Compiled by Johnny Zokovitch

Each month, “On The Line” features news items and announcements from around the nation featuring Pax Christi members, local groups, regions and partners. These are gleaned from articles in local newspapers, websites, magazines, and elsewhere.

PC MICHIGAN HOSTS RETREAT FOCUSING ON WATER: (by Carol Jachim) As Pax Christi people we stand for peace and nonviolence. Simplistically, against war and weapons. Yet, there are different levels of violence, besides the use and manufacture of guns and other weapons to denounce, that perhaps one hasn’t thought about. Pollution is one form of violence and the damage it does to our earth’s waters – lakes, oceans, streams, rivers, etc., besides the water used for drinking, bathing and  recreation. The 19th Annual Pax Christi Michigan Retreat focused on refreshing oneself … and that we did with the presence of wonderful people who truly care about each other, about promoting peace and nonviolence, and demonstrating a commitment to nonviolent ways in our lives… Read more at https://paxchristiusa.org/2014/01/10/regional-event-pc-michigans-fall-2013-retreat-water-as-a-source-of-life/

PC Michigan members gather for their annual retreat this past fall.
PC Michigan members gather for their annual retreat this past fall.

SUPPORT THE TRANSFORM NOW PLOWSHARES: (from John Amidon) You can make a huge difference in the lives of three innocent people by signing a petition. Sr. Megan Rice, Michael Walli (PC Metro DC-Baltimore’s Peacemaker of the Year) and Greg Boertje-Obed are facing up to 30 years in prison  for a nonviolent protest of  Y-12, a nuclear facility in Oak Ridge TN. They were working to rid the world of nuclear weapons, something we must do if we want our children to have a future. If you oppose nuclear weapons and if you dislike the idea of innocent people in prison please sign this petition. Sign the petition before the January 28th sentencing date at http://act.rootsaction.org/p/dia/action3/common/public/index?action_KEY=9007&start=25

Police seek to remove a protester at the Elizabeth (NJ) Detention Center. Protesters, including Diana Mejia--who was arrested for civil disobedience--and other PC New Jersey members, were advocating for the rights of immigrants
Police seek to remove a protester at the Elizabeth (NJ) Detention Center. Protesters, including Diana Mejia–who was arrested for civil disobedience–and other PC New Jersey members, were advocating for the rights of immigrants.

PAX CHRISTI IN ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS? ONLY IN NEW YORK! (by Rosemarie Pace) It started with a phone call. Maureen Blaine, Principal of St. Leo’s Elementary School in Corona, Queens, had a question:  Was it possible to have a Pax Christi group in an elementary school? I told her honestly that I didn’t know of any, but I certainly loved the idea. With my own professional background in elementary education, I firmly believe in Mahatma Gandhi’s famous quote: “If we are ever to have real peace in this world, we shall have to begin with the children.” Maureen agrees. She has the same quote posted in her office. Thus began Pax Christi at St. Leo’s Elementary School… To read this whole article in the Winter 2014 edition of Kerux, go to http://www.nypaxchristi.org/Documents/KeruxWinter2014.pdf

NOMINATIONS FOR PCUSA NATIONAL COUNCIL BEING SOUGHT: Pax Christi USA has begun the nominating procedures for this year’s National Council elections. If you would like to nominate someone as a candidate for the election to Pax Christi USA’s National Council, you can download and fill out the form located on the website. Forms must be postmarked by March 1, 2014. For more info, go to https://paxchristiusa.org/2014/01/14/national-council-nominations-now-being-sought-for-pax-christi-usa-national-council-elections-4/

PCUSA AMBASSADOR OF PEACE JOHN DEAR LEAVES THE JESUITS: (from the Santa Fe New Mexican) John Dear, a peace activist and Jesuit priest who led peaceful protests at Los Alamos commemorating the anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, for many years and served as pastor at a number of Northern New Mexico parishes in the early 2000s, was dismissed from the religious order last month for being “obstinately disobedient.” In his National Catholic Reporter column, posted to his website Tuesday, Dear wrote, “This week, with a heavy heart, I am officially leaving the Jesuits after 32 years. After three years of discernment, I’m leaving because the Society of Jesus in the U.S. has changed so much since I entered in 1982 and because my Jesuit superiors have tried so hard over the decades to stop my work for peace.”… Read more at http://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/local_news/jesuits-dismiss-peace-activist-known-for-demonstrating-at-lanl/article_9a0b4a95-13fc-5767-be34-b27fe62ee26a.html. Read John’s column in NCR at http://ncronline.org/blogs/road-peace/leaving-jesuits-after-32-years

PC New Mexico's Hiroshima Day Action
PCUSA Ambassador of Peace John Dear (center) leads members of PC New Mexico at their annual Sackcloth and Ashes Vigil outside Los Alamos National Laboratories.

PC ILLINOIS PARTICIPATES IN WORLD DAY OF PEACE INTERFAITH SERVICE: (by Tom Cordaro) The ninth annual World Peace Day Interfaith Prayer Service took place on Wednesday, January 1st in Naperville. This annual tradition was initiated by Pax Christi Illinois. This year’s theme was “Embracing Differences in Our Changing Community.” The service included participation from Muslim, Buddhist, Christian, Jewish, Baha’i, Hindu and Sikh communities as well as Unitarian Universalists, Christian Scientists and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. “We hope that by our coming together in the cause of peace, mutual respect and in celebration of our rich diversity we can build a stronger sense of community in Naperville and DuPage County,” organizer Tom Cordaro stated. He went on to say, “Every year we get more faith communities participating in this event. It shows that most people believe religious diversity is an asset in our community that makes us stronger and vibrant.”

Upcoming or Ongoing Events:

January 1-31 – January is Poverty Awareness Month, http://www.usccb.org/about/catholic-campaign-for-human-development/povertyusa/upload/poverty-awareness-month-calendar.pdf

January 18 – PC Memphis Day of Discernment, 9am to 3pm at the University of Memphis Catholic Center on Mynders Ave.; contact Terry Hash at terez58@aol.com or 849-0983 or Janice Vanderhaar at gvanderh@earthlink.net or 362-9364 for additional information or to register

January 26 – Peacemaking through the Arts: “Luke Live!” with PC-Metro New York Board member,  Fr. James DiLuzio, CSP. “Luke Live!” is a dramatic proclamation of the Gospel of Luke interspersed with Song Meditations, highlighting the peace and justice components in Luke’s Gospel. At St. Joseph’s Greenwich Village Church from 2:30 to 4:30pm.

February 28-March 2 – PC Metro New York’s Annual Retreat with Sr. Kathleen Deignan, CND at the St. Joseph’s Renewal Center in Brentwood, Long Island; http://www.nypaxchristi.org/events.html

March 1 – PCUSA National Council election nominations due, https://paxchristiusa.org/2014/01/14/national-council-nominations-now-being-sought-for-pax-christi-usa-national-council-elections-4/

March 5 – Ash Wednesday

March 5 – Ash Wednesday leafleting with PC Metro New York from 12-1pm at St. Patrick’s Cathedral; http://www.nypaxchristi.org/events.html

March 29 – PC Michigan State Conference, “Christian Nonviolence: The Great Failure, the Only Hope,” with Fr. Charles Emmanuel McCarthy; at Cristo Rey Parish, Lansing, MI, http://www.paxchristimi.org/#!pcm-2014-annual-conference/c6oh

March 29-30 – PC Florida Annual Retreat, “Nonviolent Resistance” with Jim Douglass, at Dayspring Episcopal Conference Center in Ellenton, FL; http://paxchristiflorida.org/events/

April 14-18 – Holy Week Pilgrimage with the Norfolk Catholic Worker and Hampton Roads Pax Christi that will stop at 14 area military bases in the Hampton Roads, VA area, the most militarized place on the planet; contact Steve at williamsbaggarly@gmail.com for more info

Quicklinks:

Check out the YouTube video of the protest at the Elizabeth Detention Center in which PC New Jersey members participated, including Diana Mejia, who was arrested … PC Texas leader David Atwood recently had a new book published, “My Search for the Beloved Community”PC Indianapolis meets every third Sunday at 7pm at Marian University in St. Francis Hall, room #163 … For the MLK Holiday, check out PCUSA’s Peacemaker Booklet on MLKThomas Cleary, a former priest who was active with Pax Christi Richmond and a passionate advocate for peace and justice, passed away late in 2013 … Members of PC South Dakota had a letter to the editor against the death penalty published in their local paper … Follow Blue Water (MI) PC leader Mike McCarthy’s blog, Pax VobiscumPax Christi International’s January 2014 newsletter is online … See more local and regional updates in the Fall 2013 edition of The Peace Current

One thought on “ON THE LINE: January 2014 edition highlights local group and regional events

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