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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
Some people enter our lives
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
—Sr. Joan Metzner, 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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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
for poetry, prayer requests, and links to Maryknoll Sisters’ and MOGC news and events.
A forum of adult learning and reflection on world church and mission
July 5-10 Albino Barrera, OP – Everyday Holiness: Sacred Scripture’s Teaching on Economic Life
July 12-17 Ched Myers, MA – Denial or Discipleship? Bioregional Theology and Practice in a World
of Ecological Ultimatums
July 19-24 Antoinette (Nonie) Gutzler, MM – Compassion: Witness to Love
Sept. 16-19 Edwina Gateley, MA – Our Call to Personal and Global Transformation (Los Altos, CA)
Sept. 20-25 Edwina Gateley, MA – Soul Sisters: Women Called to Connect, Bond and Heal in a Broken World (Monrovia, CA)
For details, visit http://maryknollsisters.org/maryknoll-mission-institute.
“We are created to read the book of creation
so that we may know the Author of Life.”-
—Ilia Delio, OSF
For Sister Madeline Dorsey, it was a day in which she and another Maryknoll Sister were placed on the front lines of that march, representing the Black doctors who worked with them at Queen of the World Hospital, the nation’s first interracial hospital, located in Kansas City, MO.
Read the back story of her involvement in the May/June issue of Maryknoll magazine, page 20.
Prior to January 2015, few people in the Philippines had heard of Mamasapano, a small municipality on the southern island of Mindanao...
Read the complete article at: http://www.maryknollogc.org/article/philippines-mamasapano-clash-threatens-peace.
*A returned Maryknoll Lay Missioner who served for several years as the Executive
Coordinator of the Maryknoll Affiliates, Fred has returned to the Philippines
and now works with the Mindanao Peacebuilding Institute Foundation, Inc.
John Moritz – SE Regional Coordinator & Ann Carr – Board Chair
In the life of every Christian, after baptism there is also another “Galilee”, a more existential ‘Galilee’: the experience of a personal encounter with Jesus Christ who called me to follow him and to share in his mission. In this sense, returning to Galilee means treasuring in my heart the living memory of that call, when Jesus passed my way, gazed at me with mercy and asked me to follow him.—Pope Francis
As Holy Week approached, the Affiliate Board and Regional Coordinators (RCs) gathered for our annual joint meeting. This time embraced both the somberness of Lent and the joyous anticipation of Easter. Like the disciples returning to Galilee, we reflected on important moments of our history as a means of welcoming new Maryknoll entity members —Russ Feldmeier, MM, Norie Mojado, MM, and Teruko Ito, MM—to the Affiliate Board and our most recent Regional Coordinators—Jerrie Drinkwine and Patty Hinton. We also shared our hopes and dreams for the future of the Maryknoll Affiliates.
Opening session. Patty Symkowick led the Migrant’s Way of the Cross, a prayerful reminder that we are intimately connected to the crucified peoples of our modern world. Then, reflecting on our shared orientation to the Affiliate movement, we identified the core concepts that have shaped us as Affiliates. We are a movement rather than a program: an expression, not an entity of Maryknoll; a network of small mission communities that relates to all three entities; Chapters living out the four pillars with emphasis upon building relationships and promoting local mission. Our 24-year-old movement, influenced by challenges within and beyond Maryknoll, is growing more international, responding to the wider prophetic voices of our Church and world.
Latin American Trip. Executive Coordinator Bob Short and Board Latin American liaison’ Patty Barneond Garcia Tres, reported that on their December trip they were deeply moved by the Latin American Affiliates’ level of commitment to mission, communal life, and spirituality, as well as their incredible hospitality. Repeatedly, the Affiliates spoke of having been deeply influenced and formed by Maryknollers who have worked among them over the years and of their commitment to carrying on Maryknoll mission legacy.
Maryknoll Affiliate Conference (MAC). Convening the next MAC in Latin America had been suggested at MAC 2014, and the Guatemalan Chapter has offered to host MAC 2017. Some Board members explored this possibility with the Guatemalan Chapter, and many positive developments have emerged. The Board and RCs have gratefully and enthusiastically accepted Guatemala’s offering! Please stay tuned for more details.
New Chapters. We also moved to recognize two new Bolivian Chapters—Misión Vida (Cochabamba 2) and Renacer Misionero (Santa Cruz). To help us welcome these latest members of the Affiliate movement, you can send a message via Facebook at www.facebook.com/maryknollaffiliates or www.facebook.com/centromisioneromaryknoll (Spanish).
Asia. Russ Feldmeier, MM, told of his February visit with the Korean Affiliate Chapter and his participation in their covenant recommitment ceremony. Norie Mojado, MM, and Russ described their accompaniment during the Chapter’s formation history and were grateful to now bring the voice of the Asian Affiliates to our Board in a special way.
Formation. Reflecting on this wonderful growth, we felt an even greater need to help fulfill the regional coordinator’s aspirational job description. How do we strengthen regional connections? How do the RCs encourage and support this? The RCs shared their challenges and discoveries, noting the diversity of the regions, strategies for connecting and serving the Affiliate movement, and the essentially pastoral focus of their work. John Moritz commented on his ongoing work in formation and proposed that we consider a Maryknoll-wide resource center for formation materials.
Collaboration. Collaboration, within and beyond Maryknoll, has been an Affiliate priority for several years, but we are now being invited into collaboration within the Maryknoll family in a new way, as was strongly affirmed in the recent Society Chapter and Congregational General Assembly. We now have standing representation on the Maryknoll Joint Meeting of Leadership (JML). Affiliates have been invited to participate in such activities as the Maryknoll Sisters’ Mission Institute Planning Committee. And all four expressions of Maryknoll and the MOGC participate in the ongoing partnership with JustFaith.
Survey. We also finalized the Affiliate survey. Going out to all on May 1st, it will “take the pulse’’ of the Affiliate movement in order to discern together where the Spirit is leading us in this new moment.
New Board Member. Bill Murphy, a longstanding Boston Chapter Affiliate who brings a wealth of mission experience and is gifted in group discernment, was selected as the latest member of our Affiliate Board.
Building Community. Several activities nourished our bodies and spirits: We remembered Jim Madden, MM, in prayer at his gravesite. We socialized with the local Maryknollers, enjoying lively conversation and robust singing with Paul Masson, MM, and Bob Short on guitars. And we celebrated Palm Sunday with the Sisters, a sharing in the outpouring of the Spirit and at the Eucharistic table that led us into Holy Week.
At the close of our meeting, it was clear that we had spent important time together. We were grateful to learn more about the organic unfolding, along with the many challenges, of our Affiliate movement.
May we all be inspired by the words of Pope Francis and go back to our own Galilees.
May we open ourselves to the beauty of the resurrection in order to see the gift of mission fire that is very much alive in the Maryknoll Affiliates.