Not So Far Afield is a bimonthly publication of the Maryknoll Affiliates. The name is a play on the title of the original Maryknoll Magazine: The Field Afar.

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Wednesday, 31 October 2018 20:27

Connecting

Written by

Coming from our regional conference on nonviolence and then the Affiliate Board and RC meeting, I am energized by the possibilities for connecting.

Rich Lessard, our newly elected Board Chair, seeks stronger connections among leadership, Affiliates, and chapters, with the other Maryknoll entities, and indeed among all of us as leaven in our communities.

In this issue, the Pinneys from Walla Walla, WA, who have worked quietly for years with their Guatemalan sister parish, now reach out to Affiliates. New Orleans Affiliates made friends with immigrants at the border. David Stocker asks us to join him at the November SOAWatch/Encuentro at the US-Mexico Border. Kevin Carroll, Maryknoll Office For Global Concerns, invites us to advocate for the Catholic Nonviolence Initiative, substituting Just Peace for Just War.

The Affiliate Movement empowers us to connect and to prototype our ideas for mission. At the Board meeting, we were urged not to fear failure as we develop prototypes, rather to fail fast, to iterate, and to progress, perhaps not perfectly, but one step at a time. We are seeing the fruits of a prototype virtual chapter. Technology means geography need not limit our connections. Mission is wherever we are and wherever we can connect!

Tells us about your connections and your ideas at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

Articles in this issue:

Our Long-Term Mission - "They found vibrant activity in Sololá but also great need."—Judy Pinney

The Art of Nonviolence - "The nonviolent direct action we have learned can be applied to many issues in our world, ... making our resistance creative and vibrant."—David Stocker

Just War or Just Peace? - "CNI calls on the Church to ... respond to the monumental crises of our time with the vision and strategies of nonviolence."—Kevin Carroll

NW Regional Mini-Conference on Peace and Nonviolence - "[Rivera Sun's] statistics that nonviolence  succeeds more often than violence for regime change, civil rights actions, and fair working conditions were heartening."—David Stocker

Mission in the Texas Rio Grande Valley - "Education, Engagement and Empowerment became a theme for me."—Janet Rousso

Texas-Mexico Border Accompaniment - "... I see faces of real people and their fortitude, belief in God, endurance."—Kim Nunez

Mass of Solidarity and Hope - "The palpable spirit of the gathering, rooted deep in our Catholic faith, was the desire to express concern for and solidarity with immigrants."—Joe Hastings

Peru Affiliates—Moving Spirituality - Carlos Apcho says he uses Google Translator to read the Not So Far Afield.

The Board and EC Speak:

On the Way from the Forum - "A movement must have connection, without which there can be no Movement."—Rich Lessard

Features:

Maryknoll Mission Institute – 2019

Spotlight on Mission

 If you'd like to read this issue in its printed format, please download the pdf version of November/December Not So Far Afield. 

 

Wednesday, 31 October 2018 20:09

Our Long-Term Mission

Written by

Judy and Chris Pinney – Walla Walla Affiliates

 

In February, Chris Pinney, his son Zac, and four others visited programs, interviewed people, and videotaped footage in Sololá Diocese, Guatemala, the sister diocese of Spokane, WA, Diocese.They found vibrant activity in Sololá but also great need. The video was shown at the Sixth Annual Mission Celebration in Spokane, also attended by Ralph Maughan, Seattle Affiliate and Regional Coordinator, and Bob McFarland of North Bay, CA, Chapter. 

Wednesday, 31 October 2018 20:02

Spotlight on Mission

Written by
Karen Bortvedt, left, during her service in Cambodia.

Karen Bortvedt – Returned Maryknoll Lay Missioner

Have you had an inspiring experience on a FAB trip?  Do you know someone who may make a great lay missioner?  We invite you to join one of our upcoming webinars—with me!  I will share some of my experiences in Cambodia, as well as all the nuts and bolts of becoming a lay missioner. 

The upcoming webinars are:

November 15, 5pm EST – login to zoom.us/j/995940923

December 2, 11am EST – login to zoom.us/j/326958422

If you can post a notice about these webinars in your church bulletin, or if you have other questions, please contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. To learn more about Maryknoll Lay Missioners, check out our website: mklm.org, or call 914-467-8857.

 

Wednesday, 31 October 2018 15:16

On the Way from the Forum

Written by

Rich Lessard – Affiliate Board Chair

Denise and Rich

A funny thing happened on the way to the Forum!  Not the Broadway musical; this Forum is a room in the Maryknoll Sisters’ Center House in Maryknoll, NY—where our Board gathered in October, and I was elected Chairperson of the Affiliate Board!  I would never have imagined myself as chairperson when I began as a Maryknoll Affiliate 11 years ago.

On my way home that day, I reflected on my life as an Affiliate, and about how best to positively impact the Affiliates.  So, by way of introduction, I am sharing some thoughts as I begin this new endeavor with you.

Wednesday, 31 October 2018 15:07

The Art of Nonviolence

Written by

David Stocker – NSFA Contributing Editor*

Have you heard about the upcoming national protest against US immigration policy and against the half century of US government sponsored mayhem that has compounded the immigration crisis at the US southern border? The Border Encuentro and Vigil, organized by the School of Americas WATCH (SOAW) will take place November 15-18 on both sides of the US/ Mexico border wall in Nogales, Arizona.

Wednesday, 31 October 2018 14:59

Just War or Just Peace?

Written by

 

Kevin Carroll – Nonviolence and Peace Fellow,
Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns

A project of Pax Christi International, The Catholic Nonviolence Initiative, or CNI, is a global effort affirming the vision and practice of active nonviolence at the heart of the Catholic Church. It grew out of the landmark Nonviolence and Just Peace Conference held in Rome in April 2016, which was co-sponsored by the Holy See’s Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Pax Christi International, and other organizations, including Maryknoll. Leaders include Ken Butigan of Pace e Bene and DePaul University, and Marie Dennis of Pax Christi International.

Wednesday, 31 October 2018 05:14

Moving our Community to Peace and Nonviolence

Written by

Northwest Regional Mini-Conference
September 21-23, at Beaverton, OR

David Stocker - NSFA Contributing Editor

With about 60 people in attendance, keynote presenter Rivera Sun, well known for her popular fictions, Billionaire Buddha and The Dandelion Insurrection, was right on. The Dandelion Insurrection follows a colorful cast of activist characters in a society that is crumbling from the weight of capitalism and empire. Drawing from her other career as a nonviolence trainer for Pace e Bene, she told real his-stories and her-stories of people who changed the world without violence. Her statistics that nonviolence  succeeds more often than violence for regime change, civil rights actions, and fair working conditions were heartening.

Rivera gave us tools to mount our own campaign. She walked us through Goals, Strategy, Targets, Participants, Duration and timing, and Resources and risks; then we considered how to apply these tools in our area of interest during breakout sessions.

In the breakout sessions, the afternoon presenters included Benneth Husted on the subject of nonviolent resistance in Palestine, Ethan Livermore of the Poor People’s Campaign, Maxine Fookson of the Interfaith Movement for Immigrant Justice (Imirj), and Peter Bergel offered strategic guidance for non-violent campaigns and great music! Each presenter modeled ways to move deeper into that list of nonviolent strategies.

Kevin Carroll, Nonviolence and Peace Fellow with the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns (MOGC), brought us up to date on the Catholic Nonviolence Initiative (CNI), a global effort affirming the vision and practice of active nonviolence. It calls on the Church to promote nonviolent practices and strategies and no longer use or teach the “just war theory.” See Kevin’s article, "Just War or Just Peace?"

David Stocker. I count myself privileged to have also been a presenter, telling about Border Encuentro, which takes place November 15-18 in Nogales, AZ. See my article, "The Art of Nonviolence." 

March and pray. Before our Saturday afternoon Mass, we took to the streets to demonstrate our newfound active nonviolence skills, using our voices, signs, and drums.

Friday dinner. Affiliates and presenters broke bread together at the Hotchkiss home, celebrating International Peace Day. After a delicious meatless meal, we discussed, “How can Maryknoll Affiliates help build a nonviolent community?” Tom Hastings, from Portland State University, said peace is on the path to being a separate educational discipline.

Sunday lunch. Our final gathering focused on Global Vision. Over a Mediterranean themed meal, we shared some of the places in the world with which we feel a special connection. Watch for an Easy Meeting about this in our next issue!

Principal presenter Rivera Sun, author and Pace-e-Bene Active Nonviolence trainer, writes fiction books where heroes 
succeed through nonviolence.

 

This break-out group focused on organizing an Interfaith Movement for Immigrant Justice. 
Kevin Carroll, speaker from Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, and his sister, Megan Carroll, beat their drums.

 

Affiliates (L to R) Bertha Haas, Teresa Kuntz, Kitty Schiltz, and Paula Schaffner march with signs.

 

 


Ethan Livermore (left), with Poor People’s Campaign, Portland, learned how to make drums at David Stocker’s breakout session.
Seattle Affiliates Bill O’Dwyer and Ralph Maugham chat at the Friday night dinner hosted by the Hotchkisses. 
Affiliate Gabriella Maertens and Kevin Carroll, MOGC, show map with our global connections.

 

 

Wednesday, 31 October 2018 03:52

Mission in the Texas Rio Grande Valley

Written by

Janet Rousso – New Orleans Chapter

At the Border Wall - Barbara Sallettes, Joan Cruz, Mary Ann Becnel,
Kim Nunez, Charlie Freel, Janet Rousso, Matt Rousso, Bob Hitchins,
Ramona Casas, Jill Hitchins, Lolita Gary

In June, 12 of us set out for the Rio Grande Valley with Fr. Gerry Kelly, MM, and Matt Rousso, a Maryknoll Mission Educator and Promoter. We were not sure what to expect since the US government had recently initiated Zero Tolerance for refugees and asylees, and hundreds of children were being separated from their parents and put in detention facilities. 

On our mission visits, we were filled with deep sadness and much anger at what we saw. Our desire to offer the migrants smiles of welcome and words of friendship grew stronger each day. We wanted to  be in solidarity with the so-called “illegal aliens” and visit with the poor living in the Valley, hear their stories, and, in some small way, bring them our love.

Wednesday, 31 October 2018 03:47

Texas-Mexico Border Accompaniment

Written by

Kim Nunez – New Orleans Chapter

Our mission program (see Janet Rousso’s article) was an accompaniment, rather than doing for, as we connected with the people whom we visited. Little did we know when we planned the trip in the fall of 2017 that we would be there during the height of the Zero Tolerance Policy for migrants seeking refuge and asylum—and that hundreds of children were being put in detention facilities and separated from their mothers and fathers.

We spent time at the Border Wall and with the ARISE and Proyecto Juan Diego programs, both located in the heart of the colonias, getting to know families they served. While at Proyecto Juan Diego, we also sat in on a citizenship class as residents prepared and learned about being citizens in the United States. At La Posada and the Respite Center in McAllen, which serve mostly refugees, we met people from the Ukraine, the Congo, Mozambique, Guatemala, and Mexico. The Respite Center, a few blocks from the bus station in McAllen, serves both those coming into the US initially and others after they leave detention, who will join family/friends in another part of the country while they await a court date.

But what happened to me during my visit and has continued upon my return? I was transformed by the people I spent time with: Rosa, Julia, & Mario, to name a few. Immigrant, refugee, and migrant are no longer just words; I see faces of real people and their fortitude, belief in God, endurance. It has moved me to tears and changed my prayer time. While immigration was something I cared deeply about before going, I am still carrying the people who live and work in the Lower Rio Grande Valley in my heart. Now that I am home, I have begun to share the story—most people have reacted by saying thank you, because they understand the situation much better than they ever could by watching tv or reading about it. Perhaps my transformation can also open the eyes and hearts of others; that may be exactly why taking part in a mission program is so valuable. We accompanied each other there, but the people of the Lower Rio Grande Valley continue to accompany me in my thoughts, heart, and prayer. As I reflect and pray, Matthew’s words now have more meaning and impact than ever:

I was a stranger and you welcomed me.

Wednesday, 31 October 2018 03:34

Mass of Solidarity and Hope

Written by

...For Detained Immigrants and Refugees 

August 25, 2018 at NWDC, Tacoma, WA

Joe Hastings – Returned Maryknoll Lay Missioner & Pat Bader – Seattle Chapter

More than 300 supporters of detained immigrants and refugees participated in the Mass of Solidarity and Hope at the Northwest Detention Center (NWDC), built on the theme, “For I was a stranger and you welcomed me.” Preceding the Mass, about 500 people gathered at St. Leo Parish in downtown Tacoma, bringing signs and banners and scurrying around with last-minute preparations. Marchers from St. Joseph Parish in Seattle and at least a dozen other Tacoma and Seattle parishes and Catholic groups, including Maryknoll Affiliates, joined them, and we began in song! 

The palpable spirit of the gathering, rooted deep in our Catholic faith, was the desire to express concern for and solidarity with immigrants. Esmeralda Saltos spoke briefly about her work coordinating Catholic Eucharistic services at NWDC. After Mass, we called on the inspiration and example of Our Lady of Guadalupe in reciting “A Pilgrim’s Prayer,” (below) and then we filed out of church singing, led by the “Share the Journey” banner.  

Advocates for social justice from St. Leo and St. Joseph parishes organized the pilgrimage and bilingual Mass on a city street just outside the Detention Center. By their words and actions, the three Jesuit priests concelebratig Mass and the participants showed their solidarity with the detainees and refugees. The crowd, feeling this spirit of solidarity, responded with enthusiastic prayers and songs. The more that 1500 detainees in NWDC drew hope from our singing and from the information that visitors passed along.

After Mass, St. Leo volunteers sold delicious burritos for those visiting the Welcome Center that AIDNW (Advocates for Immigration in Detention – www.aidnw.org) operates to help newly-released detainees navigate their way back to family and friends located around the country.

Some detainees, brought to the NW Detention Center from other parts of the country, have no family or friends to visit them here. The pilgrimage and Mass truly welcomed the strangers in our midst behind the fence of the Detention Center. May they feel supported as they await the court’s decision on their cases.

A Pilgrim’s Prayer

God of all nations
We turn to you in faith
And compassion for
Our brothers and sisters detained by
Our government in our country.
Many have lost their children;
Children of all ages have lost their parents
While they suffer fear, mistreatment
      and incarceration.  
Please embrace them with your presence,
And the comfort of your peace.
 
Teach us citizens the ways
To stand in solidarity with those
without documents,
without due process,
without a home.
Stir us to action with them
and on their behalf,
that together we may all find a home
in a society of peace, justice,
and dignity for every person. Amen.
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