by Joshua McElwee, NCR

It was the kind of celebration that, six months ago, Michael Walli might have enjoyed: Simple plates of spaghetti and salad, gathered friends, and an award for a noted local peacemaker.

Michael Walli, Peacemaker of the Year
Michael Walli, Peacemaker of the Year

Except that award went to Walli himself, who could not accept because he is imprisoned some 700 miles away in a private detention facility in Georgia.

An on-and-off member of the Washington, D.C., Catholic Worker community for three decades, Walli is awaiting sentencing for a 2012 protest action in Tennessee against a U.S. nuclear weapons facility.

Members of the DC/Baltimore chapter of the international Catholic peace group Pax Christi awarded their annual peacemaker of the year award to Walli Sunday anyway, honoring him in absentia and organizing their members to write to the judge urging leniency for the activist and the two others in his group.

“With all his heart, Michael wanted to be used as one of God’s redemptive agents in society,” Kathy Boylan, a member of the D.C. Catholic worker community said during the event as she accepted the award on Walli’s behalf…

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