from Pax Christi Rhode Island
Marking the 70th anniversary of the August 6 and August 9 atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, Roman Catholic parishes throughout the Diocese of Providence (Rhode Island) have been invited to distribute information and to seek prayer about the urgency of nuclear disarmament at their Masses on or before the weekend of August 1-2, 2015.
The invitation was issued by Pax Christi-Rhode Island, the local chapter of Pax Christi USA. Pax Christi is the international Catholic peace movement which has NGO status at the United Nations and which is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year as well.
In September, 2014, at St. Anthony Church in North Providence, Pax Christi-Rhode Island hosted a talk by Dr. Joseph Gerson who was preparing for his work as an American Friends Service Committee delegate to the Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons in December. He described how some 160 nations would participate in this conference in Vienna to plan for the International Peace and the Planet Conference and Mobilization for a Nuclear-Free, Peaceful, Just, and Sustainable World in New York City on May 24-26 this year. These were the days immediately preceding the opening of the United Nations’ 2015 Review of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.
Four members of Pax Christi-Rhode Island subsequently attended the May Conference and Mobilization: two days of formal speeches, question and answer sessions, and discussion groups, followed by the Sunday Interfaith Prayer Service and the march to the United Nations. Especially impressive was the presence in the march of over 1,000 Japanese who either survived the bombings of 1945 or were descendants or other relatives of survivors.
In his most recent Without a Doubt column in The Rhode Island Catholic, Thomas Tobin, Bishop of the Diocese of Providence, wrote in support of the work of Pax Christi. He stated that “the information they provide and the commitment they bring to their mission is most impressive” and that “Pax Christi is working to remind us all of the enormous danger of nuclear weapons, particularly in a world destabilized by fractured governments and terrorist groups and thus ripe for nuclear proliferation.”
Pax Christi-Rhode Island meets monthly on the last Sunday of the month from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at St. William’s Church, on Ponagansett Avenue in the Norwood section of Warwick. New members are welcome. For more information, contact Bill Waters at 401-323-1136 or Pat Fontes at 401-516-7678.