Insofar as many have inquired as to the happenings here among us last week concerning all that has occurred at the extraordinary session of the Extended Leadership Board, it seemed fitting for me as well to blog it for you, most excellent Theophagus.
Well, OK, Father Mike Duggan, regional in the U.S., was gracious enough to fill me in over lunch yesterday so that I may masticate and regurgitate it to you in bite-size, easily digestible, if not easy-to-swallow morsels.
So here is it. ELB dealt with four topics: Communication, Mission, Retirement, the relationship between ELB and the General Council, and morale of members. (OK, that’s actually five, but the first four directly impact the last, n’est pas?)
MISSION It was heartening to hear that, for all the problems facing our leaders, the future of Maryknoll mission work is still a priority. Clearly we can’t be in as many countries as we are now, but do we concentrate on putting all our mission eggs in just one overseas basket? Or do we maintain our multicultural interests by having at least two Regions?
Someone opined that the best gift we “old timers” can give the 12 men currently in formation and, God willing, to more men who will enter formation in the coming years, is to “get out of their way.” New wine! New skins!
COMMUNICATION It comes as no surprise that this was identified as THE most serious challenge facing our members as we try to discern what leadership is thinking, what they did, and why they did it. Indeed, the reason for ELB 2.0 was to give the Regionals another chance to come together and talk with one another and the Council and brainstorm, as well as express their opinions on the state of the Society and define just what the nature and purpose of ELB is.
RETIREMENT Let’s face it, the big wave is already crashing over our heads. But what is the right time to retire? And who decides? And how do you convince a man to give up the only life he’s known? What does “retirement” even mean? Some men think it means that, absent a formal Maryknoll assignment, they are free to do whatever they want. (So then, what’s the difference between that and what Maryknollers usually do?) The retirement age may be raised to 70 sometime in the future, but this is way too complex an issue to decide right now. More discussion in needed. [In journalistic parlance, this is what is known as “burying the lead”, but I like to reward those of you who plod through my other paragraphs with a solid nugget of news.]
Mike Duggan says there was ample time for him and each of the other Regionals (Fr. Alfonso Kim-Asia; Fr. Jim Lynch-Latin America, Fr. Dave Smith/Fr. Lance Nadeau-Africa and Fr. Tom McDonnell-Retirement) to speak what was on their minds.
But were they heard? And what positive changes will be made? Log in for future developments!
ELB 2.1 is scheduled for a week before and after June 4, 2011, when N’ShaAllah, we will celebrate the ordination of the Rev. Mr. Rodrigo Ulloa-Chavarry to the Maryknoll mission priesthood!