Compiled by Johnny Zokovitch

Each week “On The Line” features news items and announcements from around the nation featuring Pax Christi members, local groups, regions and partners.

PC-Phoenix participates in anti-nuke demoMARKING THE 25TH ANNIVERSARY OF CHERNOBYL: The sun shone brightly and the wind showed its power in Phoenix, Arizona on Tuesday, April 26, the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear catastrophe.  Their prominent presence underlined the abundance of alternative energy resources in the Solar State. To mark the anniversary, fifty people, including members of Pax Christi-Phoenix, joined the Stand Together for a Nuclear Free Future demonstration to condemn the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC) recent decision to grant a 20 year license extension for Palo Verde, and to call for an end to uranium mining near the Grand Canyon. Holding colorful signs with a smiling sun proclaiming “Nuclear Power, No Thanks!”, the group gathered downtown in front of Arizona Public Service (APS) headquarters, owner/operator of the three-reactor Palo Verde nuclear power complex 50 miles west of Phoenix, the country’s largest.

PEACE DELEGATION TO AFGHANISTAN: Pax Christi Metro-D.C.-Baltimore member Judith Kelly participated in a peace delegation to Afghanistan in March. You can read the press release on her return by clicking here. PCUSA Teacher of Peace Kathy Kelly sent us the photo below of Judith in Kabul.

Judith Kelly in Kabul

VIDEO PRESENTATION BY PCUSA AMBASSADOR OF PEACE: In April, Pax Christi USA Ambassador of Peace and PC-Illinois member Tom Cordaro, was filmed giving a presentation at the Bishop Dingman Peace Award Banquet in Des Moines, IA. His presentation is entitled, “Forming a More Perfect Union: Overcoming the Politics of Fear.” The video can be viewed at this link:

PEACEFUL GENESEE:  Pax Christi Genesee County (NY) has initiated the creation of Peaceful Genesee, a partnership of faith groups, nonprofits and individuals who envision a community without violence of any form, where all people are treated with dignity and respect, and which develops the skills to transform conflicts peacefully.  To date, Peaceful Genesee has sponsored a community forum “From Violence to Hope”, sponsored a workshop on skill building for transforming conflicts, and a three-part series with Prof. Barry Gan, Director of the Center for Nonviolence at St. Bonaventure.  Ahead in the next two months will be the Alternatives to Violence Program, and a 2nd series with Prof. Gan.

FORMER PCUSA BISHOP-PRESIDENT AND CO SPEAK AT IOWA EVENT: Bishop Thomas Gumbleton and former military interrogator Joshua Casteel, now a student at the University of Chicago, School of Divinity spoke at the Newman Catholic Student Center in Iowa City on the topic, “Seeds of a Culture of Peace: Non-Violence as a Counter Culture.” Casteel, a UniversityofIowa graduate, was a military interrogator at Abu Gharib prison who later became a conscientious objector. He recounted his experience interrogating more than130 prisoners and said he could count on one hand the number of people who were guilty of nothing more than being Arabs. After conducting one of his interrogations, Casteel was compelled to look at his own spirituality and his belief in the teaching of Jesus. He said that challenge made him undergo what he described as a “crystallization of conscience,” leading him to apply for Conscientious Objector status. The event was organized by Evalee Mickey and members of Pax Christi Iowa City.

SEEDING NEW GROUPS: Organizing toolkits for starting a new group were sent out recently to local group organizers in Reno, NV; Greensboro, NC; and Alexandria, LA. We wish many blessings to these new groups as they discern and begin their work for peace and justice!

WAY OF THE CROSS: We’re still receiving report-backs from the more than 2 dozen Good Friday Way of the Cross prayer and witness events were held throughout the United States, connecting the suffering of Jesus with the suffering of our sisters and brothers because of poverty, injustice, war, violence, sickness, and more.

IN BRIEF: Kathleen Schatzberg, president of Cape Cod Community College and a member of Pax Christi Cape Cod, is retiring in July 2012… At the Monastery in St. Leo, Florida, the Benedictine Sisters of Pax Christi St. Leocontinue to vigil on Highway 52 every Monday afternoon in front of the monastery, reminding people to “Pray for Peace”… Pat Krommer of the Los Angeles Chapter of Pax Christi is trained and available for counseling on conscientious objection… Pax Christi Metro-D.C.-Baltimore member Paul Magno contributed a chapter to the book Hidden 1970s; Histories of Radicalism. You can see more about the book by clicking here.

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