We are excited to partner with the Cranaleith Spiritual Center for an Advent Series next month! All sessions will include time for prayer, reflection and small group sharing.

This is a 3 part series taking place over 3 Tuesdays in December:

  • December 6: Exploring Nonviolence
  • December 13: Nonviolence and Scripture
  • December 20: Nonviolence and Contemplative Practice

Each session stands independently, so come to as few or as many sessions as you wish.

Special $10 rate for the first 20 participants who register for the series. There is also a special student rate and scholarships are also available.

Cost is:

  • Special rate of $10 for first 20 participants who register for the series
  • Regular rate is $15 per session or $30 for the entire series
  • Student rate is $7 per session or $15 for series
  • Scholarships are available if you want to join but cannot afford the cost.

>> Click on this registration link to sign up for the entire series or individual sessions.

SESSION ONE: Exploring Nonviolence Sr. Anne McCarthy, OSB & Michelle Sherman

Tuesday, December 6; 7-8:30 pm ET

What would it look like to partake in “birthing Pax Christi,” to bring forth the Peace of Christ this Advent? Pope Francis tells us that “To be true followers of Jesus today also includes embracing his teaching about nonviolence.” In this first session, we will spend time with the woman about to give birth before a dragon (Revelation). She will lead us to explore gospel nonviolence and the courage, curiosity needed to embrace “womb time,” darkness, and the powerful passion to birth new life. This first evening and all other sessions will include time for prayer, reflection, and small group sharing.

SESSION TWO: Nonviolence and Scripture – Johnny Zokovitch & Michelle Sherman

Tuesday, December 13; 7-8:30pm ET

This second session of the retreat series will explore the gospel readings from Matthew for all four Sundays of Advent. Themes will include: Staying “awake” as the necessary precondition for practicing nonviolence (Matt 24), A “muscular, confrontational” nonviolence as embodied by John the Baptist (Matt 3), Nonviolence as the tool for “the works of mercy” (Matt 11) and Nonviolence, discomfort/uncertainty and “God with us” (Matt 1). As we continue the journey of “birthing the Peace of Christ,” we draw from the deep well of Scripture to guide us during this week of Advent.

SESSION THREE: Nonviolence and Contemplative Practices – Josephine Garnem & Michelle Sherman

Tuesday, December 20; 7-8:30pm ET

Mystic and theologian Howard Thurman believed that a nonviolent approach to racism and violence is possible through contemplative prayer, by which we are transformed in our encounter with God. In contemplative prayer, we are liberated from thinking of ourselves as somehow separate from everyone and everything else, including God. Franciscan friar Richard Rohr writes: “wait in prayer, but don’t wait for absolutely perfect motivation or we will never act. Radical union with God and neighbor is our starting place, not private perfection. Contemplation offers a way to make our action sustainable and lasting over the long haul.”  Contemplative practices open our eyes to see the injustices in our world through a prism of peace and see the image of God in others. In this last session of the Advent retreat series, we open our eyes and hearts to act through love, building a foundation for nonviolent responses to our complex, chaotic, and polarized world.  

Pax Christi USA is co-sponsoring this retreat series with Cranaleith Spiritual Center in Philadelphia, a ministry of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas.

Meet your presenters for the retreat series!

Josephine Garnem is an advocate and grassroots community mobilizer with over 23 years of extensive international and domestic experience. She is passionate about racial equity and justice and immigration. Josephine was born in Sierra Leone and has lived and worked in the Middle East, Sweden, Nigeria, Uganda, Cameroon, Haiti, Pakistan and Afghanistan before moving to the USA. Josephine organizes and leads diaspora-led free surgical training and medical missions to Sierra Leone and Cameroon. She is a 2020 Cohort of the Center for Action and Contemplation’s Living School (Theology and Social Justice). She serves on the National Council for Pax Christi USA. Josephine and her family live in Maryland.

Sr. Anne McCarthy, OSB of Erie, PA coordinates Benedictines for Peace in Erie, PA and is active in a number of local coalitions addressing climate, peace and policy for racial justice. A former National Coordinator of Pax Christi USA (1991-1994), she leads retreats on nonviolence, Benedictine spirituality, feminism and contemplative sitting prayer. On staff with Benetvision and Monasteries of the Heart, she is also one of the nurses for her monastic community. After living in a small Catholic Worker house in Erie, she enjoys gardening with children in a small neighborhood garden. In 2022, Pax Christi USA named Sr. Anne an Ambassador of Peace, a person chosen for their contributions in preaching and practicing gospel nonviolence, peacemaking, reconciliation, and justice.

Michelle Sherman (she/her) is the 50th Anniversary Coordinator for Pax Christi USA. She completed the Spiritual Direction Formation Program at Cranaleith Spiritual Center in 2019. Her previous professional roles include serving as the Campus Minister for Retreats at Villanova University, Director of Vocation and Volunteer Ministry for the Religious of the Assumption, and Campus Minister at Mother Cabrini High School. She lives in Dayton, OH, where she is also an adjunct professor at the University of Dayton.

Johnny Zokovitch is the Executive Director of Pax Christi USA, the national Catholic peace and justice movement. Previously, Johnny worked in Brussels with Pax Christi International as the Senior Communications Officer. For nearly 15 years, he lived at and co-directed the Gainesville (FL) Catholic Worker House, an intentional community serving and living with people who are homeless, addicted, impoverished, and mentally ill. He holds an MA in Theology with a concentration in biblical studies from the University of Notre Dame. His writing has been featured in National Catholic Reporter, US Catholic, Belief.Net, The Encyclopedia of Race and Racism, and elsewhere.

2 thoughts on “Join us for an online Advent Retreat series with Cranaleith Spiritual Center, Tuesdays in December

  1. I am eager to participate…. will the sessions be recorded – I am away for the 12/6 session. Thanks! Suzanne

  2. Yes, count me in. Disabled on a fixed income a scholarship would be appreciated. How do I proceed 4 enrollment?

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