Maryknoll Affiliate News (278)

The latest news about the Maryknoll Affiliates

Saturday, 11 May 2019 13:38

Invitation - MKLM Closing Ceremony

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Ted Miles, Executive Director of MKLM sent this notice and invitation:

This weekend, the 2019 mission integration program begins with the arrival of Marilyn Kott (Brazil, Class of 2015), Sonny and Hong Nguyen (Bolivia, 2015), and Claire Stewart (Brazil, 2015). We invite you to keep them in your prayers during the next two weeks as they travel to Maryknoll and embrace this time of transition and reflection.

We also invite you to join us for the MIP Blessing and Recommitment (Claire Stewart has renewed for two years in Brazil). This closing ceremony will take place in the Rogers Chapel at 11:00am on Wednesday, May 22 followed by lunch at the Walsh Building. 

Saturday, 11 May 2019 13:34

Orbis Books - New Titles

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In a recent email, Robert Ellsberg, Publisher of Orbis Books wrote, “Times of social turbulence make good times to revisit the Hebrew prophets. They were not prognosticators, except in the sense of understanding the moral law of cause and effect. The prophets read their historical situation through the lens of God’s covenant—and in that light measured their nation’s “greatness”—or its dereliction—in terms of such values as mercy, justice, and care for those on the margins.”

To see the inventory of Orbis  Books, go to:

Monday, 06 May 2019 01:08


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Contemplation is very far from being just one kind of thing that Christians do: it is the key to prayer, liturgy, art and ethics, the key to the essence of a renewed humanity that is capable of seeing the world and other subjects in the world with freedom--freedom from self-oriented, acquisitive habits and the distorted understanding that comes from them. To put it boldly, contemplation is the only ultimate answer to the unreal and insane world that our financial systems and our advertising culture and our chaotic and unexamined emotions encourage us to inhabit. To learn contemplative practice is to learn what we need so as to live truthfully and honestly and lovingly. It is a deeply revolutionary matter. (Rowan Williams)

In the Affiliate Board Meeting this weekend an underlying contemplative approach was chosen as the most meaningful and effective to address the agenda.  More importantly, it was a way to be present to each other.  In the long run that’s probably the best way for all of us as Affiliates to understand how to live out our (personal & Affiliate) lives with more conviction and joy. More to follow on Contemplation.

The link that follows is a 10-minute video by Rich Rohr that we used at the Board meeting:

Sunday, 28 April 2019 15:55

Jack Sullivan – In appreciation and prayer

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In recent weeks a few among us have had the chance to visit with Jack Sullivan MM. Below is a brief letter from Ann Carr, who visited with Jack on Easter Sunday.  Following that is the poetic prayer written by Joe Veneroso MM, that Jack asked Bob Short to read at the end of their visit at Maryknoll last week

From Ann:

Please keep our dear friend and long time Maryknoll Affiliate companion, Jack Sullivan, close in heart and prayer in these days. Jack served as one of our Executive Coordinators in the early 2000’s and has always offered his support, creativity and deep commitment to our movement. He has been struggling with emphysema for the past few years and recently developed the flu followed by MRSA pneumonia. He has improved a bit, but remains on oxygen and has now been placed on hospice. Click on READ MORE to see the rest of the article.

Saturday, 20 April 2019 14:16

MAC 2020 Update 4-21-19

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New elements of next year's MAC - now just 14 months away - continue to take shape.  Most excitingly, after scores of drafts and retakes, we now have a theme (below) that will give cohesiveness to the Conference and, most importantly, speak to the moment in history where we find ourselves. Also in the excitement category, Jim & Ann Coady, formerly of the Long Island Chapter and, since they moved to Minnesota, now the Virtual Chapter, have joined Ginny McEvoy, Celine Woznica and Bob Short on the Planning Team.

THEME: Witnessing Love in The Interim Time  - a deeper commentary will follow in the months ahead.  Briefly, "Witnessing" is how we live our lives. "Love" is love of God, each other, our earth and all sentient beings thereon. "Interim Time" is for this time we now find ourselves - living between a paradigm that is dying out and a new paradigm yet to be fully born (see John O'Donohue's, For The Interim Time).  We are especially grateful to architect & artist, Jim Coady, who designed the logo.

A few more updates: (1) The tuition/room & board fee will be at or slightly lower that the last two conferences (2) Scholarships will be available (3) Schedule will include keynote (Nancy Sylvester) a special focus on Intergenerational Dialogue WITH youth present, Open Space, Connections with International Chapters and many other breakout sessions.

Mark the dates on your calendar.


Saturday, 20 April 2019 14:16

MAC 2020 Update 4-21-19

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New elements of next year's MAC - now just 14 months away - continue to take shape.  Most excitingly, after scores of drafts and retakes, we now have a theme (below) that will give cohesiveness to the Conference and, most importantly, speak to the moment in history where we find ourselves. Also in the excitement category, Jim & Ann Coady, formerly of the Long Island Chapter and, since they moved to Minnesota, now the Virtual Chapter, have joined Ginny McEvoy, Celine Woznica and Bob Short on the Planning Team.


  • Maryknoll Affiliate is someone who accepts and lives the four pillars. Over the years that has also meant members were people from Maryknoll Congregation, Society or Lay Missionary. We were people who enjoyed being together and telling each other stories of the past and talking about present experiences. The future means inviting others who accept and want to live the four pillars, people with various religious traditions and life experiences.

On a personal level, I am a Catholic Christian, ordained a priest 1967, married in 1972 and continue as a lay missionary disciple with focus on China. Recently I found Thomas Merton's description of a human vocation. This is now the way I like to express my commitment: "The [human] vocation is to live freely and spiritually —as [a son/daughter] of God in and through Christ, and,

—moved by the Spirit of Christ,

—to work for the establishment of [the “Reign of God” ]

—which is the unity of all people in peace, creativity and love."

[Submitted by Tom and Florence McGuire, 313 399 4598, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.]

  • One who is aware of the injustices in society-both globally and locally and responds in a context of faith (in Jesus) to combat them. For me, it’s not so much a seeking as just being open to who or what God puts in our path. [Submitted by Patty Hinton, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.]
  • My experience with Affiliates is that they are a wide range of demographics (except maybe not so many young people). The common thread among them is their compassion and desire to help other human beings wherever the needs are.  An Affiliate sees the world and all its people as one people and our calling is to share what we have with everyone.  Also, we are called to educate where we can on the needs of others and to be examples of giving and attention to any peoples that are suffering. (Anonymous
  • Connector of hopeful visions and caring actions that enable global community. [Submitted by Kathleen Gribble, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.]
  • A Maryknoll Affiliate is a person who seeks to live the Maryknoll Charism in one's daily life through community, social action, and spiritual growth. That's the generic answer. When I talk about the Maryknoll Affiliates, I prefer to use the plural because we are first a community, and it is hard to accomplish the other goals without the support of community. So I tell everyone that we are a community of people with a connection to Maryknoll who meet once a month to pray and reflect, share updates in our lives, support each other's unique ministries, and as a group support the local efforts of Maryknoll and other organizations who strive to live the Good News. [Submitted by Celine Woznica, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.]

 Thank you for these responses.  They help to connect and strengthen our Affiliate movement.

Sunday, 07 April 2019 20:40

Reflection on a Letter from Wilton

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This article by Matt Rousso, Chapter Coordinator for the New Orleans Chapter, moves from a heart-filled encounter with a young Guatemalan boy, to a wide-ranging discussion on how Pope Frances has framed the issue of water. It's a powerful read. Note that the photo is of a Guatemalan boy, but not Wilton.  Click "Read More" below to read the entire article. (Bob Short)

     Wilton is a young unschooled boy who lives across the road from our community garden in the back corner of barrio Santa Ana in the town of Esquipulas, Guatemala. Wilton stays with his mother and father, in a very simple two room house – it has only one single light bulb hanging in the front room and a water faucet attached to a make-shift sink which seldom gives water. Because of drought during most of the year, the Municipality does not receive enough water from its source to give to all the inhabitants of Esquipulas, especially those who live on the outskirts. Wilton also has a 19 year old sister, Wendy, who lives in an adjacent structure with her 2 year old baby.

     During a recent mission immersion program in Santa Ana, I was working in the garden with eight of our seminarians from St. Joseph Seminary in Covington, La., along with Don Chencho, our gardener, and his young helper, Pablo. Several years ago we had to put in a hand-dug well in our garden because we could only get a little water from a nearby stream where women come daily to wash clothes. In the midst of the morning work, Wilton came walking up to me shyly and handed me a folded piece of paper, saying it was de mi papa. I opened the paper and read the scribbled Spanish note, having to decipher some of the words which were badly misspelled. The letter was a heartfelt plea for help!  “Dear brother Mateo and the other brothers. I make a cordial greeting in the name of Señor Jesús and our mother, always virgin María. The objective of the present (note) is to beg a favor that if you can give us water because my wife and children are dying of thirst because there is no water. Jesus says in his word that the one who gives a glass of water to these little ones makes it with me.  Signed: Catalino Vasquez, husband of Josefina Hernandez.”  We immediately made provisions to get water from the well for Catalino and his family.

     Since my return home, that moment in the garden has been in my mind and heart almost constantly. It has made me think a lot about water. I remembered that the first words of the Bible are about the presence of God in the waters of the earth:  “Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters” (Gen 1:2) And I’ve thought about the fact that before I was even born I lay in the waters of my mother’s womb for months. . In early March, the internet kept sending me messages about March 22nd being the day proclaimed by the UN and the Catholic Church as World Water Day. I learned a lot of random facts like: 

  • the human body is made of some 65 to 70 percent water
  • water covers 70.9 percent of the planet’s surface
  • 97% of the water on Earth is salt water; only 2.7 % is drinkable
  • $0.002 per gallon is the average cost of US municipal tap water - 1/3 of what the world

    spends on bottled water in one year could pay for projects providing water to 

    everyone in need

  • there is about the same amount of water on Earth now as was millions of years ago
  • unsafe water kills 200 children every hour
  • 2 billion people worldwide have limited access to clean water.
Monday, 01 April 2019 00:46

MKLM Strategic Planning

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Maryknoll Lay Missioners is a Catholic organization inspired by the mission of Jesus to live and work with poor communities in Africa, Asia and the Americas, responding to basic needs and helping to create a more just and compassionate world.

In the last 2 years MKLM has engaged in a reflection on how to best live out its mission in the Church and society of today.  In March 2018, Maryknoll received the findings from a key organizational assessment that provides MKLM with a foundation to engage the future. 

During the Fall of 2018 the leadership of Maryknoll Lay Missioners agreed to take the next step in this visioning and assessment journey and to embark upon a strategic planning process to identify a vision and roadmap for the next three to four years.  Three strategic questions are guiding the discussion: 

  • Where are we now? 
  • Where do we need to be in the future to be effective in our mission? 
  • How do we get there? 

These questions seek to respond to the present realities impacting our organization, the realities facing our global sisters and brothers, the opportunities and challenges within the present lay missioner and volunteer environment, and the realities shaping faith communities, including Maryknoll as a whole. 

Effective planning is an opportunity to pause, reflect and assess our current reality and to identify strategic and tactical directions that will lead Maryknoll Lay Missioners forward to be a mission focused, effective and efficient ministry organization.


During the Fall the Board of Directors, the Global Council and national staff spent time reviewing and finalizing a process to guide this planning.  A steering committee was also formed to coordinate and guide the planning.  This group includes various MKLM stakeholders.

A key principle that emerged was the participation and ownership in the planning process of the many MKLM stakeholders, including missioners, receiving communities, alumni, donors and the Maryknoll fathers and brothers, sisters, and affiliates. 

During the month of April, we are hosting focus groups to be facilitated by our consultant for this process, Paul Henderson of Pastoral Strategies, Inc.  We invite you to join in a 90-minute confidential listening process to gain your insights from your own experiences and knowledge of Maryknoll Lay Missioners in recent years. Paul will be at Maryknoll on April 3-4 and again in May which is yet to be determined.  Coffee, tea and snacks will be provided. 

                 Claudia Samayoa

At the beginning of last week, Rosa Beatriz, Affiliate Board member from the Guatemala Chapter, emailed me requesting the name of someone in the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns (MOGC) who might be able to respond to an urgent request. That request was for Affiliate Chapter member, Claudia Samayoa, who, along with José Martínez, had been maliciously accused by the President of the Guatemala Supreme, seeking to criminalize her work in Human Rights.  Claudia, whom many of you reading this met at MAC 2017, and who recently received special recognition for her work in human rights, was faced with the possibility of being incarcerated. 

There is a second, revealing aspect to this story that I believe should make us proud to be part of the Maryknoll family.  Shortly after receiving the details of the situation from Rosa Beatriz (the Guatemala Chapter had already drafted a strong, thoughtfully worded document in protest to the Supreme court’s stance) I wrote to the other Maryknoll entities to make them aware that we as Affiliates were looking to initiate an action in support of Claudia and José. Seemingly within minutes after clicking 'send' on the email, at least one person from each entity had responded to express support.  Soon MOGC Executive Director Susan Gunn and her staff put an action plan in motion.  Susan laid out a 3-prong strategy:   

  1. Draft a letter to Pompeo at State Dept. and ask the Maryknoll entities and the Affiliates to sign on.
  2. Invite other organizations to join us in sending a letter to the Ambassador of Guatemala in D.C. [Affiliates have signed on. The list of organizations who have signed on is already long.]
  3. Create an action alert inviting the public to send a message to the State Dept and the ambassador. [In the works.]

At this writing, the final outcome is still pending for Claudia and José.  Rosa Beatriz informed me that Claudia’s father, who had been gravely ill, passed away few days ago. Please be alert for action alerts to sign and pray for Claudia, José and the dire situation in Guatemala.

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