IMMIGRATION: Letter on actions to improve rights, accountability of immigration enforcement

Pax Christi USA has signed onto a letter sent to the Obama Administration discussing five steps they should take without delay to address crucial gaps in human rights, civil rights, accountability and transparency in the context of immigration enforcement.

Click here to read the letter.

IMMIGRATION: A Call to Specific and Concrete Action on Immigration

Pax Christi USA has signed the petition below from Ruben Garcia, PCUSA Teacher of Peace, and our friends at Annunciation House in El Paso, TX. We encourage all members to sign on as well.

06558_134_134bThe arrival of thousands of families and unaccompanied minors from Central America to the South Texas border has pushed the immigration issue to the forefront of debate in the national discourse. News stories of arriving mothers with children alongside tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors have triggered off a fierce national debate. How the U.S. deals with the immigration issue will enduringly brand the character of the nation for generations to come and it is the defining civil rights issue of the day. Calls for immigration reform have been incessant and they have come from churches, human rights organizations, professionals and academics, Chambers of Commerce, elected officials, labor unions, and voters all across the nation. Legislative inaction, a relentless and myopic focus on enforcement only, the criminalization of immigration, and dramatic increases in funding for “boots on the ground” have created an intolerable reality for refugees and immigrants and adversely affected the nation’s economy, security, and especially its human rights record and stature among the community of nations…

Click here to read and sign the petition.

RESOURCE: New audiobook by Pax Christi USA Ambassador of Peace Fr. John Dear

The Nonviolent Life:
A New Audiobook Box Set of 5 CDs read by the author, Fr. John Dear

tnvl“How can we become people of nonviolence and help the world become more nonviolent? What does it mean to be a person of active nonviolence? How can we help build a global grassroots movement of nonviolence to disarm the world, relieve unjust human suffering, make a more just society and protect creation and all creatures? What is a nonviolent life?”

These are the questions Fr. John Dear–Nobel Peace Prize nominee, long time peace activist and Pax Christi Ambassador of Peace–poses in this ground-breaking audiobook. John Dear suggests that the life of nonviolence requires three simultaneous attributes: being nonviolent toward ourselves; being nonviolent to all people, all creatures, and all creation; and joining the global grassroots movement of nonviolence.

In this audiobook, John Dear proposes a simple vision of nonviolence that everyone can aspire to. It will help everyone be healed of violence, and inspire us to transform our culture of violence into a new world of nonviolence!

In The Nonviolent Life, John Dear articulates a vision of the power, meaning and impact of the spiritually grounded nonviolent life—and invites us to put this into practice in both immediate and long-term ways. This is a clarion call, underscored by a declaration that recurs throughout the book: “the days of violence are over.”Dear’s phrasing is both daunting and deeply hopeful—because if the days of violence are over, that means the days of definitive nonviolence are finally beginning. -From the foreword by Ken Butigan, author of “Engage” and “From Violence to Wholeness”

Fr. John Dear is an internationally known voice for peace and nonviolence. He is a popular speaker, peacemaker, organizer, lecturer, retreat leader, and the author/editor of 30 books. He has organized and participated in nonviolent campaigns for over three decades; been arrested some 75 times in acts of civil disobedience against war and injustice; and spent nearly a year of his life in jail for peace. Recently, John was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Archbishop Desmond Tutu. For further information, see www.johndear.org. He works for www.campaignnonviolence.org.

To order, visit: www.paceebene.org and email: info@paceebene.org or call: 510-268-8765.

ON THE LINE: October 2014 edition remembers Carol Ann Breyer, 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. 

LONG-TIME PC FLORIDA COORDINATOR CAROL ANN BREYER PASSES: Earlier this month, Pax Christi USA learned that we had lost one of our most effective and trusted regional leaders, Carol Ann Breyer of Pax Christi Florida. Carol Ann served as the state coordinator for Pax Christi Florida for a number of years and was a constant presence at national events and actions, including offering her leadership during Pax Christi USA’s project bringing election observers to Florida in 2004 and most recently, at Pax Christi USA’s leadership meeting in June in Washington, D.C…. Read her entire obituary at this link http://paxchristiusa.org/2014/09/29/obituary-carol-ann-breyer-former-state-coordinator-of-pax-christi-florida-presente/

Carol Ann Breyer, former state coordinator of Pax Christi Florida (left) with Sr. Simone Campbell. Carol Ann passed away last month.

Carol Ann Breyer, former state coordinator of Pax Christi Florida (left) with Sr. Simone Campbell. Carol Ann passed away last month.

PC MASSACHUSETTS COORDINATOR ASKS, “WHAT CAN WE DO?” (The following piece by Pat Ferrone, Pax Christi Massachusetts Coordinator, was published in her local newspaper.) Two pieces in the Boston Globe captured my attention recently. One, a letter from William Lambers, author of “Ending World Hunger with Words from History,” appeared on September 27;” the second, by Jeff Jacoby, on October 1, entitled “Comfort Those Who Wander.” Both focus attention on the plight of the estimated 50 million refugees who now wander our world, forced to flee homelands because of the collapse of civil society in their countries, or because of persecution and war. Faced with extreme hunger and dispossessed of all security, they now endure lives of desperation, dependent on the response of individuals and nations to tend to their basic needs. Often, they go wanting, unable to begin anew… To read the entire article, go to http://paxchristiusa.org/2014/10/07/reflection-what-can-we-do/

PC INTERNATIONAL’S VIBRANT PRESENCE AT THE UN: (by PC-Maryknoll member and PCI UN team representative Beth Begley) Pax Christi International (PCI) has had special consultative status at the United Nations since 1979. Day by day there seems to be little change here at the UN – but looking back over the past 10 years I see amazing changes: communication, outreach to youth, sustained insistence on gender equity, an emerging sense of power among the non-nuclear states, a growing sense among NGO’s that all issues are interconnected. As the Millennium Development Goals mature and meetings continue to articulate ‘The World We Want Post 2015’ in April 2015, it is clear that a more inclusive and integrated world view is being expressed. It is acknowledged that where there is conflict there is no development, although disarmament is not on this radar… Read more at http://paxchristiusa.org/2014/09/30/pax-christi-international-pcis-vibrant-presence-at-the-un/

L-R, front row: Cheryl Morrissey, Madeline Labriola, Mary McDonald, Abigail Abyshai Metzger, Marie Dennis; Back row: Rev. Paul Lansu, Patrick Ryan, Beth Begley, Jose Henriquez, Matthew Marquardt.

L-R, front row: Cheryl Morrissey, Madeline Labriola, Mary McDonald, Abigail Abyshai Metzger, Marie Dennis; Back row: Rev. Paul Lansu, Patrick Ryan, Beth Begley, Jose Henriquez, Matthew Marquardt.

PCUSA AMBASSADOR OF PEACE JOHN DEAR’S REMARKS AT THE START OF CAMPAIGN NONVIOLENCE: (The following remarks were delivered on September 18 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. as part of the launch of Campaign Nonviolence’s week of actions. Over 100 Pax Christi local groups and regions participated, from Chicago to Memphis to Maine, New Mexico to New York City and all points in between.) Today we are pleased to announce the launch of Campaign Nonviolence, a growing grassroots movement that begins this Sunday, September 21st, International Peace Day, with a week of over 225 protests, marches and rallies across the country in every state against war, military spending, poverty, the epidemic of violence and catastrophic climate change… Read more of John’s remarks at this link, http://paxchristiusa.org/2014/09/24/campaign-nonviolence-remarks-at-the-national-press-club-launch-of-campaign-nonviolence/

Advent2014bookletadtallWHO’S WHO OF PAX CHRISTI MEMBERS CO-AUTHOR THIS YEAR’S ADVENT REFLECTION BOOKLET: This year’s Advent reflection booklet, Waking Up to God in Our Midst: Reflections for Advent 2014, was co-authored by 4 different high profile activists. One week apiece was written by the following authors: Adrienne Alexander, former PCUSA National Council member and youth representative, an organizer with AFSCME in Chicago; Rev. Joseph Nangle, ofm, a PCUSA Ambassador of Peace and member of PC Metro D.C.-Baltimore; author and teacher Shannen Dee Williams, Ph.D., and Sr. Simone Campbell, Executive Director of NETWORK. To guarantee your copies of this year’s booklet and to guarantee you receive it before Advent begins, pre-order by October 15 at this link http://paxchristiusa.3dcartstores.com/WAKING-UP-TO-GOD-IN-OUR-MIDST-ADVENT-2014-DAILY-REFLECTIONS_p_288.html

PC MICHIGAN HOSTS NUNS ON THE BUS: (by Alison Zacharias, PCM Organizer) On the morning of Friday, September 26, Nuns on the Bus stopped by Cristo Rey Church in Lansing, MI, for a ‘Town Hall for the 100%,’ an event in which Pax Christi Michigan was a co-leader in organizing/sponsoring, with special help from members of the Pax Christi Lansing local group. Mark Schauer, who is running for governor of Michigan, attended the event to listen to the community, where the focus was providing a space for people to voice their concerns and hopes and mobilize ‘we the people’ to vote in the upcoming midterm elections.

PC Michigan hosts a stop with Nuns on the Bus.

PC Michigan hosts a stop with Nuns on the Bus.

PC MAINE COORDINATOR ADDRESSES CULTURE OF VIOLENCE: (This op-ed appeared in the Bangor Daily News, from Mary Ellen Quinn, Pax Christi Maine) The only positive aspect of the Ray Rice story is that it has brought national attention to issues related to domestic abuse. The horrific videotape depicting the Baltimore Ravens running back’s brutal assault against his female partner makes most Americans cringe. Predictably, we are now hearing about more incidents of abuse by NFL players against women and children. Domestic assault is about control, oppression and domination. It is never justified… Read more at http://bangordailynews.com/2014/09/23/opinion/contributors/at-home-in-football-in-iraq-we-dwell-in-a-culture-of-violence-but-were-not-paying-attention/

Upcoming or Ongoing Events:

Oct. 4-11 – Keep Space for Peace week, http://www.space4peace.org/

Oct. 9 – Bishop Sullivan Virginia Pax Christi region gathering in Richmond, VA

Oct. 10-13: Demand Justice for Michael Brown – Demonstration in Ferguson! http://fergusonoctober.com/

Oct. 17-19 – Pax Christi Michigan’s State Retreat, “Conversations with PCUSA Teacher of Peace Peter Dougherty,” in Roscommon, MI; http://www.paxchristimi.org/#!retreat-2014-registration/c1q8q

Oct. 25-26 – Pax Christi Florida’s State Assembly calling for an end to the death penalty, Tallahassee; http://paxchristiflorida.org/

Nov. 1 – Pax Christi Massachusetts state assembly with Rev. Sam Smith at Holy Cross College on “The Militarization of Our Youth and the ‘I Will Not Kill’ Campaign”; http://paxchristima.org/

Nov. 1 – PC Illinois presents “The Pope Francis Effect: Changing Political Discourse and Challenging the Church of the Global North,” with PCUSA Ambassador of Peace Tom Cordaro, at St. Francis Xavier Church in LaGrange, IL; contact nloetter@comcast.net

Nov. 7-9 – Call To Action in Memphis, TN, http://cta-usa.org/

Nov. 9 – PC Metro D.C.-Baltimore’s Annual Peacemaker Award Dinner, honoring Judith Kelly, in Washington, D.C.; contact jjmchale@verizon.net to make reservations

Nov. 21 – Pax Christi USA at the SOA, “Resisting Militarization of Our Youth—from Central America to Ferguson,” 6pm at the Columbus (GA) Convention Center, room 205 (more info on the PCUSA website soon)

Nov. 21-23 – SOA Vigil and Action, Ft. Benning, GA, http://www.soaw.org

Nov. 30 – Advent begins

Quicklinks:

PC Florida coordinator Nancy O’Byrne and PC International Co-President Marie Dennis were quoted in this story in USA Today on ISIS and recent comments from Pope Francis … Pax Christi Minnesota asks for prayers for Mary Eoloff who is in hospice care … The new documentary on PCUSA Teacher of Peace Bishop Thomas Gumbleton, “American Prophet,” has begun principal photography … Check out the Pax Christi St. Louis websitePC International Co-President Marie Dennis says that nuclear disarmament is “urgent and possible” … In commemoration of Peace Day on September 21, Muskegon (MI) Pax Christi participated in month-long activities as part of a ’30 Days of Peace’ initiative, including the Pinwheels for Peace project, an International Day of Peace Picnic, and a Taize Prayer of Peace Service … PCUSA Teacher of Peace Kathy Kelly addresses the long history of violence that helped to bring the Islamic State into being … Jubilee USA Executive Director and PCUSA Ambassador of Peace Eric LeCompte was featured on NPR’s Interfaith Voices discussing international debt … PCUSA Director of Programs Sr. Anne-Louise Nadeau, SNDdeN wrote this lament over the events in Ferguson … Pax Christi International’s October 2014 newsletter is online … See more local and regional updates in the Summer 2014 edition of The Peace Current

CLIMATE CHANGE: War and climate change – Time to connect the dots

by Sheila D. Collins, Truth-out.org

NWNWimageThere was something surreal about the president announcing that he had just launched a heavy airstrike against militants in Syria – in effect, plunging the United States further into an unending quagmire in the Middle East – on the same day that he went to the UN to claim that he was serious about tackling climate change. It is as if climate change and war were distinct ontological categories when in fact climate change is both a catalyst of conflict and a result of it. Competition over resources – land, water, energy – has always been the ground of conflicts within and between nations despite the fact that they may be clothed in the trappings of ethnic, religious or national rivalries.

In the decade between 2001 and 2011, global military spending increased by an estimated 92 percent, according to Stockholm International Peace Research, although it fell by 1.9 percent in real terms in 2013 to $1,747 billion. At the same time, according to the draft of a new study from the International Peace Bureau (1), almost 10 gigatons of carbon dioxide equivalent has been released into the atmosphere. According to the Global Carbon Project, 2014 emissions are set to reach a record high. Could there be some connection between rising military expenditures and rising carbon emissions?

The United States and its allies have spent trillions financing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but while the terrible social, cultural and economic costs are publicly discussed, little is said about the environmental costs. Not only is the Pentagon the single largest industrial consumer of fossil fuels, but fighter jets, destroyers, tanks and other weapons systems emit highly toxic, carbon-intensive emissions, not to mention the greenhouse gases (GHG) that are released from the detonation of bombs. How quickly the world forgot the toxic legacy of Saddam Hussein’s oil fires!

And now we have the spectacle of the US bombing oil refineries in Syria in an attempt to cripple the oil revenue stream to ISIS. There has been one study done on the estimated impact of US military GHG emissions from both direct fuel consumption and upstream emissions related to the manufacture of materials and equipment procured for military activities. Tellingly, this impact has been ignored by our media and politicians, leaving the public in ignorance. There ought, in addition, to be a study of the amount of GHG emitted for each ton of explosives that are detonated, but the military sector – with the exception of the military’s domestic fuel use – is excluded from UN inventories of national greenhouse gas emissions thanks to intensive lobbying by the United States at the Kyoto Protocol negotiations. The exclusion of the military sector from national greenhouse gas inventories makes a mockery of the entire UN climate process…

Click here to read the entire article.

VIDEO: “American Prophet,” based on the life of Bishop Gumbleton, begins principal photography

Jasmine Rivera’s fifth narrative, American Prophet, begins filming in November of 2014. A cast and crew of award-winning Michigan filmmakers are producing this new inspirational film based on the life of Bishop Thomas J. Gumbleton, set in 1968 Detroit.

The film is a meditation on racism, segregation and violence, but also an exploration of faith, justice, and the courage required of those who seek to bring peace to our world.

More information can be found at:

Based on the life of internationally-renowned peace and social justice advocate Bishop Thomas Gumbleton, American Prophet’s inspirational coming of age story unfolds in settings that range from the humble city parishes of Detroit to the hockey rinks where Thomas and his friends – the United States’ only hockey team for priests – play. Set in the aftermath of the Detroit riots and in the tumultuous days of 1968, American Prophet is a unique glimpse at a past whose struggles resonate to our day as well as the portrait of a young man who learns to come into his own.

About the Director

As a filmmaker Jasmine Rivera has written, directed and produced media for various clients in addition to creating narrative films. Her most recent film Nain Rouge won thesis honors at Columbia University as well as numerous awards for Best Short Film and Best Director at film festivals around the country, including the Great Lakes international Film Festival, the Frankfort Film Festival, the Detroit Windsor International Film Festival, the Lake Michigan Film Competition as well as Best Michigan Short Film at the Detroit Independent and Uptown Film Festival. Jasmine is the recipient of the Loreen Arbus Award for Women in Film and Television and is a former Junior Media Fellow at the United Nations University and is the recipient of the prestigious 2014 Kresge Fellowship in Film.

For all inquires please reach out to Christian Gerlitz.