A review of Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right, by Arlie Russell Hochschild, The New Press, New York, 2016.
For the last five years, Arlie Russell Hochschild, a sociology professor from Berkeley, listened to, observed, and became friends with the people in the Louisiana bayou—Tea Party country. Her sociological study provides insight into the almost inevitable election of Trump. In her words, the political climate was “like a pile of dry kindling waiting for a spark to ignite it.” Hochschild’s stories flesh out her exhaustive study of the Louisiana bayou people who live in a very petrochemically polluted, poverty-riddled area.
We may feel really good living in our little isolated bubble. But there are many bubbles, large and small. How big is our family? We feel good when we are within our bubble, but Professor Hochschild’s study asks us to go outside our comfort bubble and be with others.
Strangers in Our Own Land speaks to a missioner’s approach when entering another culture. Quoting Max Warren, of The Church of Ireland Missionary Society, “Our first task in approaching another culture, another religion, is to take off our shoes, for the place we are approaching is holy. Else we may find ourselves treading on other peoples dreams. More serious still, we may forget that God was here before our arrival.”
Fr. Russ Feldmeier, MM, is on the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers’ General Council and represents the Society on the Affiliate Board. He reminisced that in 1992, as the Affiliates were forming, he was named to the Affiliate Board, even before there was an Affiliate on the Board! After many years on mission in Korea, he has returned for visits. In 2015, Fr. Russ was able to be present at the Covenant signing of the Korean Affiliate Chapter.
Were you associated with the Maryknoll Affiliates 25 years ago? We’d like to share your reminiscences during our year of celebration!
If your copy of the appeal letter has disappeared, it is available here: Appeal Letter - 2017
The last day to sign up is January 7. See Book Club Session 2 SIGN UP SHEET
As a powerful way to start the new year, consider taking Pax Christi’s vow of nonviolence, available at: https://paxchristiusa.org/resources/vow-of-nonviolence/
The Mission Institute will offer a dozen programs during 2017, beginning with the following:
May 7-12 Michael Morwood, MA
(Sun – Fri) Whatever Happened to Jesus?
May 14-19 Barbara Fiand, SNDdeN, PhD
(Sun – Fri) Come, Drink Deep of Living Waters
May 21-26 Edwina Gateley, MA
(Sun – Fri) Mystics, Rebels, Prophets and You!
June 4-9 Janet K. Ruffing, RSM, PhD
(Sun – Tue) Nature and Poetry as Openings to the Mystical
June 11-16 Gail Worcelo, CP, MA
(Sun – Fri) Momentum of Grace: The Deepening of Being in a World of Becoming
June 18-23 Elias Omondi Opongo, SJ, PhD
(Sun – Fri) Structures of Sin and Personal Conversion Towards Social Transformation
The complete 2017 schedule is available at https://maryknollsisters.org/maryknoll-mission-institute-2/.
You may register online, or to obtain application forms—
Write: Maryknoll Mission Institute
P.O Box 311
Maryknoll, NY 10545-0311
A Review of Just Water by Christiana Z. Peppard, Orbis Books Series on Integral Ecology.
This follow-up to Laudato Si, Just Water by Christiana Z. Peppard, presents very practical, though not easy, steps to protect our most essential resource. Already on page 22, I was challenged to change my way of life. Its principal assertion is that water conservation is a “right-to-life” issue. It is not fair for the first world to use up Earth’s water supply while leaving those most poor to pay the consequences. To reduce the threat to our water supply, we need to stop focusing on domestic use, only eight percent of total use, and attend to industrial and agricultural use.
The Gift of Enough*
I love you and I wish you enough...
[Taken from a story overheard in the airport as a daughter took leave of her elderly mother. When the mother was asked the meaning of these words of farewell, she replied, “that’s a wish that has been handed down from other generations. My parents used to say it to everyone. I am old now and my daughter lives far away. No doubt, her next trip here will be for my funeral.” Then she smiled remembering the message in detail.]
I wish you enough sun
to keep your attitude bright.
I wish you enough rain
to appreciate the sun more.
I wish you enough happiness
to keep your spirit alive.
I wish you enough pain
so that the smallest joys in life appear
I wish you enough gain
to satisfy your wanting.
I wish you enough loss
to appreciate all that you possess.
I wish you enough hellos
to get you through the final good-bye.
*Excerpted from Sabbath Presence by Kathleen Casey. Copyright 2006 by Ave Maria Press, PO Box 428, Notre Dame, IN 46556. Used with permission of the publisher.
Ten men clamber out of the creaking van,
Their sweaty bodies meeting a kiss
Of cool night air.
They drift, silently, sullenly
Toward the darkened church.
Mattresses lie, two or three to a room,
Along walls decorated with children’s
Drawings and almost casual crucifixions.
Carl, Eddie, Jake and the others
Throw their worn packs and bags
Onto the makeshift beds, and John,
It’s always John, is first to ask
If he can have his sack lunch now,
Not in the morning as we had planned.
“Sure,” I say, almost as anxious as he
To assuage this remediable hunger.
Several echo John, and soon all
Are feasting on pb and j; apples, celery,
And other healthy fare remains on the table,
But they’re happier now, even communicative.
One thanks me for setting a new pair of white socks
On each mattress. Another offers a juice cup
To a friend. “Lights out!” Rick calls at ten,
And no one argues, no one hesitates. Sleep
Knits once more the raveled sleeve of care,
Obliterates the hurt, soothes the jangled nerves.
Tomorrow will be another day,
Another cheerless day embroidered
With small triumphs, fragile dreams.
Every page of this book contains inspiring revelations about the Christian call to peace and nonviolence. The book’s key points are:
Rynne describes a theology based on the life and teachings of Jesus, one that puts the just war theory in its appropriate subordinate place. “Just war theorists too often engage when war is looming…blissfully unaware of the larger and broader task to cultivate a peaceful world.” Rynne quotes Pope Benedict XVI, who described nonviolence for Christians as “not a mere tactical behavior but a person’s way of being ... [a person] who is not afraid to confront evil with the weapons of love or truth alone.”
The book quotes ancient and modern writers and has an extensive bibliography and index. Jesus Christ Peacemaker would be ideal for a book club.
What issues should the Maryknoll Affiliate Board discuss? What actions do you recommend?
What do Laudato Si, BDS, and No to Gun Violence have in common? They are the nonviolent themes of some Campaign Nonviolence actions, Sept. 18 to 25, 2016. What issues in your community could you or your chapter address during the campaign? See hundreds of planned actions at http://www.paceebene.org/programs/campaign-nonviolence/campaign-nonviolence-week-of-actions/
on Nonviolence and Just Peace!
Saturday, September 24, 2016
The major presenter, Marie Dennis, Co-President of Pax Christi International, is a former director of the Maryknoll Office of Global Concerns. She helped to organize the recent Vatican Conference on Nonviolence and Peacemaking.
Sponsors include JustFaith local leadership, Intercommunity Peace and Justice Center (ipjc.org), local Pax Christi groups, and the Missions Office of the Archdiocese of Seattle.
South Central Region Affiliate Conference
New Orleans - September 30 to October 2, 2016
Registration for the upcoming Maryknoll Mission Immersion Program in Guatemala, October 9 - 17, closes on August 15th.
Check Guatemala Immersion for full information.
Has your chapter planned an action for Campaign Nonviolence week, September 18-25? In the past, several chapters have joined the hundreds of other groups around the world who take action nonviolently to abolish war, end poverty, reverse climate change, and challenge all violence. See http://www.paceebene.org/ for ideas or to find a local action to join.
The Mission Institute offers six-day programs (Sunday-Friday) May-October, 2016. Upcoming programs:
July 10-15 Robert Ellsberg, MA
Saints, Prophets and Witnesses for Our Time will challenge us to think more creatively about being faithful and active in our own historical context.
July 17-22 Maria Teresa Davila, PhD
Embodying the Option for the Poor explores the theological insights in the context from which the phrase sprang and in our current contexts.
July 24-29 John F. Haught, PhD
Religion and the Cosmic Story: A Look Inside studies the new framework for understanding our species’ ageless religious quest, in conversation with both Christian Theology and contemporary scientific naturalism.
Sept. 25-30 in Monrovia, CA and Oct. 3-6 in Los Altos, CA: Margaret Silf, MA
Living God’s Dream
Online registration is available, or write for forms:
Maryknoll Mission Institute, Maryknoll Sisters
P.O Box 311, Maryknoll, NY 10545-0311
Tel: 914-941-7575 @ 5671
Emusoi Center in Arusha, Tanzania (http://emusoicentre.co.tz/), founded by Sr. Mary Vertucci MM, continues to help Maasai girls get an education and delay marriage and child-bearing until they’re ready, but needs scholarships for fees and books for secondary school and college. Donations should be sent through the Maryknoll Sisters.
Caminando Por La Paz – Guatemala (http://www.caminandogua.org/) needs angels! $500/year or $50/month supports the education of one student. Angels receive periodic information from the student they sponsor. Your contributions in any amount will assist greatly in Caminando’s efforts to continue the wonderful work initiated by founder Father Thomas Goekler, MM.
Maryknoll Lay Missioner Debbie Northern visited the April Affiliate Board/Regional Coordinator meeting and encouraged Affiliates to schedule workshops in our communities.
The Maryknoll Lay Missioners offers a Mission Education Workshop to parishes and groups who want to explore every Christian’s baptismal call to mission. Pope Francis has urged the Church to be missionary in nature, but what does this mean? The format of the workshop includes sharing our own experiences, learning the “See, Judge, Act” model, and reflecting on the call to mission in the world, both locally and globally.
The workshop can be adapted to the group’s needs, running from one to three hours in length or expanded into a longer retreat version. If at all possible, a Maryknoll Lay Missioner will conduct the workshop, but if none is available, the workshop plan will be shared with a Maryknoll Affiliate chapter that wants to conduct its own workshop.
For more information, phone or email:
Maryknoll Mission Institute 2016
The Mission Institute offers six-day programs (Sunday-Friday) May-October, 2016. Upcoming July programs:
Mary Murphy, a Westchester Affiliate and one of the founders of the Maryknoll Affiliates, died February 7th at the age of 81. Mary taught Spanish at the high school and college level. She is also remembered as the co-founder, with Fr. John Hudert, MM, of the “Pachamama Farm” at Maryknoll. Ginny McEvoy shared Mary’s poem, from the December 1993 Not So Far Afield.
Phil and Kathy Dahl-Bredine recently presented their new book, Milpa! From Seed to Salsa, to enthusiastic audiences on the East and West coasts of the US. Milpa is a four-year work of love, done with the indigenous people of Oaxaca, Mexico, where they have lived and worked for 15 years, first as Maryknoll Lay Missioners, and since 2010 with Instituto Paz. The book, written with campesino leader Jesus Leon Santos, with photos by Judith Haden and recipes arranged by Susana Trilling, heralds the values of the indigenous communities: respect for all beings—including Mother Earth, mutual aid, community service, complementarity, and buen vivir—alternatives to development focused on living well in a broad sense. The Dahl-Bredines say these indigenous values could be a way to save all of humanity from the over-consumptive, exploitive, and violent Western culture that is drowning us. Pope Francis echos this idea in Laudato Si, citing the important values of the indigenous peoples of the planet.
The bilingual book has striking photos on almost every page and enticing, traditional recipes for holidays and specialties of the villages. The book is available through their nonprofit, Instituto Paz en Las Americas, 2645 Mountain View Rd. Silver City, NM 88061;
$40 covers purchase, shipping, and handling.