ON THE LINE: October 2015 edition features regional retreats, local actions, and PCUSA members in the news

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 LOCAL AND REGIONAL GROUPS INSTRUMENTAL IN SUPPORT FOR IRAN DEAL: (from Tom Webb, PC-Northern California) Pax Christi Northern California has selected Lorrain Taylor founder of “1000 Mothers Against Violence” to receive their Peacemaker Award. Taylor will be given the award at Pax Christi Northern California’s regional assembly on Saturday, October 17th at St. Elizabeth’s High School in Oakland’s Fruitvale District. Besides presenting Taylor with the Peacemaker Award, assembly events will include an opening keynote panel featuring Sr. Megan Rice, Rivera Sun and Elizabeth Murray. Sr. Megan was recently released from prison after serving a 2 ½ year sentence for illegally entering the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Sun is an author and a nonviolence trainer for Pace Bene. Murray served as Deputy National Intelligence Office for the Near East on the National Intelligence Council before retiring after a 27-year career with the CIA. She is a member of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) and the Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action in Poulsbo, WA. Speakers will address topics  including the Bay Area housing crisis, human trafficking, accompanying immigrants, Pope Francis’ recent ecological encyclical “Laudato Si”, nuclear abolition, restorative justice, Ceasefire Oakland, root causes of Central American immigration, conscience and national service and the nonviolence movement.

Bishop Sullivan Chapter of Pax Christi of Norfolk, Va. presented Prof. Robert Watson of Hampton University speaking on the history of slavery at Virginia Wesleyan University.

The Bishop Sullivan Pax Christi in Norfolk presented Prof. Robert Watson (right) of Hampton University speaking on the history of slavery at Virginia Wesleyan Univ.

PAX CHRISTI MEMPHIS PRESENT BISHOP WITH STATEMENT ON IRAN DEAL, NUCLEAR THREAT: (from Paul Crum, PC-Memphis) On Sept. 28 Fr. Al Kirk and Jerry Bettice met with Bishop Terry Steib to discuss PC-Memphis’s concern about the Iran deal and Catholic teaching on the possession of nuclear weapons and the threat they pose to our world. This meeting was a follow-up to the letter sent to the bishop after the August meeting in which we featured the 70th anniversary of the atomic bomb attacks on Japan. The bishop asked for a written statement that expresses the concerns and possibilities put forth in the meeting. At the Oct. 13th meeting of PC Memphis, Bettice will present a draft of the document for feedback with a view of presenting a more complete view of what we hope he can do in conveying Catholic teaching to the local church of the diocese of Memphis.

Pax Christi Florida held their state assembly in Tampa and protested drone warfare outside MacDill Air Force Base as a kick-off action for the Campaign Nonviolence Week of Actions.

PC Florida held their state assembly in Tampa & protested drone warfare outside MacDill Air Force Base during the Campaign Nonviolence Week of Actions.

PCUSA NATIONAL COUNCIL MEMBER FEATURED IN “THE CATHOLIC PRIEST IN KENTUCKY’S COAL COUNTRY” ARTICLE: (from Al Jazeera-America) Like most Americans, I suspect, I was not very familiar with Appalachian Kentucky. But travel just a short distance outside Lexington’s lovely bluegrass, and you find yourself in very different surroundings. Eastern Kentucky isn’t the barren wasteland you might have imagined. Yes, strip mining has changed the landscape in some of the world’s oldest mountains. Still, there is striking beauty, from the rocky trails to the gentle falls and small hidden ponds. Along the way to all these great spots are small communities, like Stanton, Kentucky. That’s where we found Father John Rausch. At 70, Rausch is an unassuming man, living with a cat in a simple house with a new wooden rail on the front steps he’s quite proud of. Why did he have it put in? The guy who was delivering his casket to the house misjudged the distance and took a chunk out…. Read more at https://paxchristiusa.org/2015/10/04/care-for-creation-the-catholic-priest-in-kentuckys-coal-country/

Prayer vigil at the Cathedral in Los Angeles as the closing event of Campaign for Nonviolence and Pax Christi Los Angeles and Pax Christi Southern California’s support of Pope Francis’s call for end to nuclear weapons.

Prayer vigil at the Cathedral in Los Angeles as the closing event of Campaign for Nonviolence and Pax Christi Los Angeles and Pax Christi Southern California’s support of Pope Francis’s call for end to nuclear weapons.

PAX CHRISTI SILVER CITY (NV) HOLDS GATHERING IN HONOR OF POPE FRANCIS: (from the Silver City Sun-News) An ecumenical sunrise gathering was held from 6:45 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 27 at La Capilla in Silver City in honor of Pope Francis’ visit to the United States. The event included prayer, song and silent reflection… Pax Christi of Silver City hosted the sunrise gathering at La Capilla, which included local interfaith participation from the St. Francis Newman Center Parish, the Silver City Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, the Silver City United Church of Christ, the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd, the Friends Meeting (Quakers), and the Silver City Zen Center… Read more at http://www.scsun-news.com/story/news/2015/09/24/sunrise-gathering-honor-pope-francis/72752640/

PAX CHRISTI MAINE CO-COORDINATOR PENS OP-ED ON POPE FRANCIS’ ENCYCLICAL: (by Mary Ellen Quinn in the Bangor Daily News) “What kind of world do we want to leave to those who come after us, to children who are now growing up?” This question is posed by Pope Francis in his encyclical, “Laudato Si’ — On Care of Our Common Home,” released in June. “Laudato Si” has engaged people around the world in dialogue. Its content is compelling and far-reaching. The title, which comes from the words of St. Francis of Assisi in his “Canticle of the Creatures,” is translated as “Praise be to you,” referring to the creator of life. In Catholic tradition, an encyclical is an important teaching on moral topics; however, Pope Francis has made it known that he is addressing this encyclical not solely to Catholics but to “everyone who lives on the planet.” The spiritual leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics will soon be visiting the United States with stops in Washington, D.C.; New York City; and Philadelphia. Pope Francis will address the urgent issues he raises in the encyclical with President Barack Obama and with member nations at the United Nations… Read the entire article at https://bangordailynews.com/2015/09/16/opinion/contributors/pope-francis-connects-dots-linking-war-poverty-climate-crisis-violence/

Upcoming or Ongoing Events:

Oct. 14: National Day of Action for Global Climate Change

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

Oct. 24: South Dakota Pax Christi Peace Conference in Watertown, “Dorothy Day – A Discipleship for Today,” for more info contact sisterskandm@mediacombb.net

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. 13-15: Retreat with PCUSA Ambassador of Peace John Dear at Kirkridge in Pennsylvania

Nov. 14: Pax Christi Massachusetts retreat with Sr. Helen Prejean at St. Susanna Parish, Dedham, MA; contact Pat Ferrone at patferrone@rcn.com for info

Nov. 20: Pax Christi USA gathering at the SOA in Columbus, GA. Stay tuned for more info. We have a room reserved for 6pm, Friday eve at the Columbus Convention Center.

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

Nov. 29: Global Climate March

Nov. 29: Advent begins

Quicklinks:

PC International Co-President Marie Dennis was featured on PBS’s The News Hour for a story on Pope Francis … Fran Quigley of Pax Christi Indianapolis wrote this article in NCR explaining why Catholics must help bring down barriers blocking billions from lifesaving medicine … Pax Christi USA Ambassador of Peace Tonie Malone gave the annual peace lecture at the Monmouth Center for World Religions and Ethical Thought on Oct. 3 on Pope Francis’ new encyclical …  With other community organizations, PC Casper (WY) celebrated the International Day of Peace with a Peace Pole planting, reflection and meditation, yoga, walking the new labyrinth, kids activities and music … Pax Christi Florida lost one of its co-founders last month, Tom UmlaufPax Christi Illinois member Adrienne Alexander was featured in this article in Chicago Magazine on the Catholic Church and its commitment to labor issues … Pax Christi Maine co-coordinator Mary Ellen Quinn was quoted in this article about a march to end violence in Bangor … Pax Christi Santa Fe (NM) co-hosted a climate vigil at the Santa Fe cathedral during Pope Francis’ visit to the U.S. … Pax Christi Orange County (CA) joined other community organizations in a walk to the Orange County Jail for peace, dignity and justice as an act of solidarity with Pope Francis’ visit to a Philadelphia jail while in the U.S. … Pax Christi Northeastern Pennsylvania, with the Misericordia University Campus Ministry Program, is sponsoring a presentation by Martha Hennessy, Dorothy Day’s granddaughter on October 21. She’s also scheduled to present at the University of Scranton and Marywood University … Pax Christi USA member Dan Ebener has co-authored a new book, Strategic Planning: An Interactive Process for Leaders, now available at this website … Read Blue Water (MI) Pax Christi member Michael McCarthy’s blog on faith and justice in our world … Pax Christi International’s October 2015 newsletter is online … See more local and regional updates in the Summer 2015 edition of The Peace Current

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