Dear Pax Christi USA members,
As many of you already know, we had planned to have our 2012 National Conference in Washington, D.C. this coming July, at the Catholic University of America. At our recent National Council meeting, we revisited this decision in light of the changes which have taken place over the course of the last few months, especially the completion of the move of our national office to Washington, D.C. and the hiring of a new Executive Director. Our discussion led us to decide on a different strategy for this coming year—a strategy which we think embodies bold, new directions for Pax Christi USA and accomplishes some of the most important tasks we see before us as we enter into a new moment for the organization.
As we move forward, there is a sense that a new direction is called for in these times—a direction which raises up a new generation of leaders throughout our organization, which authentically embraces communities of color, which attends to and cultivates the gifts and experiences of members working for peace and justice in cities and towns throughout our nation, and which binds all of us together more strongly so that we can speak with one voice on the issues about which we are passionate and present a unified witness to the values we all share as gospel-based peacemakers.
While this past year was a time of transition for us as Pax Christi USA, we want this next year to be a year of building up.
We have decided to move the 2012 National Conference from the beginning of our 40th anniversary year to the end of that year instead—the summer of 2013—and to host the National Conference in Washington, D.C. During 2012 the national staff in collaboration with the national council members will participate in a series of regional meetings building up to the 2013 National Conference. We invite our Pax Christi regional and local leaders, Pax Christi USA Anti-Racism team, Pax Christi USA Ambassadors of Peace and individual members – to meet with, listen to, and dream with Pax Christi USA members throughout the nation at a variety of locations.
As regions are approached to participate in this dialog, it is our desired hope that this effort will be widely embraced. We believe that this outreach to the regions can be effective and cut down on expenses during these difficult financial times. This will also offer an opportunity for many of you to meet with Sr. Patricia Chappell, SNDdeN, our new Executive Director.
The broad strokes of these meetings would include the participation of Sr. Patty and a national leadership delegation formed from among national staff and the national council members. These meetings would adhere to a general template crafted by the national staff based on a reflection, action, reflection process to fit regional realities and needs. And the insights and ideas which come out of these regional meetings will be incorporated into the planning of the 2013 National Conference and our organizational plan for the years to come.
Now is the time for us to hearken to one another’s voices and experiences, to draw on the love and hope each one of us have for Pax Christi USA. Let us throw open wide the doors and windows and invite everyone to the table. And let us plan together how to take Pax Christi USA forward into the future, in thanksgiving for all those who brought us to this place, inviting us into and challenging us to be the “peace of Christ” for the world.
If you have any questions or would like to learn more about hosting a regional meeting in 2012, please contact Johnny Zokovitch at 352-219-8419 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
In Christ’s peace,
Sr. Josie Chrosniak, HM
National Council Chair, PCUSA
Sr. Patricia Chappell, SNDdeN
Executive Director, PCUSA