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.
Chuck Michaels is an attorney and author. He has led Pax Christi Baltimore for many years and serves on the board of Pax Christi Metro DC-Baltimore.
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 – Vice-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.
Jean Stokan – Secretary
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.
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.”
Nancy Oetter – Treasurer
Oetter’s education is in Business Administration and Political Science. Her career with the U.S. Department of Energy for over 31 years was in Budget and Financial Management. While with the DOE, she received training in Project Management and worked as a Project Control Specialist along with her budget and financial management responsibilities. She has been the Co-coordinator for the Illinois region of Pax Christi since 2009.
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.
Sr. Rose Marie Tresp, RSM – Chair
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.