ON THE LINE: December 2015 edition includes efforts in support of migrants, refugees, victims of gun violence, 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.

PAX CHRISTI ILLINOIS ACTIVISTS HELP KILL PLAN FOR IMMIGRANT DETENTION CENTER: (from The Chicago Tribune) Bernie Kopera and Concetta Smart are so often together fighting for the underdogs that people often assume they are married to each other. They are not. Yet the pair of Southland residents have formed an alliance that has enabled them to successfully oppose plans for a for-profit immigration detention center in the Chicago area. First in Crete, then in Joliet and Hobart, Ind., and most recently in Gary, they banded together with others to defeat the proposals. Recently they stepped in to help those fighting the latest plan — a center across from the Gary/Chicago Airport where undocumented immigrants would be held until they could be deported… Read the entire article http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/daily-southtown/news/ct-sta-immigrant-detention-center-activists-st-1115-20151118-story.html

Pax Christi Los Angeles members participate in a community prayer vigil to protest conditions at Los Angeles Men's Central Twin Tower Jail in September.

Pax Christi Los Angeles members participate in a community prayer vigil to protest conditions at Los Angeles Men’s Central Twin Tower Jail in September.

PAX CHRISTI METROWEST (MA) CO-SPONSORS EVENT TO END GUN VIOLENCE: (from The MetroWest Daily News) NATICK, MA – Thoughts and prayers are nice, but to end gun violence, more has to be done, state Rep. David Linsky told a group of about 60 anti-gun violence advocates. Speaking at a Community Interfaith Gathering at the Common Street Spiritual Center on Saturday, the Natick Democrat said it is time for action. … The gathering was co-sponsored by the spiritual center, the First Congregational Church in Natick, Temple Israel of Natick, Pax Christi MetroWest, Fisk United Methodist Church and the Massachusetts Chapter of Brady Campaign. To read the entire article, go to: http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/article/20151212/NEWS/151218369

This is the fourth year Blue Water PC has put up this billboard to promote peace, charity, and prayerful nonviolence. Councils of local Knights of Columbus and many local church and community members have been supportive. The billboard appears above the Chamber of Commerce building for one month beginning Dec. 23.

This is the fourth year Blue Water (MI) PC has put up this billboard to promote peace, charity, and prayerful nonviolence. Councils of local Knights of Columbus and many local church and community members have been supportive. The billboard appears above the Chamber of Commerce building for one month beginning Dec. 23.

Bishop Gumbleton and Ruben Garcia at Momentum 2012

Bishop Thomas Gumbleton and 2012 PCUSA Teacher of Peace Ruben Garcia

AMERICA MAGAZINE INTERVIEWS BISHOP GUMBLETON: (from America) Bishop Thomas J. Gumbleton is a writer and retired Roman Catholic auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Detroit. He was also the founding president of Pax Christi USA and a co-founder of the Michigan Coalition for Human Rights. Bishop Gumbleton earned a B.A. degree in 1952, a M.Div. degree in 1956 and then later earned a J.C.D in 1964. On Aug. 28, I interviewed Bishop Gumbleton by telephone about his life and work. The following transcript has been edited for style and length… Read the interview at http://americamagazine.org/content/all-things/social-justice-all-interview-bishop-thomas-gumbleton

PAX CHRISTI METRO DC-BALTIMORE ELECTS NEW COUNCIL, HONORS PEACEMAKER: Effective January 1, Mary Liepold will be the new chairperson of Pax Christi Metro DC-Baltimore, replacing Bob Cooke and Bob More. Other officers include Dennis Warner, Vice Chairperson; Luis Cabrales, Secretary; and Luann Mostello, Treasurer. The rest of the council includes Bob Cooke, Jack McHale, Tony Langbehn, Bro. Brian McLaughlin, Chuck Michaels, Katie Murphy, Sr. Roni Schweyen, and Pierre Thompson. … Also, on November 14, PC Metro DC-Baltimore held their Eighth Annual Peacemaker of the Year Event. The 2015 award recipient was Fr. Gerry Creedon, pastor of Holy Family Catholic Church in Dale City, Virginia, former pastor of St. Charles, Chair of the Diocese of Arlington Peace and Justice Commission, and a tireless advocate for peace and justice in our region. Read more at http://www.paxchristimetrodc.org/2015/10/fr-gerry-creedon-named-2015-peacemaker-of-the-year/

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Pax Christi Texas members Sr. Ceil Roeger and Dave Atwood participated in a DACA/DAPA immigration rally in Houston on November 20, 2015.

PC SAN ANTONIO (TX) MEMBERS PRAY FOR PEACE FOLLOWING TERROR ATTACKS: (from Fox San Antonio) SAN ANTONIO – Faith leaders and residents prayed for peace at a candlelight vigil Sunday night. Recent terror attacks and the national debate over Syrian refugees led more than a hundred to attend. … In silence, attendees circled a peace pole for more than half an hour on the University of the Incarnate Word campus. … Anthony Blasi, leader of Pax Christi San Antonio, said he’s also concerned people want to stop refugees. “We have always been a nation that welcomed all kinds of people,” Blasi said, “and we shouldn’t start changing our ways because of some lunatics in the alleged state of ISIS.” Read more at http://www.foxsanantonio.com/news/features/top-stories/stories/faith-leaders-residents-pray-peace-at-vigil-after-terror-attacks-17750.shtml#.VnDZJ_krLIU

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Upcoming or Ongoing Events:

Dec. 25: Christmas

Dec. 27: Holy Family observance

Dec. 27-28: Feast of the Holy Innocents Retreat and Action at STRATCOM headquarters in Omaha, NE; contact frank.cordaro@gmail.com or 515 292-4781 for more info; for peace witness in DC, contact: Dorothy Day Catholic Worker at 202-882-9649, artlaffin@hotmail.com

Dec. 28: Massacre of the Holy Innocents observance

Jan. 1: World Day of Peace

Jan. 3: Epiphany observance

Jan. 3-13: Witness Against Torture Fast and Action in DC

Jan. 15: Birth of MLK, 1929

Jan. 15-16: Rotary World Peace Conference in Ontario, CA; Pax Christi will have a table thanks to PC Southern California members

Jan. 18: MLK Day observance

Jan. 26: Bishop Gumbleton’s birthday

Jan. 29-31: Pax Christi USA National Council meeting in Bay St. Louis, MS

Feb: Black History Month

Feb. 4: Birth of Rosa Parks, 1913

Feb. 10: Nelson Mandela released, 1990

Feb. 10: Ash Wednesday

Feb. 12: NAACP founded, 1909

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Quicklinks:

PC Metro DC-Baltimore helped coordinate a dinner during the annual USCCB meetings at which bishops and others dined with local activists … Pax Christi Fremont (CA) is co-hosting an interfaith prayer service for peace on Dec. 31 … Pax Christi New Jersey was represented at the New Jersey Peace Action gathering on Nov. 14 where Kathy O’ Leary, PCNJ coordinator, presented the Hope Shapiro Bread and Roses Peace Award to featured speaker Sister Megan Rice … PC Northern California leader Tom Webb wrote an article on immigrationPC International intern Tabitha Redeppening wrote a reflection on the COP21 talks for the PCI blog … PC South Dakota Presentation Sisters JoAnn Sturzl and Myra Remily traveled in the Veterans for Peace bus from Minneapolis to the SOA this year. You can read their reflections online herePC El Paso members joined El Paso Bishop Seitz for Posadas sin Fronteras, a prayer and witness for migrants and their families, on Dec. 13 … PC Memphis signed onto a letter from the ACLU asking Tennessee Governor Haslam to rescind his request to suspend Syrian refugee resettlement in Tennessee … Visit the Pax Christi San Antonio (TX) website for upcoming events and photos … Pax Christi International’s December 2015 newsletter is online … See more local and regional updates in the Fall-Winter 2015-16 edition of The Peace Current

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