Tag Archives: Marie Dennis

REFLECTION: Vatican conference urges church to abandon “just war” theory

Tony Maglianoby Tony Magliano

On the night before his execution, Jesus said to his disciples, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you” (John 14:27).

Facing a horrible violent death, Jesus taught the first leaders of his church to respond to violence with peace. The peace of Jesus – the only real and lasting peace – unlike the false “peace” of the world which violently conquers enemies, would be based on total nonviolence.

nonviolence2But after 300 years of countless Christians striving to follow the nonviolent Jesus – often suffering severe persecution – the faith of the followers of Christ was legalized and later made the official religion of the Roman Empire. Christians then began fighting for the empire. And sadly, Christians have been fighting for empires ever since.

The “just war” theory was developed to offer criteria – like protecting civilians from attack – that had to be met before war could be theoretically morally justified and continued. Most unfortunately, this led to the Catholic Church’s abandonment of total Christ-like nonviolence.

With the purpose of deepening the Catholic Church’s understanding and commitment to Gospel nonviolence and to urging that the “just war” theory be replaced with a Just Peace strategy, a monumental first-of-its-kind conference was recently held on April 11-13 in Rome.

The Nonviolence and Just Peace Conference, co-sponsored by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and Pax Christi International, gathered together an international group of approximately 80 bishops, theologians, priests, sisters and lay people – all experienced nonviolent social justice and peace leaders – to begin to formulate for the Catholic Church a creative Gospel-based active nonviolent strategy to counter violence, armed conflict, and war.

One of the attendees, Marie Dennis, co-president of Pax Christi International told me that most of the participants came from countries where war and violent conflict have been the reality for too many years.

Dennis said their message to us over and over again was: “We are tired of war.” For the church to promote nonviolence – to deepen our understanding of and commitment to nonviolence – seemed obvious and essential, she concluded.

Another attendee, Fr. John Dear, a veteran nonviolent peace educator and activist said to me there is no such thing as a just war. “Everything has to return to the teachings of the Sermon on the Mount and the nonviolence of Jesus.”

He emphasized that Jesus taught us to offer no violent resistance to one who does evil. Dear said “active nonviolence is not passive.” He said we need to address the root-causes of war like poverty and exclusion. But instead the “just war” theory has been used for over 1,700 years to justify many wars and killings.

Another participant, Eli McCarthy, who represented the Conference of Major Superiors of Men, shared with me his amazement regarding stories about Catholic leaders negotiating with very violent armed actors.

He spoke of an archbishop negotiating with the violent Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda, and a Jesuit negotiating with paramilitaries in Columbia.

McCarthy said conference participants were informed about a bishop in warring South Sudan who created a peace village that has the trust of all armed actors. He said he heard that peace education is taught in all the schools in the Philippines, and that there is a University of Nonviolence in Lebanon.

We have much to learn from committed Christians who are already successfully replacing a “just war” theory mentality with a Just Peace strategy.

McCarthy said, “One thing surprised me, and it is instructive. Those [attendees] living in violent conflict zones … were all in support, as far as I could tell, of the Catholic Church focusing on nonviolence and Just Peace, and no longer using the ‘just war’ theory.”

The Nonviolence and Just Peace Conference produced a guiding document titled “An Appeal to the Catholic Church to Re-Commit to the Centrality of Gospel Nonviolence.” I hope many Catholics will prayerfully read it. (Here is a link to it http://bit.ly/1qwrNJI.)

At the end of this document there is a call for Catholics to:

  • integrate Gospel nonviolence into life – including the sacramental life – and work of the Catholic Church through dioceses, parishes, schools and seminaries;
  • promote strategies of nonviolent resistance, restorative justice and unarmed civilian protection;
  • no longer use or teach the “just war” theory;
  • continue advocating for the abolition of war and nuclear weapons;
  • and there is a request to Pope Francis to write an encyclical letter on nonviolence and Just Peace.

The questions of active nonviolence, the “just war” theory, and war itself are very personal for me. Over 33 years ago, I was honorably discharged from the U.S. Army as a conscientious objector. While firing an M-16 at pop-up targets, I realized as a follower of the nonviolent Jesus I could not aim a weapon at another human being, pull the trigger, and kill him or her.

While writing this column on peacemaking, the Holy Spirit dropped this Loyola Press 3 Minute Retreat into my inbox. It is mystically titled “On a Peace Mission.”

I am glad to share it here with you. Just go to this link http://bit.ly/23K51jB and turn on the sound.

“On the evening of that first day of the week, when the doors were locked … Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them … ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.’ ”

Let us go forth to make peace.

Tony Magliano is an internationally syndicated social justice and peace columnist. Please contact your diocesan newspaper and request that they carry Tony’s column. Tony is available to speak at diocesan or parish gatherings about Catholic social teaching. His keynote address, “Advancing the Kingdom of God in the 21st Century,” has been well received by diocesan gatherings from San Clemente, CA to Baltimore. Tony can be reached at tmag@zoominternet.net.

ON THE LINE: April 2016 edition includes Good Friday actions slideshow 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 GROUPS ACROSS THE NATION PARTICIPATE IN GOOD FRIDAY WITNESS: Many Pax Christi USA local groups planned and staged 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. Check out the slideshow featuring photos of many of these events.

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LOCAL POVERTY AND FAITHFUL BUDGET CAMPAIGN TOPICS AT PC MEMPHIS MEETING: (from PC-Memphis newsletter by Paul Crum) Terry Hash and her daughter Christine presented an eye opening look at poverty in the Memphis area and beyond at our March gathering. Armed with surprising facts and a wealth of data, the pair highlighted the struggle that thousands of our neighbors endure to navigate current economic conditions. Christine, Manager of Social Enterprises and Community Engagement for Catholic Charities of West Tennessee, told the group that Memphis has the highest level of childhood poverty in the nation. She presented statistics reflecting the typical expenses for families of various sizes living in the Memphis metropolitan area, and showed the wide disparity in wages between the working poor and their more affluent suburban counterparts… To read more, go to http://www.paxchristimemphis.org/

Sr. Patty Chappell and Sr. Anne-Louise Nadeau, SNDdeN did anti-racism workshops for members of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ in Wichita, KS; Roma, IL; and Columbia, PA this past weekend.

Sr. Patty Chappell and Sr. Anne-Louise Nadeau, SNDdeN did anti-racism workshops for members of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ in Wichita, KS; Roma, IL; and Columbia, PA this past weekend.

PAX CHRISTI USA MEMBERS PARTICIPATE IN HISTORIC NONVIOLENCE AND JUST PEACE CONFERENCE IN ROME: This past week, Pax Christi International co-convened with the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, UISG/USG and many other international Catholic organizations, an international conference on nonviolence and just peace. Several members of Pax Christi USA from various regions were participants in the meeting, including Pax Christi International Co-President and PCUSA Ambassador of Peace Marie Dennis, former PCUSA National Coordinator Anne McCarthy, osb, former PCUSA National Council Chair Judy Coode, former PCUSA staff member Jean Stokan, and PCUSA Ambassador of Peace Rev. John Dear, among others. To see the conference statement, click here. For media coverage of this historic gathering, go to: https://paxchristiusa.org/2016/04/16/news-media-coverage-of-nonviolence-and-just-peace-conference-in-rome/

Pax Christi TX members participated in the "Fight for $15" March and Rally in Houston on April 14.

Pax Christi TX members participated in the Fight for $15 March in Houston on Apr. 14.

PAX CHRISTI USA MEMBERSHIP NEWSLETTER FOR SPRING 2016: If you did not receive a hard copy of the Pax Christi USA membership newsletter, The Peace Current, which includes two pages of updates from the national, regional and local levels, please let us know. It means your membership is not up-to-date or there is an error in our database. The Spring 2016 edition should have arrived within the last month. You can view it online by going to https://paxchristiusa1.files.wordpress.com/2016/03/39803_nl_pax_web.pdf

Pax Christi Charlottesville (VA) member Ellen Mohr attended the St. Patrick's Day celebration at the White House with her niece Congresswoman Kathleen Rice. Ellen won a legislative battle with her niece in New York to let adopted children be able to know their birth parents.

Pax Christi Charlottesville (VA) member Ellen Mohr attended the St. Patrick’s Day celebration at the White House with her niece Congresswoman Kathleen Rice. Ellen won a legislative battle with her niece in New York to let adopted children be able to know their birth parents.

Mary McDonough Harren

Mary McDonough Harren

PAX CHRISTI MEMBER MARY MCDONOUGH HARREN HONORED AS DIFFERENCE-MAKER IN KANSAS: (from Tom Cordaro, PC-Illinois) Long time Pax Christi member Mary McDonough Harren will be honored at the “She Made a Difference” award dinner on March 25th being held by the Wichita chapter of NOW (National Organization of Women). Mary is being honored for her activism for peace with justice and her commitment to women’s equality in Church and society. Mary has been an inspiration and a mentor to generations of women (and men) in Kansas and beyond.

Members of the Pax Christi Anti-Racism team at their gathering in Illinois last month

Members of the Pax Christi Anti-Racism team at their gathering in Illinois last month

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Upcoming or Ongoing Events:

Apr. 22: Earth Day

Apr. 23: Breaking the Silence: Confronting Race, Power and Privilege. Pax Christi Michigan’s state conference, in Lansing, MI

Apr. 23: “A Future Covenant,” Justice and Spirituality Convocation in Stirling, NJ

Apr. 25-May 1: SOA Delegation to the Border; contact marialuisa@soaw.org

Apr. 30: Pax Christi Metro DC-Baltimore Spring Retreat, “Let Creation Call Us More Deeply to God,” with PCUSA Teacher of Peace Rev. John Rausch, glmy

May 1: Feast of St. Joseph the WorkerMay Day

May 3: The Challenge of Peace anniversary

May 4: Sr. Patty Chappell, SNDdeN, Executive Director of Pax Christi USA and PCUSA Program Director Sr. Anne-Louise Nadeau, SNDdeN will present a training for Loyola University Cabinet Members, Baltimore on Racial Justice

May 5: Feast of the Ascension

May 6-8: Atlantic Life Community Retreat at Mariandale Retreat Center in Ossining, New York; contact Scott Langley at scott@scottlangleyphoto.com

May 7: Sr. Patty Chappell, SNDdeN, Executive Director of Pax Christi USA and PCUSA Program Director Sr. Anne-Louise Nadeau, SNDdeN will present a training at St. Boniface, Brooklyn, NY on Racial Justice

May 8: Mother’s Day

May 9: PCUSA Teacher of Peace Rev. Daniel Berrigan’s birthday; also Peter Maurin and Sophie Scholl

May 14: “We Grow Together,” Pax Christi USA and Communities of Color workshop, Washington DC

May 15: Pentecost

May 15: Peacemakers Awards Reception with Pax Christi Metro New York: Contact PCMNY to register now: 212-420-0250, info@nypaxchristi.org, or http://www.nycharities.org/events/EventLevels.aspx?ETID=8977.

May 21: Feast of Blessed Franz Jaeggerstaetter

May 28-June 11: Christian Peacemaker Team delegation to Colombia

May 30: Memorial Day

June 7-12: Catholic Young Women’s Leadership Forum in Washington, D.C.

June 29-July 2: Starvin for Justice: Annual Fast and Vigil to Abolish the Death Penalty in Washington, D.C.

Aug. 12-14: Pax Christi USA National Gathering in Linthicum, MD

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Quicklinks:

Pax Christi members in Pennsylvania, under the leadership of Fr. Bernie Survil, are passing out the election guide, A Revolution of Tenderness, to parishes and religious communities in their state … Mercy Sister and long-time PCUSA member Diane Guerin was interviewed in NCR … Over 25 activists were arrested at the Shut Down Creech action earlier this month … Local news shot this video of Pax Christi Harrisburg (PA) during their Good Friday Way of the Cross … Pax Christi El Paso publicly declares their opposition to endless war by joining Border Peace Presence on Fridays from noon to 1:00 p.m. in front of the Federal Court House (corner of Campbell and San Antonio) … NCR ran an interview with long-time Pax Christi New Jersey member Rev. Ron Cioffi about him and his parish’s commitment to social justice … PC Illinois member Sr. Karen Nykiel presented on “The Spirituality of Aging” at a conference at Benedictine UniversityPax Christi Young Adult member Vickie Machado was interviewed in this article about U.S.-Cuba relations following her trip there earlier this year … Pax Christi Northeast Florida co-sponsored an anti-death penalty event with Marietta Jaeger-Lane of Murder Victims Families for Reconciliation … Registration for the 2016 Pax Christi USA National Gathering in Maryland is now open … Pax Christi International’s April 2016 newsletter is online … See more local and regional updates in the Spring 2016 edition of The Peace Current

ON THE LINE: March 2016 edition includes PCUSA members acting for disarmament, against Islamophobia, for nonviolence, 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.

PC International Co-President Marie Dennis with Pope Francis.

PAX CHRISTI USA MEMBERSHIP NEWSLETTER FOR SPRING 2016 ARRIVING SOON! In addition to the stories we feature in On The Line about local groups, individual members, regions and partners, each membership newsletter includes two pages of updates from the national, regional and local levels. The Spring 2016 edition went to the post office yesterday and should start arriving in members’ mailboxes next week, but if you want a sneak peek of the newsletter, you can view it online by going to https://paxchristiusa1.files.wordpress.com/2016/03/39803_nl_pax_web.pdf

PAX CHRISTI NORTHERN CALIFORNIA MEMBERS AMONG THOSE ARRESTED AT AIR FORCE BASE: (by Elizabeth Murray) On Sunday, March 6, as part of the Pacific Life Community’s action in front of California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base, a number of PLC’ers were arrested for “crossing the line” onto Vandenberg Air Force Base. The following is a brief account of the action written by Elizabeth Murray, who was arrested on trespass charges along with Charley Smith, Jorge Manly-Gil, Karan Benton and Pax Christi Northern California members Ed Ehmke, Mary Jane Parrine, and Tom Webb. We walked together, arm in arm, as one line toward the row of soldiers barring our entrance to Vandenberg Base. A few yards from the soldiers’ lineup, we paused; Charlie, whom we had selected to be our representative, advanced alone right up to the troops to offer our letter to Col. Moss. He asked several times for someone to come forward to receive our letter to the base commander, but our request was met by stone-still silence… To read the full account, visit http://www.nukeresister.org/2016/03/08/seven-anti-nuclear-activists-with-the-pacific-life-community-were-arrested-at-vandenberg-air-force-base/

Pax Christi Northern California members participated in the Pacific Life Community action at Vandenburg Air Force Base.

Pax Christi Northern California members participated in the Pacific Life Community action at Vandenburg Air Force Base.

PAX CHRISTI MEMPHIS EXPLORES ISLAMIC IDEAS OF GOD’S MERCY: (from PC-Memphis newsletter) In his presentation to those attending the February meeting of Pax Christi Memphis, Dr. Mohammed Moinuddin pointed out that of the 99 names for God recognized in the Islamic faith, the most important is “merciful.” All 114 Chapters of the Qur’an begin with the phrase ‘In the name of Allah, the most beneficient, the most merciful,’” Dr. Moinuddin said. “We are reminded of his mercy throughout.” The former president of the Muslim Society of Memphis provided a fascinating lecture and slide presentation that explained the Islamic perspective of mercy… Read more at http://www.paxchristimemphis.org/

PC El Paso members at February peace vigil

PC El Paso members at February 2016 peace vigil.

PAX CHRISTI MICHIGAN COUNCIL MEMBER PRESENTS ON NONVIOLENCE TO HIGH SCHOOLERS: (from PC-Michigan e-newsletter) Bob Podzikowski, Chair of the PC-Michigan State Council, spoke to the Mercy High School Social Justice class this past November. Bob’s presentation was at the invitation of teacher, Ann Lusch (long-time PCM member), who also facilitates Mercy’s Just Peace program. Bob’s presentation on nonviolence centered on Pope Francis’ visit to the United States in 2015. He recounted the Pope’s inclusion of four notable Americans in his speech to Congress: Abraham Lincoln, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Dorothy Day, and Thomas Merton. Bob went into detail with Dr. King’s Six Principles of Nonviolence and their impact on the lives of those courageous individuals who choose love instead of hate and seek to defeat injustice, not people… Read more at http://campaign.r20.constantcontact.com/render?m=1109591091770&ca=6552d59f-6249-4e31-bf2e-52018d7efe31

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Christy Bantugan-Bohan of PC San Diego staffs a booth for PCUSA and Campaign Nonviolence at the Rotary World Peace Conference in Ontario, CA in January.

John Dear, SJPAX CHRISTI USA AMBASSADOR OF PEACE JOHN DEAR TEACHING ONLINE CLASS ON NONVIOLENCE: (from Campaign Nonviolence website) John Dear will offer a six week class on nonviolence, called “Living Nonviolence,” based on his best-selling book, “The Nonviolent Life,” starting on Monday, April 4, 2016. The class will feature six, ten minute videos of John reflecting on various aspects of nonviolence. A new ten minute video will be available to registrants every Monday starting on April 4th.  Participants will then have a chance in the day or two after watching the video to post questions or comments on the class Google Groups web discussion board, which John may respond to, and then participants will be invited to write a short reflection piece or journal entry by the end of that week on the questions or topics raised. John will read all entries, and try to respond to the reflection pieces, depending on class size. For more info, visit https://org.salsalabs.com/o/859/p/salsa/event/common/public/?event_KEY=85267

PAX CHRISTI METRO NEW YORK RECALLS POPE FRANCIS IN LENTEN REFLECTION: (from PCMNY website) “Thus says the God of hosts: Judge with true justice, and show kindness and compassion toward each other. Do not oppress the widow or the orphan, the resident alien or the poor; do not plot evil against one another in your hearts.” -Zechariah 7:9-10. Pope Francis has declared this an “Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy” and has specifically asked that “the season of Lent in this Jubilee Year be lived more intensely as a privileged moment to celebrate and experience God’s mercy” (Misericordiae Vultus, 17). In his Lenten Message for 2016, he guides us in how to do just that. First, Pope Francis encourages us to listen attentively to the word of God… For the entire reflection, go to https://paxchristiusa.org/2016/02/20/lent-2016-seasonal-reflection-from-pax-christi-metro-new-york/

top175TEACHER OF PEACE AWARD NOMINATIONS ARE NOW OPEN: This year, Pax Christi USA will honor an outstanding peacemaker with the Teacher of Peace Award, in the tradition of Sr. Thea Bowman, Cesar Chávez, Dorothy Day, and Pope Paul VI. This award recognizes women and men whose lives and work exemplify the theme of Pope Paul VI’s World Day of Peace message, “To reach peace, teach peace.” All nominations must be received by email or postmarked by April 11, 2016 to be considered. When sending in your nomination by email, please include “Teacher of Peace nomination” in the subject line. For more information, go to https://paxchristiusa.org/2016/02/04/teacher-of-peace-nominations-sought-for-2016-pax-christi-usa-teacher-of-peace/

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Upcoming or Ongoing Events:

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

Mar. 13: Election of Pope Francis, 2013

Mar. 20: Palm Sunday

Mar. 20-26: Romero Week from SHARE El Salvador

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 24-25: Faith and Resistance Retreat in DC; contact the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker, 202-882-9649, artlaffin@hotmail.com

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

Mar. 27: Easter

Mar. 27-Apr. 2: Shut Down Drones at Creech AFB action, Nevada

Mar. 31: Cesar Chavez, b. 1927

Apr. 1-3: Witness Against Torture retreat in Cleveland, OH

Apr. 4-May 9: Living Nonviolence online class with Pax Christi USA Ambassador of Peace Rev. John Dear

Apr. 5-18: Global Days of Action on Military Spending

Apr. 8-9: Gandhi-King conference in Memphis

Apr. 8-12: Midwest Faith and Resistance Retreat, Minneapolis

Apr. 14-18: SOA Days of Action in DC

Apr. 15-18: Ecumenical Advocacy Days: Lift Every Voice: Racism, Class and Power

Apr. 16-18: Democracy Awakening in DC

Apr. 22: Earth Day

Apr. 23: Breaking the Silence: Confronting Race, Power and Privilege. Pax Christi Michigan’s state conference, in Lansing, MI

Apr. 25-May 1: SOA Delegation to the Border; contact marialuisa@soaw.org

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Quicklinks:

Registration for the 2016 Pax Christi USA National Gathering in Maryland is now open … Pax Christi Michigan’s Winter 2016 newsletter is available online … Pax Christi International has named a new Secretary General, Margaretha VanaerschotPax Christi Metro D.C. member Paul Magno describes the 35-year history of Plowshares in this article in the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists … Pax Christi Toronto co-hosted a workshop to teach young people about using nonviolent activism to raise public awareness on protecting the environment … Read Pax Christi USA Ambassador of Peace Tonie Malone’s reflection for the 5th Sunday of Lent … The Pax Christi group of the Presentation Sisters focuses on human life issuesPax Christi USA Teacher of Peace Bishop Thomas J. Gumbleton of Detroit spoke at Sacred Heart Church in Camden, N.J. on Feb. 13 at a program entitled “Peace and Planet: Imperatives for the 21st Century.”Pax Christi International’s March 2016 newsletter is online … See more local and regional updates in the Spring 2016 edition of The Peace Current

NEWS: Congratulations to Marie Dennis, Public Peace Prize Laureate 2016!

ppp-2016-0004

from the Public Peace Prize Committee

All of the laureates received considerable support from the public, both in terms of the quantity of “votes” acquired, and the quality of the comments and the support letters received. Marie Dennis is the laureate who received the greatest number of supporting gestures overall, from a largely international audience.

We wish to congratulate these peacemakers for both their determination and their contributions, along with others, to the pursuit of durable peace that is rooted in respect for human dignity and the conviction that it is possible to live in a world without violence or exclusion. …

Marie DENNIS, of the United States, is a respected icon of peace and reconciliation movements on an international scale. Her implication in a number of endeavours reuniting a compassionate vision, the art of negotiation and spiritual wisdom and her contribution to intercultural and interreligious dialogues are indispensable to world peace. A large number of her project partners and people who have witnessed her work from several countries have expressed their support and admiration to this laureate of the 2016 Public Peace Prize as GLOBAL PEACE and RECONCILIATION INTERNATIONALLY-REPUTED PEACEMAKER.

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/

WPD Banner

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

NEWS: Marie Dennis, Co-President of Pax Christi International, nominated for the Public Peace Prize

mariepeaceprize

The Public Peace Prize is determined by the choices of people from around the world. Scroll down to see how you can help recognize Marie Dennis with this award. Thanks!

“Marie Dennis truly embodies the Gandhi quote ‘be the change you wish to see in the world’ in the way she humbly lives out her life, expressed in each interaction with another, in the way she raised six incredibly beautiful children, in her courage to ‘speak truth to power’ with respect and grace, and in her daily spiritual practice which anchors her profound commitment to peace. Many of us already try to emulate Marie’s goodness and commitment to peace—so if she could be recognized with the Public Peace Prize, she would inspire many more.” – Jean Stokan, Director of the Social Justice Team, Sisters of Mercy of the Americas

“Marie Dennis has shown a lifetime commitment to peace, worldwide peace.” – Freek Landmeter, PAX Netherlands

“Marie Dennis brings a spirituality to her approach to peacework that helps to connect people around the world – seeking to find common approaches to active nonviolence and peacemaking and to celebrate these.” – Pat Gaffney, Pax Christi UK

Dear Friends,

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:

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 by clicking here.

On Public Peace Prize’s Facebook page: If you are on Facebook, click “Like” below the posting presenting Marie. To increase the number of votes, click on the “share” button. See the post by clicking here.

On Public Peace Prize’s Twitter account: “Retweet” the tweets, if you are on Twitter, presenting Marie. See the tweet by clicking here.

“The mission of the Public Peace Prize is to foster greater recognition for peacemakers and peace initiatives around the world by the general public: on local, national and international levels.” To read more about the Public Peace Prize, click here.

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