Tag Archives: Blue Water Pax Christi

ON THE LINE: January 2016 edition – Vote for Marie! Bernie Kopera, PRESENTE! and more

Compiled by Johnny Zokovitch

Each month, “On The Line” features news items and announcements from around the nation featuring Pax Christi members, local groups, regions and partners.

marienomforpeaceprize-bigPAX CHRISTI INTERNATIONAL CO-PRESIDENT MARIE DENNIS IS FINALIST FOR PUBLIC PEACE PRIZE; VOTE NOW! (from Pax Christi International) We are pleased to tell you that Marie Dennis, co-president of Pax Christi International, has been nominated for the 2016 Public Peace Prize. This prize is the only one in the world which is based on the public’s choices. The voting is open until 24 January, 2016. To vote for Marie Dennis you have three possibilities: 1) Vote on the Public Peace Prize website: Visit the webpage presenting Marie (each visitor = 1 vote) or leave an appreciative comment on the bottom of the page (each comment = 3 votes). See Marie’s nomination page here. 2) On Public Peace Prize’s Facebook page: Click “Like” below the posting presenting Marie. To increase the number of votes, click on the “share” button. See the posting here. 3) On Public Peace Prize’s Twitter account: “Retweet” the tweets presenting Marie. See the tweet here.

On December 23 PC Houston members helped to distribute Christmas gifts to children who were leaving the Harris County Jail with their parents. The children had been visiting their loved ones in the jail. The event is sponsored by End Mass Incarceration Houston with the support of other organizations.

On December 23 PC Houston members helped to distribute Christmas gifts to children who were leaving the Harris County Jail with their parents. The children had been visiting their loved ones in the jail. The event is sponsored by End Mass Incarceration Houston with the support of other organizations.

PAX CHRISTI INDIANAPOLIS SUPPORTS ARCHBISHOP ON REFUGEE RESPONSE: In a letter to Archbishop Joseph Tobin of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, PC Indianapolis wrote, “We, the members of Pax Christi of Indianapolis, are supportive of and encouraged by your courageous actions and example in deciding to accept the Syrian refugee family to our Indiana home.  Your words and your decision have sent a strong message of Christianity and the words of Christ to ‘love one another.’ Thank you for your leadership and the message of justice you have sent.” The Archbishop had decided to go through with the refugee relocation over objections from the Governor of Indiana.

Seven people were arrested at a Pentagon peace witness on the Feast of the Holy Innocents following the Faith and Resistance Retreat. See more photos at https://onedrive.live.com/?authkey=%21AmZMEAszDHL4CtM&id=D886EDE2FD42F445%21882&cid=D886EDE2FD42F445

Seven people were arrested at a Pentagon peace witness on the Feast of the Holy Innocents following the Faith and Resistance Retreat. See more photos at http://1drv.ms/1PeViuD

PAX CHRISTI ILLINOIS SPONSORS WORLD PEACE DAY INTERFAITH SERVICE: (from Tom Cordaro, Pax Christi Illinois) Pax Christi Illinois was a major sponsor and organizer of the 2016 World Peace Day Interfaith Prayer Service, celebrated January 3, in Wentz Concert Hall at North Central College in Illinois. Over 300 people attended. The event was co-sponsored by Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, Sikh, Bahai, Christian Scientist and other faith communities. Click on the following link to read the speech given by Pax Christi USA Ambassador of Peace Tom Cordaro at the event: https://paxchristiusa.org/2016/01/13/reflection-the-cross-and-the-call-to-reconciliation/

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Participants in the World Peace Day Interfaith Prayer Service in Illinois.

PAX CHRISTI ILLINOIS ACTIVIST BERNIE KOPERA PASSES: It is with great sadness that we share with you that Bernie Kopera of Pax Christi Illinois, who we featured in last month’s OTL, passed away on Christmas Day from a heart attack. Bernie was 71. You can read a longer article in the Chicago Tribune celebrating and remembering Bernie’s life at http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/daily-southtown/news/ct-sta-bernie-kopera-obit-st-1229-20151228-story.html.

Bernie Kopera, in back with right hand raised, at the SOA march to the detention center in Stewart, with other members of PC Illinois.

Bernie Kopera, in back with right hand raised and sunglasses, at the SOA march to the detention center in Stewart, with other members of PC Illinois, Nov. 2015.

Lent2016bookletcoverPAX CHRISTI REFLECTION BOOKLET FOR LENT AVAILABLE AS AN E-BOOK! The Lent 2016 reflection booklet, “Everything is Grace: Reflections for Lent 2016,” is now available for purchase and download at the Pax Christi USA store as an electronic book. The book is authored by Tonie Malone (PC New Jersey); Nancy Small (PC Massachusetts); Allison Blay (PC Florida); Cathy Crayton (PC Southern California); Eric LeCompte (PC Metro D.C.-Baltimore), Kwame Assenyoh, SVD; and Sr. Anne-Louise Nadeau, SNDdeN. To purchase and download this excellent resource, go to http://paxchristiusa.3dcartstores.com/Lent-2016–e-BOOK–DAILY-REFLECTIONS–NO-HARD-COPY-WILL-BE-SENT_p_297.html 

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Upcoming or Ongoing Events:

Jan. 26: Bishop Gumbleton’s birthday

Jan. 29-31: Pax Christi USA National Council meeting in Bay St. Louis, MS

Jan. 31: Peacemaking thru the Arts with Pax Christi Metro New York, Greenwich Village, NYC

Feb: Black History Month

Feb. 4: Birth of Rosa Parks, 1913

Feb. 5: Christian Peace Witness for Syria and We Refuse To Be Enemies Interfaith group’s day-long planning meeting, the Methodist Building, Washington D.C.; to attend or join by teleconference, contact Bob Cooke of Pax Christi International at cookerh1251@gmail.com.

Feb. 10: Nelson Mandela released, 1990

Feb. 10: Ash Wednesday

Feb. 12: NAACP founded, 1909

Feb. 14: Frederick Douglass, b. 1818

Feb. 20: World Day of Social Justice

March: Women’s History Month

Mar. 1: International Death Penalty Abolition Day

Mar. 2-13: The Coalition of Immokalee Workers’ “Workers’ Voice Tour”, Eastern U.S.

Mar. 8: International Women’s Day

Mar. 13: Election of Pope Francis, 2013

Mar. 20: Palm Sunday

Mar. 21-27: Week of Solidarity with Peoples Struggling Against Racism and Racial Discrimination

Mar. 22: World Water Day

Mar. 24: Holy Thursday, Feast of Blessed Oscar Romero

Mar. 25: Good Friday, International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade

Mar. 27: Easter

Mar. 31: Cesar Chavez, b. 1927

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Quicklinks:

Pax Christi Michigan and its Lansing chapter celebrated “Pax Christi Lansing’s 9th Annual Interfaith New Year Community Peace Prayer Service” on January 1 … Pax Christi USA joins with the rest of the Pax Christi world community in giving thanks for the contributions of Jose Henriquez who left his position as Pax Christi International Secretary General in December … Read this report-back from PC Metro DC-Baltimore member Sr. Veronica Schweyen who was on a SHARE delegation to El Salvador in December … Fr. Jim Murphy was sentenced to 5 days in jail in Wisconsin for his anti-drone action … Blue Water (MI) Pax Christi had their Christmas billboard featured in this article in a local newspaper …  Srs. Patricia Chappell and Anne-Louise Nadeau, executive director and director of programs, respectively, of Pax Christi USA, led a peace retreat on racism at the Carondelet Hospitality Center in Latham, NY in conjunction with the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet and the Justice Committee of the Albany Province … Former PCUSA National Council chair and member of Pax Christi Metro DC-Baltimore Judy Coode was quoted in an article from CNS on the immigration and refugee crisis … A colleague from Pax Christi Germany was quoted in this article in the NY Times on the refugee crisis … The Winter edition of Kerux from Pax Christi Metro New York is now online … Pax Christi International’s January 2016 newsletter is online … See more local and regional updates in the Fall-Winter 2015-16 edition of The Peace Current

REFLECTION: The seldom told story of Otto Shimek

by Michael McCarthy
Blue Water Pax Christi

Otto Shimek

Otto Shimek

There were pilgrimages to the parish church in the area where he died, twice a year during the period when Poland, and all Eastern Europe, were breaking free of the Soviet Union and Communist control.  His name was celebrated in many circles, from the most devout to the purely political.  Lech Walesa of the Solidarity Union, leading the way to freedom for Poland in those times, praised Otto Schimek’s witness, that of a 19 year old Nazi soldier who wouldn’t kill Polish peasants in World War II.  Pope John Paul II wanted to visit his grave, but was at the last moment dissuaded by advisors.

Now Otto Schimek’s story is buried, as well as his body missing—no reliable gravestone—an unknown soldier, who, as his last letter before he was executed for “deserting” testifies, was a courageous Catholic, a person faithful unto death.  He had refused to be part of Hitler’s lethal acts against Polish citizens.

Very little of his life has been written in English.  We know from German army records that he was born May 5, 1925 and died on November 14, 1944, for refusing to serve Hitler’s Wermacht forces.  Two books in Polish, and the website of the Catholic Church in Machowa Poland, give some detail to his short life, relying on his family’s accounts of his early life in a poor district of Vienna Austria, and the problems he had with recruitment into the German army.   He was raised to practice his faith, to do good for others, to go to mass on Sunday.  He missed some school helping his mother’s small sewing business.

When conscripted into the armies of Hitler he told his family and others that he couldn’t kill anyone.  Then before his death he said again he couldn’t kill, “the war was provoked by the Germans and is not Christian.”  In his final letter before his execution he said, “I am in a happy mood. What do we have to lose? Nothing, only our poor lives, as they cannot kill our souls. What a hope! Today, I am going to heaven, where the Father is waiting. May God guard you so that you will join me.”

An Austrian Cardinal wrote in support of his cause, an Austrian Jesuit writer against.  A few journalists have investigated and are divided.  Most all Polish authors are convinced he was a hero of faith—a remarkable young man who followed his conscience.

Padriac Kenney, a Professor of History and International Studies at Indiana University, and Director of their Polish Studies Center, has assisted in this effort to make better known to the U.S. public the story of Otto Schimek’s life and death.  He has this to say after reviewing the most relevant book [The Debate About Grenadier Schimek by Lech Niekrasz], published only in Polish.

“Niekrasz devotes the book to debunking, quite effectively, the writings of those who say Schimek was an ordinary deserter. And he does track down one old peasant who recalls the whole story and appears to confirm that Schimek really did hide two partisans, was found out and ordered to shoot them, refused, and was eventually executed. Niekrasz points out that execution was usually not the punishment for desertion, except in exceptional cases.”

A young Austrian soldier died by firing squad in 1944 for refusing the orders of an unjust war.  May we discover more of his story, which has similarity to that of the recently beatified Franz Jagerstatter who also wouldn’t fight for Hitler.  What a hope this gives in today’s world so wearied by wars without end, to all of us who take courage in the saving mercy of our God, whose justice transcends all borders.

ON THE LINE: December 2015 edition includes efforts in support of migrants, refugees, victims of gun violence, and more

Compiled by Johnny Zokovitch

Each month, “On The Line” features news items and announcements from around the nation featuring Pax Christi members, local groups, regions and partners.

PAX CHRISTI ILLINOIS ACTIVISTS HELP KILL PLAN FOR IMMIGRANT DETENTION CENTER: (from The Chicago Tribune) Bernie Kopera and Concetta Smart are so often together fighting for the underdogs that people often assume they are married to each other. They are not. Yet the pair of Southland residents have formed an alliance that has enabled them to successfully oppose plans for a for-profit immigration detention center in the Chicago area. First in Crete, then in Joliet and Hobart, Ind., and most recently in Gary, they banded together with others to defeat the proposals. Recently they stepped in to help those fighting the latest plan — a center across from the Gary/Chicago Airport where undocumented immigrants would be held until they could be deported… Read the entire article http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/daily-southtown/news/ct-sta-immigrant-detention-center-activists-st-1115-20151118-story.html

Pax Christi Los Angeles members participate in a community prayer vigil to protest conditions at Los Angeles Men's Central Twin Tower Jail in September.

Pax Christi Los Angeles members participate in a community prayer vigil to protest conditions at Los Angeles Men’s Central Twin Tower Jail in September.

PAX CHRISTI METROWEST (MA) CO-SPONSORS EVENT TO END GUN VIOLENCE: (from The MetroWest Daily News) NATICK, MA – Thoughts and prayers are nice, but to end gun violence, more has to be done, state Rep. David Linsky told a group of about 60 anti-gun violence advocates. Speaking at a Community Interfaith Gathering at the Common Street Spiritual Center on Saturday, the Natick Democrat said it is time for action. … The gathering was co-sponsored by the spiritual center, the First Congregational Church in Natick, Temple Israel of Natick, Pax Christi MetroWest, Fisk United Methodist Church and the Massachusetts Chapter of Brady Campaign. To read the entire article, go to: http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/article/20151212/NEWS/151218369

This is the fourth year Blue Water PC has put up this billboard to promote peace, charity, and prayerful nonviolence. Councils of local Knights of Columbus and many local church and community members have been supportive. The billboard appears above the Chamber of Commerce building for one month beginning Dec. 23.

This is the fourth year Blue Water (MI) PC has put up this billboard to promote peace, charity, and prayerful nonviolence. Councils of local Knights of Columbus and many local church and community members have been supportive. The billboard appears above the Chamber of Commerce building for one month beginning Dec. 23.

Bishop Gumbleton and Ruben Garcia at Momentum 2012

Bishop Thomas Gumbleton and 2012 PCUSA Teacher of Peace Ruben Garcia

AMERICA MAGAZINE INTERVIEWS BISHOP GUMBLETON: (from America) Bishop Thomas J. Gumbleton is a writer and retired Roman Catholic auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Detroit. He was also the founding president of Pax Christi USA and a co-founder of the Michigan Coalition for Human Rights. Bishop Gumbleton earned a B.A. degree in 1952, a M.Div. degree in 1956 and then later earned a J.C.D in 1964. On Aug. 28, I interviewed Bishop Gumbleton by telephone about his life and work. The following transcript has been edited for style and length… Read the interview at http://americamagazine.org/content/all-things/social-justice-all-interview-bishop-thomas-gumbleton

PAX CHRISTI METRO DC-BALTIMORE ELECTS NEW COUNCIL, HONORS PEACEMAKER: Effective January 1, Mary Liepold will be the new chairperson of Pax Christi Metro DC-Baltimore, replacing Bob Cooke and Bob More. Other officers include Dennis Warner, Vice Chairperson; Luis Cabrales, Secretary; and Luann Mostello, Treasurer. The rest of the council includes Bob Cooke, Jack McHale, Tony Langbehn, Bro. Brian McLaughlin, Chuck Michaels, Katie Murphy, Sr. Roni Schweyen, and Pierre Thompson. … Also, on November 14, PC Metro DC-Baltimore held their Eighth Annual Peacemaker of the Year Event. The 2015 award recipient was Fr. Gerry Creedon, pastor of Holy Family Catholic Church in Dale City, Virginia, former pastor of St. Charles, Chair of the Diocese of Arlington Peace and Justice Commission, and a tireless advocate for peace and justice in our region. Read more at http://www.paxchristimetrodc.org/2015/10/fr-gerry-creedon-named-2015-peacemaker-of-the-year/

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Pax Christi Texas members Sr. Ceil Roeger and Dave Atwood participated in a DACA/DAPA immigration rally in Houston on November 20, 2015.

PC SAN ANTONIO (TX) MEMBERS PRAY FOR PEACE FOLLOWING TERROR ATTACKS: (from Fox San Antonio) SAN ANTONIO – Faith leaders and residents prayed for peace at a candlelight vigil Sunday night. Recent terror attacks and the national debate over Syrian refugees led more than a hundred to attend. … In silence, attendees circled a peace pole for more than half an hour on the University of the Incarnate Word campus. … Anthony Blasi, leader of Pax Christi San Antonio, said he’s also concerned people want to stop refugees. “We have always been a nation that welcomed all kinds of people,” Blasi said, “and we shouldn’t start changing our ways because of some lunatics in the alleged state of ISIS.” Read more at http://www.foxsanantonio.com/news/features/top-stories/stories/faith-leaders-residents-pray-peace-at-vigil-after-terror-attacks-17750.shtml#.VnDZJ_krLIU

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Upcoming or Ongoing Events:

Dec. 25: Christmas

Dec. 27: Holy Family observance

Dec. 27-28: Feast of the Holy Innocents Retreat and Action at STRATCOM headquarters in Omaha, NE; contact frank.cordaro@gmail.com or 515 292-4781 for more info; for peace witness in DC, contact: Dorothy Day Catholic Worker at 202-882-9649, artlaffin@hotmail.com

Dec. 28: Massacre of the Holy Innocents observance

Jan. 1: World Day of Peace

Jan. 3: Epiphany observance

Jan. 3-13: Witness Against Torture Fast and Action in DC

Jan. 15: Birth of MLK, 1929

Jan. 15-16: Rotary World Peace Conference in Ontario, CA; Pax Christi will have a table thanks to PC Southern California members

Jan. 18: MLK Day observance

Jan. 26: Bishop Gumbleton’s birthday

Jan. 29-31: Pax Christi USA National Council meeting in Bay St. Louis, MS

Feb: Black History Month

Feb. 4: Birth of Rosa Parks, 1913

Feb. 10: Nelson Mandela released, 1990

Feb. 10: Ash Wednesday

Feb. 12: NAACP founded, 1909

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Quicklinks:

PC Metro DC-Baltimore helped coordinate a dinner during the annual USCCB meetings at which bishops and others dined with local activists … Pax Christi Fremont (CA) is co-hosting an interfaith prayer service for peace on Dec. 31 … Pax Christi New Jersey was represented at the New Jersey Peace Action gathering on Nov. 14 where Kathy O’ Leary, PCNJ coordinator, presented the Hope Shapiro Bread and Roses Peace Award to featured speaker Sister Megan Rice … PC Northern California leader Tom Webb wrote an article on immigrationPC International intern Tabitha Redeppening wrote a reflection on the COP21 talks for the PCI blog … PC South Dakota Presentation Sisters JoAnn Sturzl and Myra Remily traveled in the Veterans for Peace bus from Minneapolis to the SOA this year. You can read their reflections online herePC El Paso members joined El Paso Bishop Seitz for Posadas sin Fronteras, a prayer and witness for migrants and their families, on Dec. 13 … PC Memphis signed onto a letter from the ACLU asking Tennessee Governor Haslam to rescind his request to suspend Syrian refugee resettlement in Tennessee … Visit the Pax Christi San Antonio (TX) website for upcoming events and photos … Pax Christi International’s December 2015 newsletter is online … See more local and regional updates in the Fall-Winter 2015-16 edition of The Peace Current

ON THE LINE: October 2015 edition features regional retreats, local actions, and PCUSA members in the news

Compiled by Johnny Zokovitch

Each month, “On The Line” features news items and announcements from around the nation featuring Pax Christi members, local groups, regions and partners.

PAX CHRISTI LOCAL AND REGIONAL GROUPS INSTRUMENTAL IN SUPPORT FOR IRAN DEAL: (from Tom Webb, PC-Northern California) Pax Christi Northern California has selected Lorrain Taylor founder of “1000 Mothers Against Violence” to receive their Peacemaker Award. Taylor will be given the award at Pax Christi Northern California’s regional assembly on Saturday, October 17th at St. Elizabeth’s High School in Oakland’s Fruitvale District. Besides presenting Taylor with the Peacemaker Award, assembly events will include an opening keynote panel featuring Sr. Megan Rice, Rivera Sun and Elizabeth Murray. Sr. Megan was recently released from prison after serving a 2 ½ year sentence for illegally entering the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Sun is an author and a nonviolence trainer for Pace Bene. Murray served as Deputy National Intelligence Office for the Near East on the National Intelligence Council before retiring after a 27-year career with the CIA. She is a member of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) and the Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action in Poulsbo, WA. Speakers will address topics  including the Bay Area housing crisis, human trafficking, accompanying immigrants, Pope Francis’ recent ecological encyclical “Laudato Si”, nuclear abolition, restorative justice, Ceasefire Oakland, root causes of Central American immigration, conscience and national service and the nonviolence movement.

Bishop Sullivan Chapter of Pax Christi of Norfolk, Va. presented Prof. Robert Watson of Hampton University speaking on the history of slavery at Virginia Wesleyan University.

The Bishop Sullivan Pax Christi in Norfolk presented Prof. Robert Watson (right) of Hampton University speaking on the history of slavery at Virginia Wesleyan Univ.

PAX CHRISTI MEMPHIS PRESENT BISHOP WITH STATEMENT ON IRAN DEAL, NUCLEAR THREAT: (from Paul Crum, PC-Memphis) On Sept. 28 Fr. Al Kirk and Jerry Bettice met with Bishop Terry Steib to discuss PC-Memphis’s concern about the Iran deal and Catholic teaching on the possession of nuclear weapons and the threat they pose to our world. This meeting was a follow-up to the letter sent to the bishop after the August meeting in which we featured the 70th anniversary of the atomic bomb attacks on Japan. The bishop asked for a written statement that expresses the concerns and possibilities put forth in the meeting. At the Oct. 13th meeting of PC Memphis, Bettice will present a draft of the document for feedback with a view of presenting a more complete view of what we hope he can do in conveying Catholic teaching to the local church of the diocese of Memphis.

Pax Christi Florida held their state assembly in Tampa and protested drone warfare outside MacDill Air Force Base as a kick-off action for the Campaign Nonviolence Week of Actions.

PC Florida held their state assembly in Tampa & protested drone warfare outside MacDill Air Force Base during the Campaign Nonviolence Week of Actions.

PCUSA NATIONAL COUNCIL MEMBER FEATURED IN “THE CATHOLIC PRIEST IN KENTUCKY’S COAL COUNTRY” ARTICLE: (from Al Jazeera-America) Like most Americans, I suspect, I was not very familiar with Appalachian Kentucky. But travel just a short distance outside Lexington’s lovely bluegrass, and you find yourself in very different surroundings. Eastern Kentucky isn’t the barren wasteland you might have imagined. Yes, strip mining has changed the landscape in some of the world’s oldest mountains. Still, there is striking beauty, from the rocky trails to the gentle falls and small hidden ponds. Along the way to all these great spots are small communities, like Stanton, Kentucky. That’s where we found Father John Rausch. At 70, Rausch is an unassuming man, living with a cat in a simple house with a new wooden rail on the front steps he’s quite proud of. Why did he have it put in? The guy who was delivering his casket to the house misjudged the distance and took a chunk out…. Read more at https://paxchristiusa.org/2015/10/04/care-for-creation-the-catholic-priest-in-kentuckys-coal-country/

Prayer vigil at the Cathedral in Los Angeles as the closing event of Campaign for Nonviolence and Pax Christi Los Angeles and Pax Christi Southern California’s support of Pope Francis’s call for end to nuclear weapons.

Prayer vigil at the Cathedral in Los Angeles as the closing event of Campaign for Nonviolence and Pax Christi Los Angeles and Pax Christi Southern California’s support of Pope Francis’s call for end to nuclear weapons.

PAX CHRISTI SILVER CITY (NV) HOLDS GATHERING IN HONOR OF POPE FRANCIS: (from the Silver City Sun-News) An ecumenical sunrise gathering was held from 6:45 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 27 at La Capilla in Silver City in honor of Pope Francis’ visit to the United States. The event included prayer, song and silent reflection… Pax Christi of Silver City hosted the sunrise gathering at La Capilla, which included local interfaith participation from the St. Francis Newman Center Parish, the Silver City Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, the Silver City United Church of Christ, the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd, the Friends Meeting (Quakers), and the Silver City Zen Center… Read more at http://www.scsun-news.com/story/news/2015/09/24/sunrise-gathering-honor-pope-francis/72752640/

PAX CHRISTI MAINE CO-COORDINATOR PENS OP-ED ON POPE FRANCIS’ ENCYCLICAL: (by Mary Ellen Quinn in the Bangor Daily News) “What kind of world do we want to leave to those who come after us, to children who are now growing up?” This question is posed by Pope Francis in his encyclical, “Laudato Si’ — On Care of Our Common Home,” released in June. “Laudato Si” has engaged people around the world in dialogue. Its content is compelling and far-reaching. The title, which comes from the words of St. Francis of Assisi in his “Canticle of the Creatures,” is translated as “Praise be to you,” referring to the creator of life. In Catholic tradition, an encyclical is an important teaching on moral topics; however, Pope Francis has made it known that he is addressing this encyclical not solely to Catholics but to “everyone who lives on the planet.” The spiritual leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics will soon be visiting the United States with stops in Washington, D.C.; New York City; and Philadelphia. Pope Francis will address the urgent issues he raises in the encyclical with President Barack Obama and with member nations at the United Nations… Read the entire article at https://bangordailynews.com/2015/09/16/opinion/contributors/pope-francis-connects-dots-linking-war-poverty-climate-crisis-violence/

Upcoming or Ongoing Events:

Oct. 14: National Day of Action for Global Climate Change

Oct. 16-18: Pax Christi Michigan Annual Retreat with Gail Presbey, Ph.D., Roscommon, MI

Oct. 16-20: Peace Alliance conference in Washington, D.C.

Oct. 17: PC Northern California assembly, “Creative Nonviolence: Peacemaking in the 21st Century,” with Sr. Megan Rice, Rivera Sun and Elizabeth Murray, among others in Oakland. Contact oaklandcatholicworker@yahoo.com for more info

Oct. 24: NCR Conference in Illinois

Oct. 24: South Dakota Pax Christi Peace Conference in Watertown, “Dorothy Day – A Discipleship for Today,” for more info contact sisterskandm@mediacombb.net

Nov. 5-7: Fellowship of Reconciliation Centennial events in NY

Nov. 6-7: “Black Lives Matter: Race, Poverty and Violence Symposium” at Xavier University in New Orleans

Nov. 13-15: Retreat with PCUSA Ambassador of Peace John Dear at Kirkridge in Pennsylvania

Nov. 14: Pax Christi Massachusetts retreat with Sr. Helen Prejean at St. Susanna Parish, Dedham, MA; contact Pat Ferrone at patferrone@rcn.com for info

Nov. 20: Pax Christi USA gathering at the SOA in Columbus, GA. Stay tuned for more info. We have a room reserved for 6pm, Friday eve at the Columbus Convention Center.

Nov. 20-22: SOA vigil and action, Columbus, GA

Nov. 29: Global Climate March

Nov. 29: Advent begins

Quicklinks:

PC International Co-President Marie Dennis was featured on PBS’s The News Hour for a story on Pope Francis … Fran Quigley of Pax Christi Indianapolis wrote this article in NCR explaining why Catholics must help bring down barriers blocking billions from lifesaving medicine … Pax Christi USA Ambassador of Peace Tonie Malone gave the annual peace lecture at the Monmouth Center for World Religions and Ethical Thought on Oct. 3 on Pope Francis’ new encyclical …  With other community organizations, PC Casper (WY) celebrated the International Day of Peace with a Peace Pole planting, reflection and meditation, yoga, walking the new labyrinth, kids activities and music … Pax Christi Florida lost one of its co-founders last month, Tom UmlaufPax Christi Illinois member Adrienne Alexander was featured in this article in Chicago Magazine on the Catholic Church and its commitment to labor issues … Pax Christi Maine co-coordinator Mary Ellen Quinn was quoted in this article about a march to end violence in Bangor … Pax Christi Santa Fe (NM) co-hosted a climate vigil at the Santa Fe cathedral during Pope Francis’ visit to the U.S. … Pax Christi Orange County (CA) joined other community organizations in a walk to the Orange County Jail for peace, dignity and justice as an act of solidarity with Pope Francis’ visit to a Philadelphia jail while in the U.S. … Pax Christi Northeastern Pennsylvania, with the Misericordia University Campus Ministry Program, is sponsoring a presentation by Martha Hennessy, Dorothy Day’s granddaughter on October 21. She’s also scheduled to present at the University of Scranton and Marywood University … Pax Christi USA member Dan Ebener has co-authored a new book, Strategic Planning: An Interactive Process for Leaders, now available at this website … Read Blue Water (MI) Pax Christi member Michael McCarthy’s blog on faith and justice in our world … Pax Christi International’s October 2015 newsletter is online … See more local and regional updates in the Summer 2015 edition of The Peace Current

ON THE LINE: September 2014 edition includes members’ action for immigrants, veterans, more

Compiled by Johnny Zokovitch

Each month, “On The Line” features news items and announcements from around the nation featuring Pax Christi members, local groups, regions and partners. 

BLUE WATER (MI) PAX CHRISTI WORKS FOR CHILD REFUGEE RESOLUTION: (from the Port Huron Times Herald) While the issue of housing Central American children in Michigan has sparked protests in some areas, a group in Port Huron is asking for compassion for their plight. “If there are children standing on our border who have been abused and trafficked, and that won’t move you to compassion, I don’t know what will,” David Frank said. A lawyer working for Blue Water Safe Horizons, Frank is a member of Blue Water Pax Christi. “It is the official international peace movement of the Catholic church,” he said. “The group locally, nationally and internationally supports peace and social justice.” Frank composed a resolution concerning the children from Central America to be presented to the Port Huron City Council at its Sept. 8 meeting.… Read more coverage of this effort at http://archive.thetimesherald.com/article/20140822/NEWS01/308220014/Pax-Christi-seeks-compassion-refugee-children

PC METRO DC-BALTIMORE MEMBER COMMITS CD AT RALLY FOR IMMIGRANTS: More than 140 protesters, including Pax Christi Metro DC-Baltimore’s Bob Cooke, were arrested on August 28th outside the White House while staging a sit-down rally to demand protection from deportation for millions of illegal immigrants. The demonstrators, representing more than 20 organizations, said the arrests were part of a civil disobedience campaign aimed at putting pressure on President Barack Obama to enact broad leniency for illegal immigrant families and workers as part of his announced review of U.S. immigration policies… Read more at https://paxchristiusa.org/2014/09/04/immigration-pax-christi-member-bob-cooke-does-cd-at-white-house/

Bob Cooke (R) of Pax Christi Metro DC committing CD at the White House

Bob Cooke (R) of Pax Christi Metro DC committing CD at the White House

Ed Wallin, 86, and Janice Vanderhaar, 77,  are behind the growing support for the creation of a veterans home in Shelby County, TN.

Ed Wallin and Janice Vanderhaar are behind the growing support for the creation of a veterans home in Shelby County, TN.

PC MEMPHIS MEMBERS FEATURED IN ARTICLE ABOUT VETERANS: PC-Memphis members Ed Wallin and Janice Vanderhaar (PCUSA Ambassador of Peace) were featured in a recent article in The Commercial Appeal on veterans. The article includes the following: “Many of our sick and elderly veterans are being transferred from the VA to local nursing homes, which I believe are incapable of giving the best care and treatment for war-related illnesses and old wounds, including traumatized brain injuries,” said Ed Wallin, a retired Air Force chaplain. Wallin, 86, a former priest who served two tours of duty in Vietnam, is vice president of West Tennessee Veterans Home Inc., a nonprofit formed in 2010 to bring a veterans nursing home to Shelby County. Wallin and his wife, Janice Vanderhaar, a former nun and one of the community’s better-known pacifists and peace activists, are among those leading the effort. “This is a justice issue for me,” said Vanderhaar, a co-founder of the local branch of Pax Christi, a Catholic peace organization. “I’m opposed to war but not to veterans. We have a responsibility to take care of the veterans we send to war. They and their families carry a heavy burden.”… To read more, visit http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/columnists/david-waters/david-waters-wounded-aging-veterans-need-more-than-applause_41032681 (subscription required)

PAX CHRISTI METRO DC-BALTIMORE TO PUBLISH AD IN NCR REJECTING JUST WAR THEORY: We’re excited that Pax Christi regions from around the country are uniting to launch a campaign to move the Catholic Church away from 1600 years of just war teaching, and to embrace Gospel nonviolence and the growing just peace tradition. As a first step in this campaign, we are sponsoring an ad to run in the National Catholic Reporter this October (prior to the annual U.S. bishops’ meeting in November), saying that it’s time for the Church to reject “just war” as inconsistent with the teaching and example of Jesus. We are trying to get at least 300 signatories and are reaching out to Pax Christi members and groups and others around the country.  Will you please help us by signing on to the ad and helping defray the cost of publication? … To read the ad and offer your support, go to http://www.paxchristimetrodc.org/2014/08/please-sign-on-to-pax-christis-ncr-ad-rejecting-just-war/

PCUSA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR WRITES ON CIVIL RIGHTS ANNIVERSARY FOR USSCB BLOG: (from the USCCB blog, written by Sr. Patricia Chappell, SNDdeN) As we commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the modern Civil Rights era, Pax Christi USA, (PCUSA), the national Catholic peace and justice movement, continues its commitment to confront the evil of racism and all forms of oppression, as we witness to the Gospel call of nonviolence and peace with justice. Traditionally, Pax Christi USA didn’t reach out to communities of color. It was not until people of color joined the national council that an intentional anti-racism initiative began to take shape. This ongoing commitment began in a process in 1999 when Pax Christi USA, with its majority membership of white Catholics, embarked on a 20-year initiative by: 1) creating a document “Brothers and Sisters All” and 2) creating the Pax Christi Anti-Racism Team, PCART, as an integral section of PCUSA… To read the entire reflection, go to https://paxchristiusa.org/2014/08/27/civil-rights-pax-christi-usa-continues-the-vision-of-the-civil-rights-era/

Katy Donchik with Abalee, one of her students in Pommern, Tanzania, in August 2013. (NCR photo)

Katy Donchik with Abalee, one of her students in Pommern, Tanzania, in August 2013. (NCR photo)

INTERVIEW WITH PC METRO NEW YORK’S YOUNG PEACEBUILDER AWARD RECIPIENT: (from “Conversations with Sr. Camille” in NCR) Sr. Camille: Katy, the head of Pax Christi Metro New York, Rosemarie Pace, presented you with its first Maloof Family Young Peacebuilder Award for the good work you do to make your world — be it at home, at school, in your neighborhood, throughout the city, our country, or overseas — a better place. That’s a lot of territory for someone so young to have traveled. Would you please tell us what you’ve done in these far-flung places? Let’s start with the overseas experience. Did you really go to Tanzania? Katy Donchik: Tanzania was amazing. There’s no other word to describe this experience. My family and I decided to travel there through an organization called Global Volunteers. We wanted to have a charitable vacation. We wanted to be able to experience the country of Tanzania for what it really is and not simply look at the tourist areas… To read the entire interview, go to https://paxchristiusa.org/2014/07/04/interview-student-brings-peace-building-skills-to-her-many-talents/

Upcoming or Ongoing Events:

Sept. 17-Oct. 20 – Nuns on the Bus Tour, http://www.networklobby.org/bus2014/events

Sept. 20 – South Dakota Pax Christi Peace Conference, “Human Trafficking: Modern Day Slavery,” with Sr. Ruthmary Powers, HM and Sr. Josie Chrosniak, HM in Watertown, SD; http://www.presentationsisters.org/events/event/south-dakota-pax-christi-peace-conference/

Sept. 21 – International Day of Peace, http://www.un.org/en/events/peaceday/

Sept. 21 – People’s Climate March, https://paxchristiusa.org/2014/09/05/climate-change-pax-christi-usa-endorses-the-peoples-climate-march-september-21/ (Pax Christi USA is a partner)

Sept. 21-27 – Campaign Nonviolence week of actions, http://paceebene.org/programs/campaign-nonviolence/ (Pax Christi USA is a partner)

Sept. 23 – Pax Christi International leaders speak in MD, https://paxchristiusa.org/2014/09/03/special-event-leaders-from-pax-christi-international-to-speak-in-md-on-september-23/ 

Sept. 26 – UN Day for the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons, http://www.unfoldzero.org/index.php?p=action_sep26

Oct. 4 – Global Day of Action Against the Use of Drones for Killing and Surveillance, http://globaldayofaction.nationbuilder.com/

Oct. 4-11 – Keep Space for Peace week, http://www.space4peace.org/

Oct. 17-19 – Pax Christi Michigan’s State Retreat, “Conversations with Peter Dougherty,” in Roscommon, MI; http://www.paxchristimi.org/#!retreat-2014-registration/c1q8q

Oct. 25-26 – Pax Christi Florida’s State Assembly calling for an end to the death penalty, Tallahassee; http://paxchristiflorida.org/

Nov. 1 – Pax Christi Massachusetts state assembly with Rev. Sam Smith at Holy Cross College on “The Militarization of Our Youth and the ‘I Will Not Kill’ Campaign”; http://paxchristima.org/

Nov. 7-9 – Call To Action in Memphis, TN, http://cta-usa.org/

Quicklinks:

Ruth Zemek of Pax Christi Phoenix (AZ) will be awarded the 2014 Casa Peace Prize along with Father Eddie Fronske, OFM, on Sept. 21 … PC El Paso hosts an excellent monthly film series focusing on peace and justice … PC St. Cloud (MN) member and director of Pax Christi’s Peace Studies e-list Ron Pagnucco has just published an excellent new book aimed at college students … PC New Jersey hosted PCUSA Teacher of Peace Colleen Kelly for an event during the anniversary week of 9/11 … Read a report from the PC delegation at the UN on a recent conference … Deacon James Rauner of Pax Christi Michigan wrote the following reflection on “When the Catholic Church becomes a peace church”PC Metro New York will be gathering with the peace contingent at 10:30am on Sept. 21 for a Peace, Justice, and Climate Rally as part of the People’s Climate March. The location is Central Park West north of Columbus Circle … PC Metro DC-Baltimore member Mary Liepold is in the trailer for the new movie Disruption. Look for her at the 1:28 mark … PC Michigan members joined the Lansing community in attending a Prayer for Peace on September 3 in response to the Michael Brown murder … David Frank of Blue Water (MI) Pax Christi was quoted in this article asking the Port Huron city commission to approve a resolution welcoming refugee children … Pax Christi International’s September 2014 newsletter is online … See more local and regional updates in the Summer 2014 edition of The Peace Current

ON THE LINE: August 2014 edition includes Ambassadors in action, new organizer in MI, and more!

Compiled by Johnny Zokovitch

Each month, “On The Line” features news items and announcements from around the nation featuring Pax Christi members, local groups, regions and partners. 

PAX CHRISTI USA AMBASSADOR OF PEACE JOSEPH FAHEY HELPS LEAD CD ACTION ON JOBS: On July 29th hundreds of low-wage federal contract workers from landmark federal buildings in our nation’s capital walked off their jobs saying the President’s recent $10.10 Executive Order is not enough to afford the American Dream. This is the 9th strike in the past year by low-wage federal contract workers at federal buildings like Union Station, the Pentagon, Smithsonian Museums, The National Zoo and the Ronald Reagan Building. In a dramatic escalation, the workers and national faith leaders, including Pax Christi USA Ambassador of Peace Joseph Fahey, engaged in civil disobedience in the street in front of Union Station by holding an “Interfaith Breaking of the Bread” ceremony… Read more coverage of the action at http://goodjobsnation.org/when-workers-fight/

PCUSA Ambassador of Peace Joseph Fahey (far left) participates in a "breaking bread" civil disobedience action in support of striking workers in D.C. (photo by Jean Stokan)

PCUSA Ambassador of Peace Joseph Fahey (far left)  co-leads a “breaking bread” civil disobedience action in support of striking workers in D.C. (photo by Jean Stokan)

PAX CHRISTI LOCAL GROUPS PARTICIPATING IN CAMPAIGN NONVIOLENCE: Pax Christi USA is an endorser of Campaign Nonviolence, and many of our local groups are planning to take part in the campaign’s week of actions between September 21-27. For example, Pax Christi Memphis members have been involved in planning for the week of actions in their area, including a retreat with Rev. Charles McCarthy, a Community Forum on Gun Violence, and a children’s poster contest. To get involved in your area, go to http://paceebene.org/programs/campaign-nonviolence/ for more information.

WELCOME ALISON ZACHARIAS, NEW STATE ORGANIZER FOR PC MICHIGAN: Alison Zacharias is the new State Organizer for Pax Christi Michigan. She is very committed to the spirituality of nonviolence and passionate about Pax Christi’s Prayer/Study/Action model. She is from Canton, Michigan, and graduated in 2013 from Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan, with a degree in English. While at Michigan State, Alison completed an internship with Meta Peace Team, an international nonprofit peace and justice organization that seeks to pursue peace through active nonviolence and create an alternative to militarism through empowered peacemaking, where one of her primary efforts was partaking in the campaign for the closure of the Guantánamo Bay prison. Alison loves to read and write, draw and paint, travel, spend time with her cat and dogs, and is working on expanding her vegetarian cooking skills. Welcome Alison!

PCUSA AMBASSADORS OF PEACE HOSTING FUNDRAISER FOR FILM ABOUT BISHOP GUMBLETON: Bill and Mary Carry, Pax Christi USA Ambassadors of Peace from Michigan, will be hosting a fundraising party on Sunday, September 14th in support of the film “American Prophet,” which depicts the life and ministry of PCUSA Teacher of Peace Bishop Tom Gumbleton. The fundraiser includes meeting Jasmine Rivera, an award-winning director, producer and screen writer from the Detroit area. For more detailed information about the film and its production, you can visit www.americanprophetfilm.com.  Donations from those who cannot attend the event can be made out to Fractured Atlas, and sent to the Carry’s at 2375 Avondale W, Sylvan Lake, MI 48320.

PC FARGO/MOORHEAD (ND) MEMBERS PARTICIPATE IN INTERFAITH PEACE GATHERING: Ellen Mahli and Cathy Schwinden of Pax Christi Fargo/Moorhead were featured in a newspaper article covering an interfaith prayer vigil for peace in the Middle East. They read excerpts from the Pax Christi statement on violence in the Middle East and used former National Council member Fr. Jim Hug’s prayer (featured on the PCUSA website), as well as a quote from Pope Francis. You can read more at http://www.inforum.com/content/muslims-jews-other-faiths-gather-pray-peace.

Interfaith Vigil for Peace in the Middle East held in Fargo, ND. (photo courtesy of Cathy Schwinden)

Interfaith Prayer Vigil for Peace in the Middle East held in July in Fargo, ND. (photo courtesy of Cathy Schwinden, PC-Fargo/Moorhead)

PC INDIANAPOLIS MEMBER PARTICIPATES IN DELEGATION ON IMMIGRATION TO GERMANY: Last month, a delegation of 14 Americans, including Pax Christi Indianapolis member Terri Morris Downs, traveled to Germany to participate in the American Council on Germany’s 2014 Study Tour on Immigration Policy. The purpose of the Study Tour is for participants to better understand the European perspective and to acquire an understanding of the ways in which German society is adapting to the inevitable changes brought about by immigration. Participants had an opportunity to engage with Germans from the public and private sectors and to share ideas about best practices. They met with government officials, political leaders, business people, academics, journalists, and non-governmental organizations. Here are the Study Tour participants at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin.

Pax Christi Indianapolis member Terri Morris Downs in Berlin (photo courtesy of Val Fillenwarth)

PC Indianapolis member Terri Morris Downs in Berlin (w/ group). Terri is the Director of the Indianapolis Immigrant Welcome Center. (photo courtesy of Val Fillenwarth)

PCUSA REGIONAL LEADERS GATHER IN WASHINGTON, D.C.: Pax Christi USA hosted a leadership summit during the weekend of June 27-29 to coincide with its annual Momentum event. It is the first time in several years that Pax Christi USA has gathered together its regional coordinators, the Pax Christi Anti-Racism Team, the National Council and the National Staff. Nearly 50 leaders attended. The summit began with sessions specially designed for various groups present at the summit. Friday afternoon included a large group gathering for reflection, discussion and small group work. The evening event was Momentum 2014, featuring presentations by the 2013 Teacher of Peace Mary Meg McCarthy, Sr. Simone Campbell of NETWORK, and Ivone Guillen of Sojourners on immigration reform… To read more, go to: https://paxchristiusa.org/2014/06/28/news-pax-christi-usa-hosts-leadership-summit-in-washington-d-c/

Pax Christi USA Regional Leaders

Pax Christi USA Regional Leaders

PC SPRINGFIELD (IL) MEMBER WRITES EDITORIAL ON CHILDREN AT THE BORDER: Former National Council member and PC Springfield (IL) member, Diane Lopez Hughes, published the following column on the children at the border in the Springfield newspaper. “In light of the current humanitarian crisis at our borders, each of us would do well to think like a parent. Fleeing from hunger and violence in their home countries, we can only imagine how frightened the children must be, leaving behind everything they know to make the harsh and dangerous journey across Mexico to the U.S. border. Imagine the terrifying conditions that must necessitate parents sending their children into life-threatening circumstances for the possibility of safety, security and a better future. How demoralizing it must be for some of the parents not to have the resources to feed their children or insure their safety…” Read the entire column at http://www.sj-r.com/article/20140725/OPINION/140729670?sect=Columns&map=2012

Upcoming or Ongoing Events:

Sept. 20 – South Dakota Pax Christi Peace Conference, “Human Trafficking: Modern Day Slavery,” with Sr. Ruthmary Powers, HM and Sr. Josie Chrosniak, HM in Watertown, SD; http://www.presentationsisters.org/events/event/south-dakota-pax-christi-peace-conference/

Sept. 21 – International Day of Peace, http://www.un.org/en/events/peaceday/

Sept. 21-27 – Campaign Nonviolence week of actions, http://paceebene.org/programs/campaign-nonviolence/

Oct. 4 – Global Day of Action Against the Use of Drones for Killing and Surveillance, http://globaldayofaction.nationbuilder.com/

Oct. 4-11 – Keep Space for Peace week, http://www.space4peace.org/

Oct. 25-26 – Pax Christi Florida’s State Assembly calling for an end to the death penalty, Tallahassee; http://paxchristiflorida.org/

Nov. 1 – Pax Christi Massachusetts’ state assembly with Rev. Sam Smith at Holy Cross College on “The Militarization of Our Youth and the ‘I Will Not Kill’ Campaign”; http://paxchristima.org/

Quicklinks:

Blue Water (MI) Pax Christi hosted an August 6th prayer vigil in commemoration of all those who have died in war on the 69th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki … PC New Mexico member Bud Ryan and PCUSA Ambassador of Peace John Dear were on Santa Fe radio discussing nuclear disarmament and their annual vigil at Los Alamos … Pax Christi Michigan co-sponsored and participated in “On the Road to Ground the Drones,” an anti-drone demonstration and walk that took place from June 3-14, starting in Chicago and ending in Battle Creek, Michigan. You can see pictures from the event here … Check out Pax Christi El Paso’s websitePax Christi Fargo/Moorhead is hosting this exhibit on “Boycott and Economic Activism” this fall and think that other groups might be interested too … Read this column on women religious from Pax Christi USA Teachers of Peace Joan Chittiser, osb and Mary Lou Kownacki, osbPax Christi Southwest Florida coordinator Dave Montrose had a piece published in the local paper on the situation in Gaza … Pax Christi Long Island (NY) member Jacqueline Jill Rito wrote a moving open letter related to mothers and the violence in Gaza … Pax Christi International’s August 2014 newsletter is online … See more local and regional updates in the Summer 2014 edition of The Peace Current