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Friday, February 11, 2011

Around the Knoll this weekend

Any word on the whereabouts of Fr. Doug May who worked for so many years with the Copts in Egypt? Since no notice was on our bulletin board,I assume he is not in Cairo. It would be interesting to get his take on the amazing events we've witnessed these past days,

A remnant of the old Walsh Building staff will take Ms. Angle Chalk out for lunch today, one of may tokens of appreciation for her many years of faithful and loyal service in helping administrate the MEPD as she enters retirement.

The Westchester Photography Society is holding an exhibit in our Spellman Room until Feb. 25 of about 25 photos taken around the world. Our Centenary flags line each wall, so the internationality of the pictures is emphasized. The framed photographs are for sale.

The Salesion will have a day of recollection here this Monday, February 14.

And finally, on a Zen note: it strikes me as ironic and funny to daintily pick up Hopi's daily contribution to the environment amid literally HUNDREDS of souvenirs the flock of Canada geese deposits daily on our quadrangle lawn and walkway. I allow Hopi to chase them away once a day, but the poor things have no other place to eat. The only grass exposed is in the fire access lanes. Now if they'd just fly south like they're supposed to, they might spare themselves and us these daily indignities. I'm not sure if there is a homily in all this, but this should finally put to rest the observation that "Veneroso doesn't know shishkabob."

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Huffington Post: Archbishop Dolan Has 'No Comment' on NYC Visit of Excommunicated Priest

Well, folks, Maryknoll finally made it to the pages of the Huffington Post. Whether this is good publicity or bad no doubt depends on what you think, publically and privately, of Father Roy Bourgeois and his continued vocal advocacy for the XXXXXXXXXX of XXmen.


Archbishop Dolan Has 'No Comment' on NYC Visit of Excommunicated Priest
Since Father Roy will be in Archbishop Timothy Dolan's own backyard, I thought a comment was in order.
 


Sent from my iPad

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Maryknoll & SOA Watch

Thanks to Fr. John Sivalon for bringing to my attention the following NCR article about Maryknoll reinstating funding for the SOA Watch. Let's hope the supporters and benefactors who left because of the previous position might reconsider, as our Council obviously did. (You can read this while awaiting tonight's Super Bowl.)

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U.S. missionary order Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers has reinstated grant funding to School of Americas Watch, the antimilitary organization founded by Maryknoll Fr. Roy Bourgeois.

Maryknoll suspended their support of the group in May because Bourgeois publicly supports women’s ordination. The reinstatement of funding came after talks with Maryknoll Fr. Michael Duggan, SOA Watch organizers told NCR yesterday.

“This is a real expression of solidarity and it means a lot to us,” Bourgeois told NCR “Like all grass-roots organizations, we’re struggling. So we are very happy.”

A spokesperson for Maryknoll confirmed the news today. "SOA Watch has given us assurances that the funds will be used strictly for their work and that's why we restored those funds," Maryknoll's Mike Virgintino told NCR.

A check for the grant, which totals $10,000, was sent to SOA Watch in December, SOA Watch organizers said. The news became public when Call to Action sent an e-mail to supporters yesterday.

The grant will be used to pay for part of the production of Presente, the newspaper of the movement, which aims to close the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation located at Fort Benning, Ga, said Hendrik Voss, SOA Watch national organizer.

In a May 24 statement regarding its original decision to pull its support of SOA Watch, Maryknoll wrote it could not “continue its financial support of that organization without giving the impression that it also supports the actions of its leader concerning the issue of women’s ordination.”

Since the decision to pull funding, 19 separate church and social justice organizations signed onto a letter to Maryknoll encouraging its reinstatement, Call to Action said in their e-mail.

Among the groups signing on to the letter were Voices for Creative Nonviolence, the Women's Ordination Conference, and the Mexico Solidarity Network, Call to Action told NCR yesterday in an e-mail exchange.

While Bourgeois said he didn’t know why Maryknoll reconsidered its support now, he said the news “brought joy to my heart.”

Said Bourgeois: “I’ve been with the community for 42 years, a priest for 38 years with them, and Maryknoll is my family, my community. To be very honest, I really don’t understand why Maryknoll, who is so well known for its work for justice, will not address this injustice of the exclusion of women as equal members in our church. And so we were very happy. This is a real expression of solidarity and it means a lot to us.”

Voss said the funding would allow Maryknoll to further its own mission.

“The newspaper is used to educate people on the reality of U.S. foreign policy in Latin America,” said Voss. “Maryknoll...has people across the Americas who work along the same lines and work for the same goals.”

[Joshua J. McElwee is an NCR staff writer. His e-mail address is jmcelwee@ncronline.org.]

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Saturday, February 5, 2011

Heart of Jesus & the Super Bowl

At the Knoll this weekend, about 35 Haitians are making a Heart of Jesus Retreat directed by Fr. Romane St. Vil. Between the Haitians and the Koreans, we are making good use of our facilities. If Maryknollers can't get to the mission peoples, let the mission peoples come to Maryknoll.

Meanwhile, all eyes are on the all-important Super Bowl tomorrow. Br. Kevin Dargan is once again organizing a food fest up in the Third Floor TV Room and rec room. In addition to your usually munches, he will prepare ham, beans and various cheeses. I hope there are no serious Steeler fans in the group, because Green Bay is going to kick some Pittsburg butt before the day is out. Well, at least they can take solace in Br. Kevin's comfort food.

Other snippets of news that have fallen between the cyber cracks in recent weeks:

Archbishop Timothy Dolan will no longer be the main celebrant at our official Centennial Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral on October 30 at 2 p.m. It seems that there is a conflict with an important bishops meeting in Rome. So the Maryknoll Centennial Committee for the St. Patrick's celebration is scurrying around for a replacement of equal stature.

Speaking of presiding bishops, I heard from someone who knows that we have yet to settle on the ordaining bishop for the priesthood ordination of Rev. Mr. Rodrigo Ulloa-Chavarry on June 4.

In the Incredibly Vanishing Stuff Around the Knoll category, someone "borrowed" the connecting cables for the TV in the Fourth Floor TV room where Br. David McKenna shows a film every Thursday evening. What's up with that? Methinks a House Meeting is in order to refresh guys' memories about life in our noncommunity community. For example, communal property (breviaries, vestments, stole, purificators etc) is not an open invitation to stock one's own private sacristy. Another issue, public sloppiness. Guys have an almost daily habit of spilling food or beverages in the food line—and then just walking away without bothering to tell the more-than-patient kitchen staff.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Workshop

Michelle Phillips addresses the residents.

Respect in the Workplace

Either a sign of the times or a sad commentary on our fast deterioration social mores, this workshop is mandated every three years.

Dr. Claudia Koblenz-Sulkov, OSP, introduced Michelle Phillips, Esq., a partner in the law firm of Jackson & Lewis and has been to Maryknoll many times. She began by emphasizing that in the eyes of the employees, when they see us, they see Maryknoll. Even if we are not their supervisor or co-worker, what we do and say impacts them and how their view their work. We started the session be each man introducing himself, what he does or did, and how he thinks Maryknollers view him (a potentially funny, embarrassing or explosive dynamic which, alas, would not be appropriate for blogging. A future book, maybe, but not blogging.)

For whatever reason, this process didn't get past the second Maryknoller (of 26 attending. I'd tell you who it was but I don't want to be brought up on harassment charges) when a discussion followed concerning the society policy that Maryknollers not give gratuities or financial gifts to employees, an issue of hot debate in recent months as many men like to give small tokens of appreciation to housekeeping staff. This policy arose so as not to discriminate against those employees whose jobs do not have regular contact with members and who therefore do not get gifts at Christmas from Maryknollers. This also being Chinese New Year, it was pointed out that giving monetary gifts in red envelopes is an expected part of the holiday.

Anyway, in brief, the following areas may not be probed during interviews with prospective employees or are considered protected categories: gender, national origin, religion, race, disability, age, sexual orientation, pregnancy, marital status, genetic history, or medical conditions beyond those which might impact job performance.

Any speech or action that uses the above in a demeaning manner can be construed as harassment.

Sometimes an employee may approach a Maryknoller to intercede with a supervisor about a problem in the workplace, making us perfect pawns. At the same time, depending on the information divulged, we may be "mandated reporters" (for example, with cases of child or elder abuse.)

If we overhear discriminatory words and do nothing, we are "aiders and abetters" and can be sued if we fail to act. At the very least we should bring it to the attention of a superior and HR who are in a position to do something about it.

Employers (and by extention, all Maryknollers) must make all reasonable accommodation to the sensibilities of both employees, guests and visitors. The question arises that Maryknollers are expected to be responsible for implementing Society policies over which we had no say and many times about which we may know nothing.

Note to all Maryknollers overseas who are returning to the States after many year's absence: it ain't the same country you left!