Dear friend in the peace movement,
It has been a blessing to serve as the Bishop-President of Pax Christi USA for the past four years. As I think back on my time serving in this role, I am reminded of an image from a stained-glass window in the cathedral of Chartres, France. In this window, the four New Testament evangelists sit upon the shoulders of the Hebrew prophets.
This window is a visual representation of something we often affirm in Pax Christi USA spaces: in our work for Gospel nonviolence, we are “standing on the shoulders of giants”. Every act of peace we undertake, every commitment to nonviolence we renew, and every movement for justice we participate in is thanks to those who went before us.
From the ancient Hebrew prophets to contemporary prophets like Fr. Bryan Massingale, Sr. Megan Rice, and the Berrigans, we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses. Because of their commitment to peace and Gospel nonviolence, both we and the generations to come can continue upon the long and often-challenging way of peace.
That’s why we’re asking all our Pax Christi USA members to consider an extraordinary gift for our 50th anniversary.
This special appeal in honor of our 50th anniversary is taking the place of our traditional Spring/Summer appeal this year. We’re asking you to honor a peacemaker who inspires you with a stretch gift to Pax Christi USA. This is your chance to support our work.
If you typically give $100, consider a $500 gift in honor of a peacemaker who inspires you. If you give $20, consider honoring our 50th year with a $50 donation. You can go online at this link to our website to give a donation or send in your donation by mail to Pax Christi USA, attn Bishop Stowe appeal, 415 Michigan Avenue NE, Suite 240, Washington, DC 20017.
When I reflect on our history, I think of Pax Christi USA founders, like Sister Mary Lou Kownacki, my brother bishop Thomas Gumbleton, and the dedicated peacemakers who urged the Church and the world to “study war no more”. I think of the people of color in Pax Christi USA who urge our leadership and the peace movement more broadly to embrace the work of racial justice. I think of the women and LGBTQ+ people who have served our movement in chapters and parishes across the nation.
And I think of you. You are central to this work for peace and justice, and your witness joins with Pax Christi USA members across time and space who have been singular but important voices in a great chorus of peacemakers.
Bishop John Stowe, OFM Conv.
Bishop President, Pax Christi USA