Most Maryknoll Affiliates know that our organization began in 1991 under the guidance of Fr. Jim Madden, MM, and Sr. Ellen McDonald, MM. However, members may not really know or fully appreciate how the founders’ vision for its growth and future influenced the formation of the Affiliates Movement.
On June 28, 2000, Mary J. Murphy, Westchester Chapter, conducted and taped an interview with Fr. Jim and Sr. Ellen at the Maryknoll Center in Ossining, New York. It provided a forum for them to discuss the Affiliate Movement from their unique perspective; they were specifically asked to discuss the concept behind its formation, their hopes/vision for the organization, and their reflections on the Affiliates’ development to that point. The interview was captured as a video entitled, “The Early Moments,” with Fr. Jim Madden and Sr. Ellen McDonald.
Our Albany Chapter first viewed this video in 2011 when we decided to review the history of the Affiliates Movement and the Four Pillars. Since 2011, we have added several new members, and so we decided to review the history and the pillars again. After much searching, we were able to find and to view the video at our January meeting; we were pleased by our members’ reactions. The general consensus was that this film is a valuable piece of Maryknoll Affiliate history, especially in light of the passing of Fr. Jim in 2014. Our members thought that the film was inspiring, moving, and heart-warming. The abounding joy, love, and enthusiasm of Fr. Jim and Sr. Ellen for the Affiliates and for the Maryknoll charism were so clearly evident as they spoke. We hope that other Chapters will consider viewing this important piece of our Maryknoll Affiliate history.
A few months ago, the Affiliate Board asked Chapters to consider our future--where do we want the Affiliates to be in five years? Where do you think that we will actually be in five years? Viewing this interview may be extremely helpful and valuable to us as we contemplate our responses to those questions. Knowledge of our past and of the vision of the founders may serve as a beacon to guide our future course, to keep us true to their ideals, to keep us from straying too far afield of their intentions and dreams.
Once again, the Maryknoll Sisters are offering a full slate of pertinent workshops. Does one of these topics offered in May-June have your name on it? Register soon to obtain a space. (A limited number of tuition scholarships are available.)
Here we are.
I am the corn
and you are the bean plant.
Your roots intertwine
we flourish together
in this field
that is life.
Originally published in Daniel Caño’s Spanish/Mayan/English book of
poetry, Savage Prayer. Reprinted with permission.
Buen Vivir—“living in harmony and equilibrium with the cycles of Mother Earth, the cosmos, and life in all its forms,” caused me to reflect on Lent in some different ways. This Lent, we might do a few things to connect with all creation:
• Take a walk at least once a week and appreciate the beauty of nature—listen and let it speak to your heart.
• Connect with an Affiliate you don’t know well—if possible, someone outside your own country.
• Read a book and reflect/pray on our connection with all life. Check out Orbis books (http://www.orbisbooks.com) for some ideas.
• Make it a point to use that leftover food and be conscious of not wasting.
• Try a vegetarian life-style, if possible during all of Lent, or at least more often than on Fridays.
• Fast more frequently, in varying degrees: skip lunch and send the money saved to Maryknoll projects.
• Contact your state/local representatives and stand up against injustice. Many issues are described at the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, maryknollogc.org.
• Read NSFA or NTLH cover to cover, and pray for those mentioned.
• Volunteer at a homeless shelter or food pantry/outreach program in your area.
May some of these ideas, and other ways you think of to connect with creation during Lent, bring a sense of new life to you this Easter.
The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons opened for signature at United Nations headquarters in New York on 20 September 2017 and will remain open indefinitely. Once 50 nations have ratified or acceded to it, it will enter into force. The US has not yet ratified.
This prayer service is derived from Pax Christi International’s Interfaith Prayer Service for Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty Negotiations, conducted on March 28, 2017, at the Isaiah Wall, NYC. Your chapter might use it at a chapter meeting or arrange an interfaith prayer service in your area.
Sr. Arlene Trant MM, recently returned from mission in Macau, reached out to us for ideas and help with Mission Education in the US, her new assignment with the Maryknoll Sisters. She offers a few areas for brainstorming:
These Maryknoll Affiliates passed away in 2017:
Warren Bowhall, Albany Chapter, April 17
Mary D’Arcy, Subway Chapter, NY, August 2
Carrolyn Williams, New Jersey Chapter, September 16
Mary Ryan-Hotchkiss – Portland Chapter
We are teachers of the people who have come on a new vision of things. We struggle to embody that vision day after day, to make it a reality among those we live with, so that people are literally disarmed by knowing us; so that their fear of change, their dread of life are exorcised, and their dread of human differences slowly expunged.
—Daniel Berrigan, The Village Voice
Priest, peace activist, poet, and felon, Dan Berrigan, SJ, passed away peacefully at age 90 in 2016, but he is not forgotten.
Affiliate Nancy MacFarland brought John Records to the editors’ attention by reposting his thoughts (shared below) on her Facebook page. When we inquired, she told us, “John Records is an inspiring man who had lived in our community (Petaluma, CA) for many years. He created a homeless shelter that comprehensively met the needs of homeless people in a holistic way which became a model for other shelter programs. He is a spiritually centered person who has deeply touched the lives of all those around him.”
I’ve given a lot of thought to the message that follows, knowing it may offend some. It’s not meant to be political. I ask those who take offense to look into my heart and recall what I stand for.
At age 66, I’ve been involved in many social changes and movements: opposing the Vietnam war, marching against nuclear arms, teaching meditation to people with HIV/AIDS when it was untreatable, working against the tobacco industry’s campaigns to hook children, working for homeless folks, and now supporting dying people and those who care for them. I’ve been stretched to what I thought was my limit and beyond many times.
What book would you like to read next? Both current and potential book discussion group members are invited to suggest titles. We have found Orbis Books (www.orbisbooks.com) to be an excellent source, with the advantage of their 40% discount for Maryknoll Affiliates and book group members.
Start your nonviolent journey each day with an inspirational quote from Pace e Bene.
“Our hearts are not defeated,” Mr. Goldtooth said. “The closing of the camp is not the end of a movement or fight. It is a new beginning. They cannot extinguish the fire that Standing Rock started.”
A Radical Faith: The Assassination of Sister Maura
By Eileen Markey, Nation Books
“Portrait of a Martyr,” a review of Markey’s book that appeared in America Magazine on January 2, 2017, gives insight into the person and life of Maryknoll Sister Maura Clarke and the evolution of mission. (http://www.americamagazine.org/arts-culture/2016/12/22/remembering-martyrs-their-humanity-well-their-faith)
Reviewer Elizabeth Kirkland Cahill writes, “Maura’s years in Central America coincided with a period of sweeping transformation in the church’s understanding of its role in the world. Unsurprisingly, the Maryknoll nun’s perspective evolved accordingly. Originally focused on teaching that would allow poor Nicaraguans to improve their lives, Maura’s sense of purpose became more radically identified with the poor and infused with a desire to change the structural inequities that created and perpetuated poverty. Yet her posture was not political, but spiritual: The work of the Christian is to build the world Christ ushered in, by affirming the dignity and basic human rights of every person. Maura’s approach to the people of Nicaragua and El Salvador was one of complete, transcendent generosity and love. …”
In what could be advice for Affiliates, the reviewer quotes a Salvadoran nun who told the nephew of Ita Ford, MM*, “You do not have to be in El Salvador to continue your aunt’s mission.” After returning to the US, the nephew “realized the dream of opening Cristo Rey New York High School, a college preparatory school whose students—75 percent of whom are Latino—engage in a rigorous curriculum and work at entry-level business jobs. These students ... honor Ita Ford, Maura Clarke, and their two colleagues as the spiritual founders of Cristo Rey New York.” Affiliates also continue Maura’s and Ita’s mission when working not so far afield, in their own neighborhoods.
*Four church women were martyred in El Salvador in 1980: Maura Clarke and Ita Ford of Maryknoll, Ursuline sister Dorothy Kazel, and laywoman Jean Donovan.