ON THE LINE: September 2015 edition features work on Iran deal, Campaign Nonviolence, and more

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. 

ED. NOTE: I was out of the office for a variety of reasons in July and August and didn’t get to post editions of On The Line during those months. This month is a particularly full edition to make up for the backlog of incredible things on which PCUSA groups and members are busy working. Thanks for your understanding!

PC Sioux Falls (SD) members and others at Sen. Rounds office.

PC Sioux Falls (SD) members & others at Sen. Rounds office.

PAX CHRISTI LOCAL AND REGIONAL GROUPS INSTRUMENTAL IN SUPPORT FOR IRAN DEAL: All across the United States, Pax Christi local groups and regions mobilized to encourage their senators, representatives and bishops to support the nuclear deal brokered by Secretary John Kerry and representatives from other nations. To this date, the Iran deal has been upheld because of these efforts and many efforts, but it is not a done deal yet, so stay vigilant! A sampling of the efforts of PCUSA local groups and regions: PC Dallas members met with aides to Senator Cornyn at his Dallas office; PC Sioux Falls (SD) held a vigil in support of the agreement and met with their representative; PC Long Island (NY) and PC Metro NY members joined rallies outside Sen. Schumer’s offices; PC NJ members Fr. Gene Squeo and Carol Fay met with aides of Sen. Booker at his D.C. office and PC NJ released a statement after Sen. Menendez voiced his opposition to the deal; PC Beverly (MA) wrote letters to their bishop and letters-to-the-editors in support of the agreement…

Visiting Texas Senator Cornyn’s office in Dallas on the Iran deal are Joyce Hall, Pax Christi Dallas; Mavis Belisle, Nuclear Free World Committee; Bill Maxwell, Dallas Peace and Justice Center; Leslie Harris, CodePink, and Hadi Jawad, Middle East Peace Committee.

Visiting Senator Cornyn’s office in Dallas on the Iran deal are Joyce Hall, Pax Christi Dallas; Mavis Belisle, Nuclear Free World Committee; Bill Maxwell, Dallas Peace & Justice Center; Leslie Harris, CodePink, & Hadi Jawad, Middle East Peace Committee.

PC Long Island (NY) members rally outside Sen. Schumer's office.

PC Long Island (NY) members rally outside Sen. Schumer’s office.

PAX CHRISTI LOCAL GROUPS PARTICIPATE IN CAMPAIGN NONVIOLENCE: Pax Christi regions and local groups are participating in the Campaign Nonviolence week of actions, Sept. 20-27, all across the nation. A sampling of PCUSA activities includes: Pax Christi Memphis’ Interfaith Vigil at the Civil Rights Museum; Pax Christi San Diego will be hosting a Peace Prayer Vigil on Sept. 21, the International Day for Peace, and an Autumn Equinox Interfaith Peace Ritual on Sept. 23; PC Florida will hold an action against drones at MacDill Air Force base and a nonviolence training with Kit Evans-Ford of Pace e Bene; and PC Beverly (MA) has planned an Interfaith Candlelight Vigil on Sept. 22 at the Peace Pole on Beverly Common…

PAX CHRISTI ILLINOIS TO FOCUS ON OVERCOMING WHITE SUPREMACY: Pax Christi Illinois will host their 2015 annual gathering, “Set the Captives Free: Is there a way beyond White Supremacy?” on Saturday, October 3rd, from 1-4pm at Ascension Catholic Church, 808 S. East Ave, Oak Park, IL. The presenter is  Alex Mikulich, Ph.D., a Roman Catholic anti-racist theologian and social ethicist at the Jesuit Social Research Institute of Loyola University in New Orleans. He will be discussing the possibility of white Catholic activists and other people of faith working through white supremacy. He begins with an understanding of the depth of the wound that is racism in America, including how it is killing all of us and holds us captive. Mikulich draws upon his recent book, The Scandal of White Complicity in US Hyper-Incarceration, to demonstrate how the U.S. system is designed to control black and brown bodies as it maintains white innocence and superiority. He also draws upon the wisdom of Thomas Merton to propose a spirituality open to the possibility of overcoming white supremacy.

PEACE ACTIVISTS CONVERGE ON LOS ALAMOS, N.M. (from The NY Times) Ellie Voutselas, 78 (Pax Christi New Mexico member) pulled from a cardboard box the sacks she had fashioned into ponchos, slicing holes in the burlap for the head and arms. Cayla Turain, 22, grabbed hers, smudged ashes on her face, and joined a silent march for peace. On Aug. 6, 1945, a B-29 bomber dropped an atomic bomb over Hiroshima, Japan, incinerating tens of thousands on the ground. Seventy years later, Ms. Voutselas, Ms. Turain and about 80 others marched toward the secured entrance to the Los Alamos National Laboratory, where the bombs that ravaged Hiroshima and, three days later, Nagasaki, had been conceived. “My generation might be the one that’s going to have to grapple with the question, to nuke or not to nuke?” Ms. Turain, a graduate student from Fort Collins, Colo., said Thursday. “I came here looking for answers.” From a stage at the Ashley Pond Park, the Rev. John Dear (PCUSA Ambassador of Peace), the Catholic priest who organized the protest and a self-described “nonviolent troublemaker” — he says he has been arrested 75 times in acts of civil disobedience against war and was once convicted of striking an F-15E fighter-bomber with a hammer inside a military base — offered his answers… Read more by clicking here: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/08/us/peace-activists-descend-on-los-alamos-but-residents-remain-indifferent.html?emc=edit_th_20150808&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=805989&_r=0

PAX CHRISTI USA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR QUOTED IN STORY ON RACISM, CHARLESTON MASSACRE: Sr. Patty Chappell, SNDdeN, Executive Director of Pax Christi USA, was quoted in a Catholic News Service story following the massacre in Charleston. The story read, in part, “Pax Christi is practicing what it preaches. It has conducted a series of dialogues over the past year in five major U.S. cities, and will add a sixth in September in the Washington-Baltimore area. A similar lack of recognition of minorities cropped up even within U.S. Catholic peace activist circles, according to Sister Patricia Chappell, a Sister of Notre Dame de Namur who is Pax Christi USA’s president, and herself an African-American…” Read the entire article at https://paxchristiusa.org/2015/06/30/racism-americas-original-sin-manifests-itself-again-in-charleston-shootings/

Shatha, our guide in Aida refugee camp, next to a mural listing the names of all the villages represented in the camp.

Shatha, the guide in Aida refugee camp, next to a mural listing the names of all the villages represented in the camp.

THE WITNESS OF LIVING STONES IN THE HOLY LAND: (by Rosemarie Pace, Pax Christi Metro New York coordinator) “Seventy years ago, at the end of World War II, a French woman, Madame Dortel-Claudot, and a French Bishop, Pierre-Marie Theas, began a movement to pray for peace and reconciliation between their country and Germany. It disturbed them terribly that two supposedly Catholic Christian countries could have been at war with each other, killing each other’s people. Seventy years later, Pax Christi, the international Catholic peace movement, the outgrowth of that simple beginning, spreads across six continents and continues the work of prayer, study, and action for peace, justice, and reconciliation.”… Read more at this link: https://paxchristiusa.org/2015/07/01/reflection-the-witness-of-living-stones-in-the-holy-land/

NEW MEMBERS ELECTED, APPOINTED TO THE PCUSA NATIONAL COUNCIL: Three new council members have been elected and one current member has been appointed to the Pax Christi USA National Council. From the at-large slate of candidates, Pax Christi Anti-Racism Team member Isaac Chandler and Sr. Regina Ann Brummell, CSJ have been elected to three-year terms. From the regional slate, Nancy Oetter, Pax Christi Illinois state coordinator, was elected. Additionally, Olga Sarabia of Pax Christi Southern California has been appointed to continue for another year on the council. See more by clicking here: https://paxchristiusa.org/2015/08/05/national-council-new-members-elected-appointed-to-the-pax-christi-usa-national-council/

Pax Christi USA National Council 2015-16

Pax Christi USA National Council 2015-16

Upcoming or Ongoing Events:

Sept. 19-20: Pax Christi Florida Assembly and Action

Sept. 20-26: World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel

Sept. 20-27: Campaign Nonviolence Week of Actions

Sept. 21: International Day of Peace

Sept. 21: Global Days of Listening teleconference

Sept. 21-25: Week of Moral Action for Climate Justice

Sept. 22-26: Pope Francis in USA

Sept. 22-27: World Meeting of Families, Philadelphia

Sept. 26: International day for Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons

Oct. 3: Pax Christi New York Fall Assembly, “Jihad and Just War”, Bronx, NY

Oct. 3: “Set the Captives Free: Is there a way beyond White Supremacy?” the 2015 Pax Christi Illinois Annual Gathering at Ascension Catholic Church in Oak Park, IL; contact cordarotom@gmail.com for more info

Oct. 3-10: Keep Space for Peace Week

Oct. 4: St. Francis Day

Oct. 4-10: Ohio Walk to Stop Executions

Oct. 5: Witness Against Torture vigil in NYC

Oct. 8-11: National Black Catholic Men’s Conference, Lafayette, LA

Oct. 16-18: Pax Christi Michigan Annual Retreat with Gail Presbey, Ph.D., Roscommon, MI

Oct. 16-20: Peace Alliance conference in Washington, D.C.

Oct. 17: PC Northern California assembly, “Creative Nonviolence: Peacemaking in the 21st Century,” with Sr. Megan Rice, Rivera Sun and Elizabeth Murray, among others in Oakland. Contact oaklandcatholicworker@yahoo.com for more info

Oct. 24: NCR Conference in Illinois

Nov. 5-7: Fellowship of Reconciliation Centennial events in NY

Nov. 6-7: “Black Lives Matter: Race, Poverty and Violence Symposium” at Xavier University in New Orleans

Nov. 20-22: SOA vigil and action, Columbus, GA

Quicklinks:

Transform Now Plowshares receive “unsupervised” supervised probation at re-sentencing hearing … Pax Christi Burlington (VT) co-hosted a symposium on Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment at St. Michael’s College … NCR mentioned the efforts of Pax Christi USA in their editorial on “Churches can lead the fight against racism”PC Pittsburgh member Mimi Darragh had a letter-to-the-editor on Israel-Palestine published in America Magazine … PC Southern California co-hosted a vigil commemorating the Hiroshima-Nagasaki anniversariesPC Maine member Bill Slavick published this op-ed on the Pope’s encyclical in the Portland Press Herald … PC Viroqua (WI) hosted a screening of “The Forgotten Bomb” to commemorate the anniversaries of Hiroshima-Nagasaki … PC Long Island member Sr. Mary Beth Moore was interviewed in NCR about her life and work … PC Palm Beach (FL) member Barbara Richardson was recently awarded the Humana Good Neighbor Award at the Area Agency on Aging Prime Time Breakfast which was attended by several hundred area seniors and guests … PC Metro DC-Baltimore co-coordinator Bob Cooke was quoted in this article on Politico regarding the Iran nuclear deal … On Oct. 11, Pax Christi El Paso will be hosting the film “Trigger: The Ripple Effect of Gun Violence” … PCUSA Ambassador of Peace Megan McKenna wrote this impassioned plea for the synod on families taking place later this month … PC New Jersey was a co-initiator of this report on solitary confinementMarie Dennis, PCI Co-President, had this opinion piece on the Iran nuclear deal published on the Catholic Philly site … PC Rhode Island educates on the Hiroshima-Nagasaki anniversariesPC NJ member Tom Mahedy was quoted in this piece in the Asbury Park Press at Bishop O’Connell’s celebration of the Mass for Creation … Pax Christi International’s September 2015 newsletter is online … See more local and regional updates in the Summer 2015 edition of The Peace Current

Comments are closed.