As the national Catholic peace and justice movement, we must once again rise as Catholic peacemakers to advocate boldly for the present magisterial teaching on peace and seek a nonviolent resolution to the Ukraine crisis. War is never the answer, and our hearts break for the suffering and devastation the war in Ukraine has already unleashed.
In support of ongoing efforts toward a ceasefire and for the hard work of peacemaking and diplomacy, you can find additional resources below addressing the build-up to and subsequent invasion of Ukraine by Russia. Our prayer, study and action is rooted in the nonviolence that is foundational to our identity as followers of the God of Peace.
>> Note: Even as we work for peace in Ukraine, Pax Christi USA invites our membership and partners not to lose sight of the need for prayer, study and action in support of peace in Yemen, Palestine, Myanmar, Syria, Ethiopia, and everywhere that suffers the violence of war.
>> Pax Christi USA has endorsed this petition circulated by several peace organizations, urging world leaders to commit to a ceasefire in Ukraine. Groups and individuals are welcome to sign.
The war in Ukraine: Impacts of nonviolent resistance and U.S. policy implications
An online briefing for Congressional offices, held February 23
In this online briefing offered by the Peace and Security Working Group of the Washington Interfaith Staff Community, practitioners and researchers shared about the impact that strategic nonviolent resistance efforts are having in Ukraine and Russia to bring the war to a just and peaceful end; panelists also spoke to the implications for U.S. policy and Congressional action.
Online faith vigil for peace in Ukraine
Organized by the Friends Committee on National Legislation and the Episcopal Church, this online prayer vigil was an opportunity to pray together and to lament the human harm caused by violence and conflict. Prayers were offered for the people of Ukraine, Russia, and across the region, and for those displaced, and for a peaceful resolution to the crisis that prevents further human suffering. Pax Christi USA’s Executive Director Johnny Zokovitch was one of the speakers.
- VIDEO: Judy Coode and Rose Berger read the sixth station (“Veronica wipes the face of Jesus”) for the 2023 Economic and Ecological Way of the Cross, April 7, 2023; this prayer focused on the war between Ukraine and Russia
- February 24, 2023: Faith vigil for peace in Ukraine, organized by FCNL and the Episcopal Public Policy Network, via Facebook Live
- A prayer for peace in Ukraine by Sr. Pegge Boehm, PBVM (in MSWord and as a PDF)
- Prayer for peace in Ukraine (in MSWord and as a PDF)
- Use the prayer for peace in Ukraine adapted from Pope Francis featured in the PSA e-alert of February 8, 2022 Pray-Study-Act: The Escalating Situation in Ukraine
- Pax Christi USA Ambassador of Peace Fr. Joe Nangle, OFM, reflects that “Lent reminds us that war – in Ukraine or anywhere else – is not the answer”
- Promote prayers for peace: Host a liturgy to pray for peace using this service from the Catholic Nonviolence Initiative. Encourage your parish’s leaders to include Catholic teachings on nonviolence in homilies, prayers of the faithful, and communications when discussing Ukraine.
- Watch the video recording of this prayer service from the Catholic Nonviolence Initiative and UISG/USG, held on April 11, 2022
Reports: Supporting nonviolence and peace-building efforts
- Nonviolent resistance to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, October 2022
- Ukrainian nonviolent civil resistance in the face of war: Analysis of trends, impacts and challenges of nonviolent action in Ukraine between February and June 2022
- Quick assessment report, 2022
Other study pieces
- Why are we in Ukraine? On the dangers of American hubris, Harpers magazine, June 2023
- Biden discusses Ukraine with Pope Francis’s envoy, July 2023
- USCCB expresses concerns about administration’s decision to send cluster munitions to Ukraine, July 2023
- Pax Christi International’s statement on the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, February 2023
- In show of solidarity, Belgium protests Ukraine war, Politico.eu, February 25, 2023
- Read the letter to President Biden issued April 19, 2022 by faith-based organizations calling for support for courageous, creative actions of nonviolence in the Ukraine conflict.
- Read “Ukraine shows we must reject the possibility that war can be just” by Marie Dennis, Pax Christi USA Ambassador of Peace
- Archbishop Wester on the war in Ukraine: Nuclear weapons must be eliminated, not reinforced
- Read “12 ways to work for a nonviolent end to the war in Ukraine” from Pax Christi Michigan
- Read “The added dangers of being Black while bombed,” by the Pax Christi Anti-Racism Team
- How would nonviolence work at the international level? Read “A Policymaker’s Tool for Effective, Nonviolent Strategies for Sustainable Peace”
- This article, “What Putin Really Wants in Ukraine”, offers a good examination of the root causes of the crisis
- Learn about active nonviolence, and how this framework can “resist war and build peace” in Ukraine and around the world, with this resource from the Catholic Nonviolence Initiative.
- Learn more about how a just peace framework can promote “political cooperation for the common good,” and the norms that are at the heart of this framework, with this CNI document.
- Additional resources on the Ukraine crisis.
- Send a message to Congress opposing cluster munitions to Ukraine, July 2023
- Donate to support activism and civil resistance in Ukraine
- Lift up stories of nonviolent resistance and frame existing activity of nonviolence
- Resource (and train when possible) nonviolent civil society leaders in Ukraine
- Make contacts with people in Ukraine and Russia
- Pray for our Ukrainians and our adversaries/enemies and encourage Catholic parishes, etc. to do the same
- Encourage Russians in civil society to go on a day (or more) strike
- Advocate U.S. government officials to support peace-building and nonviolent action (see some specific examples in this Alliance for Peacebuilding statement)
- 12 ways to work for a nonviolent end to the war in Ukraine from Pax Christi Michigan
- We asked Pax Christi USA members to take Pope Francis’s original call for a day of prayer and fasting for peace in Ukraine on March 2, 2022 Ash Wednesday, one step further and to publicly vigil for peace in Ukraine, Yemen, Palestine and elsewhere around the world EVERY WEDNESDAY throughout Lent 2022 and beyond.
- Promote peace in the press: Write to Catholic media (America, National Catholic Reporter, etc.) and exhort them not to publish pro-war pieces, but to instead focus on promoting Catholic teaching on nonviolence. See Catholic Relief Service’s website for tips on writing a letter to the editor at this link.
- “Ten ways to avoid a devastating war in Ukraine”, by Eli McCarthy
- In early February 2022, Pax Christi USA joined 100 U.S. organizations urging Biden “to end the U.S. role in escalating” the Ukraine crisis. Read the statement here.
- Read Pax Christi International’s appeal to Pope Francis and Pax Christi International’s February 23, 2022 statement
- Read the statement from the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, “No to War in Ukraine: Pursue Integral Peace and Human Security”
- Pax Christi USA joined in the global day of action for peace in Ukraine on Sunday, March 6, 2022.
- Pax Christi USA participated in a virtual vigil for peace in Ukraine on February 23, 2022. See the video at this link on Facebook.
- The Pax Christi Young Adult Caucus held a gathering to reflect on Lent, Ukraine, and the art of resistance on March 16, 2022.
- Join with Pope Francis in a day of prayer and fasting for peace in Ukraine, March 2, 2022 Ash Wednesday
- Second week of Lent (March 11, 2022), included an adapted prayer for peace for Ukraine, a podcast on the men who must stay and fight in Ukraine, legislative action for Ukrainian refugees and PCYAC reflection on Ukraine and Lent
- First week of Lent (March 4, 2022), included a prayer for peace by Sr. Pegge Boehm, PBVM, Bread Not Stones campaign launch, global day of action for peace in Ukraine
- The Escalating Situation in Ukraine (February 8, 2022), included a prayer for peace in Ukraine adapted from Pope Francis
- Find additional pieces on Ukraine at the Catholic Nonviolence Initiative (a project of Pax Christi International)
- >> See photos from actions calling for peace in Ukraine on Ash Wednesday and beyond.