Long ago, I responded to that call to mission, not sure of what I had to offer but eager to try. As so many missioners discovered, what we had to offer paled in comparison to what we received. And so it was that I spent nine years in Tanzania learning what it means to be in dialogue and community with those whose experience of God was different from mine but no less grounded in the Divine, people whose life struggles were so very immediate, and whose culture was so rich in affirming one’s connection to and sense of belonging in community.
My life’s journey then shifted from religious to married life, but never did I, or my husband, doubt that call to mission. I was blessed to continue service in partnership with Africans in their local communities through the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC). This Catholic learned so much from the Peace Testimony of Quakers openly and courageously responding and giving voice to communities ravaged by civil wars and the lack of basic necessities, nearly forgotten by the world community.
At a recent meeting, the New Jersey Affiliate Chapter explored what might be an Affiliate’s response to the present political climate, and ways to elevate the level of discourse. As people of faith and hope, imbued with the values of Maryknoll, what can we offer?
Our small group listed the concerns that are most pressing to us:
It had to happen! With about forty respondents to the Book Group invitation, multiple discussion groups became necessary. The organizing team of Bob Short, Mary Ryan-Hotchkiss, and Paula Schaffner offered several options, and participants were grouped by choosing their preferred meeting time. The first meetings of the resulting Tuesday, Friday, and Sunday groups, via telephone conference calls, occurred starting June 20th. As of July 1, most groups will have discussed Chapter 1 of Ilia Delio’s Making All Things New.
If you can’t participate in a Book Group, you could read the book on your own or with your chapter and see the updates and comments on the Maryknoll Affiliates’ Facebook page. You could even add your own comments on Facebook.
Maryknoll Lay Missioner Debbie Northern visited the April Affiliate Board/Regional Coordinator meeting and encouraged Affiliates to schedule workshops in our communities.
The Maryknoll Lay Missioners offers a Mission Education Workshop to parishes and groups who want to explore every Christian’s baptismal call to mission. Pope Francis has urged the Church to be missionary in nature, but what does this mean? The format of the workshop includes sharing our own experiences, learning the “See, Judge, Act” model, and reflecting on the call to mission in the world, both locally and globally.
The workshop can be adapted to the group’s needs, running from one to three hours in length or expanded into a longer retreat version. If at all possible, a Maryknoll Lay Missioner will conduct the workshop, but if none is available, the workshop plan will be shared with a Maryknoll Affiliate chapter that wants to conduct its own workshop.
For more information, phone or email:
Affiliate Kathee Bautista spoke with one of our NSFA editors about what makes the Los Angeles Chapter tick. For them, collaboration is the key to powerful action.
Catholic Youth Organizations. A number of Affiliates have worked with Tijuana Mission Outreach, which hosts high school students who experience mission and make heart connections with the locals. They have also joined families from various high schools and other groups in an Epiphany Outreach, collecting needed items for impoverished families served through the San Eugenio Mission in Tijuana.
The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels sponsors the Adopt-a-Family—LA Affiliates contribute to this program both financially and through their volunteer work.
The Contra Costa County (CCC) Maryknoll Affiliates meet periodically, and they attended a quick dinner meeting in Walnut Creek, CA, to visit with my husband Manny Hotchkiss and me.
Herb Casey, a deacon at nearby St. John Vianney parish, and his wife, Peggy, are both volunteer mission promoters for the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers. They work out of the Western Regional Maryknoll office in San Lorenzo, CA. The CCC Affiliates and the local parish share a strong social concerns orientation. The Caseys said they were fortunate to participate in a number of immersion trips; the latest was to Jamaica in May of 2015, which touched their hearts. (See "Our Jamaican Immersion Trip – 2015")
We also met other members of the CCC Affiliate Chapter, including Monica Gallicho, who described herself as a lifetime Maryknoll Magazine reader and Maryknoll supporter. She and her daughter, Mimi Gallicho, enjoy mission talks at the nearby Maryknoll House at San Lorenzo and have attended the massive LA Religious Education Congress in Anaheim, CA.
Herb noted that their members miss hearing of and supporting the mission experiences of the three Maryknoll Sisters who had participated in their group. Because of age or medical issues, the sisters have retired to Maryknoll at Ossining, NY, or Monrovia, CA.
Deacon Gustavo Escruceria, and his wife Vickie, along with Doris DeSilva and Vickie Lizarrga, are also members of the CCC Maryknoll Affiliate Chapter but were not able to attend that evening. Their South American connections help provide the group with a Global Vision. This Affiliate community supports one another as they develop their missionary spirit and serve the poor.
The editors were privileged to attend and energized by the Affiliate Board/RC meetings at Maryknoll in April. Our devotion to all things Maryknoll helps us to survive this election year’s depressing rhetoric.
If you prefer to read the NSFA in its printed form, please go to May/June 2016 Not So Far Afield to read and/or download this issue.
To read articles online, see Articles in this Issue, below.
Don’t just visit our Facebook Page, like and follow it to hear the latest. This is your page—be sure to post your chapter’s news, announcements, and concerns.
State of the Heart, April 2016 – "Of many decisions taken by the Board/RCs that are promising and exciting, I will highlight two. " – Dave Schaffner
Join the New Affiliate Book Group – ...several Affiliates suggest discussing Making All Things New: Catholicity, Cosmology, Consciousness, by Ilia Delio, OSF.
See you in New Orleans? – Matt Rousso will talk about “Mission as Accompaniment” and the role of dialogue in mission.
MAC 2017 – ¡Guatemala! – The Maryknoll Affiliate Board encourages each chapter to send a member and will again offer travel grants to promote broad attendance.
Lynn Houston—The First Affiliate – ...Lynn had a great heart for Maryknoll and was always looking for ways to deepen and widen the circles of the Maryknoll Affiliate family.
Visiting the Contra Costa Affiliates – "Their South American connections help provide the group with a Global Vision." – Mary Ryan-Hotchkiss
Finding Connections in Southeast Asia – "I was struck by unexpected long-distance links between Maryknoll folks." – Charlie Reilly
Solar Sister – "Sr. Rose Marie now proposes using New Mexico’s plentiful sunshine as an alternative to mined uranium-dependent nuclear power." – Mary Ryan=Hotchkiss
Heartstrings Tied to Tanzania – "Our relationships have grown with the years, sharing spirituality in the progress of children to adulthood..." Roger Schiltz
LA Chapter—See How They Partner – For them, collaboration is the key to powerful action.
Our Jamaican Immersion Trip—2015 – "Fellowship and presence was such a blessing to all who participated." – Deacon Herb Casey
New Mission Education Workshop – The Maryknoll Lay Missioners offers a Mission Education Workshop ... to explore every Christian’s baptismal call to mission.
Maryknoll Mission Items – Institutes, Connections, Ideas for ways to connect with missioners
Mary's Call – Ginny McEvoy shared Mary Murphy’s poem, from the December 1993 Not So Far Afield.
This was our third Maryknoll Fathers & Brothers immersion trip but the first time Peggy and I visited Jamaica. The main purposes of these immersion trips are to experience Christ wherever we go and to be present to all those we encounter. This trip certainly fulfilled these objectives for us.
It took many of us some time to get acclimated to the heat and humidity that we felt the minute we deplaned, but our accommodations were comfortable and the hospitality provided by our host was wonderful. We plunged right in with songs, prayers, and introductions so that we would get to know each other, since most of the 11 of us had not met each other before.
Maryknoll Mission Institute 2016
The Mission Institute offers six-day programs (Sunday-Friday) May-October, 2016. Upcoming July programs:
On our recent visit to Tanzania we were struck by how much has happened to the people we knew as children in 2004. We spoke to them in Swahili as elementary school children and now they are attending universities, speaking with us in English and, using all the modern communication techniques from computers to cell phones, sending us TSM messages and emails. It amazes us.
These beautiful Tanzanian children who are now young adults make a difference in our lives.
We had a quick visit with Sr. Rose Marie Cecchini, MM, and noted that the Pillars that animate Maryknoll Affiliates—Spirituality, Community, Global Vision, and Action—are also evident in her work.
Sr. Rose Marie Cecchini, MM, is based in Gallup, NM, and is the director of the Office of Peace, Justice, and Stewardship of Creation for the Diocese of Gallup. During her many years in mission in Japan, she learned of the lasting damage from nuclear disasters. Her diocesan office is now an ally of MASE, Multicultural Alliance for a Safe Environment, which addresses the legacy of uranium contamination and related illnesses in the Gallup area. Sr. Rose Marie spoke on this topic at the 2011 Affiliate Conference in Las Vegas. Related articles were in the NSFA in 2011 and 2013.
Marta and I traveled for five weeks, visiting two daughters and their families in Bangkok and Laos and Maryknollers in five countries. We found that the Maryknoll mission and service in Southeast Asia is still going strong. Our visit caused me to reflect on the presence and legacies of China and the United States in the region and to note its ties to Affiliates in San Diego today.
Hong Kong. The Maryknoll house in Stanley, Hong Kong, built about 80 years ago as a base for mission efforts in China, overlooks the South China Sea. During our nights there, monsoonal winds buffeted the house. It withstood them, like the mission itself, changing as China and Church have changed. Today’s Maryknollers—priests, brothers, sisters, and lay people—have carved out some well thought out, strategic niches in areas like education and communications, adapting with the local church to political and ideological constraints, turning over initiatives to laypeople who share the vision and charism. While we were there, Maryknollers were conducting a retreat for women religious superiors from different parts of the Chinese mainland.
Mary Murphy, a Westchester Affiliate and one of the founders of the Maryknoll Affiliates, died February 7th at the age of 81. Mary taught Spanish at the high school and college level. She is also remembered as the co-founder, with Fr. John Hudert, MM, of the “Pachamama Farm” at Maryknoll. Ginny McEvoy shared Mary’s poem, from the December 1993 Not So Far Afield.
Often credited with being the first Maryknoll Affiliate, Lynn Houston passed away on February 18th. We share stories of her Affiliate leadership over 25 years to remind ourselves what one person can do.
Lynn was a: