The latest news about the Maryknoll Affiliates
State of the Heart Letter: Building Community & Furthering the Dialogue
Maryknoll Affiliate Board Meeting #56
David Schaffner, Board Chair & Ann Carr, Past Board Chair
"How, then, can communication be at the service of an authentic culture of encounter? What does it mean for us, as disciples of the Lord, to encounter others in the light of the Gospel? ... We are called to show that the Church is the home of all. Are we capable of communicating the image of such a Church? Communication is a means of expressing the missionary vocation of the entire Church ...to discover the beauty of faith, the beauty of encountering Christ." Pope Francis Message for 48th World Communication Day 2014
A Different Kind of Board Meeting
As fall leaves of gold, scarlet and orange filled the Hudson Valley, members of the Affiliate Board gathered for our fall Board meeting, October 25-27. Having discerned the need to begin our time together with a Board retreat, we were very blessed to have Jack Sullivan, MM, former Co-Coordinator and long-time companion of the Affiliate movement, as our retreat facilitator. You might ask, why now for a Board retreat? Our hope was to build cohesion among us as a group in order to develop our capacity to listen more deeply and to serve the entire Affiliate movement. Jack began our day with a beautiful meditative slide show, "In the Name of All That Is We Come Together," and challenged us to consider the call to create a leadership of the whole. This model of mission leadership, being explored throughout the Maryknoll world and beyond, invites all of us into a new way of being. Jack shared with us that a crucial first step in wholemaking is to move from discussion to dialogue. Dialogue requires that we become aware of our assumptions, examine them and move beyond individual understanding to group exploration from many points of view. When done authentically, dialogue invites us into mystery and allows us to get closer to that which is transformative.
The Maryknoll Mission Institute Advisory Board met last week. Beth Begley is a member on behalf of the Affiiates. Plans for the coming year once again offer outstanding speakers (https://maryknollsisters.org/events/category/mission-institute-programs/) and Affilates are most welcome.
Sr. Peg Donovan, Director has recorded the M.I. program on “Compassion: Witness to Love” given by Sr. Nonie Gutzler, President of the Maryknoll Sisters. The set of five DVDs is available to Affiliates for $20 plus postage& handling (about $3).
To order, please complete the following information
AFFILIATE CHAPTER __________________________________________________
Maryknoll Mission Institute
Rogers Building (#529)
Maryknoll Sisters Box 311
Maryknoll, NY, USA 10545-0311
Approximately every other month, Sr. Theresa Baldini of the Maryknoll Sisters' Contemplative Community sends us a new "Living into a New Consciousness" reflection. The content varies greatly, but is always insightful, evocative and often beautiful. This month's reflection is on Eucharistic Prayer or Communion Service: Giving Thanks in the 21st Century
You can find the "Living into a New Consciousness" reflection on the opening page of the website under: Developing Global Consciousness in the QUICK LINKS blue box.
Pope Francis has bluntly criticized unbridled global capitalism for causing environmental destruction and tragic consequences for the world's poorest citizens. Click on the video link to see more of with he has to say (note that you might be requested to confirm your local PBS station):
[Marie Dennis, member of the Maryknoll DC Affiliate Chapter and former Executive Director of MOGC appears in the video]
Veronica (Ronni) Gilligan, Contact Person for the Long Island Chapter and dedicated Maryknoll Affiliate for many years passed on peacefully to new life - as Ron Guidry put it - on Saturday evening 8/22.
In an email on Monday Jack Sullivan MM wrote of Ronni:
I was shocked and saddened to learn of Ronni's death when I opened my email just a while ago. I worked with Ronni when I was first with the Affiliates as Co-coordinator with Fred Goddard and Janet Srebalus; Ronni was a member of the Affiliate Board then. She was always deeply committed to the Affiliates and to Kin-dom of God values. We all now have a very active member of the "Heaven-Here-and-Now" Chapter. I will be remembering her in memory images, prayer and Eucharist.
She is not "resting" but very much ALIVE in peace...Jack Sullivan
From Agnes Walsh
Veronica(Ronni) Gilligan, contact person for the Long Island Affiliate Chapter was admitted to a Hospice House on August 13th. Ronni requested prayers so it would be a source of comfort and consolation for her to know that Maryknoll Affiliates across the land are praying with her at this time.
In the July/ August 2015 Not So Far Afield Newsletter John Moritz (Regional Coordinator with his wife Mary from Florida) agreed with Steve Judd, MM that there are three traditional traits that characterize Maryknoll Spirituality and Maryknollers - affability, availability & adaptability. Ronni attracted people because of her affability, availability,and adaptability.
Please pray for Ronni
FROM FR. GENE TOLAND:
FOR THOSE INTERESTED IN TAKING THE MIT ON LINE COURSE, U.LAB 2.0 , Transformation of Business, Society, and Self , THAT BEGINS ON SEPTEMBER 10TH.
Everyone please note - yes, you do have to register for the new U.Lab course. Otherwise you will not receive any email updates about U.Lab, nor will you be able to access any of the new videos (including a whole module on SPT - which we're really excited about!).
You can register here: https://www.edx.org/course/u-lab-transforming-business-society-self-mitx-15-671x
About every other month we post one of the more than 50 Maryknoll Affiliate Chapters in the “Chapter Spotlight” feature of our website. It is one way for readers to get a sense of the wonderful diversity and level of commitment within the movement. Since the new website was launched in March of this year, three Chapters have appeared: Albany, Houston and, most recently, Greater Los Angeles. We’re hoping to spotlight one of our international Chapters next.
The photo above is of Cordelia Ontiveros (on the right), Contact Person for the Greater Los Angeles Chapter.
To see the latest posting on that Chapter and more photos, go to the Affiliate website: maryknollaffiliates.org – click on the WHAT WE DO tab at the top and click on “Locations” in the drop down menu. You can also get there by clicking on the url: http://maryknollaffiliates.org/chapters/locations.html
Global Vision is one of the 4 pillars of the Maryknoll Affiliates, along with Community, Spirituality, and Action. This issue recognizes the charism of Global Vision in the special connections between Affiliates and the peoples of the Americas. On our cover Gail Kelley describes Resurrection at the US border. Victor Maqque, from Puno, Peru, now working at Notre Dame University in the US, tells a moving story of attending the beatification of the Salvadoran martyr, Oscar Romero. The profile of the Houston chapter displays their work at the border and in other countries. Another Affiliate searched out a program that gives youth in Costa Rica a jumpstart.
Resurrection At the Border – “We visited all of the community centers where members spoke of heart-wrenching experiences and the reasons they came to the US. Children shared their hopes and dreams for their future in this country.“—Gail Kelley
Saint Dorothy Day? – Ellsberg delves into not only the pros and cons of canonizing Dorothy Day, but also the whole concept of sainthood.
The Three A’s of Maryknoll Spirituality – “So, for us Affiliates, I would like to present his challenge: How do we, both as individual Affiliates and as chapters, live out affability, availability, and adaptability?”—John Moritz
Campaign Nonviolence – The CNV web site reports that over 100 actions are already planned to connect the dots between war, poverty, and climate change.
Be the Community – “We grow our own food, live electricity-, car-, and fossil-fuel free, offer classes and workshops on the gift economy, and are of service in a variety of ways.”—Kyle Chandler-Isacksen
Pilgrimage in El Salvador – “All of us attending the beatification were on a pilgrimage. We walked to the sacred places in San Salvador, encountering so many friends, and, most importantly, companions in the faith.”—Victor Maqque
Houston: an Inspiration – "Since many of the Affiliates go to various mission sites, chapter meetings are planned when people are in town."—Robert Guice
JumpStart Needed in Costa Rica – "The students realized that learning English could be fun, that they could learn by making mistakes."—Gabriela Maertens
Global Vision in Phoenix – “We are doing what Pope Francis is calling us to do, to go to the margins.”—John Meyer
for poetry, prayer requests, and links to Maryknoll Sisters’ and MOGC news and events.
I received a call this Tuesday morning (6/30) from Deacon Larry Hart that Marie Parmly (91) of the Northeast Florida Affiliate Chapter passed away very early this morning. Larry, also an Affiliate from her Chapter, relayed that Marie was "peaceful and ready". She was surrounded by friends and family members.
Just last month Marie hosted an Affiliate Chapter meeting at her home in Saint Augustine. For anyone who knew Marie - I did when she joined the Maryknoll Lay Missioners at age 60 and went to Mexico - this is not surprising. Her level of energy and commitment were boundless.
Marie was also a member of Pax Christi. The excerpt below was written by Judy Sharpe for Pax Christi on the occasion of Marie's 90th birthday, March 18, 2014.
“Looking back, she is very grateful for her unique and blessed life that nurtured a deep relationship with God and a strong ethic for discipline and responsibility….”
“I met Marie in the early 1990’s when we were both members of Pax Christi St. Augustine and participating in “Neighborhood Conversations on Racism.” Marie’s input was vital, to say nothing of her brownies. Her commitment to our projects was exemplified by her showing up in the “Halo” while her broken neck was healing. Since then, she can be seen working to help improve conditions for our migrant farm workers at the local migrant camps, carrying banners for demonstrations on issues promoting peace (including protesting the stockpiling of nuclear arms), and frequent death penalty vigils while Florida steps up its pace of executions. Marie supplies and writes birthday cards for all the Florida death row inmates so members of the Diocesan Social Justice Committee can sign, and she has never stopped her pace for letting those in power know her views on human rights issues.”
"I have often heard Marie mention how important having good friends has been in her life. What I am not sure about is just how much Marie is aware of the importance and difference she has made in the lives of so many in the world who are grateful and honored to call her “friend”, and who love her"
In his much-awaited 183 page encyclical on the environment, Laudato Si (Be Praised), Pope Francis presents a comprehensive, uncompromising and engaging document which has strong words for the global market economy, accusing it of plundering the earth at the expense of the poor and future generations. Pope Francis intended the encyclical not just for Catholics, but to “every person living on this planet.” The document is available at: http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/documents/popereport.pdf
IT’S NOW ON THE WEBSITE…BUT! Why do I need to look at the Maryknoll Affiliate Initial Formation process?
Why? I know about Maryknoll, I have been an affiliate for many years. What is new for me to learn? Well, it depends on whether my vision of Maryknoll’s role in mission is forward looking or backward looking. Is my vision static or dynamic? When we look at the words Maryknoll and mission, we know that they have never been static. Both our vision of mission and the Maryknoll family of missioners has, in recent years, been undergoing dramatic change. Much of the focus of the new formation material is the result of the collective vision presented during the Maryknoll centennial symposia. The notion of what the word foreign means is certainly not limited to geography. In our current global perspective, this is perhaps not even the most significant factor. The constant in this context is that we are still drawn, as we have always been, to the perimeter, the margin, the no-where place, to be among the no-account people. Likewise, the face of the Maryknoll family of missioners is changing as evidenced by the recent invitation to members of the Affiliate Executive Committee and Executive Coordinator to participate in the Joint Meeting of Leadership.
This brings us to the newly revised Affiliate Initial Formation process. The new Affiliate Formation Material is now available to all online at www.maryknollaffiliates.org (our affiliate website). To access this, go to: Who We Are - to Quick Links (blue box) to Chapters and Formation. The newly revised materials are intended to move from being a content-oriented program toward a process of discernment. Where and how do I relate to Maryknoll and my local mission community (chapter)? This is a valid inquiry for both new and seasoned affiliates. The next few issues of NSFA will feature a series of articles which will reflect on the 5 themes of the formation process. If you are new to the affiliates, this will offer you an opportunity to experience some of what Maryknoll and the affiliate movement are and do. If you are a seasoned affiliate, this can be an opportunity to accompany a new affiliate in this process and at the same time renew your attraction to the Maryknoll mission family. Perhaps your chapter is looking for a means to renew itself?
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.