Category Archives: Regional Events

REGIONAL NEWS: Pax Christi Illinois brings together interfaith community for 10th Annual World Peace Day Prayer Service

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On January 1st Pax Christi Illinois joined with diverse faith communities from the Western Suburbs for an annual World Peace Day Interfaith Prayer Service. This year marks the 10th anniversary of this interfaith event that began as a project of local Pax Christi groups. The service will include participation from Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Baha’i and Christian faith communities.  The event was attended by over 200 people.

Theme ImageThe theme for the service was, “Sparking Courage in an Age of Fear” and the goal of this service was to awaken our capacity for empathy, compassion and trust in order to create peace in our community and around the world. Keynote speaker, Tom Cordaro, a Pax Christi USA Ambassador of Peace, summed up the 10 years of interfaith work in this way:

“For ten years we have been gathering at the start of the year to rededicate ourselves to the work of interfaith collaboration and mutual support. For ten years we have kindled the flame of mutual respect in celebration of our wonderful religious diversity. For ten years we have given public witness to the idea that there is more that united us than divides us.  And for ten years we have gathered to remind ourselves and to remind all those with ears to hear and eyes to see; that peace is possible and that true religion can be a force for peace with justice.”

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Here is the complete speech, “We’ve Come This Far by Faith: 10 Years of World Peace Day Interfaith Prayer Service,” given by Tom Cordaro, Pax Christi USA Ambassador of Peace, at the event:

WPD 2015 #7

Today marks the 10th time this interfaith community has gathered on the first day of the new year to raise our voices for peace in our local community, in our nation and throughout the world.

For ten years we have been gathering at the start of the year to rededicate ourselves to the work of interfaith collaboration and mutual support. For ten years we have kindled the flame of mutual respect in celebration of our wonderful religious diversity. For ten years we have given public witness to the idea that there is more that united us than divides us.  And for ten years we have gathered to remind ourselves and to remind all those with ears to hear and eyes to see; that peace is possible and that true religion can be a force for peace with justice.

WPD 2015 #5In the 10 years since we began these annual services, our interfaith community has grown stronger and the bonds between us have become deeper.  Through mutual prayer, dialogues, meals and celebrations we have become family.

Beginning in 2012, our interfaith community has hosted a number of dialogues on topics related to faith and spirituality. The next interfaith dialogue will take place February 13. If you are interested in being on the email contact list for these interfaith dialogues, sign up after the service in the lobby at the One Naperville Project table.

Another example of how our interfaith community has grown is the Women of Faith for Justice Group that brings together women from all faiths to share their struggles to build a more just world where all of God’s children can live in peace and grow to their fullest human potential. You can learn more about this group by visiting their information table in the lobby after this service.

In addition to the formation of these interfaith groups there have been numerous dinners and exchanges between various faith communities throughout DuPage County. And when necessary we have stood together to protect and defend each other; whether it be in response to physical attacks on our places of worship or in response to the reluctance of local governments to allow the building or expansion of our places of worship.

It is precisely because we are no longer strangers to each other  that no demagogue – religious or political – can come into this community preaching hate or seeking to divide us against each other. If one of us is attacked, all of us are wounded. If one faith community is disenfranchised or discriminated against, all of our communities are dishonored.

The theme of this 10th anniversary service is “Sparking Courage in an Age of Fear.” Our Spark comes from the inner conviction planted in each of our hearts by the divine source of all love and mercy and nurtured by our diverse faith traditions. Our Courage comes from the bonds of fellowship, respect, solidarity and commitment that we have for each other and with each other. This courage enables us resist all those forces in our world that would set us against each other or set us against any who are in any way “different.”

The reflections that you will hear following my remarks speak to our theme and the work required to build a world of peace with justice. You will be treated to song, sacred texts, chants, recitations and reflections from many faith traditions that are seldom heard in our dominant culture.

I invite you to open your hearts to what you hear; let it flow over you and within you, even if you find it difficult to understand. Embrace, not only the words, but the spirit in which the words are given and take joy in the knowledge that God is being praised.

REGIONAL EVENT: PC Illinois co-hosts interfaith prayer service on January 1

Tom Cordaroby Tom Cordaro
Pax Christi USA Ambassador of Peace

The Naperville, Illinois inter-faith community will be holding its 10th annual World Peace Day Interfaith Prayer Service on Thursday, January 1st at 2:30 pm in the Wentz Concert Hall on the Campus of North Central College in Naperville. This annual event was started by Pax Christi Illinois.

The theme for the service will be, “Sparking Courage in an Age of Fear.”  Tom Cordaro, a Pax Christi USA Ambassador of Peace and one of the event organizers stated, “The goal of this service is to awaken our capacity for empathy, compassion and trust in order to create peace in our community and around the world.”

Click here to see the flyer.

The service will include participation from Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Baha’i and Christian faith communities in the Naperville area. All people of good will are welcome to participate.

ON THE LINE: December 2014 edition highlights members and groups across the nation

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. 

VOTE FOR MARIE DENNIS FOR THE PUBLIC PEACE PRIZE BY TOMORROW NOON: Pax Christi International Co-President Marie Dennis is a candidate for the 2015 Public Peace Prize. Her profile appears on the PPP web site, Facebook and Twitter accounts through December 17 at noon, and they’ll be counting the number of visits to her page as well as “Likes” and “retweets”. Go to this link to find out how you can vote for Marie: http://publicpeaceprize.org/marie-dennis/

Pax Christi International Co-President meets with Pope Francis in October at the Vatican.

Pax Christi International Co-President meets with Pope Francis in October 2014 at the Vatican.

PAX CHRISTI MEMBERS IN SOUTH DAKOTA HOLD 6TH TAKE BACK THE SITE VIGIL: (from The Argus Leader) A group of about a dozen people huddled in a circle on the wilted grass of Sabrina White’s apartment to remember and mourn their loss. “We’re here because this is a site where violence has struck one more time in our city,” Harold Christensen of Pax Christi said. “I’m sorry for that.” They sang “Amazing Grace” while covering their lit candles to keep the bitterly cold wind from blowing them out. Twice, they paused for silent moments of remembrance, each lasting about a minute. They reflected on the violent incident that took place inside White’s residence and hoped for change. Many of the people attending the vigil sponsored by the Southeastern South Dakota chapter of Pax Christi outside the duplex where White lived at 523 S. Western Ave. didn’t know her long… Read more at http://www.argusleader.com/story/news/crime/2014/12/04/vigil-murder-victim-held-tonight/19883307/

PAX CHRISTI METRO NY COORDINATOR INTERVIEWED IN NCR: (from NCR) Sr. Camille (asks PCMNY Coordinator Rosemarie Pace): You have been the face and energy of Pax Christi Metro for 14 years. What brought you into this arena? Rosemarie Pace: I don’t remember when I read in The Tablet of a group of Catholics who were engaged in some kind of peace activism. Intrigued, I was curious to know more, but it was years before I inquired about them at St. John’s University, where I worshipped on Sundays. The sister in charge of the choir directed me to a Fr. Jim Reese, who taught at SJU. He was a member of Pax Christi Queens. He directed me to Elaine L’Etoile, another member of the group, who invited me to a meeting one Sunday evening in September 1987. I dragged along a friend so I wouldn’t be a lone stranger in the group. I was immediately drawn in and have been a member ever since, even though at that time, I knew nothing of Pax Christi beyond that little local group. That’s when and where my education began… Read the full interview at http://ncronline.org/blogs/conversations-sr-camille/pax-christi-leader-peacemaking-and-catholic-social-justice-are

Rosemarie Pace of Pax Christi Metro New York

Rosemarie Pace of Pax Christi Metro New York

PAX CHRISTI FLORIDA CO-HOSTS VIGIL FOR CLIMATE CHANGE AWARENESS: (from The St. Augustine Record) On the evening of Dec. 7 candle and solar-lantern lit vigils will take place all over the world. People are gathering to show their concern about climate change. Building on the momentum from the People’s Climate March where they mobilized tens of thousands of participants, faith groups are holding vigils in 13 countries to pray for progress towards an international agreement to address climate change. The vigils will take place as leaders are gathered for the Lima climate talks. As part of the project #LightForLima, St. Augustine will host a vigil from 8 to 8:30 p.m. Sunday at St. Cyprian’s Episcopal Church. Participants are invited to gather at 7:45 p.m. “We want our leaders to hear the moral imperative for action,” said Nancy O’Byrne of Pax Christi Florida. “These vigils represent the voices of the human spirit, expressed through our religious and spiritual traditions and through many people’s personal convictions. The vigils show love and concern for our children, vulnerable people and our precious planet.”… Read more at http://staugustine.com/living/religion/2014-12-04/vigil-st-augustine-set-st-cyprians-episcopal-church#.VJCC0CvF_Cs

PAX CHRISTI MEMBERS IN SEATTLE-AREA TAKE THE VOW OF NONVIOLENCE: (from Deacon Denny Duffel) Pax Christi members in the Seattle-area will be participating in a special ceremony to take the Vow of Nonviolence with Bishop Eusebio Elizondo on December 28 from 2-4 pm. People interested in joining them can contact pc.centralseattle@gmail.com or denny@stbridgetchurch.org for more info. Join them in making a one-year commitment to strive for peace in our lives, our relationships, and our world. They also welcome those who desire to come as witnesses in support of those who take the Vow of Nonviolence.

PAX CHRISTI HOLY CROSS OBSERVES ANNIVERSARY OF JESUIT MARTYRS: (from The Catholic Free Press) The College of the Holy Cross commemorated the 25th anniversary of the Nov. 16 murder of six Jesuits, and their cook and her daughter, in El Salvador. Among commemorations at Holy Cross this week and last week was a display of crosses, with the victims’ names and photos, which the Pax Christi campus chapter set up. Associate chaplain Marty Kelly with Pax Christi members Anthony Yakely, Sloane Burns, Ozzie Reza, Mary Kate Vanecko and Risako Iida, takes students on January immersion trips to the site of the murders and other “sacred sites” in El Salvador. “We sort of walk in the footsteps of those who gave their lives as a result of their faith,” he said. Jesuit Father Philip L. Boroughs, Holy Cross president, attended commemorations in El Salvador for the anniversary.

Upcoming or Ongoing Events:

Dec. 25 – Christmas

Jan. 1 – World Day of Peace, Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God

Jan. 4 – Feast of the Epiphany

Jan. 11 – Witness Against Torture Annual Fast in Washington, D.C.; http://www.witnesstorture.org/blog/2014/11/20/join-us-in-dc-1-5-13/

Jan. 19 – MLK Day

Jan. 23-25 – Interfaith Conference on Drone Warfare, Princeton, New Jersey: http://www.peacecoalition.org/component/content/article/39-cfpa/233-interfaith-conference-on-drone-warfare.html

Quicklinks:

Sr. Patty Chappell, Executive Director of PCUSA, was quoted in this article from Catholic News Service following the release of the torture report … Monsignor Neil Connolly, associate pastor at St. Francis in New York City, is hoping to make St. Francis an official “Peace Parish,” as part of Pax Christi, the Catholic peace movement … Pax Christi Florida member Jim Rucquoi took this video of PC Florida’s Rally in Tally Against The Death Penalty … Bob Cooke and Bob More have been elected the new co-coordinators of Pax Christi Metro D.C.-BaltimoreDr. Shannen Dee Williams, one of our Advent 2014 authors, published an article holding up the lives of black women and children … Sr. Patty was featured in the newsletter of the National Black Catholic Congress in November … The new regional coordinator for Southern California is Alice Soto. Thanks to Sharon Halsey-Hoover for her years in service as coordinator … Pax Christi’s Marie Dennis and Sr. Anne-Louise Nadeau, SNDdeN spoke at the Ignatian Family Teach-in in DC in November … Pax Christi at St. Maurice Parish in Ft. Lauderdale (FL) helped sponsor a rally for the homelessPax Christi Burlington (VT) participated in a benefit concert to benefit the people of Gaza … Pax Christi International’s December 2014 newsletter is online … See more local and regional updates in the Winter 2014-15 edition of The Peace Current

REGIONAL EVENT: Pax Christi Illinois hosts event on “The Pope Francis Effect” on Nov. 1

pope-francis-and-dovePax Christi Illinois will be holding a presentation entitled, “The Pope Francis Effect: Changing Political Discourse & Challenging the Church of the Global North. The presentation will be Saturday, November 1, from 1:00-4:00pm at  St Francis Xavier Church, Joyce Hall, 145 N. Waiola Ave., La Grange, IL.

The presenter will be Tom Cordaro. Cordaro is a peace activist, writer, organizer and a Pax Christi USA Ambassador of Peace. Tom currently serves on the board of NETWORK and is the Justice & Outreach Minister at St. Margaret Mary Parish in Naperville. He received the 2008 Pax Joliet Peace Award from the Joliet Diocese and authored the award-winning book, Be Not Afraid: An Alternative to the War on Terror.

This Pax Christi Illinois annual event also includes an opening prayer service and a reception following the presentation. Come join us for prayer, reflection and fellowship.

REGIONAL EVENT: Pax Christi Metro New York’s Fall Assembly is November 8

On Saturday, November 8th, Pax Christi Metro New York will be hosting its annual Fall Assembly. This year’s theme is “The Joy of the Gospel: The Peace Passages.” Author and editor Margaret O’Brien Steinfels will be leading us in a discussion of Pope Francis’s teachings on peace as found in his inspiring encyclical, Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel. To enhance our conversation, we encourage to read “The Common Good and Peace in Society,” Chapter 4, Sec. 3, 217-237, in The Joy of the Gospel available at the Vatican website, http://w2.vatican.va/content/vatican/en.html. Search for Evangelii Gaudium.

In addition to this stimulating afternoon presentation, we’ll have the morning to reflect on PCMNY’s very identity as a peace community. We’ll pray together, share our stories, and lend each other support.

The Assembly takes place at the Convent of Mary the Queen, 35 Vark Street, Yonkers. The full day runs from 10 AM to 4 PM, including lunch, ($35 donation) or you can come for the afternoon only from 1 to 4 PM, excluding lunch ($20 donation). Student discounts are available. Contact PCMNY to register: 212-420-0250, info@nypaxchristi.org, or www.nycharities.org. Deadline is October 31st.