Brian Ashmankas – Treasurer
Brain Ashmankas is a seminarian for the Diocese of Worcester and a long-time member of the Pax Christi Massachusetts Board. Formerly, he served as a local elected official and leader in a number of political campaigns. In these roles, he developed numerous skills in writing, policy development, grassroots organizing, and bridge-building. The latter two were most clearly demonstrated when he served as statewide campaign director to successfully gather the necessary signatures for a statewide referendum in opposition to state-sponsored casino gambling, a cause that required unifying left and right wing grassroots activists in the common cause.
Concetta is a member of Pax Christi Seed Planters local group in the Diocese of Joliet in Illinois. With Pax Christi Seed Planters, Concetta has participated in many congressional visits and built relationships with local, state, and federal representatives and senators to amplify the voices of those who have been made poor. As a teacher for 41 years and a mother and grandmother, creating a just and peaceful world with a culture of nonviolence and equality, especially for children has always been a focus.
Gerry Lee is a longtime Pax Christi member who currently serves as director of Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns in Washington, which represents Maryknoll Fathers, Sisters and Lay Missioners on issues of sustainable peace, food security, human rights, climate change and migrant rights. Gerry, his wife Patti, and three daughters served as Maryknoll Lay Missioners (MKLM) for 10 years in a barrio of Caracas, Venezuela, until he was called back to the US to serve in leadership of the Lay Missioners. In that role he developed MKLM’s first board and helped sponsor a Crossroads anti-racism training for the three branches of Maryknoll. Currently he is active in the coordination of the Catholic Nonviolence Initiative, a project of Pax Christi International, and works frequently on justice and peace issues in collaboration with Pax Christi Metro DC/Baltimore.
Isaac Chandler – Secretary
Isaac Chandler is from Jasper, FL. Currently he is a high school biology teacher. He has been a member of Pax Christi for many years and has worked with the Pax Christi Anti-Racism Team (PCART) for ten years, the Youth and Young Adult Forum, and served on the Planning and Programming Committee for the 2012 National Assembly in Atlanta, GA. He was also a workshop presenter at the 2010 and 2012 National Assemblies.
Jean Stokan – Vice-Chair
Jean is an active member of Pax Christi Metro DC/Baltimore region. She serves as Director of the Sisters of Mercy of the America Institute Justice Team, focused on Mercy’s critical concerns of: non-violence, immigration, anti-racism, Earth, women and poverty/economic inequality. Prior, she served on the national staff of PCUSA for seven years, opening the DC office and building partnerships with national Catholic organizations. She helped organize initiatives with Pax Christi International partners to promote non-violent alternatives to war. Jean has worked for many years on human rights in Latin America, building people-to-people ties to strengthen global solidarity. She is a poet, lives in Mt. Rainier with her husband, Scott Wright and their daughter Maura.
Bishop John Stowe – Bishop President
Bishop Stowe is a Conventual Franciscan Friar and has served as the bishop of Lexington, KY since May 2015. Currently, for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops he serves on the committee for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, the bishops’ anti-poverty initiative. He has a history of working on social justice and peace concerns including as a PCUSA local leader in California. Prior to his appointment by Pope Francis as bishop, he was rector and pastor of the Basilica and National Shrine of Our Lady of Consolation in Carey, Ohio and a vicar provincial for the Conventual Franciscan Province of Our Lady of Consolation. Bishop Stowe also served in El Paso, TX as moderator of the curia and vicar general for the diocese. During that time, he worked on border issues and was present with the immigrant community.
Linda Sue Howell-Perrin
For the past 25 years Linda has been providing case management services for homeless individuals and families at Bethany House Services. Along with her compassion and understanding, she demonstrates the ability to empower her clients. Linda is an active advocate on local, state and national levels and is skillful in testimony and organizing women to speak for themselves. She has volunteered with: Greater Cincinnati Coalition for the Homeless, Contact Center, Peaslee Child Care Center, Network, and Sisters of Mercy. She received the Franciscan Health System’s Gold, Silver, and Star Awards, the Buddy Gray Award 2001 and the 2012 Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Cincinnati.
Madeline raised five wonderful children and has 11 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren. As a retired teacher and school administrator since 2000 she has used her time to continue studying and teaching peace. From 2000-2012 she was one of the NGO delegates to the United Nations in New York for Pax Christi International where she served on several committees including HIV/AIDS, human rights, and sustainable development. While living in the Hudson Valley she was coordinator for Pax Christi Hudson Valley for over 20 years and currently belongs to Pax Christi Rhode Island and Westerly RI Area Peace and Justice Group.
Mary Kate Small
Mary Kate Small’s primary gift is her openness, and she is a natural at public relations. Her resume includes successful grant-writing and more than three decades of peace work. Thanks to her roots in Greater Lawrence, Massachusetts, Mary Kate can speak conversational Spanish. Since 2013, she has had the great pleasure of joining Pax Christi Maine and continuing contact with Pax Christi Beverly, Massachusetts – the members which encouraged her to serve on the Pax Christi USA National Council.
Michelle Sherman works in the area of young adult spirituality and justice at Villanova University as campus minister for retreats and post-grad service. Prior to that, she worked with recent college graduates who lived and served in community and worked with the Religious of the Assumption both in the USA and abroad. This role included working on an international commission with five Sisters from Spain, Ecuador, Rwanda, France, and the Philippines. Working with multicultural and international communities dedicated to the values of the Gospel and Catholic Social Teaching gave her experience working for the kingdom of God through peace and justice work. Further, she speaks of her experience as a person of color as particularly unique, because she was adopted and raised by white parents and siblings. Michelle said, “I am keenly aware of how I am perceived can be a place of privilege, and I look for spaces where my presence and experience of in-between-ness can help raise awareness of difference and the importance of inclusion.”
Robert Shine – Chair
Robert Shine looks forward to contributing to Pax Christ USA’s mission through his professional experience in Catholic nonprofits and his theological training. For the last five years, he has worked in ministry with lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Catholics and their families. He has degrees in theology from both the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry and The Catholic University of America. Reconciliation and dialogue have been key themes in both his ministry and studies. In addition, he chairs the fundraising committee for another Catholic nonprofit, and writes regularly on theological and spiritual topics, including several pieces for Pax Christi USA.
Ron has been a social justice activist for the past 55 years. He organized barrio neighbors against the war in Vietnam, did community organizing and social services for AFSCME, United Farmworkers, and the Sanctuary movement, and has served anti-poverty programs. He has held professional roles as the chairperson of a Catholic high school social studies department; a lay minister in Hispanic/Latino-a cultural studies, faith development, and Catholic Social Teaching; served at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development and the Secretariat for Hispanic Affairs; and has served Pax Christi USA in a variety of roles, including interim executive director.
Sr. Rose Marie Tresp, RSM
For the past 6 years, Sr. Rose Marie has served as Director of Justice for the Sisters of Mercy, South Central, comprised of 17 state provinces, including Guam and Jamaica. She educates, advocates and organizes around the critical concerns of immigration, non-violence, and racism.
Veronica (Ronnie) Fellerath-Lowell
Ronnie works part-time at Bread for the World in Washington, DC, as an Ignatian volunteer. Last year she formed a local Pax Christi group in her parish and has also chaired local PC groups in New York and served as Regional Coordinator of Pax Christi Long Island, NY where she led public vigils against the Iraq War at the diocesan cathedral and local churches. Professionally, she has taught high school mathematics; served as a Pastoral Associate and community organizer in an African-American and Latino Catholic parish; and worked as a social policy researcher and report author. Later, while on Catholic Charities Parish Social Ministry staff, she earned a Doctor of Ministry degree in pastoral counseling. Her experience includes responsibilities for budgets and financial planning. Ronnie is married to long-time Pax Christi member, Bill Lowell, whom she met at the PCUSA National Assembly in Pittsburgh in 2006.
Vicki Vernon Lott, PhD
Vicki, who is a member of the Pax Christi Anti Racism Team, serves as co-chair of the social justice ministry at Holy Cross Catholic Church in Austin TX. She is a trained facilitator of Racial Sobriety with Father Clarence Williams and is also a Racial Equity Consultant with Joyce James Consulting. Vicki is retired from a 32-year career in higher education administration at five Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). She is passionate about addressing institutional racism in all of our systems.