Tag Archives: Marie Dennis

IRAN: An invitation to join a conference call with faith leaders on the Iran deal this Thursday

Iran-Nuclear-Deal-Congress-570x320This Thursday, August 27th, you’re invited to join faith leaders for a national conference call on the Iran nuclear deal, “Faith in Action for the Iran Deal: A Conference Call with Faith Leaders.”

The featured speaker is Marie Harf, Senior Advisor for Strategic Communications to Secretary of State John Kerry. Ms. Harf led U.S. communications strategy on the Iran negotiations in Vienna.

Panelists include:

  • Jim Winkler: General Secretary, National Council of Churches
  • Diane Randall: Executive Secretary, Friends Committee on National Legislation
  • Marie Dennis: Co-President, Pax Christi International

Call Details:

Sponsors include Pax Christi International, Sisters of Mercy of the Americas – Institute Justice Team, Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, LCWR and many others.

ON THE LINE: June 2015 edition features the work of PCUSA 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. 

ED. NOTE: My apologies for not getting out the May edition of On The Line last month. I was in the Middle East during the weeks I usually prepare and post this feature, and I simply didn’t have the time to pull it together in addition to my responsibilities on the Pax Christi International delegation. Thanks for your understanding!

Esther PinedaPAX CHRISTI USA MOURNS THE LOSS OF SR ESTHER PINEDA, CSJ: Pax Christi USA was saddened to learn that Sr. Esther Pineda, CSJ, a member of the Pax Christi USA National Council, has died following a short illness. “Sr. Esther was a woman of great faith and was passionate when it came to issues concerning peace and justice. Her steady and gentle manner was a major contribution to Pax Christi USA,” stated Pax Christi USA Executive Director Sr. Patricia Chappell, SNDdeN. “I thank our good God for Sr. Esther and our world is a better place because of the compassion and tenderness which she shared with everyone whose lives she touched.” Read more at http://paxchristiusa.org/2015/05/08/obituary-pax-christi-usa-saddened-by-the-death-of-sr-esther-pineda-csj-national-council-member/

PAX CHRISTI METRO NY HONORS PEACEMAKERS: On Sunday, June 7th, PC Metro NY hosted our Peacemaker Award Reception honoring Sr. Joan Dawber, SC, Director of LifeWay Network; Maureen Blaine, Principal of St. Leo’s Elementary School, Corona, Queens; and Joe Dirr and Jill Frasier, Financial Advisors. We will also be honoring our Maloof Family Young Peacebuilder recipients: Mariah Espada, Marymount School of New York; Joseph Grasso, John S. Burke Catholic High School; and Juan Moreno, Cristo Rey New York High School. To read more about this year’s recipients, read the PC Metro NY newsletter at http://www.nypaxchristi.org/KeruxLive.html

Fr. Chris Ponnet of Pax Christi Los Angeles led a retreat for Maryknollers and Pax Christi members on peacemaking, nonviolence and stories of ministry in early June.

Fr. Chris Ponnet of Pax Christi Los Angeles led a retreat for Maryknollers and Pax Christi members on peacemaking, nonviolence and stories of ministry in early June.

PAX CHRISTI INTERNATIONAL CO-PRESIDENT ADDRESSES WORLDWIDE FRANCISCANS: On 25 May, Pax Christi International Co-President Marie Dennis addressed the 2015 General Chapter of the Ordo Fratrum Minorum (Franciscans), in Assisi. In a challenging lecture, she spoke about the urgency of working towards human and economic relationships based on the Christian and Franciscan principles of peace and of universal sister- and brotherhood. She asked the assembly to consider which of the challenges she presented are most urgent. Her questions led to a reflection, first in the various Chapter groups, then later in the prayerful atmosphere which characterized the final session of the day – a contemplative reading of the Word of God. See the video at http://paxchristiusa.org/2015/06/03/pax-christi-international-pax-christi-co-president-marie-dennis-addresses-franciscans-2015-general-chapter-in-assisi/

At 2015 Pax Christi Texas Conference in San Antonio, Fr. Gustavo Gutierrez joined the group for a photo.

At the 2015 Pax Christi Texas Conference in San Antonio, Fr. Gustavo Gutierrez joined PC Texas members for a photo.

PC FLORIDA LEADER TO PRESENT AT WILD GOOSE FESTIVAL: Joseph “Pat” Mahon of Pax Christi Florida will be presenting a workshop entitled “Photography, Spirituality, and Peacemaking” at this year’s Wild Goose Festival in North Carolina, July 9-12. The description includes, “Contemplative photography (Zen Photography), connects us intimately with the screed which surrounds us. Connecting with creation and creating icons awakes us to the fact that, as Thomas Merton says, ‘We are already one.’ This awakened awareness is the foundation for peacemaking.” Read more at http://wildgoosefestival.org/festival-2015/speakers-2015/joseph-patrick-mahon/

BLESSED ARE THE MERCIFICUL: A REFLECTION FROM PC-MA ON THE MARATHON BOMBING TRIAL: (by Pat Ferrone, PC-MA coordinator) Armed only with banners advocating mercy, and signs decrying the death penalty, nonviolent peacemakers from Agape, Pax Christi, Veterans for Peace and elsewhere, regularly stand vigil in front of the John Joseph Moakley Courthouse in Boston. In the early morning, a stream of employees, visitors, victims and lawyers pass before us, some with averted eyes or unreadable expressions, some clearly disdainful, like the man who muttered, “We should fry him – crisp as bacon.” Others, perhaps reflecting the general distaste for the death penalty in Massachusetts, pause to read the banners, or quietly voice appreciation and thanks for our witness. Reporters from the major news outlets are strategically stationed in view of the entryway, eager to capture the highlights of the day; on several occasions, interviews of vigil participants takes place, the reflections broadcast beyond our small witness… Read more at http://paxchristiusa.org/2015/05/21/reflection-blessed-are-the-merciful/

NEW OFFERINGS FROM AUTHORS WITH PAX CHRISTI USA TIES: A number of recent books have been published by authors with ties to Pax Christi USA. We encourage you to check out A Vision of Justice: Engaging Catholic Social Teaching on College Campus, by PCUSA Peace Studies liaison Ron Pagnucco at http://paxchristiusa.3dcartstores.com/VISION-OF-JUSTICE–Engaging-Catholic-Social-Teaching-on-the-College-Campus_p_289.html; and Natural Human Rights: A Theory by PC campus group advisor Michael Boylan, http://www.cambridge.org/us/academic/subjects/philosophy/ethics/natural-human-rights-theory

Upcoming or Ongoing Events:

June 1-30: Torture Awareness Month, http://www.tortureawareness.org/

June 18: Release of Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment

June 21: Father’s Day

June 24-28: Torture Survivors Week, http://www.tassc.org/events-1/2015/6/24/18th-annual-june-survivors-week

June 27: Join PC Metro DC-Baltimore at the Air and Space Museum for a drone protest and action from 10-11:30am

June 29-July 2: Starvin for Justice: Annual Fast and Vigil to Abolish the Death Penalty in Washington, D.C. (Pax Christi USA is an endorser); http://www.abolition.org/fastandvigil/

July 4: Independence Day

July 8: Advent 2015 booklets go on sale! Check back on the PCUSA website on that date; http://paxchristiusa.org

July 9-12: Wild Goose Festival in Hot Springs, NC. Several speakers with PCUSA ties will be there including Fr. John Dear, Pat Mahon, and others; http://wildgoosefestival.org/

July 24-26: National Convening of the Movement for Black Lives, Cleveland, OH; http://movementforblacklives.org/

July 31-Aug. 2: National Council Meeting in Washington, D.C.

Aug. 6: PCUSA at the Campaign Nonviolence conference in New Mexico; http://paxchristiusa.org/2015/04/29/event-pax-christi-usa-gathering-at-campaign-nonviolence-conference-august-6/

Aug. 6: Hiroshima Anniversary

Aug. 6-9: Campaign Nonviolence conference in New Mexico; http://paceebene.org/programs/campaign-nonviolence/campaign-nonviolence-national-conference/

Aug. 9: Nagasaki Anniversary

Quicklinks:

Read a number of reflections and articles from various Pax Christi USA members who were on the delegation to Israel-Palestine last month … Authors for the 2015 Advent booklet were announced in April … PC Michigan’s Summer Newsletter is out and includes info on the new PCM Coordinator (congrats Mary Hanna!); Pax Christi at Campaign Nonviolence; our 34th Annual State Conference; Take ACTION for Immigrant Rights; and more … PC Long Island hosted a report on June 9 from an audience with Pope Francis on the climate crisis by Patrick Carolan of the Franciscan Action Network … Members of Pax Christi El Paso protest regularly against the death penalty in Texas … Stephen Oldham, a member of the recent Pax Christi delegation to the Middle East, had a letter published in The Washington Post on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict … PXI Co-President Marie Dennis and PCUSA member Sr. Mary Ann McGivern were quoted in a CNS article on the U.S. lack of political will to abolish nuclear weapons … Observe this year’s Romero and Merton anniversaries with resources from Pax Christi USA … Pax Christi Texas sponsored a screening of “White Like Me” based on the work of acclaimed anti-racist educator and author Tim Wise; the film explores race and racism in the U.S. through the lens of whiteness and white privilege … Pax Christi at St. Rose of Lima parish in Gaithersburg, MD hosted a gun violence exhibit as part of the Heeding God’s Call campaign … Pax Christi Western New York spoke out against legislation to pre-empt New York State law and permit the concealed carrying of firearms by civilian non-residents … Pax Christi Beverly (MA) members and friends paid tribute to Sr. Julie Kane, SND on May 16 at St. Mary Convent for her spiritual work for peace and justice … Pax Christi International’s June 2015 newsletter is online … See more local and regional updates in the Spring 2015 edition of The Peace Current

PAX CHRISTI INTERNATIONAL: PXI Co-President Marie Dennis addresses Franciscans’ 2015 General Chapter in Assisi

from Pax Christi International

On 25 May, Pax Christi International Co-President Marie Dennis addressed the 2015 General Chapter of the Ordo Fratrum Minorum (Franciscans), in Assisi. In a challenging lecture, she spoke about the urgency of working towards human and economic relationships based on the Christian and Franciscan principles of peace and of universal sister- and brotherhood. She asked the assembly to consider which of the challenges she presented are most urgent. Her questions led to a reflection, first in the various Chapter groups, then later in the prayerful atmosphere which characterised the final session of the day – a contemplative reading of the Word of God. Her speech in full length is available by clicking here.

NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT: Catholics to press nuclear weapons ban at UN review conference

by Dennis Sadowski, CNS

nuclear-free-zoneIt was April 11, 1963, as the Catholic church was in the midst of the Second Vatican Council, that St. John XXIII issued his landmark social encyclical Pacem in Terris (“Peace on Earth”) that included a call for a verifiable ban on nuclear weapons.

More than 50 years later, the Holy See continues to make the moral case for nuclear disarmament.

The Vatican’s most recent public comment came in December at the Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons.

“The time has come to embrace the abolition of nuclear weapons as an essential foundation of collective security,” the Vatican said in a paper titled “Nuclear Disarmament: Time for Abolition” delivered to the conference.

In it, the church held firm to its stance that any use of nuclear weapons was immoral and argued that the time has come to abandon nuclear deterrence — the principle that such weapons might be used and that they exist to deter another country from using them. Previously, the Vatican conditionally accepted deterrence as “a step on the way toward progressive disarmament.”…

For the rest of this article, click here.

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

PAX CHRISTI INTERNATIONAL: Pax Christi marks 70 years of pursuing peace

By Tom Roberts, NCR

Jose Henriquez gestures during an interview in Washington Sept. 23. Looking on are Bishop Kevin Dowling and Marie Dennis. (CNS/Bob Roller)

Jose Henriquez gestures during an interview in Washington Sept. 23. Looking on are Bishop Kevin Dowling and Marie Dennis. (CNS/Bob Roller)

Pax Christi International was born 70 years ago of two people, one a bishop, the other a laywoman, who advanced ideas that were jarringly dissonant in the context of that time.

The bishop, Pierre-Marie Théas, of Montauban in the south of France, was a rare member of the hierarchy to both publicly protest the deportation of Jews from France and urge prayers for the enemy, Germany. Marthe Dortel-Claudot, who lived in the south of France with her husband and children, found herself thinking about praying for the enemy. Pondering the suffering of the German people, she wrote in her journal, “Jesus died for everyone. Nobody should be excluded from one’s prayer.”

The two, sharing a vision of reconciliation, went on to form the organization Pax Christi. Germany and France live in peace today; Europe has achieved union and nonviolent means of settling differences. Pax Christi, however, has not gone out of business. The purveyors of violence are endlessly inventive. From child soldiers to the utter detachment of drones, from crude IEDs to sophisticated bombs, from oil wars to the formation of caliphates, those who use violent means no longer observe rules or boundaries.

Perhaps the reality that most solidly links the decades of Pax Christi’s existence is the understanding that confronting violence is a complex and difficult undertaking and involves advancing ideas that are at odds with the prevailing thinking of the day.

Pax Christi has grown increasingly global in its reach, and that is reflected in its three principal leaders: co-presidents Marie Dennis, a laywoman from Washington, D.C., and Bishop Kevin Dowling of Rustenburg, South Africa; and General Secretary José Henríquez, a native of El Salvador who now lives in Brussels, where Pax Christi is headquartered. The co-president arrangement, reflective of the founders, was instituted in 2007…

Click here to read the entire story.