The latest news about the Maryknoll Affiliates
I want to thank the coordinating committee for the time and work that went into planning the two day celebration of the beatification of Oscar Romero at Maryknoll. This celebration was sponsored by the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers, Maryknoll Sisters, Maryknoll Lay Missioners and Maryknoll Affiliates.
We knew it was going to be a challenge to get people to join us on Memorial Day Weekend and the Vigil of Pentecost. However, approximately 90 people gathered in the Asia Room on Friday evening to "experience" the film Monseñor: The Last Journey of Óscar Romero, directed by Ana Carrigan and Juliet Weber, and produced by the Kellogg Institute at Notre Dame.
I am including a good friend and the main force and producer of this incredible film, Fr. Bob Pelton, CSC from the University of Notre Dame on this note. This film is a gift to the church and the entire world community. In my estimation it is one of the best resources on Beato Oscar Romero and will help carry his legacy into the future and share it with generations to come. One person commented after the showing on Friday, "I come out of this presentation feeling like I knew him personally." We were privileged to have Larry Rich ('80 Peru, US) and Fr. Leo Shea present for the showing to introduce it and lead the discussion. Larry helped produce it and Leo is a long time friend of Bob's. Thank you Bob for this treasure!
If you would like to purchase the dvd and I encourage you to do so, you can purchase it on line from Ave Maria Press (Notre Dame / CSC). The cost is $27.00 and it comes with a free discussion guide available in English and Spanish.
Yesterday we had a well attended Eucharistic Liturgy in the chapel at the Society Center to celebrate the beatification of Monseñor Romero hours after it took place in San Salvador. We produced 120 booklets and we ran out fairly early on. There were probably about 180 people present at the lively celebration that closed with shouts of "Oscar Romero, Presente!". Harry Florentine and Debbie Northern have posted a number of pictures of the celebration on Facebook.
We also had a distinguished guest present at the liturgy but she preferred to remain anonymous. Holy Childhood Sister, Megan Rice joined us with some other friends from Long Island. 85 year old Sister Megan was released last week after serving over two years in the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, New York for protesting nuclear weapons. Her story can be found by going to the following: http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2015/05/22/3661534/nun-willing-die-prison-protest-nuclear-weapons/
Thank you again to all who helped to pull these events and celebrations together. May the spirit of Beato Oscar Romero give us energy to continue to work "for a more just and compassionate world."
Father Joe Thaler MM returned to Nepal just days after the first earthquake. Below are two excperpts of email letters he wrote to Father Ray Finch MM, Superior General.
Excerpt 1: Greetings from Kathmandu... The dreary day matches the mood of the people here.
This morning was out in the neighborhood. This destruction is close to my place, and there are a number of tent villages in the area. Many of the people continue to be very much afraid to enter into any structures and so would much rather sleep in the open spaces, even in the rain and cold.
Thanks for all your prayers and support...blessings, Joe
Excerpt 2: Was able to get out and take a few photos. I have been overwhelmed with folks telling their stories. Three out of the four major Maryknoll employees are still living in tents in open spaces out of fear for more aftershocks. One has completely lost his home. Two of the photos are from my neighborhood of downed buildings. By the grace of God my place is still standing, albeit with a few more cracks.
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.
If you have not already completed the survey, it is accessible online at
http://goo.gl/forms/ VcWTa6fikB.(You might need to copy and paste this link for it to open)
Whether you live in the Western Region or anywhere else in the world, you are cordially invited to attend the Western Regional Affiliate Conference to be held in Seattle this August.
Registration forms for this summer's Western Regional Affiliate Conference are now available. You may register online or by mail. Click on Seattle Conference for more details and for links to the registration forms.
By John Sivalon
I am delighted to be here today and to take part in this conference. I want to thank the Affiliate chapter of Albany for their invitation and for their patience in working with me to prepare for this conference. With them, I am grateful to Ann Carr and the Affiliate Board for their support and to Bob Short who in his own writings has stimulated us all to think of doing mission in terms of a new paradigm. I also want to thank Ellen McDonald, Jack Sullivan and Gerry Kelly for their commitment and dedication to the vision of the Affiliates. As the first conference of affiliates after the death of Jim Madden, this conference is even more significant and profound for me, as I believe it is for you. Jim left us with words of encouragement about his own vision, and advising us to search out new ways of being a movement into the future. Not only his words, but his lived example, encourage us to appreciate the abiding presence of God in cultures.
With his words and vision in mind, we come together to wrestle with the mysterious call we have all received: “to participate in the mission of God.” Most important, I come here today, not to offer answers, but to raise questions for all of us that we might work together for some glimpse into how the Maryknoll movement will be carried into the future. Part of that process, for which I am deeply appreciative, is the responses of Sam Stanton, Mary Ellen Kempken and Robert Ellsberg to my own presentation. I am sure their additions will be very helpful in clarifying the weaknesses of my presentation and more importantly they will add their own wisdom, perspective and experience to help all of us in opening our hearts and minds to God’s wisdom.
The theme of this conference is "Maryknoll Affiliates: The Third Wave Emerging into the Future.” Contemplating that theme, I imagined myself sitting on the beach looking out at the beautiful ocean and counting the waves. I asked myself what is a wave, and how do you count them. When was the first wave and what wave is this really? It became clear to me that, while I am not sure what wave this is, I am confident that the world in which we live today is dramatically different than the world in which I was raised and I am confident that it is a “New Wave.”
The language of “Third Wave” entered most prominently into the vocabulary of the Maryknoll world with a talk given a few years ago by Robert Shreiter on “Mission ad Gentes.” In that talk he associated the “Third Wave” with some changes in contemporary society related to globalization. But I believe that besides these socio-political-economic changes, a much deeper change has taken place. Our whole understanding of the universe has been turned upside-down since the 1970s especially in the West, but spreading throughout the world. And, paraphrasing St Thomas, if our view of creation is distorted, our view of God will be distorted, and by implication our view of mission and church.
Jack Sullivan sent out word earlier today that Jim Madden MM passed away this morning at 1:40 AM. He died peacefully, just a little more than a month after learning of his cancer diagnosis. Services will take place next Thursday and Friday (1/16-17) at Maryknoll in Ossining. More will follow in the days ahead.
In his last weeks Jim spoke over and over of the gratitude he had for God, Maryknoll, Mission and all of us. I know all of us, each in our own way, would like to express our gratefulness for him!
The November/December Not So Far Afield newsletter of the Maryknoll Affiliates is now available online at http://notsofarafield.org/2013/11/.
You can download a ODF version here.