Last month, at their bi-annual in-person meeting, the Pax Christi USA National Council appointed to 3-year terms the three candidates nominated by the membership for this year’s election slate. The candidates who were appointed are all current members of the National Council who had just completed their original 3-year term: Fr. Fred Thelen, Sr. Diane Smith CSJ, and Sherry Simon. The three candidates were appointed as there were only three positions up for election this year.
Our congratulations go out to Sherry, Fr. Fred and Sr. Diane on their appointments. We are grateful for the time and talents they are committing towards our common effort of supporting Pax Christi USA’s mission.
Below you can find a short bio of each of the re-appointed council members.
Diane Smith, CSJ is a native Californian who grew up on a farm instilling in her a lifelong care of the Earth. Observing the Braceros who came through to harvest crops, an awareness and empathy developed for immigrants struggling to provide for their families. As a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet, she presently responds to the call of nonviolently being a voice for the voiceless through advocacy and education.
Sherry Simon has worked as a clinical psychologist in private practice in Little Rock, AR for the past 31 years. She is the founder and current president of Pax Christi Little Rock. One of the most important lessons she has learned in her training and therapy practice is that building positive, healthy relationships plays a critical role in personal, relational and intercultural growth.
Fr. Fred Thelen brings the perspective of cross-cultural work with twenty-five years as pastor of the Hispanic/Latino parish of Cristo Rey Church in Lansing, Michigan and five years as a Maryknoll Associate Priest working in the southern Andes of Peru among the Aymara people and on the team of the Vicarìa/Human Rights Office. He established the first Office of Peace and Justice Ministry of the Lansing Diocese, re-founded of Action of Greater Lansing (community organizing) as a Gamaliel Affiliate, founded the Greater Lansing Network Against War and Injustice in the run-up to the Iraq War, and helped to rejuvenate Pax Christi Michigan in the early 1980’s. He wrote the small group process, “At the Heart of Faith” which was used nationally as a follow-up to the 1986 U.S. Bishops pastoral letter “Economic Justice for All”.