For two weeks in mid-December Patty Barneond de Garcia Tres, Affiliate Board member and liaison to Latin America, and Bob Short traveled to Bolivia and Peru to meet with Affiliates and Maryknollers in those two countries. This is Bob’s second article on that trip.
Within two days after arriving in Cochabamba and meeting with the Affiliates there, it became apparent that something was different; that, in several ways, a different calculus was applied to how life is lived and mission embraced. As Patty and I continued our trip, visiting Santa Cruz and the Peruvian populations of Lima, Arequipa, and Chiguata, a small village in the mountains outside of Arequipa, that perception stayed with me.
The new www.maryknollaffiliates.org is up and running! Opening the site, you will see that it looks and feels significantly different from the old website. The Affiliate Four Pillars: Spirituality, Community, Global Vision and Action, are prominently displayed on the home page. Visually, the formatting—
multi-colored layers and many more photos—engages the viewer from the outset. Navigating the new website is simpler and more intuitive. Our Affiliate site is bilingual and will carry copies of both newsletters, Not So Far Afield and No Tan Lejos del Horizonte, on both the English and Spanish home pages.
In early November, I participated in the Latin American Maryknoll Society’s Regional Assembly and Retreat. Also invited were Sr. Jane Buellesbach, representing the Maryknoll Sisters, and Sam Stanton and Fr. Bill Voss for the Lay Missioners. It was an especially positive meeting wherein Maryknoll hospitality, genuine collaboration and easy, unadorned camaraderie were manifestly present every day. We can’t know for sure if this was a foretaste of things to come within Maryknoll, but it was very encouraging.
Communication, good or bad, will significantly influence whether we succeed or fail as an organization, local group or as individuals.
In today’s world a hefty amount of communication is electronic via the Internet: email, texting, Facebook, Twitter, etc. For Affiliates, given that a few of us are over 17 years old, electronic media, particularly social media like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, could be foreign, perhaps frightening. Some among us might even have emotional or spiritual reasons to reject the digital world, feeling it is just too soul smothering and dehumanizing. I sometimes have those thoughts myself.
Bob Short – Executive Coordinator
An announcement was made during our church’s Easter morning liturgy that an Easter egg hunt for the children would take place immediately after Mass. To the best of my knowledge, no one found, nor did anyone think to hide, the elusive cosmic egg that day.
Over 130 Affiliates and other Maryknollers attended the Maryknoll Affiliates Conference—Maryknoll Affiliates: The Third Wave Emerging into the Future. Attendees came from Tanzania, Philippines, Haiti, France, Nicaragua, Mexico, Guatemala, Peru, Bolivia and the US. From all the feedback received, the Conference appears to have been a very positive experience. Several even spoke of it as opening up new directions for them—a fundamentally new, more expansive way of seeing things.