Global Vision is a special perspective of Maryknollers, including Affiliates. Our Mission Statement says Affiliates “go beyond borders, locally and globally.” We recognize that our local actions have an impact across the globe.
This issue of the Not So far Afield tells of Affiliates in the US, Korea, and Peru responding with urgency and generosity to the needs of the flood-stricken in Peru. As people of God, Affiliates also look to welcome the stranger in difficult times. Houston Affiliates Bob and Ruth Kleeman remember their local saint, Mark Zwick, of the Houston Catholic Worker House, Casa Juan Diego. The Casa welcomes immigrants from many Spanish-speaking countries who fled their own repressive regimes or who suffered from policies of the US. Gerry Mullaney tells of his experience seeing another Cuba. Read the profiles of the speakers for the November 2017 MAC in Guatemala to gain a broader view of the world, including the indigenous philosophy of Buen Vivir.
Articles in this issue:
Affiliates in Solidarity – "Without all the help from the Affiliates and the faith they placed in us, we would not have been able to help as we did."—Carlos Apcho
“If We Had Any Guts, We’d Start a Catholic Worker House” – "Mark would say there is no such thing as “illegal immigrants”—some may be undocumented, but being a person is not illegal."—Bob & Ruth Kleeman
Welcoming the Stranger – "Some Affiliates visit immigrants in detention. Others accompany immigrants to appointments or to court."
2017 Climate March – "A continual stream of people carrying funny, creative, and inspiring signs kept us entertained."—Mary Ryan-Hotchkiss
NOLA Marches Forward – "The earth, our common home, is beginning to look like an immense pile of filth.” —Pope Francis
¡Meet the MAC 2017 Speakers! – "I have learned about the value and beauty of land from a cosmic worldview; about culture and the legitimacy of indigenous peoples’ claim to full recognition as people; their right to organize their collective life according to their ancestral norms; and their aspiration to “Live Well”, opting for a life in harmony and balance with nature."—Laura Hurtado Paz y Paz
Another Cuba, Another Fidel – "It seems that the churches have succeeded at convincing the government that the church social programs are compatible with the aims of the government."—Gerry Mullaney
Maryknoll Mission Institute—What A Gem! – "Let me introduce you to the MMI and encourage you, if you are able, to seriously consider spending one of the best weeks one could experience."—Rich Lessard
From the Board and Executive Coordinator:
And don't miss our Features:
To view this issue in its print form, download the July/August NSFA PDF.
Spring weather and ongoing challenges have us anxious and on the move. Where are you going? The Albany Affiliates are helping college students process their immersion trips. The Los Angeles Affiliates march for peace and for the homeless. Many other Affiliates and Maryknollers have marched and are advocating for science, for the environment, and for action on climate change. John Moritz and the Northeast Florida Affiliates are helping many Catholics to become aware of Pope Francis’s encyclical on the environment, Laudato Si’.
Bob Short and the Guatemala Affiliates remind us that our Maryknoll charism leads us to Buen Vivir and a better connection with the environment. Bob says, ”The everyday faith commitment of Maryknoll Affiliates who continue to “show up” in the way they live and speak up to confront the voices of nationalistic empire that appear to be getting louder each day” are a sign of hope.
Articles in this issue:
Widening Visions: Sharing Laudato Si’ at a Diocesan Gathering – "I feel that using the theme was a more effective way of engaging people in a non-invasive and non-threatening manner."—John Moritz
BUEN VIVIR Through Maryknoll – "We are invited to move out of ourselves and be open to the diversity around us."—Lizbeth del Rosario Gramajo Bauer
Where Are You Going? – "Returnees from immersion trips need a forum in which to process their many experiences."—Santa Orlando
Palm Sunday Peace Parade Addresses Homelessness – 'When I was homeless, I felt that I was in a subculture and I always wanted to be a part of my community."—Dorothy Edwards
Mining Ban in El Salvador – "The government had denied mining permits to a new project; the company then sued for lost profits."
Protect Our Mother Earth – "Please post your actions and/or photos on the Maryknoll Affiliates’ Facebook page..."
Affiliates in Action – Houston – "Several members will be traveling to Guatemala in November to participate in MAC 2017."
Ralph Maughan—Persistent Affiliate – "The area they visit in Northeastern Myanmar has been one of the most problematic and dangerous parts of the country."—Janet Quillian
A place to learn: Maryknoll Mission Institute
Report on an author's speech: Contemplation, Asceticism, and Advocacy
To view this issue in its print form, download the May/June 2017 PDF.
Stimulated by the Affiliate Book Group’s discussion of Elizabeth Johnson’s book, Abounding in Kindness, I eagerly anticipated hearing her talk at a local university. She asked, “Is God’s Charity Broad Enough for Bears?” Johnson has been criticized by some Catholic groups because of her support for giving women greater authority in the church and her willingness to speak at meetings of Catholics who disagree with the church on some issues, but here she was greeted as a one who should be on a theological Mt. Rushmore because of her achievements and role in American theological thought.
Johnson told the packed auditorium that nineteenth century naturalist John Muir claimed God’s charity is broad enough for bears. If so, she asked us why believers and theologians haven’t stepped in to protect the earth from its destruction by human domination and consumerism. She presented one obstacle and proposed three remedies to this disastrous situation. Johnson posited that the major obstacle to protecting the earth is a theology that puts humans at the peak of a pinnacle, a little lower than God, but in dominion/domination above all creatures and the material world. Drawing from evolutionary science and Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’, she presented the challenge that loving the Earth and its species as a neighbor must become an intrinsic part of faith in God. She emphasized that humans are a part, not the pinnacle, and even a recent arrival according to evolutionary science, to the circle of creation.
After quoting extensively from Laudato Si’, Johnson proposed three spiritual practices to foster care for the earth: Contemplation, Asceticism, and Advocacy. Contemplation will bring us into connection with our true nature and our proper relationship with the earth and fellow creatures. An Asceticism that turns us from unbridled consumerism will allow us to recognize our appetites and will minimize our harming the rest of creation. Once we truly feel and accept that we are just a part of this vast community of creation we will feel impelled to Advocate for the well-being for the whole of creation.
We Affiliates have our work cut out for us! As the saying goes, if you’re not upset, you’re not paying attention. I hear that Affiliates are paying attention, they are upset, they have long been upset, and they are taking action.
In this issue, looking for long-term solutions, Marie Venner passionately insists we must end our addiction to fossil fuels for the good of her children, indeed all of our children’s children. Ron Covey, also looking to the future, focuses on the educating marginalized children in Guatemala City. Rosa Beatriz Castañeda de Larios, Guatemala Chapter, has devoted her life to education. Mef Ford tells us about the Boston Affiliate Chapter’s reflection on their careers, life choices, and service roles.
We know that not all of our efforts will be successful in the short term, but as St. Teresa of Calcutta reminds us, “God does not require us to be successful, only that we be faithful.”
I urge all Affiliates to examine your values and direction—with others in your chapter, if possible, to pray together, re-establish your priorities, and take action!
The Time is Now – "We are late in the game, so I must and will say very clearly: it is time for us to get off fossil fuels—now—all of us." – Marie Venner
Making Time for Kindness – The Affiliate Book Groups are enjoying reading the Orbis book, Abounding in Kindness, by Elizabeth Johnson.
On the Margins: Education and More – "We strive to be an important and accepted member of the community." – Ron Covey
What if 1.2 Billion Catholics Embraced Gospel Nonviolence? – "Which of the wars we have been in is a just war?" – Sister Matty, Mosul
"Light for the People" – "This year in April we mark the 30th anniversary of the assassination of Ben and his Nicaraguan co-workers." – Kitty Madden
Mission Journeys – "Many of our group came of age in the era of cinderblock bookcases, potted avocado plants, and Mateus wine bottle candleholders." – Mef Ford
Getting to Know the Guatemala Chapter – "Maryknoll Affiliates ... respond in community to the call of God to participate in the mission of Jesus." – Guatemala Chapter website
Rosa Beatriz—Educator for Life– She invited all of the attendees to make passion the key to their lives.
Update on MAC 2017 March/April 2017 – Forms for registration and post-conference mission visit options
The Challenge – "We all need to be wiling to be uncomfortable in the pursuit of justice, too." – Sr. Rose Marie Tresp, RSM
Communications Committee Update – Affiliates are asked to contact Bob if they would like their chapter highlighted (on the website).
Board to Meet in May – One area the Regional Coordinators (RCs) will review with the Board is how RCs are selected and how long they should serve.
Virtual Community? – "If you have thoughts or ideas, please let us know!"
Taste of Tanzania 2017 – "Don your African clothes and join us!"
Holy Week Discernment Retreat – "Are you called to Cross-Cultural Mission Service?"
A poem: Silent
A place to learn: Maryknoll Mission Institute 2017
A few announcements: March/April 2017
A Lenten reflection guide: Come Pray, Study, Act with Us
To view this issue in its print form, download the March/April 2017 PDF.
“My son was brutally murdered for bringing electricity to a few poor people in northern Nicaragua. He was murdered because he had a dream and because he had the courage to make that dream come true. ... Ben told me the first year that he was here, and this is a quote, ‘It’s a wonderful feeling to work in a country where the government’s first concern is for its people, for all of its people.’ ”
Elizabeth Linder spoke thus at her son’s funeral in Nicaragua after he was shot at close range by the Contras in 1987. Ben Linder’s death at the hands of the Reagan-supported Contras made headlines in his hometown, Portland, and around the nation. The death of Linder, coming as Congressional hearings investigated the Iran-Contra Affair, fueled the debate in the US over the covert war in Nicaragua. The next year, Congress refused to renew aid to the Contras. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ben_Linder)
“I loved what they had to say, the courage, the testing, and the helping.”
So said Martin Scorsese about “Maryknollers” when interviewed about his film, Silence, in America Magazine, Dec. 19-26, 2016. (http://www.americamagazine.org/arts-culture/2017/01/17/martin-scorsese-his-faith-films-and-silence). The highly acclaimed film is about seventeenth-century Jesuits ministering in Japan long before Maryknoll arrived. James Martin, SJ, the interviewer, says, ”So it’s (the film is) less of a portrayal of the missionary that is just from the outside in, and more from the inside out.”
After reading this searching article and hearing all the buzz about the movie and the Oscars, I will make a point to see it (when our library has it available to loan!).
Editors: NSFA has not yet published a movie review, but if you see this film or another that you want to share with Affiliates, we’d love to publish your comments and suggestions.
When they came for the undocumented,
I remained silent;
I was legal.
When they came for the gays,
I remained silent;
I was straight.
When they came for the sick,
I remained silent;
I was insured.
When they came for the Muslims
I remained silent...
*Inspired by Martin Niemöller’s famous quote.
Change is good news, and possibly bad news. We rejoice with the native peoples who are standing up to protect the water. We are inspired by a Guatemalan Affiliate who received national recognition for her work for human rights. We are excited by Pope Francis’s recent message on nonviolence. But we are also concerned to see a backlash against reforms and programs that some may feel have threatened them and their needs. We regret the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II and fear the current threats against refugees and immigrants. We agonize about the escalating conflicts that we seem to have no control over.
David vs. Goliath: Competing at Standing Rock – "It is a learning experience for me—a white middle class man used to organizing, to be in the minority; to be quiet, to follow, to listen." – Kyle Chandler-Isacksen
MAC 2017 Update – January/February 2017 – Forms for registration and many more conference details will be available soon.
Retreat at Watch Hill – " 'The Wine Never Runs Out' ... drawing on the Biblical promise of the fullness of life and the symbolism of nuptial radiance." – Bob Short
Claudia Samayoa Speaks – "I have faced the powers that do not want to change, not with aggression but with respect." – Claudia Samayoa
Nonviolence 2017 – "Nonviolence is sometimes taken to mean surrender, lack of involvement and passivity, but this is not the case." – Pope Francis
Days of Infamy: 75th Anniversary – The woman had said, ”Maryknoll gave me a home when I needed one, so now I will give them my house.”
Learning About Immigration and Refugees – ...they are planning an evening presentation on these topics with the hope that the parish may sponsor a refugee family.
Table Talk – "It is difficult, as one grows older, to make new relationships, and yet it is necessary ..." – Kris Neufeld
Virtual Coincidence – Since the first virtual chapter attempts will be considered pilot projects, there is still a great deal of flexibility.
Seattle Chapter: Working Together – For fun, the Seattle Affiliates helped decorate the Seattle Maryknoll House in preparation for the Maryknoll Christmas party.
Connecting in Claremont – The Sierra Club has revived its midwinter, midnight walk among the homeless of Skid Row ...
A celebration of Maryknoll Affiliates' 25 years: 25 Years Ago
A book review: Living in Bubbles
A place to learn: Maryknoll Mission Institute 2017
A few announcements: January/February 2017
To view this issue in its print form, download the January/February 2017 PDF.
There are times when all we can do is walk with someone in need. There may be nothing we can do, nothing we can change, but we can be there.
Especially after the rancorous US political campaign, we Affiliates must be there. We can reemphasize our mission, our counter-cultural, intercultural eagerness to walk with our brothers and sisters, and with the earth.
In this issue we see many facets of accompaniment:
Working for Change – "The idea is for organizations to be accountable for their work by assuring that their projects create real change in the lives of people..." – Fred Goddard
¡Buen Vivir! – "LIFE is a gift from God that we must care for and defend every day of our existence; we respect and enjoy being happy and making others happy. " – Claudia Samayoa
State of the Heart—Fall 2016 Board Meeting – "In my short time as Board chair, it is clear to me that it takes a small village to keep the Affiliate Committee
Korean Affiliates Share News – "I want to keep in touch and let other Affiliates know what we are doing."
Read, Discuss, Grow! – "We’re looking forward to the second Maryknoll Affiliate Book Group, which begins in January."
Tisquantum: A New Tale from the Old World – "Our remembrance of Thanksgiving is upside down." – David Stocker
"Walking Each Other Back Home: Mission As Accompaniment" – "...a day center for the homeless in New Orleans can be a mission when folks get to know the homeless while they provide them service." – Matt Rousso
What Happened at the Southern Region Conference—A Deeper Look – "... it was clear from the start that we were connected by and committed to the Maryknoll charism of accompanying those who have little or no voice in our clamorous, disjointed world." – Bob Short
Mission Is about Walking Each Other Home – "I have often been moved when I realize this is how God in Jesus has been with me all during my life —slowly and lovingly walking me home."
Long-Distance Accompaniment – "...Mwanza Affiliates sent colorful cloth bags from one of their women’s projects..."
Building Abrahamic Partnerships – "The highlight for me was a small group experience led by a Jewish rabbi, a Muslim woman, and a United Church of Christ woman minister." – Dan Heuer
Call for Nominations – "Are you dedicated to serving the Affiliate movement and committed to building a strong and sustainable organization? " – Mary Massaro
Coming Soon to Your Mailbox! – "Working together we can do it!"
A blessing: The Gift of Enough
A book review: Just Water - A Right to Life Issue
To view this issue in its print form, download the November/December 2016 PDF.
We are a brave and loving community! This issue of the NSFA provides reflections and news from several active Affiliate communities. We also feature an EZ Meeting that asks chapters, or individuals, to reflect on our Affiliate community and ponder its relationship to the Kin-dom of God.
Bob Short provides insights on the Affiliate mission of seeking/creating/forming global community, which can lead us to wholeness. The article on “Family,“ from No Tan Lejos del Horizonte, the Spanish-speaking Affiliates’ newsletter, reminds us that the family provides us the grounding and formation that we need to be able to evolve into wholeness.
But there are impediments to wholeness. Demagogues, cults, and fearsome (and fearful) individuals may seek to maximize their benefits and protect themselves, disregarding the common good. The Affiliate community does not exclude the other but rather is supportive of the quest for knowledge and of care for our earth and its peoples, especially those less able to protect themselves.
Oaxacan Community Speaks – "The opposition to the Education Reform now includes not only the teachers but the parents of the school children."—Mary Gill and Pat Denevan
Will Your Chapter be Represented? – "Perhaps chapters could share the cost for a member to represent them."
Genuine Community – "In a small but important way, here is where the Affiliate vision, Seeking Global Community, can make a meaningful contribution, offering a heartfelt core to the emerging conscious unity."—Bob Short
The Problems with Palm Oil: Human Rights Abuses in Guatemala and Honduras – "The Guatemalans talked about palm oil plantations’ connection to water projects in their communities, and the Hondurans told of state repression and assassinations of indigenous leaders who protest large dam projects that threaten indigenous territories."—Mary Ryan-Hotchkiss
Maryknoll Affiliates in Tanzania – "One of the charter members of the Mwanza Affiliates, Agnes Medard, generously shared with Bertha the importance of Affiliate membership in her life."—Bertha Haas
Korean Affiliates Meet – "The sharing was an opportunity to look at how we as believers can respond to the issues we are faced with."—Lydia Kim
Emphasis on Action – "Several members who are not able to travel overseas are involved in local efforts."
Easy Meeting: Family-The Affiliate Community-The Kin-dom of God – "Nothing can separate us from the love of God and nothing can separate us from each other. We are made in the image and likeness of God."
Family in Guatemala – "For me, family is... The people who love, care for and hug you a lot."
LA Chapter Reflects on Survey – "Being an Affiliate member... Is thinking outside of ourselves—out of our comfort zone."
Talking Points – "Being a Maryknoll Affiliate... Gives you the opportunity to rub elbows with veteran, lifelong missioners and draw on their wisdom."—Ken Eppes
FOSNA/Maryknoll Links – "Stand for truth and justice without violence. Resist evil without doing evil."—Naim Ateek
Book Group Suggestions – "I look forward to ‘seeing’ everyone each week.”—Gabriella Maertens
Welcome Home Party for Bertha – "Now, in her retirement, she spends about a month each year at the school..."
Option for the Poor in County Jails – "An estimated 30 percent of the debit cards holding released prisoners’ own money are never used and are completely consumed by the fees."
And don't miss our Features:
A poem: The Homeless
A book review: A Theology of Peace