We are thankful for 2017’s many good memories: chapters hosting Maryknoll missioners, marching for the homeless in Los Angeles, working tirelessly for immigrant rights, and more.
Affiliates also gathered in Guatemala for MAC2017, our triennial international conference. The Capítulo de Afiliados Maryknoll of Guatemala superbly organized our first one held outside the US. The Affiliate Board appreciates their creativity and hard work in bringing a conference to us that will become a highlight of Affiliate history.
The various post-conference mission trips also deserve special mention: three in Guatemala and one in El Salvador, in which I participated. Fr. John Spain, MM, who lived through the years of the Salvadoran Civil War, brought history alive for us. We visited diverse and inspiring mission projects, particularly those of the Lay Missioners, who are led by Peter Altman, MKLM Regional Coordinator for El Salvador.
Looking forward to 2018, we are continuing to ask, “Where do we want to be in five years?” At our combined Board/Regional Coordinator meeting in Guatemala City, we appointed an ad hoc committee—Rich Lessard, Albany; John and Mary Moritz, Northeast Florida; Bob Short, Executive Coordinator; and hopefully one international representative—to develop four topics identified at the Guatemala City meeting: collaboration, identity, international cross-cultural aspects, and models.
At the Fall 2018 Board/RC meeting, we will use these topics to develop initiatives and suggest actions for Affiliates. In the meantime, many chapters have used the September/October NSFA “Easy Meeting” to brainstorm the future direction(s) of the Affiliates. If it hasn’t done so yet, I encourage your chapter to try this process.
Comings and Goings:
Your generosity in responding to our annual appeal keeps our basic operational budget stable but also allows us to pursue special initiatives, such as assisting Board members who could not otherwise afford to travel to Board meetings. Finance Chair Manny Hotchkiss sent out this year’s appeal letter in November. If it’s lost in your holiday mail, perhaps it is not too late to dig it out.
Blessings on your new Affiliate year!
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.
Driving into the Hudson Valley for our October board meeting, I saw the magnificent and glorious fall colors; seasons are something that elude us here on the California Central Coast. Though basking in the colors, my thoughts were muted by the news from Chicago Affiliate Renate Schneider. She works with various development projects in Jeremie, Haiti, one of the areas hardest hit by Hurricane Matthew.
As the Affiliate Board and Regional Coordinators (RCs) met at Maryknoll for their combined Spring meeting, the atmosphere in the meetings matched that outside, with renewal and promise, where the daffodils and tulips were leading the budding of shrubs and trees. Of many decisions taken by the Board/RCs that are promising and exciting, I will highlight two.