Tag Archives: Pax Christi Arizona

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/


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: May edition features peace awards, upcoming events, 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. These are gleaned from articles in local newspapers, websites, magazines, and elsewhere. 

PAX CHRISTI LONG ISLAND PEACE AWARDS: Journalist and writer Susan Perretti and Bethpage High School teacher/advisor Jacqueline Jill Rito were given the PCLI Peace Award for 2012 on April 21 at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Manhasset. Susan and Jacqueline, members of PCLI, were honored for their work in bringing the message of peace from the Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers to Long Island. Jacqueline first heard of the Afghan Youth from reading about them on the PCUSA website and speaking with Amy Watts who was coordinating PCUSA’s relationship with the Afghan youth. At the award event, there was a great phone conversation between people from  5 or 6 countries, moderated by PCUSA Teacher of Peace Kathy Kelly.The AYPV developed the Global Days of Listening program, which enables conversations between ordinary people from Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine, Israel, Egypt and an expanding list of other countries. Also honored were three students from Bethpage High School, Leila Dastgheib-Beheshti, Holly Josephs and Shawn Mehrzad for their efforts in presenting the Global Days of Listening at their high school, at Adelphi University, and at the United Nations.

Pax Christi Long Island's 2012 Peacemaker Awards

Jacqueline Jill Rito ( left) and Susan Perretti received Pax Christi Long Island’s 2012 Peacemaker Awards. Their blue scarves are a symbol of the Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers, reminding us we are all united under one blue sky.

PEACE AWARD PRESENTED TO PAX CHRISTI NEW JERSEY: From NorthJersey.com: “New Jersey Peace Action (NJPA) will host its 55th anniversary dinner on Sunday, April 29, at the Regency House, 140 Route 23 North, Pompton Plains. NJPA is working to end torture, close Guantanamo Bay Prison, and stand up for the civil liberties of all, including the American Muslim community. As part of this campaign, Captain James ‘Yusuf’ Yee will speak on ‘9/11 and Guantanamo: The Struggle for Justice Ten Years Later.’ David Mortensen, a resident of Rockaway Township, will present the Sylvia and Oscar Ackelsberg Peace Award to Pax Christi New Jersey at the annual dinner. He is also a member of the Multifaith Peace and Justice and Alliance and the August 9th Saving Lives Task Force, two organizations working with New Jersey Peace Action to help bring lasting peace and justice to the world. ‘I am honored to be asked to give an award to Pax Christi New Jersey, one of our sister organizations that is making a difference in the cause of peace,’ said Mortensen. Read more by clicking here.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR ON THE DEATH PENALTY: The Catholic Sun featured a letter from Deacon Paul Hursch expressing the sentiments of Pax Christi-Phoenix members who pray and witness for the abolition of the death penalty.  Deacon Hursch wrote, in part, “I was heartened to see the article affirming our Church’s position on capital punishment (‘Forgive us as we forgive others,’  The Catholic Sun, March 15). Many Catholics do not consider these state sanctioned homicides as an affront to our Church’s prohibition against the unnecessary destruction of human life.  Most Catholics affirm the sanctity of human life from conception until natural death, but make an exception for the people on death row.  Somehow these lives don’t merit God’s forgiveness, but rather the most severe punishment. My firsthand experience has proven this wrong.  The three men whom I have visited on death row over the past 10-plus years are men whose lives have been changed through the power of the Holy Spirit and the grace of God…”

PC-Arizona members against the death penalty

PC-Phoenix coordinator Dan Wolford tables at a vigil against the death penalty.

PAX CHRISTI METRO NEW YORK COORDINATOR ADDRESSES THE PAX CHRISTI AGENDA: In an op-ed piece for The Huffington Post, PC-Metro NY coordinator Rosemarie Pace wrote about the Pax Christi Agenda:” In the April 14 issue of The Tablet, the newspaper of the Diocese of Brooklyn and Queens, there was a letter in the ‘Readers’ Forum’ that was titled ‘The Pax Christi Agenda.’ Having been a member of Pax Christi for nearly 25 years and having been Director of Pax Christi Metro New York for nearly 12 of those 25 years, I thought I was pretty familiar with Pax Christi’s agenda, but I could not recognize it in that letter. It made me realize that there’s an awful lot of misunderstanding and misrepresentation of Pax Christi out there that begs to be informed. Consequently, I offer this description of the Pax Christi ‘agenda’ for all who might be curious. Pax Christi was founded by Bishop Pierre Marie Theas and Marie-Marthe Dortel Claudot in France at the end of WWII for reconciliation between France and Germany; hence, its first and foremost agenda item to this day is reconciliation… Read the entire article by clicking here.

Mary Lea Palo Zamora

Mary Lea Palo Zamora

PAX CHRISTI FLORIDA STATE COUNCIL MEMBER PASSES: From the PC-Florida website: “It is with a very heavy heart that we inform you that Mary Lea Zamora, long-time member of Pax Christi Florida and Pax Christi Northeast FL and former member of PCF’s council, entered into eternal life Tuesday, April 24th at 9:45 a.m. Ron, her dearest friend and devoted husband, was at her side. Mary Lea showed all of us not only how to live well but also how to die with great acceptance, courage, and grace… We, who knew and loved this exceptional woman, are certain that the gates of heaven were flung wide open at her arrival. Until we meet again gentle and holy woman: Mary Lea Zamora … Presente!”

PAX CHRISTI TEXAS REMEMBERS LONG TIME MEMBER: David Atwood wrote the following tribute to Dr. Ellen Burns who died in Houston on December 5  at the age of 91. “I first met Ellen when she moved to Houston to work in the Catholic Archdiocesan Youth Office in 1992 (at the age of 72!). She soon joined the local Pax Christi group and later helped found the Houston Peace and Justice Center.  Ellen’s activism included protests against nuclear weapons, advocacy for Latino immigrants, stronger gun control laws, abolition of the death penalty, and protests against the School of the Americas.  She set a shining example of putting one’s faith into action. When Ellen retired from the Catholic Archdiocese in 2002, she said, ‘I was never inactive….I don’t know how God gives me all this energy.’ We will miss Ellen’s energy, determination and courage.  Read more on the PC-Texas website.

Upcoming Events:

PC-Arizona will be holding the first Regional Dialog with members of PCUSA national leadership on May 12 at the Phoenix Archdiocesan Pastoral Center. Contact Margaret Wolford for more information at wolford2102@centurylink.net

May 17 is DREAM Day of Action, sponsored by United We Dream in support of the DREAM Act.

PC-Illinois will be participating in the Unity March for Justice and Reconciliation at the NATO Summit in Chicago, May 20. PC-Illinois will host a Mass and a meet-up to march together. Contact PCUSA Ambassador of Peace Tom Cordaro at tomcordaro@juno.com for more information.

PC-El Paso hosts PCUSA Ambassador of Peace Fr. John Dear, SJ on May 24 at St. Pius X Catholic Church Community Center. Click here for more info.


Pax Christi Metro New York coordinator remembers support of Mary’s Pence … Mary Mitchell promotes Pax Christi in a letter to the editor on Afghanistan … Reddit post from a workshop presenter at Pax Christi Michigan’s state conference … CatholicCulture.org featured a story on PCUSA being a signatory to a letter asking the President Obama to ban land mines … Central MA Pax Christi held a retreat with the theme “The Power of Forgiveness and Reconciliation” on April 14 with Marie Dennis, director of the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns … Pax Christi International Co-President Marie Dennis featured in Catholic Free Press article on war with Iran … Read Pax Christi International’s May newsletterJustFaith Ministries in collaboration with Pax Christi USA just released a special 12 session module for small groups on “Just Peacemaking.” There is a special discount for Pax Christi local groups wanting to purchase the module … PCUSA is seeking an Associate Director of Development

  • Send your news items, announcements, photos and links to stories about Pax Christi groups or members to johnnypcusa@yahoo.com.