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.
PAX CHRISTI GROUPS ACROSS THE NATION PLANNING WAY OF THE CROSS EVENTS FOR GOOD FRIDAY: So far we’ve had about 15 groups notify us that they’re planning on staging actions of prayer and witness on Good Friday, connecting the suffering of Jesus on his way to the Cross with the suffering that so many of our sisters and brothers are experiencing today because of violence and injustice. To see if a witness is being planned near you, go to https://paxchristiusa.org/programs/lent-2015/good-friday-way-of-the-cross/. More actions are being added as the information comes in, so check back regularly.
PC MASSACHUSETTS CALLING ATTENTION TO THE DEATH PENALTY DURING MARATHON TRIAL: (from PC-MA) We are residents of Massachusetts, from various Christian faith traditions, who are opposed to the Death Penalty in all cases. For months, we have watched with dismay as defense and prosecution counsel have negotiated the legal maze of jury selection as they prepared for the trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, accused in the bombing at the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013. Dzhokhar, now 21, faces 30 charges, 17 of which carry the possible imposition of Capital Punishment… Go to this link to read more and support PC Massachusetts’ call, https://paxchristiusa.org/2015/03/06/death-penalty-statement-in-opposition-to-the-death-penalty-for-dzhokhar-tsarnaev-a-call-to-communities-of-faith-in-massachusetts-and-the-united-states/
PCUSA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR ADDRESSES SOCIAL MINISTRY CONVOCATION IN BALTIMORE: (This is an excerpt from Sr. Patty Chappell’s speech.) … Intuitively Jesus knew he could not actualize this vision alone…he needed co-workers, associates, companions and disciples. He also knew that the rugged individualists who followed him had to have a stake in this vision. So he began to expose them to words, to actions, to meeting all different types of people that they had not related to before…thus making it clear that it did not matter if the people they met were beggars, lepers, sinners, tax collectors, the sick, the wealthy, or the possessed. Whatever their human condition…they were persons who were worthy of being loved, healed, liberated, and released from whatever bound them or stood in the way of their living a fully human life. His apostles and disciples, if they were to follow Jesus, had to get out of their comfort zones, their routines, their mindsets and see things in a new way… Read the entire speech at https://paxchristiusa.org/2015/03/10/keynote-address-the-joy-of-the-gospel-called-to-celebrate-and-serve/
PCUSA LOSES TWO PROPHETS OF PEACE: 1. (from Nick Mele) A few months ago, Fr. Bill “Bix” Bichsel, SJ, (below right, center in photo) traveled to a village on the island of Jeju in South Korea to stand in solidarity with villagers who have been resisting construction of a naval base there; base construction has already destroyed a unique ecological and geological area and has disrupted relationships throughout the village. This past weekend, he died, several years later than a doctor had predicted. Bix never let his health stand in the way of his call to accompany oppressed people, minister to marginalized people and discomfort comfortable people… Read more of Nick’s column here: https://paxchristiusa.org/2015/03/04/obituary-farewell-to-bix-fr-bill-bichsel-sj-d-february-28-2015/
2. (from PC-Florida) Last week, Pax Christi USA heard through former staff member Phyllis Jepson that Fr. Sebastian Muccilli (below left) had passed away. Fr. Sebastian was a former associate coordinator of Pax Christi USA. I (Johnny) met Fr. Sebastian on several occasions; he was an active part of my own “home” Pax Christi, PC Florida. Fr. Sebastian was a kind, joyful man, with a beautiful smile and gentle way about him that embodied the peace of Christ in which he believed and from which he lived. All of us at Pax Christi USA mourn his passing and celebrate his life. Read his obituary posted to the PC Florida site by going here: https://paxchristiusa.org/2015/02/23/obituary-giving-thanks-for-the-life-of-fr-sebastian-muccilli-former-associate-coordinator-of-pcusa/
PC SPOKANE (WA) INVITES MUSLIM LEADERS TO SPEAK: (from Anne Bosserman, SNJM) The Spokane PC chapter is concerned about the perception of and discrimination against our Muslim brothers and sisters world-wide and locally. Mustafa Mahmood attends Gonzaga University, Spokane. He is in his fourth year as an engineering student and is sponsored by the Iraqi Student Project. Last summer he returned to Iraq for the first time accompanying Sarah AK Ahmed. Sarah is operations director of the Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East. She spends a great deal of time in Northern Iraq with primarily Christian refugees. Both were invited to speak at Gonzaga University on the topic of relief and interfaith reconciliation in Iraq and proved to be excellent speakers in late January. Sarah also presented at an interfaith Washington State legislative conference in Spokane. We highly recommend Sarah as an available speaker whose message is Peace through basic human relationship.
PC SOUTH DAKOTA MEMBER INTERVIEWED ABOUT ABOLITON OF THE DEATH PENALTY: (from PC-South Dakota) Pax Christi South Dakota has been supportive of the effort to abolish the death penalty in their state. Recently they lobbied their state officials to that end. The attempt was defeated but PC South Dakota members have helped to raise the issue and move it forward to the day when abolition occurs. Here is a link to a video that includes an interview with Sister JoAnn Sturzl, a member of Pax Christi Southeastern South Dakota (Sioux Falls, SD): https://paxchristiusa.org/2015/02/25/death-penalty-pc-south-dakota-leading-the-effort-on-abolition/
WE GROW TOGETHER WORKSHOP PARTICIPANT IN TEXAS REFLECTS: (by Jerry Maynard, PC Texas) Prior to attending the workshop, I spent some time in prayer and personal reflection on what Spirit was doing in regards to this workshop, as well as, to see if the Lord had a “now” word for those attending the workshop. In my prayer, I had a deep sense that the Holy Spirit was calling, not only Pax Christi USA, but all of the Catholic Church (especially laity involved in leadership) to reground ourselves in the Gospel truth and to humble ourselves before God who has brought us a far way in the last 50+ years. We must realize as we engage the current issues of our day that we must begin to allow God’s grace to form us in understanding of how God is revealing God’s self to us… Read the entire reflection at https://paxchristiusa.org/2015/02/12/news-pax-christi-texas-hosts-we-grow-together-pax-christi-usa-and-catholic-communities-of-color-workshop/
FROM THE PAX CHRISTI STORE – MARCH’S FEATURED ITEM: Our Prayers Rise Like Incense: Liturgies for Peace: Consider this resources for planning Lenten gatherings & prayer! Includes a beautiful service for Holy Thursday called: “A Table of Many Breads.” Also check out the beautiful “Good Friday” and “Way of the Cross” prayer services offered here. And as you plan ahead for Easter and Earth Day, this book offers powerful and inspiring materials for your devotions. Go to http://paxchristiusa.3dcartstores.com/
INVITATION TO ATTEND PAX CHRISTI WORLD ASSEMBLY IN BETHLEHEM IN MAY: (from PCI and Bob Cooke, PC Metro DC-Baltimore) All Pax Christi members are invited to a unique experience of attending the Pax Christi International (PCI) World Assembly in Bethlehem from the evening of May 13th to the morning of May 17th. Go to http://paxchristi2015.net/ for more information and how to register. You may also be interested in participating in a Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation (HCEF) Living Stones pilgrimage taking place several days before and after the World Assembly. The pilgrimage is being organized by Bob Cooke of Pax Christi Metro DC-Baltimore. The trip will take you to many of the places where Jesus and his disciples walked as well as providing the opportunity to meet Living Stone Christian (as well as Muslim and Jewish) peacemakers in the Holy Land and find out more about how we can help them in their march to peace and justice in our time. The deadline to register for the pilgrimage has passed but there may still be spots available. For more information, visit https://paxchristiusa.org/2014/12/11/invitation-join-pax-christi-in-the-holy-land-in-may-2015/
PC BEVERLY (MA) HOSTING PRAYER ON NONVIOLENCE DURING LENT: (from Sr. Linda Bessom, SND) PC Beverly, MA is hosting a Lenten Afternoon of Prayer on Nonviolence on March 15th, 12:30-4:30 p.m. at St. Mary Star of the Sea Convent, Beverly. Pat Ferrone, Pax Christi MA Coordinator will be our speaker addressing Pax Christi’s priority of rejecting war and preparations for war. We will also reflect on a section of PCUSA Ambassador of Peace Nancy Small’s new book: Seizing the Nonviolent Moments. For more information or to register, please contact: Karen Watkins, 978-524-0029.
PC RHODE ISLAND PRESENTS PROGRAM ON NUKES: (from Joan Crowley, PC-RI) “Vienna and the Peace & Planet Mobilization” will be presented by Pax Christi R.I. and AFSC-South Eastern New England at the St. Anthony Parish Center (1413 Mineral Spring Avenue, North Providence, RI) on Thursday, March 12, 2015 at 7:00pm to gather in support of building a nuclear free, peaceful, just, and sustainable world. The guest speaker will be Joseph Gerson, delegate to the recent Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons and author of Empire and the Bomb. For more information, please contact: Joan Crowley at 401.272.3497
Upcoming or Ongoing Events:
Mar. 13-15 – Pax Christi Metro New York’s retreat with Fr. Joachim Lally, CSP, on the theme of “Silent Prayer and Nonviolence” at St. Joseph’s Renewal Center in Brentwood, Long Island; http://www.nypaxchristi.org/events.html
Mar. 14 – Sr. Patty Chappell, SNDdeN, Executive Director of PCUSA, speaks at the Western Illinois Faith Peace Coalition
Mar. 14 – Pax Christi Metro D.C.-Baltimore will sponsor a production of “Peace, Pies and Prophets – How to Buy an Enemy”, to support the Christian Peacemaker Teams; https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/4240887/PPP/DC%20PPP%20Poster.pdf
Mar. 18-21, Spring Rising: An Anti-War Intervention in DC, https://www.facebook.com/events/430232700485435/
Mar. 19 – Solemnity of St. Joseph
Mar. 19-22 – Midwest Faith and Resistance Retreat: A Catholic Worker Anti-Racism Workshop in St. Louis; http://newsite.karenhousecw.org/?page_id=1146
Mar. 20-26 – Delegation to El Salvador honoring Oscar Romero, https://paxchristiusa.org/2015/01/14/event-delegation-to-el-salvador-to-honor-the-life-and-legacy-of-romero/
Mar. 21 – CIW, Alliance for Fair Food Major Spring Action in St. Petersburg, FL; http://www.allianceforfairfood.org/news/2015/1/23/announced-parade-concert-for-fair-food-on-march-21st
Mar. 21-22 – Pax Christi Florida retreat, “Living the Nonviolent Life” with Fr. Bob Cushing, in Winter Park, FL; http://paxchristiflorida.org/events/
Mar. 22-24 – Notre Dame’s Catholic Social Tradition Conference, https://notredame-web.ungerboeck.com/coe/coe_p2_details.aspx?eventid=11955&sessionid=fb5fg6ffofgkfekfd7
Mar. 24 – Anniversary of the assassination of Archbishop Oscar Romero
Mar. 25 – Annunciation of the Lord Feast Day
Mar. 29 – Palm/Passion Sunday
Mar. 31 – Cesar Chavez birthday
Apr. 3 – Good Friday Stations of the Cross prayer and witness actions across the U.S., https://paxchristiusa.org/programs/lent-2015/good-friday-way-of-the-cross/
Apr. 5 – Easter
Apr. 10-11 – Gandhi-King Conference in Memphis, http://www.gandhikingconference.org/
Apr. 15 – Global Day of Action on Military Spending, http://demilitarize.org/global-day-action-military-spending/
Apr. 24-26 – Peace and Planet Mobilization for a Nuclear-Free, Just and Sustainable World, http://www.peaceandplanet.org/
PC San Diego participated in this peace crane project to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Hiroshima and Nagasaki with Campaign Nonviolence … PC Metro D.C.-Baltimore member Eli McCarthy had a great piece published on ISIS and nonviolent resistance in The Huffington Post … PC Seed Planters (IL) present Pasta For Peace with the Peace Alliance on March 15 at the Sacred Heart Church Hall, 337 Ottawa St., Joliet, IL … Pax Christi International recognized Colombia’s Women, Peace and Security Collective for Reflection and Action with this year’s Peace Award … PC Metro New York passed out this Lenten leaflet at the cathedral on Ash Wednesday … Look for Fr. Chris Ponnet and PC Southern California at this year’s Religious Education Congress … PC St. Louis is sponsoring an anti-racism workshop with the Pax Christi Anti-Racism Team on March 14 at the Catholic Student Center of Washington University … Pax Christi USA, with Maryknoll, Sisters of Mercy and the Columbian Fathers and Brothers, is lending its support to the statement “Catholic Morality and Nuclear Abolition.” See the statement here and sign on … Pax Christi International’s March 2015 newsletter is online … See more local and regional updates in the Spring 2015 edition of The Peace Current …
- Send your news items, announcements, photos and links to stories about Pax Christi groups or members to firstname.lastname@example.org.