I am sitting at my dining table on All Souls Day evening in the silence of my home, remembering with joy the time I spent in Santa Ana with a wonderful community of Maryknoll Affiliates. I want these memories to never leave my heart and soul. I am so thankful to have been part of this Affiliate mission pilgrimage to Guatemala. It was a time of prayer, forming community and being with those who are materially poor. We crossed borders to discover the meaning of mission spirituality, and we experienced walking with the poor by living among them in a simple mission house.
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.
Dan Driscoll-Shaw – Chicago Central Chapter
Our Chicago Central Maryknoll Affiliates community has been blessed to share many times in one of the highlights and most significant experiences of all the Maryknoll entities, the Sending Ceremony.
Our most recent Sending Ceremony took place December 15, 2013. We blessed Merwyn and Kirstin DeMello as they go forth to begin a three-year commitment in Afghanistan with the Mennonite Central Committee.
In 1991 I began a three-year service position in the newly created joint Maryknoll Mission Archives. I had barely been assigned a desk when Fr. Jim Madden came in looking for two things: the book, The Maryknoll Movement, by Fr. George Powers, and Sr. Barbara Hendricks’ article on the Maryknoll charism. Jim liked to recall that moment as the beginning of our collaboration. Apparently I said something about being interested in what he was doing, and he immediately pulled up a chair to talk about it. He admitted that he wanted the Affiliates to be called “Maryknoll” Affiliates, but that that could only happen if the new movement was collaborative within Maryknoll.
Stories were told at the wake of Jim’s humility, inspiration, and vision. One described his courage. Once, in Peru, armed local leaders confronted Jim in a public square, accusing him of being a spy, challenging his presence. “Why are you here? You don’t belong here,” they screamed. Jim walked right up to the group, stood tall before them and flipped their challenge saying, “It is YOU who don’t belong here. You have cheated and exploited the people. Why are YOU here?” The people then rose up and said, “He’s with us and we’re with him.” Confronted by this cool, daring young priest and his supporters, they backed down. A co-worker later asked Jim if he’d been scared. “Terrified,” he said.
Pat Denevan: I was 19 years old when I entered the Maryknoll Seminary in Mt. View, CA, to study Latin for one year. With a young heart burning with missionary zeal, I completed 8 more years of study and was ordained a Maryknoll priest in 1963. However, in 1970, after seeing the hopes of Pope John XXIII fading and the windows of the 2nd Vatican Council being closed, I decided to leave the priesthood. With a sad and confused heart, I left Maryknoll and was “reduced to the lay state,” according to the official document I received from Rome.
[Translated by Bob Short]
You will always be with us, our dear Father Jim.
Our Mass in celebration of the life of Father Jim Madden was held in Arequipa, Peru, on January 16th, the day that Father Jim was waked [in New York]. Father Edmundo Alarcón, a friend of Father Jim, presided over the celebration. In attendance were Affiliates from the three chapters in Arequipa and some Affiliates from Puno, Peru.
Chicago affiliates held a beautiful reflection this afternoon on the life and gifts of Jim Madden MM. After some initial sharing of stories and personal experiences with Jim, we let Jim speak to us as we read together his essay on “Visioning with the Maryknoll Mission Movement.” We ended with the following chant:
At wind-swept gatherings of the Aymara community on the Altiplano, ¡Presente!
At cross-cultural celebrations that find the Sacred in all peoples and traditions, ¡Presente!
At chapter and conference meetings of Maryknoll Affiliates all over the world, ¡Presente!
At vocation seminars and one-on-one accompaniment, ¡Presente!
At Society gatherings, fellowship, and liturgical services, ¡Presente!
At Congregational collaborations and joint visioning, ¡Presente!
At local and national actions to live and promote social justice, ¡Presente!
As long as we live, he too will live; for he is now a part of us, as we remember Jim. ¡Presente!
New chapters in South Korea, Cochabamba, Bolivia, and Lima, Peru, were recognized in 2013. The Cochabamba Chapter has close ties with Bolivia’s Maryknoll Mission Community. Korean Chapter Affiliates work in mission with adults with special needs, abused women, children at risk, Hansen’s disease patients, and others. The Lima, Peru, Niño Jesus Chapter, a group including dedicated catechists, educators and pastoral workers, has a rich history of formation with Maryknollers. Please greet these three new chapters and more than 40 new affiliates at www.facebook.com/maryknollaffiliates.
Sr. Eleanor Keeney, who died on Nov. 29, was born in NJ, trained as a nurse and then joined Maryknoll in 1948. Her medical expertise took her to Ceylon, Thailand, Zimbabwe, and the US, where she established various programs: AIDS support, rural clinics, hospice, home care, and more.
Sr. Joan Campbell died on Dec. 14, 2013, after 66 years as a Maryknoll sister. Born in NJ and educated in PA, she served in Tanzania as a teacher/headmistress.
Sr. Elizabeth Lee, a Maryknoll sister for over 70 years, died on Feb. 4, 2014. Teaching gradeschool, ESL, and teachers of ESL, she worked mostly with Chinese populations in the US and Taiwan.
“First you do what is needed, then you do the possible. Then the impossible will happen.”
Kitty and I were in Chipole, Tanzania, waiting for the rain. Very little rain had fallen for five months. Everyone was waitting to plant when the new moon was in decline and the rainy season had begun.
This year we brought our daughter Laura and her friend Jenny with us. It was their first experience in Africa, and it was a pleasure being with them as they experienced the Tanzanian people. Two years ago, many people prayed for our daughter Laura when she was sick with Goodpasture Syndrome, a kidney disease. Many sisters in Chipole prayed for her. I was overwhelmed when I saw some of the sisters hug Laura, telling her that they had prayed for her and were happy to see her alive.
“Formation is a work of Art, not a police action.”
Recently I read an account by Antonio Spadaro, SJ, of a conversation between Pope Francis and the superiors of men’s religious communities during their meeting in Rome, November 27-29, 2013. Much of their conversation about formation, charism, and mission within religious communities applies to our Affiliate communities.
“New” Affiliates in Lima have deep Maryknoll roots.
In his introduction, Raul Llamas, the coordinator, explained that the Niño Jesús Affiliados de Maryknoll work as a group with the poor, with drug addicts, with those experiencing family problems, and with the youth in the streets. “We are a community that formed to serve our neighbors.” Amelia stated that some of these people’s problems come because they lack faith. She hopes that those they serve will come to know Jesus in their heads and in their hearts.
John Hernandez & Kathee Bautista – Los Angeles Chapter
Maryknoll Affiliates gathered at the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress at the Anaheim Convention Center. Two attendees commented:
John Hernandez – On Saturday, March 15, several Affiliates gathered at the RE Congress. Los Angeles Affiliates present were Tim Moffett, Sister Kathryn Shannon, Irma Pazmino, Richard Perez, Kathee Bautista, Joe and Peggy Santos, and Deacon Leonel Yoque. Fr. Jack Moynihan, a Maryknoll Father who lives in the Bay Area, joined us. Fr. Jack is planning to attend our next meeting in Los Angeles, since he will be in town at the time, and we will give him time on the agenda to introduce himself to us.
Kathee Bautista – We had a great time at the Congress. I worked at the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers booth both Saturday and Sunday and met wonderful people while we distributed 380 to 400 of our fliers. We can expect to see a few new folks at our next meeting in Little Tokyo, including parishioners from St. Francis Xavier. We met several graduates from Maryknoll Schools worldwide who continue to embrace the Maryknoll spirit. Youth leaders expressed interest in immersion trips. We also made contacts with groups that might want to collaborate with us in the future.