TAKE ACTION: On September 21, Peace Day, make plans to pray for peace

Peace Day - Business Card layoutSeptember 21, 2014, is Peace Day, also known as the International Day of Prayer for Peace, when thousands of people around the world pray and work for peace. The 2014 theme for the ecumenical Peace Day prayer campaign is “Visions and Dreams of Building Peace.” Plan an event on or near September 21 to seek a vision of how violence can be confronted in your community or our world.

Pax Christi USA invites our members, groups, regions and parishes to include special prayers for peace in the prayers of the faithful on the weekend of September 20-21, and to consider sponsoring community events with a theme of peacebuilding and challenging violence. Events can include street corner prayers about gun violence, peace pole installations, prayer services focused on peacemaking themes, creating children’s peace murals, and more. (You can also incorporate these events and actions into the Campaign Nonviolence week of action taking place between September 21-27.)

Resources for prayer services, other activity ideas, event descriptions from 2013 and 2014 participating groups, and online registration, can be found at www.PeaceDayPray.org.

NEWS: Pope Francis lifts 29-year suspension on liberation theology icon

from Religion News Service

Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann

Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann

VATICAN CITY (RNS) Continuing a bid to revive a movement that was sidelined by his predecessors, Pope Francis has reinstated a Central American priest who was suspended by the Vatican in the 1980s for his involvement in the political activities of Nicaragua’s leftist Sandinista movement.

The Rev. Miguel D’Escoto Brockmann, 81, was suspended from his duties by St. John Paul II and recently wrote to Francis asking for that order to be revoked so he could celebrate Mass again before he died.

D’Escoto and three other dissident priests were suspended in 1985 for defying a church ban on clergy holding government jobs. The Sandinistas, who supported the “popular church” of liberation theology, overthrew the pro-American regime of Anastasio Somoza in 1979. D’Escoto served as Nicaragua’s foreign minister from 1979 to 1990…

Click here for the full story.

REFLECTION: Look for God in the quiet moments, not the disruptions

Bishop Thomas Gumbletonby Bishop Thomas Gumbleton
Pax Christi USA Teacher of Peace

When we listen to the Scripture lessons at a Eucharist like this, sometimes as a result of our reflection on those Scriptures, we’re urged to move into our worldly life with some action, try to change something in the world that is not in accord with the reign of God. But today, it’s more that God is calling us not to go out and do some action, but to become more meditative, more reflective — even, we could say, contemplative.

65516-sr-paulaelijahlAnd that’s in the first lesson today, when you find the prophet Elijah fleeing for his life because he has spoken out against the ruler of Israel, and his life is in real danger. He begins a long journey, and a couple of times along the way, he begins to faint and fall by the wayside, but God assists him, and he goes on. Finally, he gets to the Mount of Hora, which is Sinai, where God entered into covenant with God’s people, and there, he finds a cave.

If you were listening, it’s quite amazing how God comes into his presence — how he experiences God — because there’s first the experience of an earthquake, a tremendous disruption of the earth. Then there’s a terrible wind blowing everything away in its path, and then fire. All of these have been signs in the past of the presence of God…

To read this entire article, click here.

FILM: Support the new film being made about Bishop Gumbleton’s life

Pax Christi USA Ambassadors of Peace Bill and Mary Carry will be hosting a fundraising party on September 14 from 3-6pm at their home in support of the film, American Prophetdepicting the life and ministry of Bishop Thomas Gumbleton, a founding member of Pax Christi USA. 

bishopgumbletonYou can help finance this film’s production by Jasmine Rivera, an award-winning director, producer and screenwriter from the Detroit area. This is an opportunity to meet and speak with Ms. Rivera and help bring to life this film which will tell Bishop Gumbleton’s story and depict his dedicated and prophetic life in Detroit and around the world.These funds will help produce a short film which will be shown publicly and be used to promote and facilitate the production of a full length feature.

The gathering will be at the home of Bill & Mary Carry, 2375 Avondale W, Sylvan Lake, MI 48320. If you cannot attend, you make tax deductible donations through checks made out to the film’s fiscal sponsor, Fractured Atlas and sent to the Carry’s address above. 

Click here to see more about the film.

WOMEN RELIGIOUS: Sister acts

by Nicholas Kristof, The NY Times

In an age of villainy, war and inequality, it makes sense that we need
superheroes. And after trying Superman, Batman and Spider-Man, we may
have found the best superheroes yet: Nuns.

816gfg4-j9L“I may not believe in God, but I do believe in nuns,” writes Jo Piazza, in her forthcoming book, “If Nuns Ruled the World.” Piazza is an agnostic living in New York City who began interviewing nuns and
found herself utterly charmed and inspired.

“They eschew the spotlight by their very nature, and yet they’re out there in the world every day, living the Gospel and caring for the poor,” Piazza writes. “They don’t hide behind fancy and expensive vestments, a pulpit, or a sermon. I have never met a nun who rides a Mercedes-Benz or a Cadillac. They walk a lot; they ride bikes.”

One of the most erroneous caricatures of nuns is that they are prim,
Victorian figures cloistered in convents. On the contrary, I’ve become
a huge fan of nuns because I see them so often risking their lives
around the world, confronting warlords, pimps and thugs, while
speaking the local languages fluently. In a selfish world, they
epitomize selflessness and compassion.

There are also plenty of formidable nuns whom even warlords don’t want
to mess with, who combine reverence with ferocity, who defy the Roman
Catholic Church by handing out condoms to prostitutes to protect them
from H.I.V. (They surely don’t mention that to the bishops.)

One of the nuns whom Piazza profiles is Sister Megan Rice. She earned
a graduate degree at Boston College and then moved to Nigeria in 1962
to run a school for girls she had helped establish in a remote area
with no electricity or running water. After eventually returning to
the United States, she began campaigning against nuclear weapons…

Click here to read the entire article.