by Margaret McChesney, PC-Phoenix
Thus far in 2012, the Pax Christi model of Pray – Reflect – Act has been put into overdrive in Arizona due to the execution of 3 of our Arizona brothers (a 4th brother will be executed in May). In partnership with the Arizona Death Penalty Forum (AzDPF) and the Coalition of Arizonans Against the Death Penalty (CAADP), PC members have been busy writing letters to newspapers, speaking at clemency hearings, holding prayer vigils on the eve of the executions, and bearing witness at the federal prison on the days of execution. In February, together with the Arizona Ecumenical Council and JAAZ (Jesuit Alumni of Arizona) PC-Phoenix co-sponsored a speaking tour by Sister Helen Prejean (Dead Man Walking). Advance notices of each execution have been sent out to every parish in the Diocese of Phoenix – imploring pastors/priests to speak from the pulpit and invite their congregations to become involved. Members of the St. Thomas More Society (an organization of Catholic attorneys), members of the AMA/AzMA (medical association) and ANA/AzNA (nursing association) have also been contacted.
Abolishment of the Death Penalty is just one of several peacemaking activities of the 7-year old PC-Phoenix organization. Other areas of focus include meaningful immigration reform, addressing economic disparity as it affects education and health services, abolishment of war and torture. Arizonans are encouraged to attend our monthly meetings held at 6:30PM on the 3rd Wednesday of every month at the Franciscan Renewal Center. For more information, please contact Dan & Margaret Wolford at firstname.lastname@example.org.