Ryan Di Corpo and Isaac Chandler recently spoke with Fr. Joe Nangle, OFM, Pax Christi USA’s most recent Teacher of Peace. Fr. Joe’s interview will be included with the series of video interviews with recipients of the annual award, a series created for the 50th anniversary of Pax Christi USA.
A native of Massachusetts, Fr. Joe spent 15 years as a missioner in Bolivia and Peru. There, his experience of ministry with Indigenous communities, the Latin American church transformed by Medellin, the influence of Gustavo Gutierrez and liberation theology profoundly affected his spirituality and vocation.
He returned to the U.S. to address the root causes of the oppression and poverty he saw in Latin America. On October 4, 1986, he co-founded the Assisi community in the Petworth neighborhood in Washington, DC, an intentional, faith-based group of lay persons and vowed religious with a focus on simple lifestyle, social justice and witness, which continues to this day, and he served several years on the Pax Christi USA national council in the 1990s. For 12 years, Fr. Joe was co-director of the Franciscan Mission Service and, from 2011-2017, he was a member of the Provincial Council of the Holy Name province of the Order of Friars Minor. He currently serves in ministry with the Latino community at Our Lady Queen of Peace parish in Arlington, VA.