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.
Excerpted from the article, “Internalizing Justice, Not Just Acting for It,” in The Peace Current, Summer 2016
Am I willing to change my internal landscape and my lifestyle in the pursuit of justice? I wonder sometimes if there are “safe” social justice issues that don’t require very much change. Does a focus on issues like nuclear disarmament, human trafficking, or abortion allow me to feel good about working for social change but not require much personal change?
We all need to be willing to be personally uncomfortable in the pursuit of justice, too. We cannot shy from important justice issues that also challenge those of us who have built a life on white privilege.
*Sister Rose Marie Tresp, RSM, of Belmont, N.C., has advocated for fair treatment of immigrants in the US for many years. In 2013, she joined the Fast for Immigrant Justice, commenting, “Our purpose is to push for immigration reform. We’re hoping to get more people who will support immigration reform and work for it.”
Start your nonviolent journey each day with an inspirational quote from Pace e Bene.
“Our hearts are not defeated,” Mr. Goldtooth said. “The closing of the camp is not the end of a movement or fight. It is a new beginning. They cannot extinguish the fire that Standing Rock started.”
A Radical Faith: The Assassination of Sister Maura
By Eileen Markey, Nation Books
“Portrait of a Martyr,” a review of Markey’s book that appeared in America Magazine on January 2, 2017, gives insight into the person and life of Maryknoll Sister Maura Clarke and the evolution of mission. (http://www.americamagazine.org/arts-culture/2016/12/22/remembering-martyrs-their-humanity-well-their-faith)
Reviewer Elizabeth Kirkland Cahill writes, “Maura’s years in Central America coincided with a period of sweeping transformation in the church’s understanding of its role in the world. Unsurprisingly, the Maryknoll nun’s perspective evolved accordingly. Originally focused on teaching that would allow poor Nicaraguans to improve their lives, Maura’s sense of purpose became more radically identified with the poor and infused with a desire to change the structural inequities that created and perpetuated poverty. Yet her posture was not political, but spiritual: The work of the Christian is to build the world Christ ushered in, by affirming the dignity and basic human rights of every person. Maura’s approach to the people of Nicaragua and El Salvador was one of complete, transcendent generosity and love. …”
In what could be advice for Affiliates, the reviewer quotes a Salvadoran nun who told the nephew of Ita Ford, MM*, “You do not have to be in El Salvador to continue your aunt’s mission.” After returning to the US, the nephew “realized the dream of opening Cristo Rey New York High School, a college preparatory school whose students—75 percent of whom are Latino—engage in a rigorous curriculum and work at entry-level business jobs. These students ... honor Ita Ford, Maura Clarke, and their two colleagues as the spiritual founders of Cristo Rey New York.” Affiliates also continue Maura’s and Ita’s mission when working not so far afield, in their own neighborhoods.
*Four church women were martyred in El Salvador in 1980: Maura Clarke and Ita Ford of Maryknoll, Ursuline sister Dorothy Kazel, and laywoman Jean Donovan.
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.
The Maryknoll Affiliate Board and some of us individual Affiliates are reflecting on what it means to be an online community, a virtual community, in Maryknoll.
“I loved what they had to say, the courage, the testing, and the helping.”
So said Martin Scorsese about “Maryknollers” when interviewed about his film, Silence, in America Magazine, Dec. 19-26, 2016. (http://www.americamagazine.org/arts-culture/2017/01/17/martin-scorsese-his-faith-films-and-silence). The highly acclaimed film is about seventeenth-century Jesuits ministering in Japan long before Maryknoll arrived. James Martin, SJ, the interviewer, says, ”So it’s (the film is) less of a portrayal of the missionary that is just from the outside in, and more from the inside out.”
After reading this searching article and hearing all the buzz about the movie and the Oscars, I will make a point to see it (when our library has it available to loan!).
Editors: NSFA has not yet published a movie review, but if you see this film or another that you want to share with Affiliates, we’d love to publish your comments and suggestions.
Let the Portland Oregon Chapter transport you to Africa for an evening. You’ll enjoy:
all for a very worthy cause—the Huruma School for children with disabilities in Tanzania. Portland Affiliate Bertha Haas founded the school when she was a Maryknoll Lay Missioner in 2004, and the Portland Affiliate Chapter has chosen helping to support the Huruma School as their special project.
Taste of Tanzania 2017 will be April 8th, in the Portland area. Don your African clothes and join us! Too far for you to travel, but you’d like to be involved? Silent auction items are needed (use of a vacation home?). Visit the Taste of Tanzania website (tasteoftanzania.x10host.com/) for more ways to help. Donations can also be made at https://www.gofundme.com/huruma-school-in-tanzania.
When they came for the undocumented,
I remained silent;
I was legal.
When they came for the gays,
I remained silent;
I was straight.
When they came for the sick,
I remained silent;
I was insured.
When they came for the Muslims
I remained silent...
*Inspired by Martin Niemöller’s famous quote.
May 7-12 Michael Morwood, MA
(Sun – Fri) Whatever Happened to Jesus?
May 14-19 Barbara Fiand, SNDdeN, PhD
(Sun – Fri) Come, Drink Deep of Living Waters
May 21-26 Edwina Gateley, MA
(Sun – Fri) Mystics, Rebels, Prophets and You!
June 4-9 Janet K. Ruffing, RSM, PhD
(Sun – Tue) Nature and Poetry as Openings to the Mystical
June 11-16 Gail Worcelo, CP, MA
(Sun – Fri) Momentum of Grace: The Deepening of Being in a World of Becoming
July 16-21 Kevin G. Ahern, PhD
(Sun.- Fri.) Communities of Grace: Revitalizing the Lay Apostolate
July 23-28 Catherine Vincie, RSHM, PhD
(Sun.- Fri.) The New Cosmology and its Impact on Theology and Worship
Aug. 21-24 – Los Altos, CA: Michael Crosby, OFMCap
(Mon.-Thur.) Moving into the Mystical As We Mature
Sept. 4-8 – Monrovia, CA: Mickey McGrath, OSFS
(Sun.- Fri.) Green Hearts and Souls: Ecology and Wise Holy Women
The complete 2017 schedule is available at:
You may register online, or to obtain application forms—
Write: Maryknoll Mission Institute
PO Box 311
Maryknoll, NY 10545-0311
Telephone: 914-941-0783 @ 5671, or
Lent gives us a chance to grow in our relationship with God. The Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns offers us the means to a fruitful Lenten experience in the 2017 Lenten Reflection Guide (maryknollogc.org/resources/lenten-reflection-guide-2017).
Containing reflections, questions, prayers, and actions based on each week’s Gospel reading, it incorporates written reflections and discussions by 83 Catholic peacemakers who attended the Nonviolence and Just Peace conference in Rome in April 2016. This guide can be used individually or in small groups to reflect upon our life patterns, to pray more deeply, and renew our spirits to face the realities of our world.
Change is good news, and possibly bad news. We rejoice with the native peoples who are standing up to protect the water. We are inspired by a Guatemalan Affiliate who received national recognition for her work for human rights. We are excited by Pope Francis’s recent message on nonviolence. But we are also concerned to see a backlash against reforms and programs that some may feel have threatened them and their needs. We regret the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II and fear the current threats against refugees and immigrants. We agonize about the escalating conflicts that we seem to have no control over.
David vs. Goliath: Competing at Standing Rock – "It is a learning experience for me—a white middle class man used to organizing, to be in the minority; to be quiet, to follow, to listen." – Kyle Chandler-Isacksen
MAC 2017 Update – January/February 2017 – Forms for registration and many more conference details will be available soon.
Retreat at Watch Hill – " 'The Wine Never Runs Out' ... drawing on the Biblical promise of the fullness of life and the symbolism of nuptial radiance." – Bob Short
Claudia Samayoa Speaks – "I have faced the powers that do not want to change, not with aggression but with respect." – Claudia Samayoa
Nonviolence 2017 – "Nonviolence is sometimes taken to mean surrender, lack of involvement and passivity, but this is not the case." – Pope Francis
Days of Infamy: 75th Anniversary – The woman had said, ”Maryknoll gave me a home when I needed one, so now I will give them my house.”
Learning About Immigration and Refugees – ...they are planning an evening presentation on these topics with the hope that the parish may sponsor a refugee family.
Table Talk – "It is difficult, as one grows older, to make new relationships, and yet it is necessary ..." – Kris Neufeld
Virtual Coincidence – Since the first virtual chapter attempts will be considered pilot projects, there is still a great deal of flexibility.
Seattle Chapter: Working Together – For fun, the Seattle Affiliates helped decorate the Seattle Maryknoll House in preparation for the Maryknoll Christmas party.
Connecting in Claremont – The Sierra Club has revived its midwinter, midnight walk among the homeless of Skid Row ...
A celebration of Maryknoll Affiliates' 25 years: 25 Years Ago
A book review: Living in Bubbles
A place to learn: Maryknoll Mission Institute 2017
A few announcements: January/February 2017
To view this issue in its print form, download the January/February 2017 PDF.
The Chandler–Isacksens run the Be the Change Project in Reno, Nevada. They live in voluntary poverty, grow lots of food, serve in their community, are war-tax resistors, and attempt to live their lives in alignment with their values. They attend the Reno Friends Meeting and have frequent contact with the Reno Affiliates. (See two previous articles in the NSFA: July/Aug 2015, p. 5, and Sept/Oct 2014, p. 6.)
We reached the Dakota Access Pipe Line construction site at about noon on September 27th. This was an hour after prayers and reminders from native leaders at the frontline camp and after driving 30 dusty miles over empty North Dakota back roads. The front line camp is just a mile up from the large Oceti Sakowin camp, home to a couple thousand people while we were there. “We have many warriors with us today who will protect the elders, the women, the children. Remember, this is a nonviolent action.”
One hundred packed vehicles made it to the action that day: overflowing pickup trucks with masked youth from the Red Warrior camp (those willing to get arrested and in it for the long-haul) sitting alongside gray-haired elders holding signs that say “Protect the Water,” horse trailers with horses, license plates from across the country, our family in a rental car getting dustier by the mile.
MAC 2017: The international Maryknoll Affiliate Conference to be held from November 9-12, 2017, at a retreat center outside Guatemala City
Registration. Forms for registration and many more conference details will be available soon. The Conference Committee—members of the Guatemala Chapter—are putting the final touches on their conference website and expect to have it up and running by the third week in January. Watch your Monday Morning Website Update emails for an announcement of its opening date.
Conference Fee and Travel Grants. To encourage representation from as many as possible of the over 50 Affiliate Chapters worldwide, the Maryknoll Affiliate Board is again offering Conference Fee and Travel Grants for MAC 2017. Because funds are limited, applicants should first explore and consider all possible funding sources. For example, their chapters might help with either funds or frequent flyer miles. In 2014, over 15 attendees benefited from grant assistance; we hope that as many or more will be assisted through the 2017 program.