About Pax Christi – Pax Christi originated at the end of WWII when French and German Catholics came together to pray for forgiveness and reconciliation and the peace of Christ. The movement spread throughout Europe and in 1972 the United States chapter was founded.
About Pax Christi Maine
Pax Christi Maine was founded by Fr. Jim Gower in 1980. Jim had served in the navy in WWII and rejected war thereafter. He took a leave of absence from his post as curate in Waterville and made two circuits of the country, driving from parish to parish, celebrating the Eucharist, preaching peace, then meeting with interested parishioners and urging them to join Pax Christi and gather a local group. Mainers responded by gather several groups.
Pax Christi Maine is a Region of Pax Christi USA, which is a section of Pax Christi International, a Catholic peace and justice movement which has representation status at the United Nations in New York and Vienna, the UN Human Rights Commission and Sub-Commision in Geneva, UNESCO in Paris and UNICEF in New York.
Members were engaged in early years of PCM history in anti-war efforts and the Nuclear Freeze Campaign and in 1995 Pax ChristiMaine hosted the national Assembly of Pax Christi USA. Annual retreats have been blessed with the spiritual and practical leadership of Daniel Berrigan, SJ, William Callahan, SJ, Richard Rohr, OFM, John Dear, SJ, Edwina Gately, Miguel D’Escoto, MM, Rev. Richard Snyder, Sr. Joan Chittister, OSB, Anne Sibley O’Brien, Sherri Mitchell, and many others.
Statement of Purpose
The primary purpose of Pax Christi Maine is to work with all people for peace and justice for all humankind and for a more sustainable world, always witnessing to the Peace of Christ through nonviolent means. Pax Christi Maine rejects war, preparations for war, and every form of violence and domination. It advocates primacy of conscience, economic and social justice and respect for creation.
This work, rooted in a Gospel vision of peace and the sacredness of all human life and of all Creation, begins in personal life and extends to communities of reflection and action seeking to transform structures of society.
In pursuit of its goals, Pax Christi Maine seeks to develop peace communities whose members ground their action in prayer and study and who also network with those sharing common goals and nonviolent methods.
Council – a Council consisting of a representative from each local Pax Christi Maine group plus At-Large members working with two Co-Coordinators guides the efforts of the statewide organization.