Category Archives: Regional Events

ON THE LINE: March 2014 edition includes groups trying to repeal the death penalty, raise the minimum wage, stop deportations!

Compiled by Johnny Zokovitch

Each month, “On The Line” features news items and announcements from around the nation featuring Pax Christi members, local groups, regions and partners. These are gleaned from articles in local newspapers, websites, magazines, and elsewhere.

PAX CHRISTI SOUTH DAKOTA MEMBERS WORK FOR REPEAL OF DEATH PENALTY: (from Leona Weiland) As the South Dakota House State Affairs committee met to discuss the death penalty, PC South Dakota members worked on the repeal effort, including circulating this letter to their elected officials: On behalf of five chapters of Pax Christi in South Dakota, we follow Pax Christi USA in stating that we follow the non-violent Jesus. The international Catholic peace movement, from the Latin for “peace of Christ,” began after WWII. We focus on issues central to Gospel values of life, love, truth and justice. In our prayer, study and actions, we respect the gift of life given by God who teaches that all life is sacred, from beginning to natural death. Following the example of Jesus in the Gospels, we commit ourselves to God’s way of caring with compassion, forgiveness, mercy and love. Please note our attached Statement for Repeal of the Death Penalty in our state and the many who have signed in support of it.

PCSD

PC South Dakota members at the Capitol, taken the morning before the Committee Meeting for the Repeal of the Death Penalty. (photo courtesy of Leona Weiland)

PC-NEW JERSEY LEADS IMMIGRANT RIGHTS ACTIONS ON ASH WEDNESDAY: (from NorthJersey.com) With Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty as their backdrop, dozens gathered at Liberty State Park on Wednesday to kickoff a series of vigils, protests and rallies across New Jersey designed to urge the United States government to halt detentions and deportations of immigrants who live illegally in the country.  The events, organized by the Catholic organization Pax Christi New Jersey and scheduled to coincide with Ash Wednesday, came a day after President Obama presented a proposed budget that would set aside additional funds for immigration enforcement. With the 2 millionth deportation looming under the Obama administration, and after Republican lawmakers in the House of Representatives said they will likely not bring immigration reform to a vote this year, advocates acknowledged they face an uphill battle… Read more at http://www.northjersey.com/news/Immigrant_groups_rally_at_liberty_state_park_against_deportations.html

Pax Christi New Jersey members protesting deportations. (photo courtesy of NorthJersey.com)

PC New Jersey members protesting deportations. (photo from NorthJersey.com)

Sr. Karen Nykiel OSB

Sr. Karen Nykiel, OSB of PC Illinois (photo by Tom Cordaro)

PC ILLINOIS MEMBER MODERATES PRESS CONFERENCE FOR RAISING THE MINIMUM WAGE: (by Tom Cordaro) On March 6th, prior to International Women’s Day, seven women religious leaders from Chicago and the Western Suburbs gathered in Naperville, Illinois to call for an increase in the minimum wage. The event was held in conjunction with press events around the country organized by Interfaith Worker Justice – a leader in the fight for economic and worker justice in the U.S. since 1996. Moderating the event was Sr. Karen Nykiel, OSB, a member of Pax Christi Illinois, a chapter of Pax Christi USA, the national Catholic peace movement. Sr. Karen set the context of the event stating, “We are focusing on women at this event because more than 64%– almost two-thirds — of minimum wage workers are women.”… Read more at http://paxchristiusa.org/2014/03/12/regional-event-women-of-faith-call-for-raising-the-minimum-wage/

PC FLORIDA JOINS CLEAN WATER EFFORT: (by Carol Ann Breyer) Citizens  and environmental  activists from around Florida gathered on the steps of the historic Old Capitol in Tallahassee on February 18 to demand legislative action to protect and restore Florida’s  endangered  springs, rivers, and bays. About 200 people attended the gathering for “Florida’s Clean Water Declaration” campaign that was launched last year after toxic algae blooms appeared in the Indian River Lagoon… Six Pax Christi Florida members and supporters from South Central and Southwest Florida were present at the event. Karen Dwyer spoke emphatically about the drilling threat in the Naples area which has been challenged by Pax Christi members. In 2013, Pax Christi participated in the effort to secure signatures for a proposed Constitutional Amendment on Water and Land Conservation that would dedicate finds to acquire and restore Florida conservation and recreation lands.

PCF Council Members, Carol Ann and Lee Breyer (right of podium) at Clean Water Rally at Florida State Capitol. (photo courtesy of PCF).

PCF Council Members, Carol Ann and Lee Breyer (right of podium) at Clean Water Rally at Florida State Capitol. (photo courtesy of PCF).

Upcoming or Ongoing Events:

March 5-15 – Coalition of Immokalee Workers “Now is the Time” tour, http://ciw-online.org/blog/2014/01/time-is-now-schedule/

March 14-16 – Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space conference in Santa Barbara, CA, http://www.space4peace.org/actions/gnconf_2014.htm

March 21-24 – Ecumenical Advocacy Days in Washington, D.C. Theme is “Jesus Weeps: Resisting Violence, Building Peace” with John Dear, http://advocacydays.org/

March 22 – PC Southern California regional assembly, “A Call to Nonviolence: One Year with Pope Francis,” with keynote speaker Ted Smolich, S.J., at Loyola Marymount University, http://www3.paxchristisocal.org/

March 24 – Archbishop Romero assassinated, 1980

March 27 – Vanderhaar Symposium with Malik Yakini in Memphis, TN, http://www.gvanderhaar.org

March 28-29 – Friends of Sabeel North America Conference in Philadelphia, http://www.fosna.org/content/philadelphia-conference-march-28-29-2014

March 29 – PC Michigan State Conference, “Christian Nonviolence: The Great Failure, the Only Hope,” with Fr. Charles Emmanuel McCarthy; at Cristo Rey Parish, Lansing, MI, http://www.paxchristimi.org/#!pcm-2014-annual-conference/c6oh

March 29-30 – PC Florida Annual Retreat, “Nonviolent Resistance” with Jim Douglass, at Dayspring Episcopal Conference Center in Ellenton, FL; http://paxchristiflorida.org/events/

March 30 – PC-New Jersey is co-hosting “Remembering Archbishop Romero” from 2-5pm, at Saint Peter’s University; contact psantoro@saintpeters.edu for more information

March 31 – Cesar Chavez Birthday

April 5-6 – Pax Christi Texas State Conference, “Christian Peacemaker Teams: Peacemaking in Palestine,” followed on the 6th by the regional dialogue at the Dominican Center for Spirituality in Houston, http://paxchristiusa.org/programs/regional-dialogues-2012-13/

April 14-18 – Holy Week Pilgrimage with the Norfolk Catholic Worker and Hampton Roads Pax Christi that will stop at 14 area military bases in the Hampton Roads, VA area, the most militarized place on the planet; contact Steve at williamsbaggarly@gmail.com for more info

May 3 – Regional Dialogue with Pax Christi Metro D.C.-Baltimore, http://paxchristiusa.org/programs/regional-dialogues-2012-13/

Quicklinks:

In tribute to Marie Parmly, long-time Pax Christi USA member who lives in Florida and is celebrating her 90th birthday this year, her friends have set up a special fund in her name, “Tribute to Marie Parmly.” To give to this special fund, go to PCUSA’s “Donate” page and scroll down … In February, PC Los Angeles, PC Orange County, and PC Southern California co-sponsored with Holy Family Parish in South Pasadena a book signing event with John Dear to help launch his new book … Plowshares activist Joe Gump passed away earlier this week. Read the archived article in the Chicago Tribune to learn more about Joe’s actions in the 1980’s. Pax Christi USA gives thanks for Joe’s life and witness! … Support the #LetUsThrough Thunderclap on March 18  in response to the Syrian refugee crisis … John Dear’s father passed away in late February. You can see the obituary here … Check out Pax Christi International’s new blogPax Christi USA’s founding bishop-president, Bishop Thomas Gumbleton, was featured in a column in The Toledo Blade recently … If you have high schoolers, you may be interested that PCUSA member Ellen Finnigan will be teaching a course this summer through Kolbe Academy called “The Hunger Games and Christian nonviolence” … The Coalition of Immokalee Workers are touring through some Pax Christi-rich states over the next few days. Check out the tour info and join them if you can … Pax Christi International’s March 2014 newsletter is online … See more local and regional updates in the Fall 2013 edition of The Peace Current

REGIONAL EVENT: Women of faith call for raising the minimum wage

Tom Cordaroby Tom Cordaro
Pax Christi USA Ambassador of Peace

On March 6th, prior to International Women’s Day, seven women religious leaders from Chicago and the Western Suburbs gathering in Naperville, Illinois to call for an increase in the minimum wage.  The event was held in conjunction with press events around the country organized by Interfaith Worker Justice – a leader in the fight for economic and worker justice in the U.S. since 1996.

Moderating the event was Sr. Karen Nykiel, OSB, a member of Pax Christi Illinois, a chapter of Pax Christi USA, the national Catholic peace movement. Sr, Karen set the context of the event stating, “We are focusing on women at this event because more than 64%– almost two-thirds — of minimum wage workers are women.”

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She went on to explain why this event was being held in a wealthy suburban city like Naperville, “Raising the minimum wage is not only an issue of importance in poor urban or rural communities in our nation. It is an important issue in communities like Naperville. Census figures show that poverty is growing at a faster rate in the suburbs then it is in urban areas. “

The first speaker, Rev. Elizabeth Bowes from the Glen Ellyn First United Methodist Church, began with a short history of the struggle to create the minimum wage in 1938 and how religious leaders from all faiths were united in that struggle. What these faith leaders had in common was that “they valued human dignity and thus desired to create a labor system that valued workers and treated them with fairness and respect.”

To illustrate how much value the minimum wage has lost over the years Rev. Bowes stated, “In 1968 when the minimum wages was $1.60/ hour you and your family of four could purchase an entire fast-food meal for one hour of work. Today at $7.25/hour – one hour of work can only buy one person a burrito at Chipotle or three cups of coffee from Starbuck’s.”

The next speaker was Sr. Kathleen Desautels, SP, from the 8th Day Center for Justice located in Chicago. The foundress of Kathleen’s community, St. Mother Theodore Guerin, had a strong commitment to raising the status of women in America. As Mother Guerin once stated, “Women in this country are only ¼ of the family. I hope, through the influence of religion and education that she will eventually become ½ – the better half.” Kathleen pointed out that “nearly 175 years latter women still only earn 77% of what men earn for same work.”

As important it is to raise the minimum wage, Sr. Kathleen reminded everyone, “The minimum wage is only a start, what we need is living wage. That is why the 8th Day Center for Justice has been involved in the campaign to raise the minimum wage in Chicago to $15/hour. Do we need an increase in the minimum wage? Absolutely! But let’s not stop there. Let’s continue the struggle for a living wage for every worker. ”

Rev. Emmy Lou Belcher, pastor of the Du Page Unitarian Universalist Church spoke about her own experience with helping those who work minimum wage jobs. “The church tries to help, but the needs far outweigh the resources available. We should not treat human beings this way. This is not in line with America’s concept of fairness.”

Drawing from her own personal story Rev. Belcher stated, “After World War II my family survived on benefits from the GI Bill my father received. These benefits allowed my family to enter the middle class and gave us the opportunity to get a college education. Everyone deserves the same kind of opportunity to succeed.”

Sr. Mary Kay Flanagan, OSF, also of 8th Day Center, made the connection between raising the minimum wage and the works of mercy, “To feed the hungry, clothe the naked, to care for the sick and to bury the dead; all of these needs are the consequence of the lack of economic security in the lives of our brothers and sisters. Providing people with a living wage is a way to fulfill the works of mercy.”

The Rev. Lisa Telomen, from Grace United Methodist Church in Naperville also made the link between the struggle for raising the minimum wage and her Christian faith, “Looking at the life and teachings of Jesus it is clear that insuring that every person has enough to eat, that they have adequate shelter and clothing and that they have access to affordable health care is part of what it means to be a disciple.”

Sr. Dorothy Pagosa, SSJ-TOSF from 8th Day Center spoke about volunteering at a homeless shelter for women, “I was shocked to learn that part of my responsibilities was to wake some women up earlier so they could get ready for work. Their minimum wage jobs did not enable them to afford rent at any level. For most apartments you need first and last month’s rent as well as the regular rent payment. Let’s not forget utilities, food and clothes.”

Sister Dorothy also spoke about the grotesque salaries paid to many CEOs, “There seems to be no outcry from Congress when CEOs get increases in their salaries. There seems to be no concern that the cost of these huge salaries will get passed on to consumers in the form of higher prices or that these huge payouts will make it harder for companies to create more jobs.”

Dorothy took aim at Rep. Paul Ryan’s approach to welfare, “He says his ideas are in line with Catholic Social Teaching; but he is reading a very different version than I read. As Pope Francis stated, ‘While the earnings of a minority are growing exponentially, so too is the gap separating the majority from the prosperity enjoyed by those happy few. This imbalance is the result of ideologies which defend the absolute autonomy of the marketplace and financial speculation.’”

The last speaker was Sr. Gwen Farry, BVM, from 8th Day Center. Sister Gwen shared about the different ways members of her community were working to increase the minimum wage in Springfield and in Washington DC. Speaking to the value of raising the minimum wage Gwen stated, “If the Gap can pay $10/hour to its employees why can’t others do the same? Even the Gap understands that raising the minimum wage is good for business. The fabulously wealthy do not create jobs; customers create jobs. The minimum wage puts more money in the pockets of consumers and that spending creates jobs.”

Speaking for everyone on the panel Sister Gwen ended by stating the moral imperative of this struggle, “No one working 40 hours a week should have to live in poverty.”

REGIONAL EVENT: Women call for raise in the minimum wage

Women Clergy, Workers and Community Leaders:
Raising the Minimum Wage Is a Women’s Issue
Celebrating International Women’s Day with a Call for Higher Wages

raise-minimum-wage-180Naperville, IL – On Thursday, March 6, at 1 p.m., a group of women faith and community leaders will come together to amplify the call for an increase in the federal minimum wage. Representing different groups, the women leaders will host a press conference in celebration of International Women’s Day and in honor of all the women who make up about two-thirds of our nation’s minimum wage earners.

Like many minimum wage earners across the country, DuPage county minimum wage workers struggle to pay for basic needs like rent and food, and are often forced to rely on charity and government assistance to make ends meet.

A minimum wage earner would have to work 98 hours per week or more than two full-time jobs to be able to afford a two-bedroom apartment. The poverty rate in DuPage County has grown to 6.5 percent in 2009 from 3.6 percent a decade earlier.

An increase in the minimum wage will improve the quality of life and provide access to basic resources to workers in low-wage jobs that are disproportionately filled by women.

WHAT:  Women workers, worker advocates, faith and community leaders host a press conference on the push for an increase in the federal minimum wage.

WHO:

  • The Rev. Elizabeth Bowes, Glen Ellyn First United Methodist Church
  • Sister Kathleen Desautels, SP, 8th Day Center – Chicago
  • The Rev. Emmy Lou Belcher, Du Page Unitarian Universalist Church
  • Sister Mary Kay Flanagan, OSF, 8th Day Center – Chicago
  • The Rev. Lisa Telomen, Grace United Methodist Church
  • Sister Dorothy Pagosa, SSJ-TOSF, 8th Day Center – Chicago
  • Sister Gwen Farry, BVM, 8th Day Center – Chicago

WHEN: Thursday, March 6th, 1 p.m. CST

WHERE: St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church, 1450 Green Trails Dr., Naperville, IL

CONTACT: Tom Cordaro, 630-369-0777 / cordarotom@gmail.com

This event will be streamed live at http://www.youtube.com/user/IWJNational.

ON THE LINE: February 2014 edition includes campaign against gun violence, NCR interview, Vow of Nonviolence, and more

Compiled by Johnny Zokovitch

Each month, “On The Line” features news items and announcements from around the nation featuring Pax Christi members, local groups, regions and partners. These are gleaned from articles in local newspapers, websites, magazines, and elsewhere.

PC LONG ISLAND (NY) INITIATES CAMPAIGN AGAINST GUN VIOLENCE: (by Sr. Rosalie Carven) After the shooting at Sandy Hook elementary school, some members of Pax Christi Long Island met to consider how to respond to the prevalence of gun deaths, not only recurring mass shootings but also the 30 gun deaths that happen each day in our nation—homicides, suicides and accidental shootings. The nonviolent ethic of Pax Christi conditioned us to embrace a particular perspective on this tragedy: not to react in the belief that individuals and communities find personal and public security at the end of gun barrel. So a small committee of the Pax Christi Long Island council began a campaign to educate and encourage communities on Long Island to seek sensible gun regulations. The InSight Campaign to End Gun Violence was born… Read more at http://paxchristiusa.org/2014/02/12/regional-news-pax-christi-long-island-initiates-insight-campaign-to-end-gun-violence/

PC-LI's December 8 interfaith service at St. Martha’s Parish in Uniondale. It was arranged  to commemorate the 20th anniversary of a lone gunman’s rampage on the Long Island Rail Road, in which six people died, and the first anniversary of the mass murder at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, which took the lives of 20 children and six staff members. The speaker is Det. Steven McDonald of the New York Police Department. While McDonald was on patrol in New York’s Central Park in 1986, a 15-year-old boy shot him and left him paralyzed. He has since become an eloquent advocate of forgiveness.

Det. Steven McDonald of the NY Police Department, shot in Central Park in 1986 by a 15-year-old boy, speaks on forgiveness at PC-LI’s interfaith service at St. Martha’s Parish in Uniondale. The service commemorated the 20th anniversary of a gunman’s rampage on the Long Island Rail Road, in which six people died, and the first anniversary of the mass murder at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Ct.

PC SEATTLE MEMBERS TAKE VOW OF NONVIOLENCE WITH ARCHBISHOP: (from Louise McDonald, CSJ) On Friday, January 17, 2014, twelve members of Pax Christi USA from the Seattle area made a Vow of Nonviolence at the 5:30 PM Liturgy at St. James Cathedral. Archbishop J. Peter Sartain, who presided, welcomed the group to commit themselves to the journey of peacemaking through the nonviolence of Jesus. The group made their vow while holding lighted candles symbolizing Christ as the Light of the World. Pax Christi Central Seattle members had prepared for this step by making a day-long retreat last fall led by Sr. Kathleen Pruitt, CSJP, Pax Christi USA Ambassador of Peace. Deacon Dennis Duffell stated “it was fitting that we members of Pax Christi were able to profess a Vow of Nonviolence on the weekend honoring the life and work of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a man of nonviolence.”  Eugene Underwood, the Coordinator of the Pax Christi Pacific Northwest Region remarked that “we were pleased that Archbishop Sartain was able to preside and Fr. Michael G. Ryan, pastor of St. James Cathedral, to concelebrate. That made the event very meaningful.” And Emily E.B. Meyer, co-coordinator of Pax Christi Central Seattle reflected that “it was a peace-filled evening standing together in the candlelight, strengthening each other for a year of active peacemaking.” Read more at http://www.stjames-cathedral.org/Events/2014/album-paxchristi.aspx

Members of Pax Christi in Seattle take the Vow of Nonviolence with Archbishop Sartain on MLK Day. (Photo by Maria Laughlin)

Members of Pax Christi in Seattle take the Vow of Nonviolence with Archbishop Sartain on MLK Day. (Photo by Maria Laughlin)

Mary and Nick Eoloff

Mary and Nick Eoloff

PC MINNESOTA MEMBER FEATURED IN NCR FOR HER WORK FOR PEACE: (from National Catholic Reporter) The interview below was conducted by Sr. Camille D’Arienzo for her “Conversations with Sr. Camille” feature on the National Catholic Reporter’s website. This interview is with Mary Eoloff, a long-time member of Pax Christi USA living in St. Paul, MN. Q: Can you recall an event or situation that gave direction to your life? A: I believe three events were life-changing for me. My senior English teacher, Sister Marion, insisted I go to college (a first in my family), and I graduated from the College of St. Catherine (now St. Catherine University). The second event was the Second Vatican Council, which changed me forever. It gave me permission to think for myself. Before the council, I had been a very obedient member of a rules-oriented church. The third event was President Jimmy Carter’s reinstatement of the draft in 1980… Read the entire interview at http://paxchristiusa.org/2014/02/05/interview-advocate-for-peace-feels-the-spirit-in-every-breath/

PC METRO NEW YORK PARTICIPATES IN PANEL ON THE LEGACY OF MANDELA: (by Rosemarie Pace) I never know what I’m going to hear when I pick up the phone or check messages at Pax Christi Metro New York. This time it was a man named Gordon Tapper from the United Nations asking to have someone from Pax Christi speak at an Interfaith Harmony Forum at the UN on Friday, February 7th. He wanted a representative of Pax Christi to address the Christian perspective on the theme of “Tolerance, Forgiveness, and Reconciliation in recognition of Nelson Mandela”. Immediately, I thought this is something someone from the Pax Christi International NGO Team should do. Surely one of them would be more appropriate and articulate than I on the topic and in that setting. At first, one of the members of the NGO Team agreed to take on the challenge, though she admitted she wasn’t comfortable with public speaking and thought I was the more appropriate person to present. I still hesitated until I learned more about the request. Ultimately, I agreed to accept the invitation. I thought it would be a good experience for me and a good opportunity for Pax Christi… Read more at http://www.nypaxchristi.org/KeruxLive.html

PCUSA NATIONAL COUNCIL MEETING NOTES: (from Sr. Patty Chappell, SNDdeN, PCUSA Executive Director, and Sr. Josie Chrosniak, HM, PCUSA National Council Chair) On the weekend of January 23rd-26th, the Pax Christi USA National Council met for its bi-annual gathering at the PCUSA National Office in Washington, D.C. Ten members of the Council, along with the staff, were present. The following includes glimpses of actions taken by the National Council… To read more, go to http://paxchristiusa.org/2014/02/10/news-report-to-membership-from-the-january-2014-national-council-meeting/

Members of the council and staff, with two regional representatives and two members of PCART, at the planning day with Crossroads.

Members of the council and staff, with two regional representatives and two members of PCART, at the planning day with Crossroads.

PAX CHRISTI USA ENDORSES THE CAMPAIGN NONVIOLENCE: (from Sr. Patty Chappell, SNDdeN) Pax Christi USA has endorsed Campaign Nonviolence that is being circulated through Pace e Bene. This campaign is certainly in keeping with PCUSA’s spirituality of nonviolence and peacemaking along with our other initiatives. The more our organizations can assist in connecting the dots between poverty, militarism, racism and the environment, the better off our world will be. I call your attention to the Pace e Bene website where you will find a wealth of information along with concrete actions to support the Campaign… Read more and consider becoming a promoter with the Campaign: http://paxchristiusa.org/2014/02/03/nonviolence-pax-christi-usa-endorses-the-campaign-nonviolence/

PC MEMPHIS PARTICIPATES IN DAY OF DISCERNMENT: (from PCUSA Ambassador of Peace Janice Vanderhaar) In order for Pax Christi Memphis to remain relevant and effective in our work for a nonviolent and just world, we engaged in a daylong process entitled “Honoring the Past, Welcoming the Future,” led by Mary Jo Greil, President of the Carson Greil Group and organizational change consultant.  Our purpose was to revitalize our mission and create a path for our future. The day was exhilarating, energizing, spirit-filled and enlightening.

Pax Christi Memphis participates in a day of discernment for their group.

Pax Christi Memphis participates in a day of discernment for their group.

Upcoming or Ongoing Events:

February 28-March 2 – PC Metro New York’s Annual Retreat with Sr. Kathleen Deignan, CND at the St. Joseph’s Renewal Center in Brentwood, Long Island; http://www.nypaxchristi.org/events.html

March 1 – PCUSA National Council election nominations due, http://paxchristiusa.org/2014/01/14/national-council-nominations-now-being-sought-for-pax-christi-usa-national-council-elections-4/

March 5 – Ash Wednesday

March 5 – Ash Wednesday leafleting with PC Metro New York from 12-1pm at St. Patrick’s Cathedral; http://www.nypaxchristi.org/events.html

March 5-15 – Coalition of Immokalee Workers “Now is the Time” tour, http://ciw-online.org/blog/2014/01/time-is-now-schedule/

March 9 – PC New Jersey will be cosponsoring an event with author and educator Paul K. Chappell, in Stirling, NJ; email cbush@stshrine.org for more info

March 14-16 – Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space conference in Santa Barbara, CA, http://www.space4peace.org/actions/gnconf_2014.htm

March 21-24 – Ecumenical Advocacy Days in Washington, D.C. Theme is “Jesus Weeps: Resisting Violence, Building Peace” with John Dear, http://advocacydays.org/

March 22 – PC Southern California regional assembly, “A Call to Nonviolence: One Year with Pope Francis,” with keynote speaker Ted Smolich, S.J., at Loyola Marymount University, http://www3.paxchristisocal.org/

March 24 – Archbishop Romero assassinated, 1980

March 28-29 – Friends of Sabeel North America Conference in Philadelphia, http://www.fosna.org/content/philadelphia-conference-march-28-29-2014

March 29 – PC Michigan State Conference, “Christian Nonviolence: The Great Failure, the Only Hope,” with Fr. Charles Emmanuel McCarthy; at Cristo Rey Parish, Lansing, MI, http://www.paxchristimi.org/#!pcm-2014-annual-conference/c6oh

March 29-30 – PC Florida Annual Retreat, “Nonviolent Resistance” with Jim Douglass, at Dayspring Episcopal Conference Center in Ellenton, FL; http://paxchristiflorida.org/events/

March 31 – Cesar Chavez Birthday

April 5-6 – Pax Christi Texas State Conference, “Christian Peacemaker Teams: Peacemaking in Palestine,” followed on the 6th by the regional dialogue at the Dominican Center for Spirituality in Houston, http://paxchristiusa.org/programs/regional-dialogues-2012-13/

April 14-18 – Holy Week Pilgrimage with the Norfolk Catholic Worker and Hampton Roads Pax Christi that will stop at 14 area military bases in the Hampton Roads, VA area, the most militarized place on the planet; contact Steve at williamsbaggarly@gmail.com for more info

May 3 – Regional Dialogue with Pax Christi Metro D.C.-Baltimore, http://paxchristiusa.org/programs/regional-dialogues-2012-13/

Quicklinks:

Dr. Arland Jacobson spoke recently on the topic of “Humiliation as a Source of Conflict” to the Fargo-Moorhead (ND) Pax Christi group and guests. His presentation was based on his article “The Role of Humiliation in International Conflict,” published in the fall issue of the Northern Plains Ethics Journal … Pax Christi USA will be moving to a new location in Washington, D.C. beginning March 1 … PC Indianapolis member Fran Quigley wrote this excellent article on efforts regarding immigration reform in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis and other local congregations … PC members in Amarillo (TX) recently hosted “The Soldier and the Refusenik: Two Israelis. Two Choices. One Conclusion”. They highly recommend other PC groups consider hosting this extraordinary presentation …  PC Richmond (VA) hosted a special World Day of Peace Mass on New Year’s Eve which included a special remembrance of Bishop Walter Sullivan … PC El Paso (TX) recently hosted the film “Brother Outsider” on civil rights activist Bayard Rustin … A new e-booklet for small group discussion on Pacem in Terris’ 50th anniversary is available as a free download from the PCUSA website … PC Minnesota member Steve Clemens contributed this article to the Twin Cities Daily Planet on the frac sand trial in which he was a defendant … PC St. Jude (GA) participated in the Archdiocese of Atlanta’s Justice and Peace Expo earlier this month … Pax Christi Metro New York wrote a moving reflection on Pete Seeger following his death last month … There will be a “gathering of hope” on Feb. 17 in Knoxville for the Transform Now Plowshares. The sentencing phase of their trial is set for Feb. 18 … Pax Christi International’s February 2014 newsletter is online … See more local and regional updates in the Fall 2013 edition of The Peace Current

ON THE LINE: January 2014 edition highlights local group and regional events

Compiled by Johnny Zokovitch

Each month, “On The Line” features news items and announcements from around the nation featuring Pax Christi members, local groups, regions and partners. These are gleaned from articles in local newspapers, websites, magazines, and elsewhere.

PC MICHIGAN HOSTS RETREAT FOCUSING ON WATER: (by Carol Jachim) As Pax Christi people we stand for peace and nonviolence. Simplistically, against war and weapons. Yet, there are different levels of violence, besides the use and manufacture of guns and other weapons to denounce, that perhaps one hasn’t thought about. Pollution is one form of violence and the damage it does to our earth’s waters – lakes, oceans, streams, rivers, etc., besides the water used for drinking, bathing and  recreation. The 19th Annual Pax Christi Michigan Retreat focused on refreshing oneself … and that we did with the presence of wonderful people who truly care about each other, about promoting peace and nonviolence, and demonstrating a commitment to nonviolent ways in our lives… Read more at http://paxchristiusa.org/2014/01/10/regional-event-pc-michigans-fall-2013-retreat-water-as-a-source-of-life/

PC Michigan members gather for their annual retreat this past fall.

PC Michigan members gather for their annual retreat this past fall.

SUPPORT THE TRANSFORM NOW PLOWSHARES: (from John Amidon) You can make a huge difference in the lives of three innocent people by signing a petition. Sr. Megan Rice, Michael Walli (PC Metro DC-Baltimore’s Peacemaker of the Year) and Greg Boertje-Obed are facing up to 30 years in prison  for a nonviolent protest of  Y-12, a nuclear facility in Oak Ridge TN. They were working to rid the world of nuclear weapons, something we must do if we want our children to have a future. If you oppose nuclear weapons and if you dislike the idea of innocent people in prison please sign this petition. Sign the petition before the January 28th sentencing date at http://act.rootsaction.org/p/dia/action3/common/public/index?action_KEY=9007&start=25

Police seek to remove a protester at the Elizabeth (NJ) Detention Center. Protesters, including Diana Mejia--who was arrested for civil disobedience--and other PC New Jersey members, were advocating for the rights of immigrants

Police seek to remove a protester at the Elizabeth (NJ) Detention Center. Protesters, including Diana Mejia–who was arrested for civil disobedience–and other PC New Jersey members, were advocating for the rights of immigrants.

PAX CHRISTI IN ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS? ONLY IN NEW YORK! (by Rosemarie Pace) It started with a phone call. Maureen Blaine, Principal of St. Leo’s Elementary School in Corona, Queens, had a question:  Was it possible to have a Pax Christi group in an elementary school? I told her honestly that I didn’t know of any, but I certainly loved the idea. With my own professional background in elementary education, I firmly believe in Mahatma Gandhi’s famous quote: “If we are ever to have real peace in this world, we shall have to begin with the children.” Maureen agrees. She has the same quote posted in her office. Thus began Pax Christi at St. Leo’s Elementary School… To read this whole article in the Winter 2014 edition of Kerux, go to http://www.nypaxchristi.org/Documents/KeruxWinter2014.pdf

NOMINATIONS FOR PCUSA NATIONAL COUNCIL BEING SOUGHT: Pax Christi USA has begun the nominating procedures for this year’s National Council elections. If you would like to nominate someone as a candidate for the election to Pax Christi USA’s National Council, you can download and fill out the form located on the website. Forms must be postmarked by March 1, 2014. For more info, go to http://paxchristiusa.org/2014/01/14/national-council-nominations-now-being-sought-for-pax-christi-usa-national-council-elections-4/

PCUSA AMBASSADOR OF PEACE JOHN DEAR LEAVES THE JESUITS: (from the Santa Fe New Mexican) John Dear, a peace activist and Jesuit priest who led peaceful protests at Los Alamos commemorating the anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, for many years and served as pastor at a number of Northern New Mexico parishes in the early 2000s, was dismissed from the religious order last month for being “obstinately disobedient.” In his National Catholic Reporter column, posted to his website Tuesday, Dear wrote, “This week, with a heavy heart, I am officially leaving the Jesuits after 32 years. After three years of discernment, I’m leaving because the Society of Jesus in the U.S. has changed so much since I entered in 1982 and because my Jesuit superiors have tried so hard over the decades to stop my work for peace.”… Read more at http://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/local_news/jesuits-dismiss-peace-activist-known-for-demonstrating-at-lanl/article_9a0b4a95-13fc-5767-be34-b27fe62ee26a.html. Read John’s column in NCR at http://ncronline.org/blogs/road-peace/leaving-jesuits-after-32-years

PC New Mexico's Hiroshima Day Action

PCUSA Ambassador of Peace John Dear (center) leads members of PC New Mexico at their annual Sackcloth and Ashes Vigil outside Los Alamos National Laboratories.

PC ILLINOIS PARTICIPATES IN WORLD DAY OF PEACE INTERFAITH SERVICE: (by Tom Cordaro) The ninth annual World Peace Day Interfaith Prayer Service took place on Wednesday, January 1st in Naperville. This annual tradition was initiated by Pax Christi Illinois. This year’s theme was “Embracing Differences in Our Changing Community.” The service included participation from Muslim, Buddhist, Christian, Jewish, Baha’i, Hindu and Sikh communities as well as Unitarian Universalists, Christian Scientists and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. “We hope that by our coming together in the cause of peace, mutual respect and in celebration of our rich diversity we can build a stronger sense of community in Naperville and DuPage County,” organizer Tom Cordaro stated. He went on to say, “Every year we get more faith communities participating in this event. It shows that most people believe religious diversity is an asset in our community that makes us stronger and vibrant.”

Upcoming or Ongoing Events:

January 1-31 – January is Poverty Awareness Month, http://www.usccb.org/about/catholic-campaign-for-human-development/povertyusa/upload/poverty-awareness-month-calendar.pdf

January 18 – PC Memphis Day of Discernment, 9am to 3pm at the University of Memphis Catholic Center on Mynders Ave.; contact Terry Hash at terez58@aol.com or 849-0983 or Janice Vanderhaar at gvanderh@earthlink.net or 362-9364 for additional information or to register

January 26 – Peacemaking through the Arts: “Luke Live!” with PC-Metro New York Board member,  Fr. James DiLuzio, CSP. “Luke Live!” is a dramatic proclamation of the Gospel of Luke interspersed with Song Meditations, highlighting the peace and justice components in Luke’s Gospel. At St. Joseph’s Greenwich Village Church from 2:30 to 4:30pm.

February 28-March 2 – PC Metro New York’s Annual Retreat with Sr. Kathleen Deignan, CND at the St. Joseph’s Renewal Center in Brentwood, Long Island; http://www.nypaxchristi.org/events.html

March 1 – PCUSA National Council election nominations due, http://paxchristiusa.org/2014/01/14/national-council-nominations-now-being-sought-for-pax-christi-usa-national-council-elections-4/

March 5 – Ash Wednesday

March 5 – Ash Wednesday leafleting with PC Metro New York from 12-1pm at St. Patrick’s Cathedral; http://www.nypaxchristi.org/events.html

March 29 – PC Michigan State Conference, “Christian Nonviolence: The Great Failure, the Only Hope,” with Fr. Charles Emmanuel McCarthy; at Cristo Rey Parish, Lansing, MI, http://www.paxchristimi.org/#!pcm-2014-annual-conference/c6oh

March 29-30 – PC Florida Annual Retreat, “Nonviolent Resistance” with Jim Douglass, at Dayspring Episcopal Conference Center in Ellenton, FL; http://paxchristiflorida.org/events/

April 14-18 – Holy Week Pilgrimage with the Norfolk Catholic Worker and Hampton Roads Pax Christi that will stop at 14 area military bases in the Hampton Roads, VA area, the most militarized place on the planet; contact Steve at williamsbaggarly@gmail.com for more info

Quicklinks:

Check out the YouTube video of the protest at the Elizabeth Detention Center in which PC New Jersey members participated, including Diana Mejia, who was arrested … PC Texas leader David Atwood recently had a new book published, “My Search for the Beloved Community”PC Indianapolis meets every third Sunday at 7pm at Marian University in St. Francis Hall, room #163 … For the MLK Holiday, check out PCUSA’s Peacemaker Booklet on MLKThomas Cleary, a former priest who was active with Pax Christi Richmond and a passionate advocate for peace and justice, passed away late in 2013 … Members of PC South Dakota had a letter to the editor against the death penalty published in their local paper … Follow Blue Water (MI) PC leader Mike McCarthy’s blog, Pax VobiscumPax Christi International’s January 2014 newsletter is online … See more local and regional updates in the Fall 2013 edition of The Peace Current

REGIONAL EVENT: PC-Michigan’s Fall 2013 retreat – Water as a source of life

by Carol Jachim
Pax Christi Michigan State Council member

waterAs Pax Christi people we stand for peace and nonviolence.  Simplistically,  against war and weapons. Yet, there are different levels of violence, besides the use and manufacture of guns and other weapons to denounce,  that perhaps one hasn’t thought about. Pollution is one form of violence and the damage it does to our earth’s waters – lakes, oceans, streams, rivers, etc., besides the water used for drinking, bathing and  recreation.

The 19th Annual PCM Retreat focused on refreshing oneself … and that we did with the presence of wonderful people who truly care about each other, about promoting peace and nonviolence, and demonstrating a commitment to nonviolent ways in our lives.

Sr. Sue Schreiber, an Adrian Dominican sister and life-long supporter and member of PCM, this year’s wonderfully inspiring PCM retreat director, encouraged awareness of water and its key to life and the environment. With her calm and soothing manner, voice, expertise, talents, skills and knowledge,  attendees listened as she asked participants to examine how water affects their daily lives. Participants sat in a circle at the Ralph A. MacMullan Conference Center on Higgins Lake in Roscommon.

“Water is a sacred source of life,” Sue says. “We’re on a journey to refresh ourselves.”

And so … with Sr. Sue’s excellent presentation, using music, video, and words, she helped all present to continue to understand the meaning of personal commitment to peace. “Bad water is the number one killer in the world. We must save not only the Great Lakes, but our earth from nuclear waste … there is a movement to preserve our water,”  she says. “Be conscious of the water you use.”

The 23 retreat participants examined the joy of water; stories emerged of water’s affect in  personal lives… thoughts of swimming, bathing, drinking, watching the stillness of the lake nearby, skating on frozen water, cooking with water, etc. There was encouragement to offer compassionate care for water and avoid taking it for granted or wasting it. Some walk daily a great distance to obtain the water they need.

Sr. Sue reminded attendees of many images of water in the Bible and stressed  re-reading the Book of Genesis. Rivers are near and a part of everyone. Various rivers and lakes in and around Michigan were named. All joined to sing River of Jordan by Peter Yarrow … “I traveled the banks of the River of Jordan; To find where it flows to the sea; I looked in the eyes of the cold and the hungry; and I saw I was looking at me …”

Retreats tend to refresh, but this retreat did more than that … the realization that “we” were a family of individuals coming together to connect and gain strength from each other for the ongoing journey. Together through songs, prayers, meditations, sharing, walks, presentations, nurturing, laughs … participants took moments to feel grateful, and be thankful and inspired.

It was a calming weekend getaway from a world so full of chaos, despair, destruction, violence, busy lifestyles. Light rain fell a bit on Saturday; it was welcomed. Strolls to the lake front were peaceful; hikes on the trails were invigorating. Looking at colorful leaves among so many beautiful trees gave a sense of peace. God painted a gorgeous fall in Michigan, and no doubt smiled on Pax Christi.