The Benedictine Sisters of Boerne have a mission house in Eagle Pass, Texas, across the Rio Grande from Piedras Negras, Mexico. Sister Ursula Herrera is the only Sister at the house. Last December, the Sisters converted the house to a migrant respite shelter.
The migrants are delivered to the house around 7:00 in the evening. Sister feeds them dinner, gives them a change of clothes, and they sleep one night at the house. Sister feeds them breakfast the next morning, and they are then picked up at 9:00 AM to travel to San Antonio. Sister needs help cooking, washing bedding, making beds, cleaning and sorting clothes, buying groceries, etc. She averages approximately 28 migrants a night.
Sister does not have room for a group of volunteers. She has a very nice apartment with a full bath in a detached garage for two volunteers. It is an ideal setup for a couple.
Some chapters already had a special relationship with a Maryknoll Priest, Brother, Sister, or Lay Missioner when the Chapter Companions Initiative began. Others have requested a companion and are now enjoying getting to know their Maryknoll missioner.
This Question of the Month (QTM) was suggested by Tom McGuire, Chicago Chapter.
To answer this question, go to QTM #5.
If you haven’t seen the Affiliates’ answers to the previous Questions of the Month, you’ll also find a link to them on that page.
We look forward to hearing your views on this and future Questions of The Month.
We have begun a “Pope Francis Reading Club” in the New Orleans area to encourage Affiliates and as many people as possible to be in touch with the creative, visionary, and challenging thinking of our wonderful Pope Francis. We will only occasionally read a book by the Pope. Most of the time we will read copies of recent talks, homilies or excerpts from interviews he has given.
A highly enthusiastic group of 20 people helped develop the plan for the reading club. We will meet once a month at the Archdiocesan Retreat Center (the Cenacle), in Metairie, LA, on Monday evenings from 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM. There is no fee but we may make an occasional small free-will offering for the use of the Cenacle, the copy machine, etc.
For the month of August we are asking members to read The Joy of the Gospel, written in 2013, in which Pope Francis gives his fundamental vision for the church and society and includes most if not all of the issues he will deal with in more depth during his following years as Pope. We will discuss The Joy of the Gospel Monday, August 26. Our September meeting will be Monday, September 30.
The text is also available online: "Evangelii Gaudium".
We hope you will join us for what we believe will be a most fulfilling and enriching experience. If you don’t live in the New Orleans area and want to read along with the us you could email your comments or questions on the readings to Matt who might be able use them at their meeting.
As we struggle to make appropriate responses to the situations in our families, in our neighborhoods, and in the world, Cultivating Nonviolence offers alternatives. Affiliates are invited to learn more online and in person about nonviolence. The Cultivating Nonviolence program was developed for JustFaith in conjunction with Maryknoll and Pax Christi. It will help us to:
The eight-week October/November session consists of:
Each week we will share our thoughts and learnings through conference calls, emails, and Facebook.
We will read key sections of the engaging book, Personal Nonviolence, A Practical Spirituality for Peacemakers, by Gerhard A. Vandehaar. Copies can be ordered through Amazon, or we will email copies of short sections.
Chapters, consider creating your own welcome statement for use
when inviting others to join you in actualizing your vision.*
We would like to let you know that you belong...
People of African, Asian, European, or First Nations descent, and people of mixed and multiple descents. We say, “You belong.”
People along the continuum of gender identity and expression: gay, bisexual, heterosexual, transgender, cisgender, or queer folks, and everyone for whom those labels don’t apply. We say, “You belong.”
Bodies with abilities and challenges, living with chronic medical conditions, visible or invisible, mental or physical. We say, “You belong.”
People who are activists and those who aren’t. Mystics, believers, seekers of all kinds. People of all ages. We say, “You belong.”
Your emotions: joy, fear, grief, contentment, disappointment, surprise, and all else that flows through you. We say, “You belong.”
Your families, genetic and otherwise. Those dear to us who have died. Our ancestors and the future ones. The ancestors who lived where these buildings are now . . . we honor you through this work that we are undertaking. We say,
People who feel broken, lost, struggling; who suffer from self-doubt and self-judgment. We say, “You belong.”
All beings that inhabit this earth, human or otherwise: the two-legged, the four-legged, winged and finned, those that walk, fly, and crawl, above the ground and below, in air and water. We say, “You belong.”
*This statement was adapted from “Diversity Welcome,” which is made available for download by
Training for Change, along with a long list of other tools for workshops.
Have you considered attending a Mission Institute program?
If New York is too far for you, consider the California offerings!
There’s still time to sign up!
July 7-12 Listening for the Heartbeat of God: A Celtic Spirituality
Rev. John Philip Newell, PhD, and Cami Twilling
July 14-19 Teilhard and Struggle: Drawn to the Road of Fire
Sr. Kathleen Duffy, SSJ, PhD
July 21-26 Sacred Heart of the Cosmos: Mission Spirit in Modern Time
Br. Mickey McGrath, OSFS, MFA
Sept. 8-13 Mission Spirituality: Releasing the Fire Within – Monrovia, CA
Sr. Claudette LaVerdiere, MM, STL
Sept. 17-20 Mission Spirituality: Releasing the Fire Within – Los Altos, CA
Sr. Claudette LaVerdiere, MM, STL
Find the complete schedule and application forms at:
Register online or request an application form by:
Phone: 914-941-7575 @ 5671
Mail: Maryknoll Mission Institute
PO Box 311
Maryknoll, NY 10545-0311
Sept. 14 to 22 is 2019’s Week of Actions, and Campaign Nonviolence plans to have 3,000 actions around the world! Several Affiliate groups have participated in this annual effort, “working for a new culture of nonviolence free from war, racism, poverty, and environmental destruction.”
Learning, growing, transforming, and deepening ourselves and our society are signs of life.
Through my involvement with the Affiliates, I have embraced and continue deepening my identification with nonviolence. The JustFaith module, Cultivating Nonviolence, offers to us Maryknoll Affiliates a way to keep growing, cultivating.
Deepen our compassion, O God.
You are the judge, not us.
Our sister left behind home, family, culture, language
When she fled to protect her life,
her children, their future,
As greed and power ravaged her nation.
Our brother asked for refuge,
A refuge promised by the UN and the US,
But we welcomed him with detention,
Separation from loved ones.
Teach us to walk a mile in their sandals
And be moved to indignation and action.
Stretch our compassion, O God,
To embrace those
Who see this reality differently.
Move us beyond entrenched beliefs,
Inspire us to creative responses
And justice that restores relationships
And hope for all.
May those who knock at our door
Seeking refuge and hope,
Who are met with condemnation and walls
by this nation,
May they challenge us
To live our baptismal promise to the Gospel,
And may they judge us with compassion
when we fail.
Note: This prayer first appeared in the Maryknoll Lay Missioners’ Voices of Compassion, Spring 2019. Reprinted with permission.
What do orange water, coal dust, and American chestnut tree seedlings have to do with Pope Francis’ Encyclical Letter Laudato Si?
Join the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers from August 5-9 on our annual immersion trip/pilgrimage to the holy land of Appalachia to find out.
This 5-day immersion trip, in collaboration with Glenmary missioner Father John Rausch, who has lived and ministered in Appalachia for decades and is an expert on the issues there, includes:
Estimated cost: $650.00 This includes room, breakfasts, lunches and transportation. Dinners are the responsibility of the participants. We will begin the trip in Lexington, Kentucky, and travel through the nearby Appalachian region.Participants are responsible for their travel to and from Lexington, KY
Judy Pinney of Walla Walla, Washington, writes: Currently, we are working with our Catholic Social Concerns Committee on holding a possible bilingual prayer service to Our Lady of Guadalupe to pray for immigrants and asylum seekers. Our parish is over half Hispanic yet has been virtually silent regarding what is happening at the border and the call for Catholics/Christians to support immigrants. Some of us from both the Anglo and Hispanic communities have come up with a format for this possible service using materials from the USCCB website and are contacting the pastor this week for approval. If this comes to fruition, we would be happy to share the meeting outline with you in case any of you would like to use it in your parishes or in one of your meetings.
NSFA editor Paula Schaffner responds: My parish needs opportunities to bring our Anglo and Hispanic communities together, too. We’ll be looking forward to receiving your meeting outline!
Hugh Menton, Regional Coordinator for California, suggests: In the spirit of Affiliate connections and global vision, Jean [Hugh’s wife] prepared for our Affiliate meeting potluck the New Zealand-origin dish, Bean & Tomato Stew—Square Edge, that you [Paula Schaffner] shared in an email to your Chapter participants and copied me some time ago. It was delicious, as all in our Chapter who attended today’s meeting testified.
Has NSFA ever included an international potluck item recipe column? My impression is that almost every Chapter gathers around food and it is an easy avenue to introduce global awareness.
NSFA editors respond: We agree that sharing food can both build community and increase global awareness. We’ll start with this issue—look for the Potluck Recipe Exchange on page 8. It will also appear in occasional future issues.
So Many Books, So Little Time...
Because of a light response and busy schedules, Book Group 2019 is being delayed until fall.
Be with us at the
Maryknoll Affiliate Conference!
SAVE THE DATE:
June 25-28, 2020
The site, Graymoor Spiritual Life Center at Garrison, NY has easy access from the Metro-North train line and is less than 25 minutes from the Maryknoll Center.
A small, initial Planning Team of Celine Woznica (Chicago Central), Ginny McEvoy (Long Island) and Bob Short (Greater Boston) will provide updates as plans evolve.
Watch for invitations to contribute your skills and help make this conference memorable in the fine MAC tradition!
Do you “Like” us?
Visit www.facebook.com/maryknollaffiliates/ and LIKE or FOLLOW us. Post your Affiliate photos, activities, or an inspiring quote or article you’ve seen.
Another View of Leadership
Patrisse Cullors, Black Lives Matter Movement founder, says, “We are not leaderless, we are leader-full.” ...It is difficult to infiltrate, undermine, or disrupt an organic movement that draws its power from regenerating communal cells.
—Richard Rohr, 4/13/18
What makes America great?
Military might or material wealth?
Democratic ideals or Republican values?
Freedom to say and be and do what you please?
A history of helping those in need?
The right to criticize elected officials and
government policies without fear?
The peace in which to worship God
or the choice not to believe at all?
Tolerance for those who disagree?
All, some or none of the above?
What makes America different?
That we are a nation without faults or
that we have the wisdom and courage
to acknowledge and correct them?
That we close our minds and borders
or that we welcome all who come
—as once we or our ancestors did—
seeking freedom and a better life?
That in America all must think, talk, eat,
dress, act, love, pray and live alike?
Or that each individual can pursue
his or her own vision of happiness?
What makes America different?
Our tolerance for differences.
Diversity makes America great.
Diversity makes America strong.
Each addition to our ranks enriches
and empowers the whole.
We hold these truths to be self-evident.
Reprinted from Maryknoll magazine Vol 89, Number 7, 1995, Maryknollmagazine.org.