Ten attendees at our annual summer picnic began with a casual conversation over appetizers that turned into deep reflections on what it means to live out a call at this stage of life. In The Great Work of Your Life: a Guide for the Journey of Your True Calling, Stephen Cope examines the life visions and struggles faced by such visionaries as Jane Goodall, Harriet Tubman, Mohandas Gandhi, and several ordinary folks and encourages us to reject the modern idea that ‘we can be anyone we want to be’ and instead to discover and fully pursue their inner self’s calling.
We assume life is a mission of service;
Transforming dreams into reality.
OUR HISTORY – In 2007, Sister Connie Pospisil, MM, visited us and introduced us to the Affiliate Movement, as a further expression of the Maryknoll Family. The following year Father Thomas Göekler, MM (decd.), visited us and questioned us, saying: “You live the Maryknoll spirituality, you have to form a Chapter of Maryknoll Affiliates”.
Affiliates are people of prayer committed to continually forming in their missionary spirituality from the creative tension between “being” and “doing.”
WHO ARE WE? Who are the Maryknoll Affiliates in the Guatemala Chapter?
MARYKNOLL SISTERS – Making Gods love visible in Guatemala.
These courageous women have come from other regions, from other countries, and from other missionary projects to start new missions. They expended great efforts to identify needs, find funds, identify places for projects, and train people for their work teams.
These excerpts are translated from the Guatemalan Maryknoll Affiliate website: http://afiliadosmaryknoll.wixsite.com/guate.
An extraordinary edition of No Tan Lejos del Horizonte, posted in November, was dedicated to honoring Rosa Beatriz Castañeda de Larios for her 50 years in education.
Sunday, November 13, 2016, Rosa Beatriz Castañeda de Larios, Coordinator of the Guatemala Chapter of Maryknoll Affiliates (as well as editor of the NTLH and chair of the MAC 2017 organizing team), received a well-deserved tribute for her life of service in education, in Guatemala and in the world. She was feted in an event replete with music: marimba music, choreographed dances, and songs by a choir of former students, all composed and produced by her friend Miguel Angel Duarte and his artistic team. Graduates of the Sister Elizabeth McDermott Applied Arts School and Monte María School, where Rosa Beatriz had served, presented her orchids. Her colleague, Maryknoll Affiliate Anabella Penados, of the Monte María School, gave her a bonsai, explaining that it was a metaphor for the duration of her career and the artistry with which she kept it alive.
November 9-12, 2017
Guatemala, Central America
Registration is now available. For the forms, go to http://afiliadosmaryknoll.wixsite.com/guate/nossos-professores
After the conference, consider a Mission Visit…
You can visit missions of Maryknoll Sisters, a Priest, Lay Missioners, and Affiliates who serve in different areas of Guatemala or in El Salvador. Visiting a mission, you will be salt and light in exchanging the joy of the Gospel, living the beatitudes, and letting yourself be evangelized more than wanting to evangelize others.
Four post-conference options are offered (each needs a minimum of 5 participants):
The Communications Committee addresses all the avenues of communication used by the Affiliates: the Not So Far Afield (NSFA) and No Tan Lejos del Horizonte (NTLH) newsletters, the Maryknoll Affiliates’ website, the Monday update email, Facebook, the Book Group, and the Affiliate databases. Members of the committee recently reviewed each medium and commented:
Newsletters: The NSFA is distributed by mail six times a year to over 300 households and by email to over 750 addresses. The NTLH, a separate newsletter written by our Spanish-speaking Affiliates—not just a translation of the NSFA—is made available online at www.afiliadosmaryknoll.wixsite.com/guate/ntlh and in pdf form. The NTLH newsletter in Spanish is now also available on our website, at downloads/no-tan-lejos-del-horizonte.html
Web site: Executive Coordinator Bob Short regularly updates the website, posting news items of current interest. He also highlights different chapters to give a feel for our various ways of approaching mission. Affiliates are asked to contact Bob if they would like to have their chapter highlighted. Also, let Bob know if you encounter broken links or other problems at the website so that he can address them.
Monday Email: To get the most recent Affiliate news, Affiliates are invited to sign up for the Monday email at this website, under Contacts.
Facebook and other social media have great potential, but so far the Affiliates’ Facebook page is not well used. We need a capable volunteer with ideas and social media skills to make better use of Facebook.
Affiliate Databases: Ginny McEvoy continues working with Bob Short to harmonize them. If you want to be added to the membership list or update your information, please email Bob.
Excerpted from the article, “Internalizing Justice, Not Just Acting for It,” in The Peace Current, Summer 2016
Am I willing to change my internal landscape and my lifestyle in the pursuit of justice? I wonder sometimes if there are “safe” social justice issues that don’t require very much change. Does a focus on issues like nuclear disarmament, human trafficking, or abortion allow me to feel good about working for social change but not require much personal change?
We all need to be willing to be personally uncomfortable in the pursuit of justice, too. We cannot shy from important justice issues that also challenge those of us who have built a life on white privilege.
*Sister Rose Marie Tresp, RSM, of Belmont, N.C., has advocated for fair treatment of immigrants in the US for many years. In 2013, she joined the Fast for Immigrant Justice, commenting, “Our purpose is to push for immigration reform. We’re hoping to get more people who will support immigration reform and work for it.”
Start your nonviolent journey each day with an inspirational quote from Pace e Bene.
“Our hearts are not defeated,” Mr. Goldtooth said. “The closing of the camp is not the end of a movement or fight. It is a new beginning. They cannot extinguish the fire that Standing Rock started.”
A Radical Faith: The Assassination of Sister Maura
By Eileen Markey, Nation Books
“Portrait of a Martyr,” a review of Markey’s book that appeared in America Magazine on January 2, 2017, gives insight into the person and life of Maryknoll Sister Maura Clarke and the evolution of mission. (http://www.americamagazine.org/arts-culture/2016/12/22/remembering-martyrs-their-humanity-well-their-faith)
Reviewer Elizabeth Kirkland Cahill writes, “Maura’s years in Central America coincided with a period of sweeping transformation in the church’s understanding of its role in the world. Unsurprisingly, the Maryknoll nun’s perspective evolved accordingly. Originally focused on teaching that would allow poor Nicaraguans to improve their lives, Maura’s sense of purpose became more radically identified with the poor and infused with a desire to change the structural inequities that created and perpetuated poverty. Yet her posture was not political, but spiritual: The work of the Christian is to build the world Christ ushered in, by affirming the dignity and basic human rights of every person. Maura’s approach to the people of Nicaragua and El Salvador was one of complete, transcendent generosity and love. …”
In what could be advice for Affiliates, the reviewer quotes a Salvadoran nun who told the nephew of Ita Ford, MM*, “You do not have to be in El Salvador to continue your aunt’s mission.” After returning to the US, the nephew “realized the dream of opening Cristo Rey New York High School, a college preparatory school whose students—75 percent of whom are Latino—engage in a rigorous curriculum and work at entry-level business jobs. These students ... honor Ita Ford, Maura Clarke, and their two colleagues as the spiritual founders of Cristo Rey New York.” Affiliates also continue Maura’s and Ita’s mission when working not so far afield, in their own neighborhoods.
*Four church women were martyred in El Salvador in 1980: Maura Clarke and Ita Ford of Maryknoll, Ursuline sister Dorothy Kazel, and laywoman Jean Donovan.
Maryknoll Affiliate Board
Meets May 5-7, 2017, at Maryknoll
MAC 2017 in Guatemala is uppermost in the Board’s thoughts this spring, but they will also be discussing reports and plans of the three committees formed in response to the 2015 Affiliate Survey: Communication, Connection, and Sustainability/Growth. The consideration of new chapters and of virtual chapters is also on the agenda.
So that the Regional Coordinators (RCs) can focus their travel time and expenses on MAC 2017 in Guatemala, they will be “virtually” included in this Board meeting via Skype. One area the RCs will review with the Board is how RCs are selected and how long they should serve.
The Maryknoll Affiliate Board and some of us individual Affiliates are reflecting on what it means to be an online community, a virtual community, in Maryknoll.
“I loved what they had to say, the courage, the testing, and the helping.”
So said Martin Scorsese about “Maryknollers” when interviewed about his film, Silence, in America Magazine, Dec. 19-26, 2016. (http://www.americamagazine.org/arts-culture/2017/01/17/martin-scorsese-his-faith-films-and-silence). The highly acclaimed film is about seventeenth-century Jesuits ministering in Japan long before Maryknoll arrived. James Martin, SJ, the interviewer, says, ”So it’s (the film is) less of a portrayal of the missionary that is just from the outside in, and more from the inside out.”
After reading this searching article and hearing all the buzz about the movie and the Oscars, I will make a point to see it (when our library has it available to loan!).
Editors: NSFA has not yet published a movie review, but if you see this film or another that you want to share with Affiliates, we’d love to publish your comments and suggestions.
Let the Portland Oregon Chapter transport you to Africa for an evening. You’ll enjoy:
all for a very worthy cause—the Huruma School for children with disabilities in Tanzania. Portland Affiliate Bertha Haas founded the school when she was a Maryknoll Lay Missioner in 2004, and the Portland Affiliate Chapter has chosen helping to support the Huruma School as their special project.
Taste of Tanzania 2017 will be April 8th, in the Portland area. Don your African clothes and join us! Too far for you to travel, but you’d like to be involved? Silent auction items are needed (use of a vacation home?). Visit the Taste of Tanzania website (tasteoftanzania.x10host.com/) for more ways to help. Donations can also be made at https://www.gofundme.com/huruma-school-in-tanzania.
When they came for the undocumented,
I remained silent;
I was legal.
When they came for the gays,
I remained silent;
I was straight.
When they came for the sick,
I remained silent;
I was insured.
When they came for the Muslims
I remained silent...
*Inspired by Martin Niemöller’s famous quote.