Starting in 2021, Pax Christi USA began offering opportunities for the Pax Christi USA community and friends to study in-depth a particular book together, incorporating in-person study groups, virtual study groups, panel discussions and speakers, study guides, and other resources. We’re calling the series, Love is Political: Literary Circles for Liberation (#LoveIsPolitical). These circles are aimed at deepening our political, theological and socio-cultural education around particular issues on which our movement engages.

Once the original study circles for a particular book is complete, we’ll continue to leave posted the resources — videos, a timeline for suggested study, study guides with questions, and more — so that groups can continue to organize study circles on their own.

Study Circle #1 – Advancing Nonviolence, a study of Advancing Nonviolence and Just Peace in the Catholic Church and the World, eds. Marie Dennis, Ken Butigan, Rose Marie Berger, and Judy Coode, February-April 2021

The Advancing Nonviolence study circles are aimed at deepening the Catholic understanding of and commitment to Gospel nonviolence. This project grows out of our fundamental belief that nonviolence is critical to the life of the Catholic Church and the survival of our world, and that nonviolence is an essential component to transforming violence and injustice. Participation in these study circles will lead to a deeper understanding and appreciation for nonviolence as a constitutive element of our faith and the cultivation of practical and effective tools for building a just peace in our families, local communities, churches, cities and the world.

Study Circle #2Birth of a Movement, a study of Birth of a Movement: Black Lives Matter and the Catholic Church, by Olga Segura, beginning May 2021. For more information, click here.

The Birth of a Movement study circles are aimed at exploring the myriad ways that the Black Lives Matter movement and the teachings of the Catholic Church intersect and how, by embracing the values of BLM, Catholics can begin to embody the values at the heart of what Jesus preached and practiced and the Church is called to imitate. Author Olga Segura, in relating the story of the Black Lives Matter movement through a Christian lens, guides readers toward insights and a deeper understanding of the movement and why it can help the church, and the country, move closer to racial equality.

Study Circle #3 – The Gospel and Nuclear Disarmament, a study of Art Laffin’s new version of The Risk of the Cross: Living Gospel Nonviolence in the Nuclear Age, beginning October 2021. For more information or to register, click here.

Christian discipleship depends not on what ideas we believe but rather on a fundamental question: In whom do we place our trust? In Mark’s gospel, we find what this challenge entails when Jesus declares  that the primary condition for discipleship is “to take up the cross and follow in my steps” (Mk. 8:34). What does it mean to follow Jesus’ way of the cross and to place our trust in God for our true security, instead of in nuclear weapons that can destroy all life on earth? How do we find hope and courage to stand for God’s reign of love, justice, and nonviolence in a time of unprecedented nuclear danger and other global perils?