ON THE LINE: February 2016 edition includes action in support of refugees, Vow of Nonviolence, 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 NEW JERSEY HOLDS ANNUAL PRAYER SERVICE FOR MIGRANTS, REFUGEES: (from multiple sources) On Wednesday February 10th, clergy, faith leaders and community members gathered in Liberty State Park along the water next to the bridge to Ellis Island to offer prayers and to remember all those who have been displaced from their home countries. Participants called for compassion and mercy for all those who have died fleeing violence and persecution, those who have been incarcerated as they attempt to flee and all those who have died trying to reach safety. Pax Christi New Jersey led the gathering on Ash Wednesday, an annual interfaith prayer service for migrants and refugees. With the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island serving as a dramatic backdrop, the seventh annual service called for compassion, mercy and solidarity with all those forced to leave their homelands.  To see a slideshow of the event by the Jersey Journal, click here: http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/2016/02/annual_interfaith_prayer_service_for_migrants_refu.html

Pax Christi New Jersey and friends host a prayer service on Ash Wednesday for migrants and refugees.

Pax Christi New Jersey and friends host a prayer service on Ash Wednesday for migrants and refugees.

PAX CHRISTI USA TEACHER OF PEACE DIRECTS NEW DOCUMENTARY ON HUMAN TRAFFICKING: (from Center of Concern) gI_72903_Against HumanityThe Center of Concern announces the premiere of “I Am Miriam,” an anti-human trafficking video, and a companion website entitled, “Against Humanity.” The video tells the story of a 26-year-old Ethiopian woman who underwent sex trafficking as she sought asylum from violence against her family and herself in her homeland. The website provides educational and other resources for preventing, detecting, and responding to human trafficking through individual and collective efforts. Sister Dianna M. Ortiz, O.S.U., Editor of the Center’s award-winning Education for Justice (EFJ) and an internationally recognized champion for human rights, wrote and served as executive producer for the video. “This is the tragic, personal story of my friend, Miriam, who descended into the horrors of human trafficking as she fled violence against her family and herself in her native Ethiopia. This modern-day form of slavery ensnares nearly 21 million of our brothers and sisters, an experience that no one should have to endure. We must illuminate and eliminate the curse of human trafficking,” Ortiz stated. (Sr. Dianna is a Pax Christi USA Teacher of Peace.)… Read more at http://www.benzinga.com/pressreleases/16/02/p6251085/center-of-concerns-education-for-justice-premieres-i-am-miriam-anti-hum

PAX CHRISTI MICHIGAN RELEASES STATEMENT ON FLINT WATER CRISIS: (from PC Michigan) The water crisis in the poverty-stricken, African-American-majority city of Flint, Michigan has its roots in decades of waste dumped by corporations into the Flint River, and more recently, surface runoff from roads, lawns and farmers’ fields. The water in the Flint River contains significant levels of chlorides, making it highly corrosive to lead pipes. In addition, state revenue sharing cutbacks for Michigan cities have exacerbated the negative impact on budgets already stretched thin by deindustrialization and the sharp decline in tax revenue. Michigan Governor Rick Snyder took office on January 1, 2011. With his accounting background, he brought to state government a corporate philosophy that was highly bottom-line oriented. One of Snyder’s first actions was legislation expanding an earlier law by giving the state sweeping powers to take over failing municipalities and school boards by appointing “emergency managers” with unchecked authority to replace democratically elected officials. In December 2011, Flint was placed in receivership under an emergency manager… Read the entire statement at http://www.paxchristimi.org/#!blank/u8kon

Pax Christi Metro D.C.-Baltimore members join the Ash Wednesday prayer service held outside the White House and organized by the Dorothy Day CW.

Pax Christi Metro D.C.-Baltimore members join the Ash Wednesday prayer service held outside the White House and organized by the Dorothy Day CW.

PC SEATTLE MEMBERS TAKE VOW OF NONVIOLENCE: (from Deacon Denny Duffell) On the Feast of the Holy Innocents at Mass at St. James Cathedral, Pax Christi members in the Seattle area took the Vow of Nonviolence. The program for the event thanked Fr. Ryan and the staff of the Cathedral, and invited all those in attendance to learn more about Pax Christi. “This is our third year in taking this vow publicly, in order to encourage others to join us.  One thing we hope is that the community of people who gather around these words and the hope behind them will support one another through prayer and action in living them out.  If we do this, we are hopefully confident that this community will grow.”

Pax Christi Seattle members take the Vow of Nonviolence at St. James Cathedral on the Feast of the Holy Innocents.

Pax Christi Seattle members take the Vow of Nonviolence at St. James Cathedral on the Feast of the Holy Innocents.

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Upcoming or Ongoing Events:

Feb. 20: World Day of Social Justice

Feb. 26-28: PC Metro New York Retreat, “The Quest for World Peace Begins Within,” at St. Joseph’s Renewal Center in Brentwood, Long Island

Feb. 27: Memorial Service for Concepcion Piccioto, at 10:00 am at Memorial Service at Luther Place Memorial Church, 1226 Vermont Avenue NW, Washington, DC

March: Women’s History Month

Mar. 1: International Death Penalty Abolition Day

Mar. 2-13: The Coalition of Immokalee Workers’ “Workers’ Voice Tour”, Eastern U.S.

Mar. 5: Lenten Retreat with Fr. Jack Martin, Stirling, NJ, co-sponsored by PC NJ

Mar. 8: International Women’s Day

Mar. 13: Election of Pope Francis, 2013

Mar. 20: Palm Sunday

Mar. 21-27: Week of Solidarity with Peoples Struggling Against Racism and Racial Discrimination

Mar. 22: World Water Day

Mar. 24: Holy Thursday, Feast of Blessed Oscar Romero

Mar. 25: Good Friday, International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade

Mar. 27: Easter

Mar. 27-Apr. 2: Shut Down Drones at Creech AFB action, Nevada

Mar. 31: Cesar Chavez, b. 1927

Apr. 8-9: Call for proposals for the Gandhi-King conference in Memphis

Apr. 8-12: Midwest Faith and Resistance Retreat, Minneapolis

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Quicklinks:

America Magazine wrote an excellent feature on Pax Christi International Co-President Bishop Kevin Dowling of South Africa … Gus Nystrom of Pax Christi Northern California gave two talks during February on his participation in a delegation to El Salavador to commemorate the four US religious sisters who were executed by the right-wing military of El Salvador in 1980 … For Black History Month, PC El Paso hosted a screening of The Black Power Mixtape: 1967-75 … Presentation Sister and PC-South Dakota member Sr. JoAnn Sturzl had published a letter in the Sioux Falls Argus Leader calling for an end to the death penalty … PC Northeastern Pennsylvania started a petition in support of Bishop Farrell in Texas regarding gun violence in our nation … PC Houston sponsored a talk on Islamophobia by Mustafaa Carroll of CAIR-Houston on Feb. 7 … PC Palm Beach (FL) co-sponsored an evening celebrating the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. … PC Michigan devised a strategic plan at a meeting in October 2015 … With PC South Dakota members, we mourn the loss of Sister Eileen O’Connor, OSBPC-Beverly (MA) is hosting a three session exploration of nonviolence and mercy, using the Bible and the book, Seizing the Nonviolent Moments: Reflection on the Spirituality of Nonviolence Through the Lens of Scripture, by PCUSA Ambassador of Peace Nancy Small during Lent … PC South Dakota members hosted a Take Back the Site vigil in January at the site of a recent murderPax Christi International’s February 2016 newsletter is online … See more local and regional updates in the Fall-Winter 2015-16 edition of The Peace Current

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