I wonder if the founders of the movement, Jim Madden, MM, and Ellen McDonald, MM, could have imagined such expansive growth in such a short time. These numbers only hint at how many hearts have been moved, how much solidarity felt, and justice realized as we live out the Maryknoll charism that inspired the movement
Northwest – Ralph Maughan and Janet Quillian
California – Joe & Peggy Santos/ RC needed
Great Plains/Southwest – RC needed
South Central – Ken Eppes
Midwest – Patty Hinton
Southeast – John & Mary Moritz
Northeast – Beth Begley
Mesoamerica – Cecilia Quijano
Peru – Maria Faran
Philippines – Ed Caharian
Adapted from Bob Short’s presentations at the 2015 Western and Midwest Regional Affiliate Conferences.
A phone conversation with Celine Woznica, the Chicago Central Chapter contact person, inspired this title. She and her husband Don are my friends from our days as Maryknoll Lay Missioners in Latin America. When asked if the Affiliate movement was beginning to wind down, she immediately replied, “No! It can’t wind down; so much in the world needs people with our vision and commitment.”
Join me in examining the impact of the Affiliate Movement from three perspectives: (1) the outer reality, (2) the inner reality, and (3) the Affiliate Pillars.
With 81 respondents, the Maryknoll Affiliate Board survey completed in August reaped 65 pages of rich data. A short summary will be on the website and in the NSFA in the coming months. Responses to the survey will guide the Board’s future actions in many areas, from development of a new brochure to expanding opportunities for mission experiences. From just one question—visioning, the Board has listed concerns/ideas and created committees to take action in the areas of communication, collaboration, and growth.
The Affiliate Board sends its thanks to all who completed Survey of Individual Affiliates which was conducted by your Maryknoll Affiliate Board this summer. The survey results will be discussed at the next Board meeting in October, and a report will be published online and in the NSFA before they move into the next stage of this “getting to know you” process with the Chapter Reflection.
The new Initial Formation program (and process) has been posted on the Maryknoll Affiliates website. The links to materials associated with each module are posted, and some materials can be downloaded for printing.
To open the Formation program, go to the website, maryknollaffiliates.org, and click on the Who We Are tab. On the Who We Are page, go to the Quick Links blue box on the right, click on Chapters and Formation, and look for “Initial Formation 2015.”
We especially thank John Moritz, Southeast Region co-coordinator with his wife Mary, for heading up this initiative.
“God exists as the mystery of persons in communion...Only in communion can God be what God is, and only in communion can God be at all...The mystery of divine love is hidden in the other, and it is precisely in the other that God shines through (or hides) in the unbearable wholeness of being.”—Ilia Delio
When asked, “What is a Maryknoll Affiliate?” Affiliates often say they struggle to find the right words and yet they know being one is something terribly important. Last fall, the Affiliate Board began some preliminary work on visioning, discernment, and needs assessment for today’s Affiliate movement—a work which cannot effectively be completed without full Affiliate participation and input. And so, we now invite you to enter this process together with us.
We ask you first to participate in an individual survey/reflection and then later as part of a Chapter discernment and reflection process.
A committee composed of Board members, Regional Coordinators, and the Executive Coordinator crafted an individual survey that focuses on three main themes: Maryknoll Affiliate Identity & Visioning – How do you understand the unique Affiliate expression of the Maryknoll Charism? What is your/our vision for the future of our movement? Engagement & Connection – How do we define and strengthen our relationships as Affiliates to Affiliates, Affiliates to Maryknollers? And, Mission Experiences & Demographics.
Why a Survey Now?
1. The Board, Regional Coordinators, and Executive Coordinator want to strengthen connections with the Affiliate membership and to invite members’ greater ownership in shaping our future. We are seeking new and creative ways to foster communication among the Board, Regional Coordinators, and Affiliates.
2. At recent general meetings, the Maryknoll entities stressed “collaboration.” Most significantly, they have invited us to join the Joint Meeting of Leadership (JML). The input gathered from Affiliates now will help us as we participate in this new model of engagement.
3. As the Affiliate movement approaches its 25th Anniversary next year, we hope this survey can help us learn together who we are now.
Completing the Survey
The survey is accessible online at http://goo.gl/forms/VcWTa6fikB. Your responses will be anonymous, although we do ask you to note your region. If you have access to a computer, please complete the survey online. To ensure your responses have been recorded, be sure to hit the SUBMIT button at the end.
If you do not have access to a computer, please ask your Chapter contact person or Regional Coordinator for a printed copy. Mail it to: Maryknoll Affiliates,
P.O. Box 311, Maryknoll, NY 10545-0311.
Including time for reflection, we think you can complete the survey in 30-45 minutes.
We ask that the survey be completed and submitted by June 30, 2015.
From Survey to Chapter Reflection
We are currently working on the second phase of this call to dialogue, the Chapter Reflection. For many Affiliates, deeper questions facing our movement will be explored most meaningfully within our chapters. Feedback from the individual survey will help us shape the upcoming chapter reflection process.
We realize the time it takes to complete the survey may seem substantial, but know that your input is essential to helping us understand what’s happening in the broader Affiliate movement now and how best to move it forward. As we move into the future and celebrate this great gift of our charism as Maryknoll Affiliates, we very much look forward to hearing from you.