Pax Christi USA reflects on the past, celebrates the present, looks to the future

Atlanta—Pax Christi USA will be celebrating its 40th anniversary at its national conference in Atlanta, Georgia this weekend. The organization started in 1972 at the initiative of a handful of U.S. Catholics, primarily lay people, led by Eileen Egan, Gordon Zahn and others. The Atlanta conference is the culmination of a year of regional dialogues between members of Pax Christi USA’s National Council and national staff and the organizations grassroots members, regions and local groups from across the nation.

“As we celebrate the culmination of PCUSA’s 40 years of working for peace through non-violence, we chose Remembering the Past with Gratitude; Living the Present with Enthusiasm; Embracing the Future with Confidence and Hope as our theme for the conference,” stated Sr. Patty Chappell, SNDdeN, Executive Director of Pax Christi USA.

Keynote speakers for the national conference include Bishop Tom Gumbleton, one of the co-founders of Pax Christi USA, and Rev. Bryan Massingale, author of Racial Justice and the Catholic Church. Workshops on drone warfare, the death penalty, human trafficking, and more are also being offered. Participants will also make a special pilgrimage to the MLK Center where a prayer service is planned.

“Our time together at the Dr. Martin Luther King Center commemorating the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington as well as the 50th anniversary of Pacem in Terris will remind all us of our call to continue the mission for which Pax Christi was founded,” said Sr. Josie Chrosniak, HM, chair of the Pax Christi USA National Council.

At the beginning of this 40th anniversary year in 2012, members of the national leadership team of Pax Christi USA initiated a series of regional dialogues as a build up to the national conference. The dialogues allowed for national leadership to meet with, listen to, and dream with Pax Christi USA members at various locations from California to New York, Michigan to Florida. The insights and ideas which came out of these regional meetings were incorporated into the planning of the national conference.

“The energy that flows from our time together will re-kindle our commitment to be peace leaders,” stated Sr. Chappell. “This is an excellent opportunity for our members to spend quality time with each other as partners in the non-violence movement, working for peace with justice.”

For more information or requests for interviews, please contact Johnny Zokovitch, Pax Christi USA’s Director of Communications, at 352-219-8419 or  

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