Bishop John Stowe (KY) – 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.
Isaac Chandler (FL) – National Council Chair
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.
Madeline Labriola (RI) – Vice Chair
Madeline Labriola 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.
Brian Ashmankas (MA) – Treasurer
Brian Ashmankas has served as 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.
Charlene Howard (MD) – Secretary
Raised in the District of Columbia to a nurse who worked in a community clinic and a draftsman who was an active member of Blacks in Government and the local labor union, Charlene Howard’s faith was cultivated in both the Baptist and Catholic traditions among family members who were actively involved in a variety of ministries and leadership of their respective faith communities. From 1st grade through graduate school she attended Catholic institutions and has actively participated in the catechetical, liturgical and evangelical ministries of her parish, including serving as a liaison to the Office of Black Catholics and the National Black Catholic Congress. Professionally, she has worked as a teacher and advocate for children with disabling conditions and as an educator for the Archdiocese of Washington on the elementary and high school level in addition to facilitating catechist formation courses for adults.
Peter Majura Aloys (VA)
Peter Majura Aloys grew up in a small town in Tanzania. He knows the importance of peacemaking and our responsibility as Catholics, and humans, to actively promote peace in the world through social justice. He had the opportunity to work with Pax Christi USA as Program Associate, where he gained deep respect for the organization as he helped actualize the goals by developing materials for peacemakers, organizing and planning advocacy events, attending Pax Christi Anti-Racism Team meetings, facilitating interfaith dialogues between peacemaking organizations and giving presentations to promote nonviolent social action. He has 4 years of experience in a variety of international non-profits managing programs, working with Catholic youth and young adults, promoting Catholic Social Teaching, database management, and has a deep commitment to anti-racism. He obtained his MA from George Washington University, Washington, D.C. and his BA from Berea College, Berea, KY.
Linda Sue Howell-Perrin (KY)
For the past 25 years Linda Sue Howell-Perrin 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.
Vicki Vernon Lott, PhD (TX)
Vicki Vernon Lott, 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.
Manuel Padilla (OR)
Manuel Padilla grew up in Portland, Oregon and is currently a project manager with Oregon Solutions, a program of the National Policy Consensus Center at Portland State University. He has spent much of the last 10 years traveling, working with displaced communities (domestically and internationally), and facilitating community and restorative dialogues toward transforming conflict and healing. Now he has turned his focus to bringing government, communities, businesses, and others together to collaborate on solving difficult problems. Manuel was a program associate with PCUSA between January 2010 and December 2013, helping open the D.C. office and creating a special partnership between PCUSA and PC Port-au-Prince (SAKALA) in Haiti. He can’t wait to get back on a plane, but he has also loved the chance to get to refocus on the beautiful region where he lives by hiking, adventure biking, and supporting local community spaces and projects.
Sherry Simon (AR)
Sherry Simon has worked as a clinical psychologist in private practice in Little Rock, AR for the past 31 years. She is the founder and current president of Pax Christi Little Rock. One of the most important lessons she has learned in her training and therapy practice is that building positive, healthy relationships plays a critical role in personal, relational and intercultural growth.
Sr. Diane Smith, CSJ (CA)
Diane Smith, CSJ is a native Californian who grew up on a farm instilling in her a lifelong care of the Earth. Observing the Braceros who came through to harvest crops, an awareness and empathy developed for immigrants struggling to provide for their families. As a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet, she presently responds to the call of nonviolently being a voice for the voiceless through advocacy and education.
Fr. Fred Thelen (MI)
Fr. Fred Thelen brings the perspective of cross-cultural work with twenty-five years as pastor of the Hispanic/Latino parish of Cristo Rey Church in Lansing, Michigan and five years as a Maryknoll Associate Priest working in the southern Andes of Peru among the Aymara people and on the team of the Vicarìa/Human Rights Office. He established the first Office of Peace and Justice Ministry of the Lansing Diocese, re-founded of Action of Greater Lansing (community organizing) as a Gamaliel Affiliate, founded the Greater Lansing Network Against War and Injustice in the run-up to the Iraq War, and helped to rejuvenate Pax Christi Michigan in the early 1980’s. He wrote the small group process, “At the Heart of Faith” which was used nationally as a follow-up to the 1986 U.S. Bishops pastoral letter “Economic Justice for All”.