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.

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You may also download PDF versions of Not So Far Afield here.

Monday, 29 June 2015 00:00

Campaign Nonviolence 2015

Written by

In 2014, several Affiliates reported on their part in Campaign Nonviolence (CNV) in the Not So Far Afield, and the Maryknoll Office of Global Concerns endorsed the Campaign. The CNV web site reports that over 100 actions are already planned to connect the dots between war, poverty, and climate change. 

Monday, 29 June 2015 00:00

Be the Community

Written by

Kyle Chandler-Isacksen – Reno Chapter

Kyle gives recent visitor Mary Ryan-
Hotchkiss, NSFA co-editor, a tour of
an ecological, low-cost cob cabin.

In 2004, my wife, Katy, and I took a break from teaching and moved to Reno to do organizing work for the 2004 election. After the election, we returned to teaching and opened up a project-based middle school program with an existing Montessori school.  Both experiences connected us to a great community of energetic locals who eventually helped us launch “Be the Change.”

Monday, 29 June 2015 00:00

Pilgrimage in El Salvador

Written by

Victor Maqque – University of Notre Dame

Multitudes congregate in San Salvador during the beatification ceremonies.

The heavens opened over San Salvador on May 22, 2015, during the evening of the beatification ceremony of Oscar Romero. Tens of thousands of people from every corner of the world, the majority campesinos from El Salvador, congregated for the vigil Mass. For the Salvadoran campesinos, this had been a mostly dry “rainy season,” and the pouring rain was a blessing. As the vigil Mass continued, I sought refuge from the curtains of water in the midst of the sea of people around me. Soon I made eye contact with an old lady who was standing under her umbrella. Most likely my look made her signal me to join her. Not too long after, another old lady who was trying to cover herself with a small piece of plastic came to stand with us; then a boy of about 12 years with a gentle look in his eyes also joined us.

Monday, 29 June 2015 00:00

Houston: An Inspiration

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A Chapter Profile

Robert Guice, contact person for the Houston Affiliates, describes their chapter as “actively pursuing and supporting short term mission.”

This chapter is grateful for the presence of Fr. Gerry Kelly, MM, and for the Houston Maryknoll House where they hold their meetings. They are active supporters of Maryknoll, helping at mission fairs and at diocesan meetings. The Galveston-Houston Diocese strongly supports mission, having many sister parishes, short-term mission trips to the border regions, and great synergy with Affiliates. Many of the members are very active with the diocese and the Texas Mission Council. Since many of the Affiliates go to various mission sites, chapter meetings are planned when people are in town.

Monday, 29 June 2015 00:00

JumpStart Needed in Costa Rica

Written by

Gabriella Maertens – Portland Chapter

In August 2014, I learned through Partners of the Americas (Oregon is Costa Rica’s Partner) about the JumpStart Program’s need for English teachers in Costa Rica. I had wanted to visit Costa Rica again, and this seemed like a good way to both volunteer and revisit the country. 

Monday, 29 June 2015 00:00


Written by

Some people enter our lives

like deer

slipping in and out

of the woods.


They touch our earth

and as we stop

to look at them

they disappear as quietly

as they came


But you feel blessed

for having experienced

their gentle presence


And you give thanks

that the world

is a better place

because of the joy

they brought.

—Sr. Joan Metzner, MM

*art work by Sr. Charlotte Smith, MM 

Reno Affiliate Ellie Hays, a military veteran, former pit boss at Harrah’s Casino, special friend of the Maryknoll Sisters, and a dedicated advocate for peace and justice, has made it her personal mission to give laminated prayer cards to whomever she thinks needs some special attention. 

This poem is one of her favorites. Sr. Joan Metzner, who was on mission in Japan, passed away December 31, 2004.



Monday, 29 June 2015 00:00

The Three A’s of Maryknoll Spirituality

Written by

John Moritz – Southeast Regional Coordinator Northeast Florida Chapter

In his address to the Maryknoll Society Centennial Symposium in 2011*, Fr. Steven Judd, MM, reminded us of three traditional marks or traits that characterize Maryknoll Spirituality. They are affability, availability, and adaptability. When I read his comments on them recently, I said to myself, “Well, they’re pretty accurate.” If I were to describe Maryknollers, I might not use the same words, but the ideas are readily apparent to anyone who has been around the Maryknoll family. I began to realize that these three qualities are reflective of the Maryknoll people we encounter and love, and are also aspirational. They present for us real goals, lofty and achievable, that help define who we are. 

Saturday, 27 June 2015 00:00

Global Vision in Phoenix

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A Chapter Profile

“We join with you in a global vision and option for the poor. We are not alone. We are in solidarity,” say the Phoenix Affiliates to the world and to other Affiliates. 

Phoenix Chapter Affiliates: front row, l to r:  Fr. Scott Harris, MM; Pam Snyder, Gaby Franzoni, Lynn Brysacz and Elaine Espericueta; top row: Mark Larson, John Meyer, Mary Ann Meyer, Selina Larson
Saturday, 27 June 2015 00:00

A Study of Church and State

Written by

Bertha Haas - Portland Chapter

A review of Christianity and the Political Order: Conflict, Cooptation, and Cooperation, by Kenneth R Himes, published by Orbis, 2013.

Himes traces the relationship between church and state from Old Testament times to post-Vatican II. After defining terms, he relates the tug-of-war, each trying to achieve dominance until finally arriving at democracy and separation of church and state under the US Constitution. Then in the final portion of the book, Himes discusses contemporary issues that involve both the government and religion, emphasizing the evolution in the Catholic Church’s teaching. 

Saturday, 27 June 2015 00:00

Living Global Vision

Written by

Global Vision is one of the 4 pillars of the Maryknoll Affiliates, along with Community, Spirituality, and Action. This issue recognizes the charism of Global Vision in the special connections between Affiliates and the peoples of the Americas. On our cover Gail Kelley describes Resurrection at the US border. Victor Maqque, from Puno, Peru, now working at Notre Dame University in the US, tells a moving story of attending the beatification of the Salvadoran martyr, Oscar Romero. The profile of the Houston chapter displays their work at the border and in other countries. Another Affiliate searched out a program that gives youth in Costa Rica a jumpstart.

Hot topics in the press recently include Pope Francis’ encyclical, Laudato Si, racism, the honey bee crisis, and coal/oil/gas concerns, but we did not receive items on these issues from Affiliates. We encourage you to write us about these or your other passions, or a reflection if you were able to attend an Affiliate regional meeting this summer, to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Articles in this issue:

Resurrection At the Border – “We visited all of the community centers where members spoke of heart-wrenching experiences and the reasons they came to the US. Children shared their hopes and dreams for their future in this country.“—Gail Kelley


Saint Dorothy Day? – Ellsberg delves into not only the pros and cons of canonizing Dorothy Day, but also the whole concept of sainthood. 


The Three A’s of Maryknoll Spirituality – “So, for us Affiliates, I would like to present his challenge: How do we, both as individual Affiliates and as chapters, live out affability, availability, and adaptability?”—John Moritz

Campaign Nonviolence – The CNV web site reports that over 100 actions are already planned to connect the dots between war, poverty, and climate change.


Be the Community – “We grow our own food, live electricity-, car-, and fossil-fuel free, offer classes and workshops on the gift economy, and are of service in a variety of ways.”—Kyle Chandler-Isacksen


Pilgrimage in El Salvador – “All of us attending the beatification were on a pilgrimage. We walked to the sacred places in San Salvador, encountering so many friends, and, most importantly, companions in the faith.”—Victor Maqque


Houston: an Inspiration – "Since many of the Affiliates go to various mission sites, chapter meetings are planned when people are in town."—Robert Guice


JumpStart Needed in Costa Rica – "The students realized that learning English could be fun, that they could learn by making mistakes."—Gabriela Maertens


Global Vision in Phoenix – We are doing what Pope Francis is calling us to do, to go to the margins.”—John Meyer


Survey responses will be tallied through August 31st. Please complete the survey online at: or ask your Regional Coordinator for a paper mail-in version.

Don’t miss the opportunity to gather with Affiliates this summer! 
Go to Events for details on:            

     Western Region Affiliate Conference – "Love in Action – Mission on the Margins"            

     Midwest Gathering – a retreat in Wisconsin

And look in the Features section

for poetry, prayer requests, and links to Maryknoll Sisters’ and MOGC news and events.


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