Robert Short

Robert Short

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.

Slow down

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

Then

move in the direction that beckons me.

                                                                        bzm 5/5/2019

Saturday, 11 May 2019 13:38

Invitation - MKLM Closing Ceremony

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. 

Saturday, 11 May 2019 13:34

Orbis Books - New Titles

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/

Monday, 06 May 2019 01:08

Contemplation

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:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b0o5J0-8OA0

In recent weeks a few among us have had the chance to visit with Jack Sullivan MM. Below is a brief letter from Ann Carr, who visited with Jack on Easter Sunday.  Following that is the poetic prayer written by Joe Veneroso MM, that Jack asked Bob Short to read at the end of their visit at Maryknoll last week

From Ann:

Please keep our dear friend and long time Maryknoll Affiliate companion, Jack Sullivan, close in heart and prayer in these days. Jack served as one of our Executive Coordinators in the early 2000’s and has always offered his support, creativity and deep commitment to our movement. He has been struggling with emphysema for the past few years and recently developed the flu followed by MRSA pneumonia. He has improved a bit, but remains on oxygen and has now been placed on hospice. Click on READ MORE to see the rest of the article.

Saturday, 20 April 2019 14:16

MAC 2020 Update 4-21-19

New elements of next year's MAC - now just 14 months away - continue to take shape.  Most excitingly, after scores of drafts and retakes, we now have a theme (below) that will give cohesiveness to the Conference and, most importantly, speak to the moment in history where we find ourselves. Also in the excitement category, Jim & Ann Coady, formerly of the Long Island Chapter and, since they moved to Minnesota, now the Virtual Chapter, have joined Ginny McEvoy, Celine Woznica and Bob Short on the Planning Team.

THEME: Witnessing Love in The Interim Time  - a deeper commentary will follow in the months ahead.  Briefly, "Witnessing" is how we live our lives. "Love" is love of God, each other, our earth and all sentient beings thereon. "Interim Time" is for this time we now find ourselves - living between a paradigm that is dying out and a new paradigm yet to be fully born (see John O'Donohue's, For The Interim Time).  We are especially grateful to architect & artist, Jim Coady, who designed the logo.

A few more updates: (1) The tuition/room & board fee will be at or slightly lower that the last two conferences (2) Scholarships will be available (3) Schedule will include keynote (Nancy Sylvester) a special focus on Intergenerational Dialogue WITH youth present, Open Space, Connections with International Chapters and many other breakout sessions.

Mark the dates on your calendar.

 

Saturday, 20 April 2019 14:16

MAC 2020 Update 4-21-19

New elements of next year's MAC - now just 14 months away - continue to take shape.  Most excitingly, after scores of drafts and retakes, we now have a theme (below) that will give cohesiveness to the Conference and, most importantly, speak to the moment in history where we find ourselves. Also in the excitement category, Jim & Ann Coady, formerly of the Long Island Chapter and, since they moved to Minnesota, now the Virtual Chapter, have joined Ginny McEvoy, Celine Woznica and Bob Short on the Planning Team.

Monday, 01 April 2019 00:46

MKLM Strategic Planning

MARYKNOLL LAY MISSIONERS

STRATEGIC PLANNING INVITATION

Maryknoll Lay Missioners is a Catholic organization inspired by the mission of Jesus to live and work with poor communities in Africa, Asia and the Americas, responding to basic needs and helping to create a more just and compassionate world.

In the last 2 years MKLM has engaged in a reflection on how to best live out its mission in the Church and society of today.  In March 2018, Maryknoll received the findings from a key organizational assessment that provides MKLM with a foundation to engage the future. 

During the Fall of 2018 the leadership of Maryknoll Lay Missioners agreed to take the next step in this visioning and assessment journey and to embark upon a strategic planning process to identify a vision and roadmap for the next three to four years.  Three strategic questions are guiding the discussion: 

  • Where are we now? 
  • Where do we need to be in the future to be effective in our mission? 
  • How do we get there? 

These questions seek to respond to the present realities impacting our organization, the realities facing our global sisters and brothers, the opportunities and challenges within the present lay missioner and volunteer environment, and the realities shaping faith communities, including Maryknoll as a whole. 

Effective planning is an opportunity to pause, reflect and assess our current reality and to identify strategic and tactical directions that will lead Maryknoll Lay Missioners forward to be a mission focused, effective and efficient ministry organization.

YOUR PARTICIPATION

During the Fall the Board of Directors, the Global Council and national staff spent time reviewing and finalizing a process to guide this planning.  A steering committee was also formed to coordinate and guide the planning.  This group includes various MKLM stakeholders.

A key principle that emerged was the participation and ownership in the planning process of the many MKLM stakeholders, including missioners, receiving communities, alumni, donors and the Maryknoll fathers and brothers, sisters, and affiliates. 

During the month of April, we are hosting focus groups to be facilitated by our consultant for this process, Paul Henderson of Pastoral Strategies, Inc.  We invite you to join in a 90-minute confidential listening process to gain your insights from your own experiences and knowledge of Maryknoll Lay Missioners in recent years. Paul will be at Maryknoll on April 3-4 and again in May which is yet to be determined.  Coffee, tea and snacks will be provided. 

                 Claudia Samayoa

At the beginning of last week, Rosa Beatriz, Affiliate Board member from the Guatemala Chapter, emailed me requesting the name of someone in the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns (MOGC) who might be able to respond to an urgent request. That request was for Affiliate Chapter member, Claudia Samayoa, who, along with José Martínez, had been maliciously accused by the President of the Guatemala Supreme, seeking to criminalize her work in Human Rights.  Claudia, whom many of you reading this met at MAC 2017, and who recently received special recognition for her work in human rights, was faced with the possibility of being incarcerated. 

There is a second, revealing aspect to this story that I believe should make us proud to be part of the Maryknoll family.  Shortly after receiving the details of the situation from Rosa Beatriz (the Guatemala Chapter had already drafted a strong, thoughtfully worded document in protest to the Supreme court’s stance) I wrote to the other Maryknoll entities to make them aware that we as Affiliates were looking to initiate an action in support of Claudia and José. Seemingly within minutes after clicking 'send' on the email, at least one person from each entity had responded to express support.  Soon MOGC Executive Director Susan Gunn and her staff put an action plan in motion.  Susan laid out a 3-prong strategy:   

  1. Draft a letter to Pompeo at State Dept. and ask the Maryknoll entities and the Affiliates to sign on.
  2. Invite other organizations to join us in sending a letter to the Ambassador of Guatemala in D.C. [Affiliates have signed on. The list of organizations who have signed on is already long.]
  3. Create an action alert inviting the public to send a message to the State Dept and the ambassador. [In the works.]

At this writing, the final outcome is still pending for Claudia and José.  Rosa Beatriz informed me that Claudia’s father, who had been gravely ill, passed away few days ago. Please be alert for action alerts to sign and pray for Claudia, José and the dire situation in Guatemala.

Sunday, 24 March 2019 14:30

The Interim Time

In the early stages of planning for MAC 2020, the phrase, “The Interim Time” has surfaced recurrently. We on the MAC planning team anticipate that this notion will be incorporated on some level into the Conference in June of 2020.  Similar phrases to name that phenomenon are: the middle time, the in-between time and, simply, chaos – probably because at least a bit of disorder is inevitable when the world is undergoing a major transition; and, before order is restored.  

In his poem, For the Interim Time (full version follows below) the Irish poet John O’Donohue wrote:

The old is not old enough to have died away;

The new is still too young to be born.

Essentially, it is a time when the prevailing paradigm is dying off and a new one is being born.  Even if we cannot fully understand it, we are seeing evidence of it all around us… in our understanding of global relationships, of Church, of government, of quantum science, of social consciousness, even of God.  It has and will continue to impact so many areas of our individual lives as well as the on-going development of the Affiliate Movement.  For sure, living in this interim time can make for anxious moments.  Thankfully, in the last three lines of the poem, O’Donohue assures us of a hopeful outcome if we remain faithful.

“For the Interim Time”

 When near the end of day, life has drained


Out of light, and it is too soon


For the mind of night to have darkened things,

No place looks like itself, loss of outline


Makes everything look strangely in-between,


Unsure of what has been, or what might come.

In this wan light, even trees seem groundless.


In a while it will be night, but nothing


Here seems to believe the relief of darkness.

You are in this time of the interim


Where everything seems withheld.

The path you took to get here has washed out;


The way forward is still concealed from you.

“The old is not old enough to have died away;


The new is still too young to be born.”

You cannot lay claim to anything;


In this place of dusk,
Your eyes are blurred;


And there is no mirror.

Everyone else has lost sight of your heart


And you can see nowhere to put your trust;


You know you have to make your own way through.

As far as you can, hold your confidence.


Do not allow confusion to squander


This call which is loosening


Your roots in false ground,


That you might come free


From all you have outgrown.

What is being transfigured here in your mind,


And it is difficult and slow to become new.


The more faithfully you can endure here,


The more refined your heart will become


For your arrival in the new dawn.

John O’Donohue, from To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings, 2008


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