>> Click here to read a special Easter message for the Pax Christi USA community from Bishop John Stowe, OFM Conv, Bishop-President of Pax Christi USA.
We enter Lent this year faced with multiple tragedies on several fronts — from the new war in Ukraine and the years-old bombing in Yemen to the ongoing loss and grief caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, from the continued threats of white nationalism and racial injustice to the intractable issues of poverty and unequal access to healthcare. These realities are the context for our Lenten campaign of prayer, study and action this year.
This season of Lent presents the opportunity to root ourselves ever more deeply in discipleship to the nonviolent Jesus, to demonstrate the unbreakable bond that exists between an authentic spirituality and our commitment to social justice, between the proclamation of the gospel and the call to practice peacemaking, fortifying us to address injustice, violence, and oppression. As we celebrate our 50th anniversary this year, we are also mining our history for the tools to engage the challenges we face today. Starting in this Lenten season and continuing throughout the year up to the mid-term elections in 2022, we’re reimagining a campaign that we launched back in 1999, Bread Not Stones, a campaign aimed at redirecting the obscene amount of money the U.S. invests in military spending to the challenges presented by the pandemic, the climate crisis, racial oppression, and economic injustice. Despite the end of the Cold War in the nineties, the U.S. has continued to operate out of the mentality that peace is assured through military might, the manufacturing of weapons, and investment in preparation for war. This Lent, through prayer, study and action, we will more deeply root ourselves in the spirituality of nonviolence that can empower us to resist and break the cycle of war, injustice and violence.
We hope the resources below for prayer, study and action will be helpful to you as we journey through Lent together, walking the way of discipleship with Jesus toward the Cross by challenging systems which dominate and oppress in our world today.
REFLECTIONS FOR SUNDAYS AND HOLY DAYS
On this page throughout the season, we’ll be featuring reflections from this year’s Pax Christi USA Lenten reflection booklet and other excerpts from past booklets. We’ll also be sending our weekly Lenten emails directly to your inbox if you’re subscribed to our free email service. (Click here to sign up if you are not already subscribed to our free email service.)
- Ash Wednesday, March 2 – by Joseph Fahey, Pax Christi USA Ambassador of Peace
- First Sunday of Lent, March 6 – by Nancy Small, Pax Christi USA Ambassador of Peace
- Second Sunday of Lent, March 13 – by Dave Robinson, former Pax Christi USA Executive Director
- Third Sunday of Lent, March 20 – by Sr. Mary Evelyn Jegen, SNDdeN, Pax Christi USA Teacher of Peace
- Fourth Sunday of Lent, March 27 – by Sr. Patricia Chappell, SNDdeN, former Pax Christi USA Executive Director, & Sr. Anne-Louise Nadeau, SNDdeN, former Pax Christi USA Interim Executive Director
- Fifth Sunday of Lent, April 3 – by Johnny Zokovitch, current Pax Christi USA Executive Director
- Palm Sunday, April 10 – by Anne McCarthy, osb, former Pax Christi USA National Coordinator
- Holy Thursday, April 14 – by Anne McCarthy, osb, former Pax Christi USA National Coordinator
- Good Friday, April 15 – by Anne McCarthy, osb, former Pax Christi USA National Coordinator
- Holy Saturday, April 16 – by Anne McCarthy, osb, former Pax Christi USA National Coordinator
- Easter Sunday, April 17 – by Mary Lou Kownacki, osb, Pax Christi USA Teacher of Peace
PRAY-STUDY-ACT EACH WEEK OF LENT
Each week, we’ll be crafting a special Pray-Study-Act e-bulletin (PSA) with resources for us all to use and to act on in common. Each PSA will be sent out a few days prior to the week to which it refers.
- First week of Lent, March 6-12
- Second week of Lent, March 13-19
- Third week of Lent, March 20-26
- Fourth week of Lent, March 27-April 2
- Fifth week of Lent, April 3-9
- Holy Week, April 10-16
OTHER LENTEN RESOURCES
- A prayer for peace in Ukraine by Sr. Pegge Boehm, PBVM (in MSWord and as a PDF)
- Litany of Peace: A prayer from Pax Christi USA to use daily throughout Lent (pdf)
- An Examination of Conscience (pdf)
- Lenten resources from the USCCB including a Lenten study of Fratelli Tutti, CRS Rice Bowl, and more.
- A Lenten reflection with action suggestions and a prayer from Rosemarie Pace, Pax Christi New York.
- The Lent 2022 reflection guide from the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns.
- A Laudato Si’ Lent
- Find resources from last year’s Lenten program at this link.
SPECIAL EVENTS AND DAYS OF OBSERVANCE
>> Lenten retreat with Bro. Mickey McGrath, OSFS on April 6th over Zoom: “Disarming our Hearts: A Virtual Way of the Cross with Pax Christi USA”. Click here for more information.
In these turbulent times of war, violence, racism, and anxiety, we invite you to rediscover the healing power of beauty with artist and story-teller Brother Mickey McGrath as he shares his own paintings and stories to lead you on a contemporary Way of the Cross.
>> Lenten Days of Prayer, Fasting & Action Every Wednesday
We implore members of the Pax Christi USA community, U.S. Catholics, and people of faith everywhere to join together in the day of prayer and fasting for peace in Ukraine called for by Pope Francis on March 2, Ash Wednesday. We encourage our community to publicly vigil in support of peace on this day. We are asking Pax Christi USA members to take this one step further and to publicly vigil for peace in Ukraine, Yemen, Palestine and elsewhere around the world EVERY WEDNESDAY throughout Lent.
- Pax Christi Young Adult Caucus liturgy of peace at the Russian Embassy, Ash Wednesday, 7pm ET
- Join Pax Christi New Jersey for an online prayer service here for Ash Wednesday, 7:30pm ET
Other events and opportunities:
- Pax Christi USA is part of the coalition supporting a global day of action for peace in Ukraine on Sunday, March 6. Click here for more information and to find an action near you.
- Pax Christi USA Community Weekly Lent Service, Mondays, 8:30-9pm ET, beginning on March 7 through April 11. Join with members of the Pax Christi USA family from around the nation for a short prayer service with short readings from our Lenten reflection booklet, Scripture readings, prayers of the faithful, and more. You can join us for any or all of the prayer services throughout Lent. You need only register once. Click here to register.
- A Lenten Exploration of Gospel Nonviolence and Why it Matters, every Tuesday evening of Lent 2022, 7:00pm CT; Pax Christi USA is a co-sponsor. Speakers include Pax Christi USA Ambassadors of Peace Fr. John Dear and Marie Dennis, and Pax Christi USA staff member, Michelle Sherman.
- April 4 – King and Breaking Silence Project, of which Pax Christi USA is a co-sponsor. 7pm, ET.
- April 9 – White Supremacy & American Christianity: A Conversation with Robert P. Jones & Fr. Bryan Massingale, 12:30pm ET. Pax Christi USA is a co-sponsor.
Good Friday Observances
Traditionally, many Pax Christi USA local groups plan and stage a “Way of the Cross” event on Good Friday, connecting the sufferings of Christ during his passion with the suffering of our brothers and sisters at the hands of violence, greed, poverty, sickness and war. This year, we invite Pax Christi USA local groups, Catholic Worker communities, partners and friends to organize Good Friday witness actions that address the intersectionality of war, racism, economic injustice, the climate crisis & more by reflecting on Jesus’s steps to Calvary.
Below are resources for groups interested in undertaking a Way of the Cross in their community on Good Friday. Also please let us know if you have a Way of the Cross planned in your community by filling out this form.
>> We will list the names of groups, with contact information, which will be staging a Way of the Cross this year on this page.
- From the Gainesville Catholic Worker/Pax Christi-Gainesville, Way of the Cross template and sample script (MSWord, free download)
- An Earth Day Eco Stations of the Cross (MSWord, free download)
- The Stations of Justice (MSWord, free download)
2022 LENTEN REFLECTION BOOKLET
Purchase and download this year’s Lenten reflection booklet, The Beauty We Must Hold Fast To: Reflections for Lent 2022, which includes all-new reflections based on the daily liturgical readings for the entire season of Lent, from Ash Wednesday through Easter. Each reflection (as well as the photographs) was written by a former Pax Christi USA General Secretary, National Coordinator or Executive Director (the title changed over time!). Some—like Joe Fahey, Sr. Mary Lou Kownacki and Sr. Mary Evelyn Jegen—were there at the very birth of our movement. And their work was built on by Sr. Anne McCarthy, Jo Clarke, Nancy Small, Dave Robinson, Ron Cruz, Sr. Patty Chappell, and Sr. Anne-Louise Nadeau. Each of them brings a different facet of the commitment to peace and justice which lies at the heart of our faith. Taken together, they “weave threads of peace” into a tapestry that captures insights and challenges for people who would walk the way of Jesus, especially during Lent.
- Read more about this year’s Lenten booklet at this link.
- Purchase and download the e-version for your e-reader at this link.