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.
You may subscribe to Not So Far Afield by email or to be notified when it is posted on our website.
You may also download PDF versions of Not So Far Afield here.
Connecting with Affiliates is one of the joys of being an editor of the NSFA. An Affiliate called me recently, emphatically saying, “We’ve got to keep that spirit of Buen Vivir in our Affiliate community. How can we do that?” We offer the NSFA as one way for Affiliates to connect and share living in harmony. We hope that articles in this issue will inspire your and your chapter’s growth in harmony. Several boxes in this issue offer specific ideas to nourish Buen Vivir.
We recognize that we are living in changing times. Octavia Butler, an award-winning Black, science-fiction author writes, “All that you touch You Change. All that you touch Changes you. The only lasting truth is Change.” We need to see and question the change that engulfs us. Bill Murphy (page 5) and the Easy Meeting (pp. 6-7) question, “Where are you going?” May we ask the questions to help guide the change.
Maryknoll Affiliates in Hawaii - "This Affiliate chapter began more than 10 years ago after Jack Sullivan recognized their Maryknoll connections, and that they were already meeting..." — Roseyn Devlin
Save the Date - "Hope to see you at the Maryknoll Sisters’ campus in April."— Santa Orlando
The Challenge of the Joyful Poor - "We come away feeling evangelized (or “re-evangelized”) through encounter with people whom we are socialized to dismiss or pity."—Kevin Foy
Living Buen Vivir in LA - "Over lunch we had rich conversation with Daniel [Caño], Teresa, and Ana about Mayan spiritual practice."—Hugh Menton
Earth Day - is Sunday, April 22.
Pope Francis on Climate Change - "Last November Pope Francis pointed out four perverse attitudes to avoid."—Marie Venner
Beyond the Jubilee - "And so it remains to be seen how well the various facets of the Maryknoll Movement will continue to be adaptive and attuned to the spirit."—Bill Murphy
Easy Meeting: The Power of Questions - This Easy Meeting will use questions to help your chapter explore and unpack two issues or concepts.
Nurturing Seeds Planted by Maryknoll Sisters - “We need to be bringing more young folks into our Maryknoll Affiliate Movement. They are our future.”—Patti Shannon
Who is the Stranger? - 'Whom do we consider and treat as outside our tribe?'—Met Ford
ICE Harasses a Permanent Resident - "William and his lawyers said the support of 40 letters and over 30 people at the hearing positively influenced the judge..."—Mary Ryan-Hotchkiss
The Roots of Our Movement - "The general consensus was that this film is a valuable piece of Maryknoll Affiliate history, especially in light of the passing of Fr. Jim in 2014."—Sharon Mitchell
News from the Board: Paying it Forward and Board Meeting Agenda
To view this issue in its print form, download the March/April 2018 Not So Far Afield PDF.
Maryknoll Affiliate and Returned Lay Missioner Bertha Haas will lead the FAB trip to Tanzania from August 17-26, 2018!
Application deadline is April 17. For details, see Friends Across Borders.
Revive your spirit of Buen Vivir by getting together:
Refugees and immigrants, racism, ecology, different ways of doing mission, and nonviolence are themes for future issues of NSFA. Please send us your actions or reflections in these areas—or tell us about your passions for Community, Spirituality, Global Vision, and Action.
Six long-time residents of Hawaii with deep Maryknoll connections shared their stories over lunch at the home of Roseyn Devlin in Kailua, Hawaii, on the island of Oahu. This Affiliate chapter began more than 10 years ago after Jack Sullivan recognized their Maryknoll connections, and that they were already meeting, and suggested they form a chapter. Several of the members knew some of the Maryknoll Sisters and the 25-year Affiliates honored at the recent Conference in Guatemala. Roseyn has also attended a couple of Maryknoll Affiliate Conferences in New York and while there visited some Maryknoll Sisters she knew.
The Maryknoll School in Honolulu was a connection for several Affiliates. Roseyn worked 22 years as the librarian, and Patti Shannon also served there. Ginny Klein’s four children attended the coed school.
Attention Northeast Region Chapters
You are invited to participate in the NE regional meeting at Maryknoll on April 21st. The theme of the day-long meeting will be:
Balance: Balance in our own lives and
Balance in our Affiliate Chapters
Join us for an informative and interactive conference with a contemplative eye on the present and a collective eye on the future. As the Affiliate Board and all the entities look ahead, we believe we must also pay attention to the present—what works, what doesn’t, and what ideas can be shared among the NE chapters.
Chapter contacts in the region will soon be receiving a conference schedule which will include details on how to register. Hope to see you at the Maryknoll Sisters’ campus in April.
A big part of my work is helping people process and relate to encounters with social and economic inequality, and to do so with the intentionality necessary to develop nuanced, respectful responses that engender authentic solidarity. This requires my own continued examination of common reactions by privileged people to encounters with people in more marginalized positions, and to develop intentional language to preempt, challenge, and reframe those reactions.
In that vein, I’ve been thinking a lot about the all too common takeaway, “They’re poor, but they’re joyful.” I’m not unique in feeling that this language is problematic (to paraphrase Paul Farmer in regard to impoverished Haitians: they may have nice smiles and good senses of humor, but they still know they’re living in desperate conditions). But I am finding it necessary to more thoughtfully reflect on what accounts for this reaction, what truths are present within it, and, more importantly, why we need to challenge others (and ourselves) to think and speak differently.
If you attended MAC 2017 in Guatemala, you will enjoy reading about the Greater Los Angeles Maryknoll Affiliates Chapter’s recent visitors. We learned that Daniel Caño, the Mayan spiritual guide who presented about Mayan spirituality and led a ceremony at the MAC, would be in the Los Angeles area in February, and after much communication, Tim Moffett, Sr. Kathleen Shannon, Kathee Bautista, and I, and a few others, spent an afternoon with Daniel Caño, his wife Teresa, and his sister-in-law Ana.
Earth Day is Sunday, April 22.
We’re raising a united Catholic voice to make the most of this moment. The Global Catholic Climate Movement (GCCM) is creating a complete resource kit for Earth Day to help your community celebrate, advocate, and educate for creation. The kit ncludes:
Register now (http://catholicclimatemovement.global/earth-day-2018/) to receive GCCM Earth Day updates, first-look materials, and more.
Last November Pope Francis pointed out four perverse attitudes to avoid. First denial and indifference, but also resignation—that temptation to decide some of what is needed is impractical or not possible—and trust in inadequate solutions!
Laudato Si 165 says we must shift off of fossil fuels without delay, in our electricity/utilities and transportation. Now it’s time for moral action inspired by Pope Francis, Maryknollers, and the Global Catholic Climate Movement. Come Holy Spirit!
“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with
your one wild and precious life?” —Mary Oliver
My wife, Jane, and I joined 21 Maryknoll jubilarians, who were marking 65th, 60th, 50th, or 40th anniversaries of ordination last June. The two-day celebration involved small gatherings of families and friends, as well as a huge and colorful liturgy in the chapel. Representatives of the four Maryknoll expressions—the Society, Congregation, Lay Missioners, and Affiliates—attended, and the chapel’s walls and windows reverberated with the sounds of brass horns, basses, and drums in full accompaniment.
After filling up on the spirit in the liturgy, we feasted on that special Maryknoll hospitality, a picnic with no end to the variety and quantity of food. People may not live by bread alone, but food is a good place to start.
Hawaiian Maryknoll Affiliate Patti Shannon emphasized: “We need to be bringing more young folks into our Maryknoll Affiliate Movement. They are our future.” Others added that the Affiliates need to reconnect the students of the Maryknoll School in Honolulu to their Maryknoll roots.
Hawaiian Maryknoll Affiliate Roseyn Devlin showed visitors Mary Ryan-Hotchkiss and Manny Hotchkiss the Maryknoll School in Honolulu, Hawaii, where she served as librarian for 22 years before retiring. Maryknoll School graduate Yvonne Morris was happy to talk about the school. Yvonne, who works with the Maryknoll Foundation which supports the Maryknoll School, emphasized that the school is “a loving place. That’s what the Maryknoll Sisters taught us.” The school’s motto is Noblesse Oblige: To whom much is given, much is expected. Yvonne said the Maryknoll Sisters taught them this responsibility by their example: after teaching all day, the sisters went out to help others.
Hitchhiking across the country in his twenties, Sebastian Unger, author of Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging, carried a tent, sleeping bag, cookpots and stove, and a week’s worth of food. As he waited on the highway, a dirty, wild-haired man walked up the ramp and studied him. “Where you headed?” he asked. “California.” “How much food you got?” Nervous and afraid of being robbed, Unger lied. “Oh, I just got a little cheese.” The man shook his head and said, “You need more than that to get to California.”
He said he lived in a broken-down car and every morning walked three miles to a coal mine to see if they needed fill-in work. This was one of the many days that they didn’t. “So, I won’t be needing this,” he said, opening his lunch box. “I saw you from town and just wanted to make sure you were okay.” With that he gave him a bologna sandwich, apple, and bag of chips, probably from a local church.
A minor victory cheered the more than 30 supporters attending William Gonzalez’s hearing at the Portland Courthouse this January. Some feared that the president’s removal of Temporary Protected Status for Salvadorans who came to the US decades ago might already be impacting people in our community.
William, a permanent resident, came to the US 38 years ago as a 12-year-old, with his mother who was granted asylum because of threats against her life in El Salvador. He has been harassed by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) since he applied for citizenship. In 2017, ICE required him to wear an ankle bracelet though he has not been a flight or security risk and has only had one DUI infraction since about 2001. William has worked 10-12 years as a cook at the famous Benson Hotel and has been involved in the union. He says the bracelet has to be recharged about every 8 hours, making it hard to get a full night’s sleep. Sometimes ICE can’t detect its signal from the basement kitchen where he works. When ICE can’t detect it, they can come to his house to question him.
William and his lawyers said the support of 40 letters and over 30 people at the hearing positively influenced the judge who ruled that the bracelet was to be removed and the harassing visits to William’s home to stop. William still had to pay a bond and further hearings will determine his immigration status.
People at the hearing were from The Immigrant Support Network, Interfaith Movement for Immigrant Justice (IMIrJ), ACLU, Havra Shalom Jewish congregation, Quakers, the Benson Hotel, and Unitarian and other churches. A representative from IMIrJ said it’s gratifying to see so many people at the hearing, but what is really needed is passage of compassionate Immigration Reform and the Real Dream Act.
Our fourth Book Group session will begin soon after Easter. We need your help to determine good times to meet and to select a book to read and discuss. The committee has come up with four possible titles:
If our telephone book group doesn’t work for you, an alternative is available. Robert Ellsberg, Orbis Books publisher, has recently announced:
For those who enjoy Orbis books, and look forward to the type of spiritual and theological engagement reflected in this month’s new titles, we invite you to join our new Orbis Book Club.
Next month we’ll be launching this new reading club on our Facebook page, beginning with Jim Forest’s acclaimed work, At Play in the Lions’ Den: A Memoir and Biography of Daniel Berrigan.
Members will receive a discount and an opportunity to interact with the author and other readers. Help us spread the word!