The latest news about the Maryknoll Affiliates
Something to keep in mind...
Maryknoll priest Joe Healey MM from Nairobi emailed the following:
Just wanted to keep you folks in the loop. We want the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice (IFTJ) that will take place at the Crystal City Gateway Marriott near Washington, DC from 16-18 November, 2019 to be a good example of the networking and collaboration of the whole Maryknoll family.
One suggestion is that the various Maryknoll entities, departments and offices (with others) team up during the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice (IFTJ) that will take place at the Crystal City Gateway Marriott near Washington, DC from 16-18 November, 2019. One of the main topics is “Environment.” The audience is Jesuit high school and college students.
Many plans are already underway. Orbis Books will have a table. The Maryknoll Lay Missioners will have a table. From my conversation with Chloe we are suggesting that the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns (MOGC) take the lead and apply for a Breakout Session (50 minutes) on Sunday, 17 November on a topic similar to “Climate Justice: Beyond the Plastic Water Bottle.” If you agree many of us can help: myself, members of the Nova Community, young people in the Washington DC area.
Affiliates (Albany, Central Coast, CA, Comunidad Misionera in Wilmington, DL, and more) throughout the country have gathered at different events in support of Immigrants and in protest of U.S Administrative policy in this regard. The photo here shows 4 members from the Albany Chapter- (LR) Rich Lessard, Santa Orlando, Denise Lessard and Mary Beth Buchner.
As previously posted, last February members of the Houston Chapter - Bob & Ruth Kleeman, Dick & Judy Horstman and Fr. Gerry Kelley MM - invited Affiliates from throughout the country to come to Brazoria, TX for a working retreat. In addition to the 5 Houston-based members 6 Affiliates from California, New York and Connecticut came together for the week. The work focus was on restoring the house (a mobile home) of Mrs. Sanchez. The house had been decimated by the extreme rain and flooding from Hurricane Harvey in 2017. The retreat focus was on creating a reflective, caring community. That happened almost immediately. A wonderful experience which, hopefully, will be repeated in various ways throughout the Affiliate world. The house restoration took a bit longer and extended months beyond the week of our working retreat.
The photo above is what we saw when we first arrived at the mobile home in February. The following two photos were sent to us by Dick Horstman at the beginning of the week. Mrs. Sanchez must be elated.
NSFA - The July/August editions (digital & paper) of NSFA will be out soon. Thank you to all who contributed articles. Thanks especially to co-editors Paula Schaffner and Mary Ryan-Hotchkiss for putting together this incredibly vital communication piece of the Affiliate movement every other month.
Hospitality List – to date, Affiliates from throughout the country have signed up to be on the hospitality list. If you’d also like to put your name on the list but haven’t yet had a chance to do so, go to this link for an explanation: https://maryknollaffiliates.org/news/recent-postings/item/1936-affiliate-hospitality.html. To sign up, go to the following link: http://maryknollaffiliates.org/index.php?option=com_chronoforms5&chronoform=HospitalityForm
MAC 2020 – Witnessing Love in the Interim Time. Mark your calendars for this – every-three-years Affiliate International Conference – June 25 – 28, 2020 at Graymoor Spiritual Life Center in Garrison, NY. A dedicated website with details and a registration sign up should be up by mid-September.
Away from the Affiliate Office this week. Two quotes from Thomas Merton (1915 - 1968) to help us move through the week awake and at peacr :
To say that I am made in the image of God is to say that lover is the reason for my existence, for God is Love. love is my true identity. Selflessness is my true self. Love is my true character. Love is my name!
I have no idea where I am going.
I cannot see the road ahead of me,
but I believe that the desire to please You, O God, does in fact please You!
Affiliate Hospitality Initiative
We are reprising the Hospitality List for Maryknoll Affiliates, which will provide a list of Affiliate households that are available to offer hospitality to Maryknollers who are visiting a geographic area (for work or pleasure). Once the hospitality listing is completed, we will post the information pertaining to each location (e.g., Boston, Saint Louis, Los Angeles, Washington, DC, etc.). The posting will include the geographic area, but no names or addresses. When a Maryknoller requests hospitality in a given area, s/he would contact Bob Short and he will assess details about the request and once it is deemed appropriate, Bob will have the Affiliate member who is offering the hospitality contact the interested Maryknoller.
The Core Group (Patty Hinton, Roxanne Hughes-Wheatland, Manny Hotchkiss, and Bob Short) who are compiling the Hospitality List are also working on a list for short-term mission opportunities within Maryknoll as well as a list of available skills and gifts that Affiliates are willing to offer where needed.
Hospitality Data Gathering Questionnaire – If you are interested in participating, please respond by clicking on the link below. When completed hit SUBMIT. Don’t forget to fill out the code box. It’s there to prevent robots from getting into our website.
For many years I have reflected on the lives and lessons of the saints, writing about them every day in a column for “Give Us This Day,” and in several books. Now, in A Living Gospel, I reflect on the ways that “God’s story” can be read in such holy lives. Both in their achievements and in their stumbling along the way, these women and men, religious and lay, exemplify the meaning of what Pope Francis calls “a journey faith.” In reflecting on their stories we learn how to read God’s story in our own lives as well.
So as not to testify on my own behalf, let me quote these comments:
One of the great figures we have been blessed to know was Denis Edwards. An Australian priest and theologian, he was a pioneering voice on the relation between faith, science, and ecology. He died this spring, just after finishing his last book, Deep Incarnation: God’s Redemptive Suffering with Creatures, which becomes, sadly, his final legacy. Elizabeth Johnson describes it as a “heartbreakingly beautiful and carefully reasoned argument for divine love present with suffering creatures, holding a promise of future salvation.”
Maryknoll's Church Engagement Division is sponsoring this seminar/retreat held at Maryknoll Los Altos.
Description from the webpage: Looking to find positive ways to minister in our polarized world? Join us on retreat to pray and reflect on how to balance contemplation and action to become an effective bridge building missionary disciple. Within a collaborative seminar/retreat format using the See-Judge-Act methodology of Evangelii Gaudium, we we will continue to develop the knowledge, skills and confidence to teach and inspire others to live out their own call as missionary disciples.
For more information and/or to apply, click: https://mission.maryknoll.us/2019amdfp
Sr. Ellen McDonald, co-founder of the Affiliate movement, sent this article on religious associate communities (some similarities to Affiliates) and women religious. The paradigm is changing. See: https://www.globalsistersreport.org/news/spirituality-trends/us-associates-track-surpass-women-religious-both-face-turning-point-56195?utm_source=GSR+digest+5-23-19&utm_campaign=cc&utm_medium=email.
The Kenya virtual chapter (including Affiliates from Kenya, Germany and the U.S.) met yesterday via Zoom technology. Virtual chapters are still relatively new in the Affiliate world. When former Board chair, Dave Schaffner first suggested virtual chapters, the concept was received with mixed reviews. After all, wouldn’t physical present be necessary to realize genuine community?! And later, when Gerald and Marita Grudzen first suggested a Kenya-based virtual chapter to Russ Feldmeier MM and Bob Short, we had some initial reservations.
Today’s virtual chapter (stretching 8 time zones) confirmed that virtual can be a meaningful and efficacious way to gather as a chapter. Gerry and Marita Grudzen, who facilitated the meeting, have a long history with Maryknoll. When Russ and I first met them, we were impressed with their academic and professional credentials; even more so with their humility, deep faith and love for the people of East Africa. Seven Affiliates (a smaller number than is typical) were on the call. The theme addressed our varying interfaith expressions of spiritual practice at this time of the year.
For my part, I could not help but feel throughout the call that, on so many levels, this was a reflection of why, as John Sivalon MM once put it, “…Maryknoll Affiliates are well positioned to be carried into the future by this new wave of mission.” Very briefly, it was global, interfaith - two Muslim Affiliates spoke informatively and movingly of Ramadan, and the Catholic and Christians shared their beliefs and values around Resurrection, care of the earth (Laudato Si)* and, for all present, the importance of prayer and inclusion of the poor and marginalized in all our focuses. Throughout the call profound respect and caring for one another was visibly and viscerally present - a poignant and important moment in our movement’s history.
* Marita pointed out that these virtual meetings kept us out of planes and thereby lessened our carbon footprint.
ALSO - in thinking of climate change and caring for our earthly home, please keep in mind the people of so many countries in the world that are suffering from severe climate. Carlos Apcho, Affiliate in Lima, who asked us to pray for the people in northern Peru who just experienced a strong earthquake.
The State of the Heart report at conclusion of Maryknoll Affiliate Board Meeting, May 3-5, 2019 – is a heartfelt (rather than a head-focused ) essential summary of the meeting. Bill Murphy, the Board's soon-to-be-officially-recognized Poet Laureate, wrote: "I found the central theme of the meeting to be contemplative action. The poem below tries to express that theme - what I heard and experienced." Bill's poem follows.
FRACKING THE HEART
How do I turn my heart of stone into a heart of flesh?
I used to think the waters of baptism were sufficient:
Gentle, flowing waters can soothe but rarely awaken;
Still waters warm and calm but hardly get me moving.
Maybe knowledge was the answer?
Theology or the facts and figures of science and computers
Would guide me to a meaningful life and best solutions.
Sit with the darkness; it becomes light
Listen in the silence
Share stories of life:
accompanying gospels of struggles, pains, joys -
compassion for ourselves as well as others
breaks open my heart.
Don’t just move, stand there
move in the direction that beckons me.
Ted Miles, Executive Director of MKLM sent this notice and invitation:
This weekend, the 2019 mission integration program begins with the arrival of Marilyn Kott (Brazil, Class of 2015), Sonny and Hong Nguyen (Bolivia, 2015), and Claire Stewart (Brazil, 2015). We invite you to keep them in your prayers during the next two weeks as they travel to Maryknoll and embrace this time of transition and reflection.
We also invite you to join us for the MIP Blessing and Recommitment (Claire Stewart has renewed for two years in Brazil). This closing ceremony will take place in the Rogers Chapel at 11:00am on Wednesday, May 22 followed by lunch at the Walsh Building.
In a recent email, Robert Ellsberg, Publisher of Orbis Books wrote, “Times of social turbulence make good times to revisit the Hebrew prophets. They were not prognosticators, except in the sense of understanding the moral law of cause and effect. The prophets read their historical situation through the lens of God’s covenant—and in that light measured their nation’s “greatness”—or its dereliction—in terms of such values as mercy, justice, and care for those on the margins.”
To see the inventory of Orbis Books, go to: https://www.orbisbooks.com/
Contemplation is very far from being just one kind of thing that Christians do: it is the key to prayer, liturgy, art and ethics, the key to the essence of a renewed humanity that is capable of seeing the world and other subjects in the world with freedom--freedom from self-oriented, acquisitive habits and the distorted understanding that comes from them. To put it boldly, contemplation is the only ultimate answer to the unreal and insane world that our financial systems and our advertising culture and our chaotic and unexamined emotions encourage us to inhabit. To learn contemplative practice is to learn what we need so as to live truthfully and honestly and lovingly. It is a deeply revolutionary matter. (Rowan Williams)
In the Affiliate Board Meeting this weekend an underlying contemplative approach was chosen as the most meaningful and effective to address the agenda. More importantly, it was a way to be present to each other. In the long run that’s probably the best way for all of us as Affiliates to understand how to live out our (personal & Affiliate) lives with more conviction and joy. More to follow on Contemplation.
The link that follows is a 10-minute video by Rich Rohr that we used at the Board meeting: