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Returned Missioner News

Rest in peace, Carolyn Bosse

November 2021: We mourn the loss of Carolyn Bosse, who served as a Maryknoll lay missioner from 1985 to 2010. She passed on to eternal life Nov. 19, 2021, at a hospital in Booneville, Kentucky. Carolyn and her husband, Ronald (called “Bosse”), were long-term missioners in South America, serving in Peru, Patagonia (Argentina) and Chile and were part of the formative period of the program and, later, of the association. Bosse is one of the first Maryknoll lay missioners, having also served in Peru from 1974 until 1981. The funeral mass for Carolyn was to be held Friday, Nov. 26 at Holy Family Church in Booneville, Kentucky. Give Carolyn eternal rest, O God, and may your light shine on her forever.

Susan Tollefson offers renewal in desert hermitage

November 2021: Susan Tollefson (Class of 1993) lived and served as a Maryknoll lay missioner in Ciudad Juárez, across the border from El Paso (1997-2003) and Thailand (1993-1997). She is now stewarding wildlands for simple solitude and renewal retreats in southeastern Arizona. The Hermitage Program of the Cascabel Conservation Association has a history rooted in the Sanctuary movement. Please contact Susan if you are interested in seeking out a sojourn in a simple place for renewal. Activists and faith-based groups come for reflection and the healing that nature can provide.

De Mellos find inspiration at the border

October 2021: Returned lay missioner Merwyn De Mello (Class of 1994 – Japan, Tanzania, Zimbabwe) and his wife, Kirstin, recently participated in the weekly peace vigil at the County Courthouse in El Paso, Texas; and spent two days at Casa Tabor, a peace and “contemplative political action” center across the border in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. “We prayed to the saints from Central and South America whose names Sister Betty [Campbell, RSM; co-founder of both the peace vigil and Casa Tabor] has artistically memorialized on canvas mounted on a wall in the courtyard… — journalists, priests, men, women, migrants who have been killed or lost their lives as a result of the evils in our social and political systems…. We also walked the labyrinth in the courtyard, meditating on our own role in the structural evil and the strength and discipline one needs to develop to bring nonviolent change…. We give thanks to God for the inspiration we received from the life of a dedicated activist-peacemaker.”

Maggie Han joins Secular Franciscans

August 2021: After three years of preparation, Maggie Han (Class of 1996 – Venezuela) joined the Secular Franciscans on August 1. “I am grateful that God gave me the opportunity to follow the footsteps of St. Francis so that I can continue to live the Gospel value after Maryknoll,” she says.

Deirdre Cornell joins Maryknoll magazine staff

June 2021: In May, Deirdre Cornell (Class of 2002) joined the staff of Maryknoll magazine as its new associate editor. As lay missioners, Deirdre; her husband, Kenney Gould; and their children served from 2004 to 2007 in Oaxaca, Mexico. While there, Deirdre coordinated base communities, parenting workshops and participation in development projects. She is the author of the Orbis books Jesus Was a Migrant (2014), American Madonna (2010) and A Priceless View (2003) and a longtime contributor to Maryknoll and Misioneros magazines.

Susan Nagele featured in SIU medical school magazine

June 2021: Dr. Susan Nagele (Class of 1984 – Tanzania, Sudan, Kenya, U.S.) was honored with a feature article in the Spring 2021 issue of Aspects, the magazine of Southern Illinois University School of Medicine. Susan is an alum of the medical school. Titled “Missions accomplished,” the article by Steve Sandstrom highlights her storied 35-year-long career as a Maryknoll lay missioner physician who served primarily in East Africa. Read the full article here.

Tom Hinchen’s environmental parish ministry

May 2021: Tom Hinchen (Class of 1979 – Peru) is featured in a story by the Brooklyn, New York, diocesan newspaper The Tablet about the Care for Creation Ministry of St. Andrew the Apostle Parish in Bay Ridge, New York. The article describes the various ways the parish works to put Pope Francis’ environmental encyclical Laudato Si’ into practice. Read the full article here.

Bertha Haas Continues Ministry in Tanzania

May 2021: Bertha Haas (Class of 2002- Tanzania) helped found Huruma School, a ministry for young people with disabilities in Mwanza, Tanzania, 17 years ago. “Though we had to do it virtually this year, for the sixth time Taste of Tanzania has raised enough funds to pay Huruma salaries for another year…. The videos that Director Toto had sent of students, staff and parents in action drew us into the reality of Huruma’s daily life.” Besides updates on accomplishments, recent reports from Huruma School also shared sorrows. “Two teachers have lost relatives recently. A student was unable to recover after several months of illness and several hospitalizations. Another student … left the home he shared with his grandmother in the morning and has never returned. Mr. Toto is still trying to arrange continued education for a deaf student whose father took her back to the village. …Other progress … this year has been the development of a new website.” Besides her continuing Huruma support, Bertha is also actively involved in religious education and the justice and peace ministry of her parish and in the Portland Maryknoll Affiliate group.

Charlie Petro helps immigrants with vaccinations

May 2021: Charlie Petro (Class of 2015 – Tanzania) is the executive director of Ixim: Spirit of Solidarity. A ministry of the Archdiocese of Omaha, Ixim connects it with the Diocese of Huehuetenango, Guatemala. “Our organization prays and acts together and supports projects in both dioceses.” Recently, they worked to help Omaha’s local migrant community get vaccinated by partnering with two parishes and a local health provider to promote and provide vaccinations to parishioners, the wider Spanish-speaking community and people across Omaha (watch local news coverage here). Charlie says, “My time in Maryknoll Lay Missioners inspired me to want to connect people to mission and open their hearts to the value of solidarity. The most important lesson I learned from Tanzania was that true development must be based in solidarity. People must build relationships and share a common vision to meet the challenges of our world successfully. With Ixim, I help others build those relationships in our community in Omaha and between the people of the United States and the people of Huehuetenango.”

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