Tag Archives: Susan Kerin

ON THE LINE: February edition features anti-drone activism, anti-torture op-ed, calendar items 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.

PAX CHRISTI MEMPHIS HOSTS TALK ON DRONES: From the University of Memphis’ school newspaper, The Daily Helmsman – “The University of Memphis Catholic Center will play host to a discussion on the controversial use of unmanned aerial vehicles in the U.S. military on Tuesday. Pax Christi Memphis, the local branch of Pax Christi International, a non-profit Catholic peace movement that advocates against violence and war, is hosting the discussion. Judy Bettice, coordinator for Pax Christi Memphis, hopes this discussion will open people’s eyes to the moral implications of targeted killing and surveillance. “I hope that people will be more engaged in examining the moral implications of targeted surveillance of civilians and the killing of ‘bad guys,’” said Bettice. “I think the discussion has only been in politics and not in morality.” Read the whole article here: http://www.dailyhelmsman.com/pax-christi-to-speak-about-drone-warfare-1.2984920#.UR0Dh6XCaSo

PAX CHRISTI INTERNATIONAL CO-PRESIDENT SPEAKS AT CODEPINK PRESS CONFERENCE: In a February 4th press conference hosted by CodePink, Marie Denis, President of Pax Christi International and Pax Christi USA Ambassador of Peace spoke out against CIA Director nominee John Brennan and the use of drone warfare. She represented over one hundred faith-based leaders that called for a rejection of Brennan’s nomination as Director of the CIA. See the YouTube video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJCaFXb6QPc

Pax Christi USA Ambassador of Peace Rev. Joe Nangle, ofm, leads an Ash Wednesday witness outside the White House with other Pax Christi Metro DC-Baltimore members, member of the PCUSA National Staff, and others.

Pax Christi USA Ambassador of Peace Rev. Joe Nangle, ofm, leads an Ash Wednesday witness outside the White House with other Pax Christi Metro DC-Baltimore members, member of the PCUSA National Staff, and others.

PAX CHRISTI USA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR INTERVIEWED IN WISDOM VOICES: From Wisdom Voices blog – “Blessed are the peacemakers.”  We all know that phrase from the Bible, the Beatitudes.  But how many of us center our personal, much less our professional lives on working to create a world in which peace is the dominant factor. It’s not hard to argue that the word “peace” has somewhat disappeared from the national conversation. Drones, guns, war, military intervention, political polarization, bullying, hate talk. But for Sister Patricia Chappell SNDdeN , Executive Director of Pax Christi USA, peace and what it means in the 21st century is the cornerstone of her daily personal and professional life. “We may not be using the actual word ‘peace’ in today’s social justice and peace movement, but all of our efforts are centered around trying to provide peace and to bring peace in a non-violent way,” Chappell said in a recent interview with Wisdom Voices. Click on this link to read the full interview: http://paxchristiusa.org/2013/02/04/interview-wisdom-voices-interviews-sr-patty-chappell-on-pax-christi-usa-peace/

PAX CHRISTI ANTI-TORTURE ACTIVIST PUBLISHES OP-ED IN THE HILL: Susan Kerin of Pax Christi at St. Francis Parish (MD), had the following op-ed posted in the Congressional newspaper The Hill: “This month marks the 11th anniversary of the arrival of the first prisoners at the detention center at Guantanamo Bay. Coupled with the theatrical opening of the torture-justifying film, ‘Zero Dark Thirty,’ the debate on torture has risen to the forefront, and this week, I join the National Religious Campaign Against Torture in its efforts to tell the truth about torture in opposition to the new film and to ensure that the public realizes that President Obama vowed to close the Guantanamo prison, but has reneged on his promise – leaving the United States in a moral lurch. Like most people, much of my opinion on the matter is shaped by my personal experiences and values. Torture is a moral issue. As a person of faith, I was taught that all humans are created in His image. As a Christian, I know that Jesus was a victim himself of torture and informed his followers that ‘what you do to the least of my brethren, you do to me.’ Read the entire op-ed here: http://paxchristiusa.org/2013/01/25/torture-the-problem-with-torture/

PCUSA DIRECTOR OF PROGRAMS PUBLISHES PIECE ON GUN VIOLENCE: The following article by Pax Christi USA Director of Programs Sr. Anne-Louise Nadeau, SNDdeN, was featured in JustFaith Ministries Voices newsletter  – “Oh, when will they ever learn…” These are the haunting and plaintive lines from a 1955 Pete Seeger song ‘Where have all the Flowers gone?’ that have been a recurring loop since the December 14, 2012 massacre in Newtown, Connecticut. On that day those who experienced and heard of this event concluded that madness had reared its evil and ugly head. In a country that boasts of a foundational principle of ‘life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,’ there also exists a madness where we choose to sacrifice our children, our sisters, our brothers, our mothers and fathers instead of placing limits on our right to bear arms. When will we awaken from this madness, this sickness that feeds our desire to own any type of weapon—without limit or restraint of any kind—over the safety and well-being of our children and of one another? The topic at hand is not whether the Constitution gives us the right as citizens to bear arms. The issue is whether we as a society value each other enough to place common-sense, reasonable restrictions on that right… Read the entire article here: http://paxchristiusa.org/2013/01/13/reflection-oh-when-will-they-ever-learn/

Upcoming or Ongoing Events:

Feb. 23 – Regional Dialogue in Minnesota: http://paxchristiusa.org/programs/regional-dialogues-2012-13/

Mar. 1-3 – Pax Christi Metro New York’s retreat, “Have this mind in you which was in Christ Jesus…Conversion to the active love of Jesus by praying Sacred Scripture,” with Bishop Thomas Gumbleton: http://www.nypaxchristi.org/events.html

Mar. 1-4 – Pacific Life Community Faith and Resistance Retreat: http://pacificlifecommunity.wordpress.com/

Mar. 2 – Pax Christi Twin Cities and Call to Action are hosting their winter gathering with Sr. Simone Campbell: http://www.paxchristimn.org/2013/01/18/winter-gathering-with-sr-simone-campbell/

Mar. 9 – Pax Christi Metro DC-Baltimore hosts an anti-drone protest at CIA Headquarters: http://www.paxchristimetrodc.org/2013/01/stop-cia-killer-drones/

Mar. 10 – Regional Dialogue in Richmond, VA: http://paxchristiusa.org/programs/regional-dialogues-2012-13/

Mar. 23 – Regional Dialogue for Pax Christi Metro New York and Long Island: http://paxchristiusa.org/programs/regional-dialogues-2012-13/

Mar. 23 – Pax Christi Metro DC-Baltimore’s annual Spring Assembly, “Drone Killings—Not in Our Name!” with Medea Benjamin, Ray McGovern and Phyllis Bennis: http://www.paxchristimetrodc.org/

April 6-7 – Pax Christi Florida Spring Retreat, “The Spirituality of Intentional Communities: An Evolving Vision”, with Christine Vladimiroff, osb: http://paxchristiflorida.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/2013-pcf-retreat-brochure.pdf

April 7 – Regional Dialogue for Pax Christi Texas: http://paxchristiusa.org/programs/regional-dialogues-2012-13/

April 15 – Global Day of Action Against Military Spending: http://www.paxchristi.net/international/eng/news.php?id=2233&wat=show

April 20 – Regional Dialogue for Pax Christi Maine: http://paxchristiusa.org/programs/regional-dialogues-2012-13/

April 20 – Pax Christi Michigan State Conference, “Prophetic Leadership of Women: Justice from the Margins,” with Elizabeth Walters, IHM, and Barbara Reid, OP: http://www.paxchristimi.org/2013_state_conference.htm

Quicklinks:

Pax Christi International has launched the Bread is Life campaign, a fast for a just peace in Syria … Pax Christi Florida member Joseph Mahon publishes a blog, ChristFaithPower, dedicated to promoting issues related to peace and justice based on the witness of Cistercian monk, Thomas Merton … Read the latest news from Pax Christi Tampa Bay (FL) in their newsletterPax Christi Burlington (VT) member and PCUSA Ambassador of Peace Beatrice Parwatikar posted this piece on economic justicePax Christi Southern California holds a monthly peace and justice Mass every third Sunday … Pax Christi El Paso recently screened the documentary “The Untold Story of Emmett Louis Till”Pax Christi Virginia recently hosted several talks by Paul K. Chappell, Iraq War veteran and director of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation … Pax Christi Birmingham coordinator and PCUSA Teacher of Peace Shelley Douglass wrote this piece on having a new perspective for the Bread for the Journey blog … Pax Christi UK recently published a statement on drones … See more local and regional updates in the Spring 2013 edition of The Peace Current

TORTURE: The problem with torture

by Susan Kerin
Pax Christi at St. Francis Parish (MD)

This month marks the 11th anniversary of the arrival of the first prisoners at the detention center at Guantanamo Bay. Coupled with the theatrical opening of the torture-justifying film, “Zero Dark Thirty,” the debate on torture has risen to the forefront, and this week, I join the National Religious Campaign Against Torture in its efforts to tell the truth about torture in opposition to the new film and to ensure that the public realizes that President Obama vowed to close the Guantanamo prison, but has reneged on his promise – leaving the United States in a moral lurch.

Like most people, much of my opinion on the matter is shaped by my personal experiences and values. Torture is a moral issue. As a person of faith, I was taught that all humans are created in His image. As a Christian, I know that Jesus was a victim himself of torture and informed his followers that “what you do to the least of my brethren, you do to me.”…

Click here to read the entire article.

ON THE LINE: February edition features PC members and groups in the news

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. 

HAITI PROJECT UPDATE IN THE DIGITAL JOURNAL: Our colleagues in Haiti were happy to share this story with us: “The “Jaden Tap Tap” (Tap Tap Garden) urban community garden was proudly inaugurated on January 22, 2012 in Cite Soleil, Haiti. The Tap Tap Garden is Haiti’s largest urban garden containing more than 500 brightly painted tire gardens, flower garden, and a nursery of 1,000 trees. Nearly 600 community members, NGO’s, and government officials joined Bochika, SAKALA-Pax Christi Ayiti, and SOIL in celebrating the inauguration of the garden, as well as a new community Eco-San Toilet. The crowd was delighted to participate in the daylong event that featured a “farmers market”, agricultural demonstrations, musical and dance performances by local youth, and special appearance by internationally recognized Haitian recording artist, BelO.” Read more: http://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/568647#ixzz1lo5f8Z8H

Megan McKenna wins Hecker Award

Megan McKenna, PCUSA Ambassador of Peace, with godchild Megan, receiving the Hecker Award.

PCUSA AMBASSADOR OF PEACE WINS ISAAC HECKER AWARD: Pax Christi USA Ambassador of Peace Megan McKenna was honored in January in Boston with the Isaac Hecker Award, presented by the Paulists. At the award reception, it was stated, “Grounded in and informed by the meaning of Scripture, Megan’s writing tackles many of the issues of our day – much like the call of the 99% to reorder priorities, redistribute wealth, and attend to basic human needs.  She addresses the ever-widening economic and resource gaps nationally and internationally, the role of women in church and society, and the global challenges for use of our natural resources.  She offers a blueprint for contemporary analysis and action for social justice.” Read more at http://paxchristiusa.org/2012/02/08/ambassador-of-peace-megan-mckenna-receives-isaac-hecker-award/

FORMER PCUSA ED FEATURED IN THE ERIE TIMES: “Dave Robinson lectured on global poverty as executive director of Pax Christi USA. His job took him to places like Iraq and Haiti, where he got an up-close look at the effects of poverty. But poverty was never too far from home for Robinson, who lives in Union Township. ‘You get past the beautiful landscapes and the friendly people, and we’re suffering out here in this rural part of the county,’ he said. ‘We have disproportionately high poverty rates. Lack of jobs, lack of transportation, pretty much any social problem that you want to focus on, we’ve got it right here.’ So when it came time for Robinson to decide whether to follow the national Catholic peace and justice movement from Erie to Washington, where Pax Christi moved its headquarters over the summer, he chose to stay in an area he loves while focusing his efforts on helping people in need in southeastern Erie County.” Read more at http://www.goerie.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2012301299819

Dave Atwood of Pax Christi Texas

Dave Atwood of PC-Texas speaks at a press conference in Houston for the Campaign to Promote Permanent Residency for Temporary Protective Status Beneficiaries from Central America. Photo courtesy of PC-Texas.

PC COLLEGE OF HOLY CROSS MEMBER DONATES HAIR: “Kenilworth native Marielle McKenna is an active fundraiser for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, an organization that funds pediatric cancer research grants. Recently, she decided she wanted to do something more for children with cancer. ‘A friend of mine shaved her head for St. Baldrick’s foundation and I thought she was crazy,’ McKenna said. ‘I thought donating her hair was going far enough and shaving was an unnecessary extreme. I thought I could never do something like that. Then after reflecting on it for a while and seeing how happy my friend was, I asked myself why couldn’t I do something like that? I went online to the Web site and signed up as a shavee.'”  Read more at http://wilmette.patch.com/articles/bald-is-beautiful-for-kenilworth-woman

PC TAMPA BAY COORDINATOR JOHN STEWART FEATURED IN COUNTERPUNCH ARTICLE ON NASA MISSION: “John Stewart of Pax Christi-Tampa Bay maintained before the Curiosity launch: ‘NASA is planning a mission that could endanger not only its future but the state of Florida and beyond. The absurd—and maddening—aspect of this risk is that it is unnecessary. The locomotion for NASA’s Sojourner Mars rover, launched in 1996, and the Spirit and Opportunity Mars rovers, both launched in 2003, was solar powered, with the latter two rovers performing well beyond what their engineers expected. Curiosity’s locomotion could also be solar-powered. NASA admits this in its EIS, but decided to put us all at risk because plutonium-powered batteries last longer and they want to have the ‘flexibility to select the most scientifically interesting location on the surface’ of Mars.'” Read more at http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/01/16/the-toxic-crash-of-phobos-grunt/

LONGTIME PAX CHRISTI MEMBER MARY ALLICE PRATT DIES:Mary Alice Pratt, a longtime Central Kentucky social activist, died January 12. She would have turned 83 the next day. Ms. Pratt had worked for decades on social justice issues with the University of Kentucky Newman Center-Holy Spirit Parish; was active in the Central Kentucky Council for Peace and Justice; and once wrote and performed a one-woman show on the life of Dorothy Day, a co-founder of the Catholic Worker Movement, whose work greatly influenced Ms. Pratt.” Read more here: http://www.kentucky.com/2012/01/12/2026248/mary-alice-pratt-central-kentucky.html#storylink=cpy

TIFFIN AREA PC MEMBER GOES TO TRIAL FOR HOUSE ACTION: Josie Setzler, a peace activist and grandmother from Fremont, is one of five people on trial in D.C. Superior Court this week for disrupting congressional hearings to protest government treatment of Guantanamo Bay detainees. Ms. Setzler was one of 14 members of Witness Against Torture who stood up in the citizens’ gallery of the House of Representatives during deliberations June 23 on the defense authorization bill. It contained a measure to eliminate funding from any efforts to repatriate Guantanamo detainees… Ms. Setzler, 58, is charged with unlawful conduct, a misdemeanor. In addition to her membership in Witness Against Torture, she heads Tiffin Area Pax Christi and People for Peace and Justice Sandusky County. Read more at http://www.toledoblade.com/Courts/2012/01/04/Fremont-woman-among-5-on-trial-for-House-protest.html

Upcoming Events

  • PC-Minnesota’s winter gathering with PCUSA Teacher of Peace Bill Quigley, March 3, at St. Frances Cabrini Church in Minneapolis. For more info, click here.
  • PCUSA Ambassador of Peace Rev. John Dear, SJ will speak at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in Atlanta, March 14. For more info, click here.
  • PC-Florida will host their Spring Retreat in Parrish, FL on April 14 and 15. Retreat leader is Sr. Paula Gonzalez. For more info, click here.
  • PC-Michigan’s 31st annual state conference, “Power: Who Lies? Who Dies? Who Pays? Who Profits?” will be April 21 at St. Anastasia Church in Troy, MI. Pax Christi Ambassador of Peace Tom Cordaro and PCUSA Executive Director Sr. Patty Chappell are featured speakers. For more info, click here.

Quicklinks

PC-Illinois World Peace Day event

Religious leaders hold a paper chain at PC- Illinois' World Peace Day event. Photo courtesy of PC-Illinois.

Blue Water (MI) Pax Christi’s Michael McCarthy on “Drones Come Home To Roost”… PC NJ coordinator Kathy O’Leary featured in Change.org article on one individual’s unjust detention … PC St. Francis Church (MD) coordinator Susan Kerin had a letter on Israeli-Palestinian issues published in the Washington Post … Pax Christi New York City launched a new website last month … Great online interview with former National Council member Donna Grimes … Art Laffin reviews PC NM co-coordinator Bud Ryan’s movie The Forgotten Bomb in Tikkun … Interested in joining the Pax Christi Anti-Racism Team? … Nominate someone for the Pax Christi USA National Council. Deadline is March 5 … An interview with Pax Christi member Sr. Rita Clare Gerardot was featured in NCR …

  • Send your news items, announcements, photos and links to stories about Pax Christi groups or members to johnnypcusa@yahoo.com.