Daniel Berrigan, S.J.

Leave it to a poet to sum up something as complicated as the state of the world, or the political reality of our country, in one short sentence!

And when that poet is someone whose life reflects a commitment to speaking out for the God of love and standing against the gods of war and death, we best pay attention. Below is another of Dan Berrigan’s statements to meditate upon as we seek to follow the nonviolent Jesus and help to bring about a more just, peaceable and sustainable world.

“The God of life summons us to life; more to be life-givers especially toward those who lie under the heel of the powers.”

PAX CHRISTI MAINE ANNUAL ASSEMBLY

May 20, 2017 at H.O.M.E., Orland, Maine

FOCUS ON CATHOLIC SOCIAL TEACHING

On a bright and beautiful spring day about 20 people gathered to discuss Catholic Social Teaching (CST) and consider how its precepts can help us faithfully live the nonviolent life as we strive to bring positive change in our distressed world. After our opening prayer we viewed 4 educational videos (see links for these at the end of this report), enjoyed a delicious lunch provided by H.O.M.E., accompanied with lively conversation, and then gathered for serious discussion.

KEY PRINCIPLES OF CST

Life & Dignity of the Human Person Call to Family, Community & Participation Rights and Responsibilities Preferential Option for the Poor Dignity of Work and Rights of Workers Solidarity
Role of Government Promotion of Peace
Care of God’s Creation

The videos reviewed the major themes of Catholic Social Teaching as well as its biblical roots, seen as aids to live out the prophet Micah’s call to “do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God” (Micah 6:8) and the teachings of Jesus. We were reminded that historic church documents show that these themes have been taught throughout the Christian era.

 

PCM HONORS SISTER LUCY POULIN

Mary Beth DiMarco with Sr. Lucy Poulin

Pax Christi Maine chose to honor Sister Lucy Poulin and acknowledge her retirement as Director of H.O.M.E. by presenting her with a certificate of gratitude during our Assembly. Several years ago, she was one of a few Mainers who were recipients of PCM’S “Romero Award for Nonviolent Service to the Poor”. Mary Beth DiMarco shared the following comments as she presented the certificate to Sr. Lucy.

“The prophet Micah tells us that what God asks is that we “do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God.” Sister Lucy has not only done that, but has lived it.

She stepped out of the convent to live among the poor and vulnerable, to offer mercy and to work for justice in so many ways. Lucy has served as the Director of Homeworkers Organized for More Employment (HO.M.E.) for 46 years and is recently retired from that role. If you know H.O.M.E., you know that it is a very diverse operation, fulfilling needs for housing, food, education, job skills and employment, child care, and health care. But not only that – people at H.O.M.E. are valued members of a community, take part in improving their own lives, and serve others. It is hard to imagine Lucy ever turning down a person arriving in Orland seeking help or turning away an idea for serving the physical, emotional or spiritual needs of others.

Lucy has not been a distant CEO, but a resident member of the community who works the farm alongside those being served and those volunteers who come to help and to learn. The mission goes beyond Orland and Maine. Many refugees have received sanctuary and aid on their way to a better life. Through Emmaus

to organizations around the world and especially to their sister Emmaus community, San Juan Comalapa in Guatemala, where visitors and supplies go periodically.

Of course, Sister Lucy didn’t make all that happen by herself. God has blessed this good work with good people to dream and carry out the mission and material goods needed to fill those needs through the years. But Lucy’s prayers are powerful, her heart is big, and her example is inspiring. This is the walk that Micah is talking about and the work that Jesus shows us in the Gospels – the work of justice and mercy.”

For more about Sister Lucy, see:

http://www.homemmausa.org/ https://www.americanswhotellthetruth.org/portraits/sister- lucy- poulinhttp://bangordailynews.com/2016/10/14/next/sister -lucy-retiring-after-46-years-of-work-on-behalf-of-needy- mainers/

Gutierrez’s three bottom-line principles about life and death at the bottom….

First, material poverty is never good but an evil to be opposed. “It is not simply an occasion for charity but a degrading force that denigrates human dignity and ought to be opposed and rejected.”

Second, poverty is not a result of fate or laziness, but is due to structural injustices that privilege some while marginalizing others.

Third, poverty is a complex reality and is not limited to its economic dimension. To be poor is to be insignificant. Poverty means an early and unjust death.

Fr. John Dear, discussing Fr. Daniel Groody’s book, “Gustavo Gutierrez: Spiritual Writings”, in his NCR Column, “On the Road to Peace”, Nov. 8, 2011

 

ANNUAL MEETING

The Pax Christi Maine Annual Meeting followed the Assembly discussion. Co-coordinators Denny Dreher and Mary Ellen Quinn presented a basic Plan for common action for the coming year, following Pax Christi’s prayer, study, action format.

The Plan:
▪ Seeks to promote formation of more local

PC groups by suggesting members gather for shared prayer, reflection and discussion;

  • Urges Maine Pax Christi groups and individuals who have not already done so, to study Laudato Si’, Pope Francis’s Encyclical on Care of Creation, as one of at least two subjects for study this year. (Please share recommendations for books, films and significant articles for study & send to Denny)
  • Requests that members representing Pax Christi in multi-group actions wear their PCM buttons & notify Mary Beth DiMarco (dimarco_mb@yahoo.com) to help keep track of what we DO;
  • Offers a list of dates/events to consider for organizing or participating in actions (e.g., Campaign Nonviolence week, Sept.16-24)Announces Projects and Goals for the coming year, including PCUSA’s Initiative to Amplify Non- violence in the Catholic Church and our need for a website and Facebook page.We approved a Statement regarding the Palestinian prisoners’ hunger strike, and an accompanying press release, both drafted by Bill Slavick. Excerpts from the statement are on page 10.

    (Ed.- Bill volunteered to handle the distribution of the release and statement. Copies were hand-delivered to Rep. Pingree’s & Sen. King’s staffs by Denny, who joined a group led by Maine Voices for Palestinian Rights to inform and educate Maine’s federal legislators about the Palestine situation.)

    For a copy of the full Statement or of the PCM Plan for 2017-2018 contact Denny – laffmom@yahoo.com

ELECTIONS – PCM Leadership

Council members and officers elected were as follows. Council: Group representatives – Mary Beth DiMarco (Houlton), Mary Ellen Quinn (Penobscot Bay), Denise Dreher (Portland),

At Large members – Tracey Hair, Suzanne Hedrick, John Kinsella, Marilyn Roper, Mary Kate Small Officers: Co-Coordinators: Denise Dreher and Mary Ellen Quinn, Treasurer – Mary Ellen Quinn, Secretary – Mary Beth DiMarco.

We expressed our gratitude to retiring Council members Suzanne Fitzgerald and Elaine Testa for their years of service on the Council and we welcomed new member Tracey Hair.

New Council member Tracey Hair & Mary Ellen Quinn

“The Works of Mercy

Feed the hungry; Give drink to the thirsty; Clothe the naked; Visit the imprisoned; Care for the sick; Bury the dead.”

“The Works of War:

Destroy crops and land; Seize food supplies; Destroy homes; Scatter families; Contaminate water; Imprison dissenters; Inflict wounds, burns; Kill the living.”

(From Woodcut by Rita Corbin)

 

PAX CHRISTI MAINE MEMBERS IN ACTION CIVIL RESISTANCE AT BIW

Connie Jenkins

On June 18, 2016, the USS Michael Mansoor was “christened” at Bath Iron Works. I was honored to be one of the 12 people arrested for blocking traffic outside the shipyard as part of a nonviolent protest against “blessing” of the $4 billion Zumwalt destroyer. We were charged with “obstructing a public way”, a class E misdemeanor with maximum sentence of a $2,000 fine and six months in county jail. Everyone pleaded “not guilty” and requested a jury trial in order to make clear the reasons for our action to members of the community.

Superior Court Justice Daniel Billings presided over the trial in February 2017. He gave us considerable leeway in arguing our cases and included consideration of First Amendment rights in his charge to the jury, but they took less than 30 minutes to reach a unanimous decision of “guilty” for all. Though we had broken the law when we sat in the street, in sentencing each of us to the minimum penalty of 30 hours com- munity service, Justice Billings stated, “These defendants acted with the greater good in mind”.

Our action in June carries on a long tradition of non-violent civil resistance at the Bath ship- yard, including two Plowshares actions (1991, 1997); protested christenings of two “peace ships” (2003, 2008); weekly advent and Lenten vigils since 2000; and most recently the arrest of nine activists (Aegis 9) on April 1, 2017 for blocking the ceremony entrance gate during “christening” of yet another destroyer. Three of those arrested were also members of the Zumwalt 12.

Significantly, 35 people stood in the midst of a snowstorm to support those arrested during the Aegis 9 action. They are part of a committed community of activists from across the state who have come together for years for the cause

of peace and to call for conversion of BIW to building sources of alternative energy and sustainable community for us all rather than producing war machines.

-Connie Jenkins

The following excerpts are from Connie’s statement during the trial:

“Jesus declared, ’Blessed are the peace-

makers for they shall be called the children of

God.’ And what that means to me is that if I

consider myself to be a Christian, I must, to cite

the words of Fr. John Dear, ‘do [my] part to

make a more peaceful world, . . . speak out

against War, and take public action for peace.’

As a follower of the nonviolent Jesus, I found it

impossible to remain silent as another weapon

of mass destruction was blessed and prepared

for delivery to the Navy”

“And so, I joined eleven other men and

women who also chose to risk arrest for the

cause of Peace. Through the simple act of

sitting down and refusing to move, we embodied

a resounding ‘No’ to the immeasurable suffering

caused by national policies that have made

weapons of mass destruction and unrestrained,

endless war our country’s major exports.”


AID FOR KIDS – Houlton

Marilyn Roper

For the second year, a carload of new, free merchandise from Aid for Kids in Houlton was delivered to H.O.M.E. during our Pax Christi spring Assembly. Dannette Ellis, volunteer Director of the “Other Maine” Program had previously contacted Rosa there to find out what was needed.

Over the past few years, the “Other Maine” Program has distributed over four million dollars’ worth (market value) of new, quality goods via our 130 (and growing) Non-Profit Distribution

 

(Members – Aid for Kids, cont.)

Partners and Title I Schools (in 9 rural counties of Maine) such as homeless shelters, food pantries, pregnancy care centers and DHHS. The new goods include diapers, warm winter jackets, footwear, household necessities and educational books/toys — which have been made available to this unique program in Maine for under 5% of market value for shipping and handling costs. On June 7 and 8 the “Other Maine“ program provided free dental care for children and adults in the Houlton area thanks to Caring Hands of Maine based in Ellsworth. Also, in early September every year, Dannette Ellis arranges a very large Educational Fair featuring many booths such as the “Touch Tank” from UMO, wooden model hands-on building, and “Bess the Book Bus,” a nationally- known charity where children pick out two free books each to take home. Well over 1,000 children and parents come to these free fairs located in Houlton’s Arena every year.

I am the volunteer Administrative Assistant of Aid for Kids who writes grant proposals and does other behind-the-scenes activities to help out Dannette and the volunteer Executive Director, Dawn Degenhardt.

— Marilyn Roper

AND in her “spare time” Marilyn, a PCM Council member, also puts her academic expertise to good use, as seen in the following example.

In an April letter to Dr. Rick Potts at the Smithsonian Institute, Marilyn congratulated him on a new exhibit – Exploring Human Origins – recently showcased at the Bangor Public Library, but included the following comments:

“. . . . However, the elephant in the room is the absence of discussion and background materials on the human species and war. Nuclear war/winter could happen tomorrow.”

“What does it mean to be human? To have the nuclear threat over our heads because we have

not deemed obsolete the recent institution of war. Many people think that preparations for war and war itself are necessary because humans from the get-go were territorial killers. . ..”

“. . . . There is no documented evidence of human group violence against other groups until about 11,000 years ago. You could have mentioned this and illustrated the known dates and places where war is first documented in the archaeological record to give perspective. Why? Because some folks think war is in our genes, they glorify war and do not work for peace. All children and older people need to know that war is not in our genes – humans have a choice.”

— Marilyn Keyes Roper, M.S. Archaeology, University of Pennsylvania

     ===================================

WITNESS AGAINST TORTURE Fasting with Guantanamo Prisoners

Mary Kate Small

In January 2017 PCM Council member Mary Kate Small participated with Witness Against Torture in their annual week-long fast and protest in Washington against the detention of prisoners in Guantanamo, where 41 remain. In the week leading up to Easter Mary Kate also fasted with WAT and other groups (Voices for

 

(Members – WAT fast, cont.)

Creative Non-Violence, Veterans for Peace, Catholic Worker houses) to raise consciousness about the Yemeni crisis.

(Ed. Check the Witness Against Torture website – www.witnessagainsttorture.com – for information about their new Campaign to End Torture & Close Guantanamo: #Forever Human Beings)

CONGRATULATIONS DUE !

Mary Kate Small has been named to the PCUSA National Council ! Though we will have to share her wonderful creative energy and commitment to working for peace and justice with the broader movement, we offer our congratulations and blessings to Mary Kate on behalf of all her friends and companion peace workers in Maine.

     =========================

PAX CHRISTI COLLABORATES WITH UNITY

Mary Ellen Quinn

Last February, I accepted a kind invitation from Jack Seery to be part of a service during the Season for Nonviolence at Unity of Greater Portland. Having recognized my connection with Pax Christi, Jack asked me to share on the practice of nonviolence from a Christian perspective. He said that his community had studied the work of Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. over the winter and participants were interested in hearing more about Jesus and His way of nonviolence.

From the moment I walked through the door of their lovely church, I was warmly welcomed by a kind, loving group of people who are guided in their spiritual journey by Rev. Pat Bessey. Rev. Pat is a vibrant and inspiring minister! As described in their literature, Unity is a positive, practical, progressive approach to Christianity based on the teachings of Jesus and the power

of prayer. Unity honors the universal truths in all religions and respects each individual’s right to choose a spiritual path.

Speaking at Unity gave me an opportunity to reflect on my own journey towards “Living the Nonviolent Life”. I have learned over the years that following Jesus on a nonviolent path, especially in these most challenging times, requires us to be part of a nurturing and supportive faith community.

As I spent a full day with the folks at Unity of Greater Portland, I could see clearly that this community of faith provides a nurturing atmosphere where people can practice peace and nonviolent living. Pax Christi and Unity share a value for prayer, education, for service and creation of community. Both communities embrace God as Love; experience the Divine within and understand the oneness all peoples.

As we work together to bring Fr. John Dear to Maine next spring, I believe our two com- munities will benefit as we come to know one another through our collaboration. I am grateful to Rev. Pat, her husband Rev. LeRoy and to Jack for reaching out to Pax Christi Maine.

On the next page we offer some excerpts from the talk given by Mary Ellen Quinn to the Unity church community

(Her full talk can be found on the Campaign Non- Violence website. Scroll to the bottom of the page, Click on “search” and insert “Mary Ellen Quinn”.

W AN T E D

New Pax Christi Groups
New Members (of course!)
Help with digital-tech /social media stuff

like website and Facebook page

If you can help, or have suggestions to offer, please contact Mary Ellen Quinn or Denny Dreher memquinn@peoplepc.com or laffmom@yahoo.com

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“Christian Nonviolence – A Way of Life and Resistance in a Culture of Violence”

Mary Ellen Quinn

…As a wife, a mother, a grandmother, a social worker, a member of Pax Christi Maine . . .I am feeling…both bewildered and emboldened by events occurring in our country…I find myself alternating between wanting to retreat and wanting to resist.. … . I have come to realize that it is a time for both.to retreat into contemplation in order to deepen my connection to the God of Peace, to the nonviolent Jesus, and to bring that strength of Divine relationship to active nonviolent resistance.

To be a peacemaker… means being at odds with and acting in ways that are significantly counter to the dominant culture…Our children dwell in a cult- ure of violence,,, where nations, communities, and individuals resort to violence to solve problems… where profit is valued over people, where economic disparity is rampant, causing great harm, especially to the most vulnerable… a culture that promotes the glory of militarism, pouring vast resources, needed at home, into endless and permanent war around the globe… clings to unbridled capitalism as its idol in spite of evidence that it has not served the majority well… where hate and fear are fueled along the divides of race, ethnicity and religion. .

How do we transform hearts and minds to create a world of inclusion rather than exclusion? . . .The practice of nonviolence is not new to our world however I believe that its enormous power to facili- tate change has not yet been fully realized.

Nonviolence is not merely the absence of violence nor is it a passive approach to conflict. It is an ex- tremely effective, active strategy for social change as well as an ethic for daily living. . .

The practice of nonviolence, supported by faith in a God of Peace, is an effective antidote to a violent world . . . in which so-called’ entertainment films and television shows are replete with graphic, violent images. In the electronic games, played by our children and grandchildren, the winning objective is to kill off your opponents. . . In our own hearts we feel rage, resentment, disdain of others.

Fr. John Dear, priest, author, activist, states that Nonviolence employs a vision of a disarmed, recon- ciled humanity, the reign of God in our midst, what King called “the beloved community.”

Jesus was a lived example of unconditional love, compassion and resistance to the injustices of his day . . . he addressed challenges relevant to our world today – oppressive rulers, military occupiers, cultural divisions, state sanctioned violence, class and religious discrimination, the rejection of refugees.

Countless stories from Jesus’ ministry instruct us in his way of nonviolence, he offers compassionate healing, extends boundless mercy, protects the vulnerable, overthrows the money changers, be- friends the outcast, refuses to condemn the accused, feeds the hungry …all from a heart of unconditional Love. Jesus teaches us that Love is the foundation for living a nonviolent life.

The ultimate power of nonviolence lies in its pur- pose, its intention, its transforming element … loving all, loving the other without exception. Nonviolence resists the harm of the oppression but loves the oppressor.

Rev. King asserts: . . . The nonviolent approach does not immediately change the heart of the oppressor – It first does something to the hearts and souls of those committed to it. – gives them new self-respect; it calls up resources of strength and courage they did not know they had.”

He states, “Nonviolence is the answer to the crucial political and moral questions of our time — the need for man to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to oppression and violence. Man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.”

Mary Ellen ended her talk with this quote from Pope Francis’ Word Day of Peace message January lst:

“May we dedicate ourselves prayerfully and actively to banishing violence from our hearts, words and deeds, to becoming nonviolent people and to building non-violent communities that care for our common home. Nothing is impossible if we turn to God in prayer. Everyone can be an artisan of peace!”

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CELEBRATING LIVES WELL-LIVED

During the summer of 2016, two long- time and faithful Pax Christi members, Boo Gagnon and Frank Kuebel, passed, surrounded by family and friends.

Eldridge ‘Boo’ Gagnon (1/28/35 – 8/6/16) founded Pax Christi Houlton along with his wife Claudette in the mid 1980s at St. Mary of the Visitation Church. Boo was an active PCM member working in his community for peace & justice. A deeply spiritual man, Boo really loved spending time at his camp on East Grand Lake where he led a quiet, contemplative life when- ever his work as a U.S. Customs and Border Protection official permitted. At one time, he turned down a top position within Customs at Houlton to accept a quieter post at the tiny border crossing at Orient.

L to R: – Fr, Jim Gower, Marilyn & Harry Roper, Bishop Tom Gumbleton, Claudette & Boo Gagnon

An avid reader, Boo often completed reading a book in a single day. He introduced Houlton Pax Christi members to the Catholic Mystics of the Medieval Age. Boo is remembered for his gentle, unassuming nature, his dedication to his faith, and, along with Claudette, spreading the Peace of Christ by word and example. After Claudette’s death several years ago, Boo

continued to be active in Pax Christi until advancing dementia required his move to a nursing home, where their children, Joe and Marie, visited him frequently, as did his Pax Christi friends.

Deacon Al Burleigh, a member of the PC Houlton group, led the celebration of Boo’s life at St. Mary’s, with many present to remember him with love and respect.

      ******************************************

.Frank Kuebel

“Franz” Frank Kuebel (1/31/29 – 7/8/16) was an active member of Pax Christi Penobscot Bay and a Korean War Veteran for Peace. Frank was, even by his own description, “sui generis”- “one of a kind” and was loved deeply by his family and all who knew him.

Born in New York City, he moved with his parents to Germany for 9 years of his early childhood. At age 13, he returned to NYC, to Forest Hills and Manhattan, where he attained degrees in education, philosophy and theology. Frank shared his passion for these subjects while teaching students at a Catholic High School in NY for decades. He instilled in his students a passion for inquiry, analysis and social justice.

He left NYC for Maine in 1971 and made a wonderful life along the Penobscot River in Eddington with his loving wife of 35 years, Anne Perrault-Kuebel. They worked side by side to build their solar home which was always a

8

(Frank Kuebel, cont.)

welcome oasis for family visitors including many nieces and nephews whom Frank took under his wing to share the beauty of the natural world.

While a treasured member of Pax Christi, and quite some time before most people were paying attention to the environmental crises of our time, Frank authored numerous ‘reflections’ (which were actually well researched papers) on such topics as global warming, climate change, Alberta tar sands, war, militarism and their impact on the “integrity of creation.” Frank experienced the world through the lens of his faith in a merciful God and in the nonviolent Jesus. A generous gentleman, he also put his skills to work producing our Pax Christi Maine newsletter for a few years.

Frank shared his vision for peace and a just society with everyone he met. A line from John Lennon’s song….”Imagine all the people living life in peace” – rang true for him. His funeral Mass was celebrated by Rev. Frank Murray at St. Mary’s Church in Bangor.

(Thanks to Marilyn Roper & Mary Ellen Quinn for sharing these remembrances)

======================================

Racism and the Catholic Church

(Excerpted from CRUX interview with Fr. Bryan Massingale, author of “Racial Justice and the Catholic Church” and leading Catholic expert on African-American theology – Aug. 24, 2017*)

. .. . we never really have the courage to address how central this issue is in our public life and the deep call to conversion to which it summons Catholics . . . .in l979 the Catholic bishops issued their last collective statement on racial justice. . . and said that racism is not simply one sin among others, it’s a radical evil. . . .if indeed it is a radical evil, then where’s the evidence for that in our Catholic concern?. . . .in our catechesis?. . .in our seminary formation? If we really believe this is a radical evil, then it calls for a radical response. That’s what we haven’t seen, unfortunately in the Catholic Church in the United States.

(*see: “If you want to face racism, own your own complicity, theologian says” in https://cruxnow.com )

LOOKING AHEAD. . . .

▪ Air Show Protest – Brunswick, Aug. 26 (9 – noon) – show up if you can; wear

your PCM button.

▪ Campaign Nonviolence week of actions, Sept. 18-24; “End Violence Together” event – Sat. Sept.16, 1-4 p.m., W. Market Sq., Bangor

▪ Sept. 1, World Day of Care for Creation ▪ Sept. 21 – International Day of Peace
▪ Oct. 2 – Gandhi’s birthday/International

Day of Nonviolence
▪ Oct. 4 – St. Francis of Assisi feast day
▪ PCM FALL RETREAT- NOV. 3 – 5, at St.

Monica’s Hall (St. Augustine Church) in Augusta, site of last year’s retreat. Our guide for the day will be Jean Stokan, Justice Coordinator for the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, and former Policy Director for PCUSA. (Watch for the flyer)

▪ Nov. 19 – International Day of the Poor (newly designated by Pope Francis)

▪ Responding to the Call from Fr. John Dear for a new Campaign for a Culture of Nonviolence between now and Sept. 2018: (The Campaign Nonviolence website is full of information, resources and ideas.) PCM would appreciate your suggestions for ways we can respond – send to Denny & put “Culture of Nonviolence” in the subject line. Thanks.

▪ FR. JOHN DEAR COMING TO MAINE March 17, 2018. This will be a three- way collaboration including PCM, Unity and St. Joseph’s College! Mark your calendars for the weekend of March 17- 18, 2018 – and pray that that there is not a late snowstorm to interfere!

St. Joseph’s College is a beautiful campus on the edge of Sebago Lake. During a planning meeting there the committee was treated to lunch and a tour of the campus to view possible venues.

Details of the spring event will be shared later. – Denny Dreher

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requires relationship, deep listening, respect for differences, and connections. Is this a place where we can “do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God”? Is this a place where peace can begin?

We hope to bring our renewed vision of Catholic Social Teaching back to our parishes and find ways to help educate others -perhaps starting a discussion group on Laudato Si” and/ or working with Catholic Charities’ Parish Social Ministry Program or your parish Social Justice & Peace Commission. To help you consider how you can get started here are the links to view the videos

on CST shown at the Assembly:

Excerpts from PCM Statement on Palestinian Prisoners Hunger Strike

. . . . Marwam Barghouti, imprisoned for 15 years…observed that a hunger strike is the most peaceful form of resistance, inflicting pain only on those who participate and their loved ones.

. . . . We especially endorse protests of the act- of-war Gaza blockade that followed an election Israel and the U.S. demanded but the results of which they refused to honor and which for years has denied the necessities of life to Gazans, stunting the normal development of children,

and now threatens Gaza’s imminent economic collapse, its water fouled, agriculture largely destroyed, energy greatly limited, and denied imported materials needed for industrial production and sustenance.

. . . . And we stand with and pray for those engaged in the heroic life-threatening hunger strike in which participants, seeking only the dignity of human life in their own land, are engaged. We invite all of good will to join us in that support.

(Ed.- The hunger strike ended after more than a month when Israel granted some of the prisoners’ demands.)

Annual Assembly – (cont. from p. 1)

Our discussion revealed much anger about the lack of regard for such principles in our present government – on both national and state levels – and we explored how to address this and other matters non-violently. Militarism and military spending, nationalism, immigration, economic and environmental concerns were discussed, as

were stories of LGBT exclusion in the Catholic Church and the often narrow pro-birth focus that neglects other life issues. What risks should we ask ourselves and others to take to “do justice”?

At one point in a video we were asked to think about, “whose human rights are not being taken seriously in our community?” This is a question we might all look at in our small groups and as a region of Pax Christi. It is a question that

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2mhqLPii4CM https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aMYBCy1FyUc (Thanks to Mary Beth DiMarco for Assembly Notes)

Remembering Hiroshima and Nagasaki

PCM salutes the 122 countries who signed on to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear weapons, July 7, 2017. We pray the U.S. and all nuclear-armed nations will join this U.N. effort.

At Hiroshima there’s a museum
and outside that museum there’s a rock, and on that rock there’s a shadow.
That shadow is all that remains

of the human being who stood there on August 6, 1945 when the nuclear age began.
In the most real sense of the word,
that is the choice before us.

We shall either end war and the nuclear arms race now in this generation,
or we will become Shadows on the Rock.

SHADOW ON THE ROCK by Daniel Berrigan, S.J.

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