Returned Missioner News
Woznicas assist asylum seekers bussed from Texas to Chicago
July 2023: Celine and Don Woznica (Class of 1981 – Nicaragua, Mexico) are keeping busy these days, helping to organize a wide-ranging local assistance effort for mostly Venezuelan asylum seekers. The asylum seekers are a part of the more than 8,000 whom the state of Texas has bussed up to Chicago and who for the past few months have been sleeping on the floors of several Chicago police stations. The Woznicas have helped to organize an ad hoc group of volunteers in their Oak Park, Illinois area. The group is connected through a WhatsApp messaging channel, and has rallied around the asylum seekers, providing shelter, food, clothing, showers, gift cards, phones and SIM cards, rides to doctors’ appointments and grocery stores, and arranging for schooling. “We’ll get a notice about the arrival of a family and then we all hustle to help them,” Celine told the Wednesday Journal. “All the volunteers do what they can do. These folks come with nothing and they have crossed seven countries to get here.”
Rest in peace, Bosse!
June 2023: It is with great sadness that we share the news that Ronald Bosse (Class of 1974 – Peru, Argentina, Chile), died at the age of 84 on June 20, 2023 at St. Francis Home in Tiffin, Ohio. As one of our earliest and longest-serving Maryknoll lay missioners, he was an important part of the formation of the program and a great influence on many other missioners. Bosse (as he always preferred to be called) was a missionary for all of his adult life. After serving in the Peace Corps in Panama, he joined Maryknoll in Peru in 1974, the year before the Maryknoll lay mission program was officially established. Bosse served near Lake Titicaca from 1974 until 1981, when he and Carolyn were married. Carolyn was serving as a Papal Volunteer in Peru when the two met. The couple’s lifelong commitment to indigenous communities in Latin America brought them back to Peru, where they served together from 1985 until 1992. Bosse and Carolyn were part of a three-year assignment in Patagonia, Argentina from 1992-1995. In 1997 they transferred to southern Chile where they served until they retired in 2010. Carolyn preceded him in death in November 2021. We give thanks for the life of Bosse and pray: May God grant him eternal rest, and may God’s light shine on him forever. See here for funeral arrangements.
Kathy McNeely Starts New Job
June 2023: Kathy McNeely (Class of 1991- Guatemala, U.S.) writes: “I recently started working as a nutritionist at Community of Hope, a federally qualified health center in Washington, DC that has been working on housing, as well meeting the medical, dental and emotional wellness needs of the un-insured and under-insured. Community of Hope also partners with the District of Columbia Office of Refugee Resettlement (DCORR) to provide health education services for eligible refugees, provide opportunities to increase health literacy, coordinate and support the navigation of health care; and organize wellness groups, including for mental wellness and peer support. Community of Hope has been working with resource-poor people in DC for the past 40 years, and was founded as a holistic compassionate ministry of the congregation of Washington First Church of the Nazarene. I gained a masters of science in nutrition in 2013 and have been working in public health in the DC metropolitan area for the past nine years. I am looking forward to serving at Community of Hope!”
Maiorano-Maynard family update
June 2023: Since returning from Brazil in 2020, Marcelo Maiorano and Kathleen Maynard and their three daughters (Class of 2016 – Brazil) have been living and working on a small farm in Jackson, New Hampshire. Kathleen is working as a family nurse practitioner at a primary care office as well as coordinating a licensed nursing assistant training program at the local high school. Marcelo has just graduated from the Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions with a master’s in nursing and will take his family nurse practitioner board exam in June. During his nursing studies, Marcelo worked on a traumatic brain injury unit at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston and served as a volunteer at a student-faculty-led clinic that provides primary care to underserved populations in the greater Boston area. He has been able to employ knowledge and skills from his time as a Maryknoll lay missioner while caring for immigrants and refugees in the clinic. Cecilia (9), Maëlle (7), and Lucia (4) have been enjoying gymnastics, dance and playing in the outdoors with the family dog, Julie, and a variety of farm animals. They will spend the summer at Cecilia’s summer camp in New Hampshire, where Kathleen will be the camp medical provider.
Mission Integration Program 2023
May 2023: Jill Foster (Haiti) and Julie Lawler (Cambodia) from the Class of 2019 and Judy Walter (Tanzania) from the Class of 2010 concluded their Mission Integration Program (MIP) with a Mass and blessing on Friday, May 26. The program is for missioners finishing their first contracts, but this year Judy was invited to participate because she is transitioning out of mission with Maryknoll Lay Missioners. This was the first in-person MIP in several years and the first-ever in El Paso, Texas, where the Mission Services Department is now located. Jill is also transitioning out of Maryknoll Lay Missioners and will return to the Cincinnati, Ohio area. Judy will be living in the Chicago area. Julie is returning to Cambodia to continue her ministry with the Deaf Development Programme in Phnom Penh.
Berry-Stablein family update
May 2023: George Stablein and Anne Berry (Class of 2016 – Tanzania) and their children, Louisa and Suzanna, have transitioned back to the United States and are now living in North Carolina. George is working as a pediatrician in Chapel Hill, where he occasionally gets to use his Swahili when he meets families from Kenya and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Anne is doing a fellowship year with Duke Family Medicine and Community Health, working on maternal health equity and improving health care for women coming out of incarceration. Louisa is now 9, finishing third grade and a newly minted altar server at Immaculate Conception Parish in Durham. Susanna is almost 13 (!) and finishing sixth grade. Their MKLM classmate Becca Muder (Class of 2016 – Brazil and El Salvador) visited Durham recently and attended Louisa’s baseball game. The Class of 2016 was unable to have an in-person MIP due to the pandemic, so the family enjoyed having a small reunion. Becca is now a campus minister and “journey spiritual life communities coordinator” at St. Louis University in Missouri.
Nickolas Gehrig graduates from Subiaco Academy
May 2023: Nickolas Gehrig, who — with his parents, Jason and Felicia Gehrig (Class of 1999 – Bolivia); brother, Anthony; and sister, Jessica — was in mission in the Altiplano of Bolivia, graduated from Subiaco Academy in Subiaco, Arkansas on Saturday, May 13. This fall he will attend Texas A&M University, where he will study engineering. Congratulations, Nickolas!
Volunteer at the border now
May 2023: As the needs at the border are growing exponentially, Maryknoll Lay Missioners’ Volunteer Placement Assistance Program is helping match returned missioners and Maryknoll affiliates with non-profits serving the migrant populations in El Paso, Texas. The length of volunteer service can range from two weeks to a year. If you are interested in applying or would like more information, contact Debbie Northern at [email protected].
ALL Returned Missioners invited to Jubilee conclusion Sept. 10
May 2023: Save the Date! Concluding this year’s Jubilee, there will be a virtual gathering for ALL returned missioners on Sunday, Sept. 10, from 7 to 8 p.m. EDT. The Always A Missioner Advisory Council will host this gathering, and unlike past years, we will be inviting all returned missioners to join us for this event, not just the Jubilee classes. We will recognize the Jubilee Classes for 2023 and have a special blessing for the current missioner jubilarians, as well as remember those missioners from the Jubilee classes who have died. We hope you will join us!
Orbis publishes Kathy Osberger book on Chile
May 2023: This August, Orbis Books will be publishing Kathleen Osberger’s book I Surrender: A Memoir of Chile’s Dictatorship, 1975. The book, based on her experience as a lay missioner in Chile, “depicts the solidarity of the Chilean people and the transformational role of nuns and priests dedicated to serving the poor, while highlighting the changing and challenged Catholic Church.” Kathy is known to many current and returned missioners because for 17 years she facilitated a course on “Power and Powerlessness” during MKLM’s orientation program. The release of her book coincides with the 50th anniversary of the 1973 coup in Chile. Kathy is planning several presentations for this summer, including in Chicago, Milwaukee, Ossining and New York City. For more info, email Sam Stanton (Class of 1985 – Chile and U.S.).
Curt and Rehema Klueg receive Heart of Mercy Award
March 2023: Curt Klueg (Class of 2003 – Kenya) and his daughter Rehema received the Heart of Mercy Award from Mercy High School in Farmington, Michigan. Curt teaches religious studies and Rehema is a senior at Mercy High. The values noted for them receiving the award are as follows: “Rehema is rooted in her faith and carries out the actions of God every day. She makes everyone feel welcomed and valued.” And “Mr. Klueg is a disciple of God who lives the Mercy values without condition. He cares about everyone, pushing and encouraging students to become the best they can be.”