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Thursday, September 3, 2009

Members' mumblings

A question arises (yet again!): why the rush to elect a new U.S. regional? What is so sacrosanct about the September 28 deadline?
This recent ballot should have been handled like a straw ballot to allow for at least one more round before limiting candidacy to the top four. Perhaps in the inter-regnum, the realization may hit us that we no longer need a regional. If, however, the position is to be taken seriously, and the "consent of the governed" to be respected, why not give it the time for reflection and discussion it deserves?

Alas, it is moot as the ballots have gone out, but there is still a desire to have some sort of meeting to at least air concerns before the end of the month.

So as not to end on a totally down note: we have Chili Lime Broiled Shrimp on the menu today.


  1. I still hold that, give the cirucmstances, the strongest statement the members of the US Region can make is to abstain from the vote (whilst insisting that their abstentions be tallied with the other votes). Having 'abstain' receive the highest number of 'votes' sends a clear message that we insist that the collective conscience of the Region's members being given the weight it is due.

  2. The problem is this. Abstentions are reported but not counted in the tally, so we could end up with someone elected with five votes or less.

  3. And if more than half of the Region's member abstain, would the election still be considered valid?

  4. EMILE DUMAS writes--I agree fully that Bob is more than qualified for the job of Director of MEP.However, I do not consider it wise that Bob wear hats for both MEP and US Regional Superior, should he end up being elected. With the demographic reality the Society presently faces and has been facing for over 10 years the Society has opted to pile on hat upon hat on selected members. Indeed is it not time to retire some of those hats and file them in the archives?

    How many members are there in the U.S. Region? Visiting members of a region is essential and I would venture to say it is one of the most neglected responsibilities. Having said that, I understand Clyde did an excellent job as US Regional Superior while also wearing the hat of director of MEP.

    Doing away with the US Regional structure and appointing Br. Wayne as coordinator may be one way to get around the Vatican/Canon Law.


  5. Re: Doing away with U.S. Region - It's a interesting option, but my concern is with the precedent it sets. What happens if next year the members of one of the overseas Regions elects a non-cleric as their Regional? Do we then do away with that Region as well? Hello Frying Pan, I'd like you to meet Mr. Fire.

  6. The U.S. Regional has always been something of an anomaly, so I don;t see a precedent with overseas regions. Then again, we've already structured those ad nauseum without addressing the key elements of pastoral personnel issues vs. administrative duties.

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  8. FRANK BREEN WRITES: I would support the idea of a Coordinator for the U.S. membership.
    Ever since Ray Hill became U.S. Reg. Superior in 1988 (or 1987, whenever) I never saw much purpose in the U.S. Region or Superior. I have had nothing against any of them, and they tried to do the job as they saw it. Regional Assemblies have been helpful.
    But while I was in both the Social Communications Dept. and then the Development Dept., it was the department that was the beginning and end for my involvement in U.S. Maryknoll work. The Region was always superfluous, unlike the Regions overseas which have real purpose.
    So, your suggestion of a Coordinator, which also avoids the clerical conundrum, is a good one in many ways.
    Frank Breen

  9. Re: Frank Breen comments - Frank makes some interesting points. Just musing here, but what is to stop the SG from acting as 'figurehead' Superior for the US Region as well? Members of the Region could then vote for a coordinator, who would take on all of the administrative duties currently carried out by the U.S. RS - with the understanding that their vote is also a vote for a Chapter delegate. Come time for Chapter, they would then vote for an additional delegate(s). There are ways to turn this Gordian Knot into a Gordian NOT.

  10. What if we started a petition to the General Council of all members of the U.S. Region, asking that it be placed under the authority of the Super G and/or one of his assistants and that the day-to-day administration be given over to a Coordinator: Wayne?