Mark Your Calendar


 

Peacemaker Awards Reception, 2018

Help us celebrate this year’s dedicated Plowshare activists Sisters Carol Gilbert, Ardeth Platte, and Megan Rice, Michael Walli and Greg Boertje-Obed (in absentia); peacemakers Sisters Virginia Dorgan and Kathleen Kanet; along with three remarkable Young Peacebuilders, Juliet Kulusic of Holy Child Upper School in Rye, Grace Aulisa of Bishop Kearney H.S. in Brooklyn, and Brigit Lapolla of Marymount Upper School in Manhattan, Sunday afternoon, June 3rd from 3 to 6 PM. We’ll be gathering at a lovely new space, Keenan Commons, in Xavier H.S., 39 W. 15th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues. Click here for invitation and please feel free to share.



Other Scheduled Events


For dates and descriptions of additional upcoming events, click here.

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Annual Events

 

Good Friday Way of the Cross
PCMNY is probably best known for its Good Friday Way of the Cross, which was its founding event. Commemorating Jesus' suffering in His own life and in the lives of people throughout the world today, hundreds process together, praying for change in ourselves and a society marred by such sins as poverty, racism, bullying and gun violence, human trafficking and war.  Concluding with a 15th Station, we are reminded that we are a Resurrection people in a Good Friday world. For CBS News coverage of the 2015 Good Friday event, please click here.

Peacemaker Awards Reception
Each year PCMNY honors peacemakers, some known nationally, some known locally, and some known mostly within the Pax Christi community, but all doing noteworthy work to make the world a more peaceful and just place for all of us to live. We honor these exemplary people at a reception that is a true celebration of them and the peace community that supports them.

40-Day Fast for Christian Nonviolence
Pax Christi Metro New York joins others around the country in an annual fast for Christian Nonviolence. This fast is an opportunity to remember, repent, and resolve to transform our culture of violence, whether the violence of the street or the violence of war, drones, and nuclear weapons proliferation. It begins each July 1st and ends on August 9th, the tragic triple anniversaries of the executions of St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein), Jewish convert to Catholicism and holocaust victim; Blessed Franz Jaegerstaetter, martyr for refusing to serve in Hitler's army; and the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, Japan, the largest Christian community in Japan. PCMNY frames it with prayers made available for you to pray alone or in community. For more information about the fast, contact the PCMNY office: info@nypaxchristi.org or, when the Fast approaches simply sign up as an individual or group to fast a day, a week, or longer between July 1st and August 9th to end the horror of nuclear weapons proliferation and all forms of violence.

Hiroshima/Nagasaki Memorial
Each year PCMNY offers this commemorative event to mourn and repent for the horrific loss of life caused by the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August, 1945 and to advocate for the abolition of nuclear weapons today. Now, we can add Fukushima to the list of Japanese cities devastated by nuclear tragedy. The Memorial consists of a presentation with discussion and concludes with a silent procession and public vigil. For some historical context about the bombings, see PCMNY member Marian Ronan's article.

Summer Picnic
PCMNY’s annual pot-luck picnic in Central Park, in view of the majestic Metropolitan Museum of Art, has become a refreshing tradition that brings together members and friends in a spirit of invaluable camaraderie. A delicious assortment of foods and great conversation are the order of the day.

UN International Peace Day
The UN International Peace Day has been held on September 21st  for decades now, but so many people still aren't familiar with it; yet, it's such an important day.  Not only is it a day for the United Nations to renew its dedication to the pursuit of peace; it is also a Day of Ceasefire, both personally and politically. PCMNY observes this day with a special event that incorporates prayer and presentation, whether a speaker or film, along with time for discussion.

Fall Assembly
Pax Christi Metro New York's annual Fall Assembly offers an opportunity for reflection on PCMNY’s very identity as a peace community. We pray together, share our stories, and lend each other support. We also feature a reputable speaker to educate and inspire us on a theme taken from a current event or social concern.

Human Rights Day/Holy Innocents
Each year, Pax Christi Metro New York remembers victims of violence, especially children, in honor of Human Rights Day and the Feast of the Holy Innocents. The focus of the event is a prayer service. It may also include speakers or a video on a relevant topic like human trafficking or incarceration.

Peacemaking Through the Arts
For several years now, PCMNY has been promoting our mission with the help of the performing arts. We host a concert or play with a message of peace and social justice. We do this because we believe we all have both the desire and need for peace and justice, rooted in God. The arts are an effective way to reach into our souls and inspire us to fulfill those desires and needs for ourselves and others in a way different from any other.

Ash Wednesday Leafleting

Our tradition on Ash Wednesday is to offer a Lenten Reflection to the faithful outside St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

Annual Retreat

Each year PCMNY organizes a weekend retreat, usually during Lent, facilitated by a noted spiritual leader to challenge and nurture participants in their commitment to Christian nonviolence.

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Featured Recent Event

Annual Retreat

I Have Met God…And She Cannot Be Contained!

by Rosemarie Pace

The Pax Christ Metro New York 2018 retreat was supposed to run from March 2nd to March 4th, but Mother Nature (God?) had other ideas. March 2nd marked the first of four nor’easters within three weeks for the New York metropolitan area. The retreat was to take place at the Maryknoll Sisters Center, which was hit hard by the storm: limited heat and electricity, the latter provided by a back-up generator. Sooo, we cancelled Friday night and condensed the retreat into just a day and a half, Saturday through Sunday lunch. Nevertheless, many phone calls later and a re-working of the schedule did not deter us. Twenty-three determined retreatants and our indomitable leader, Mary Anne Muller, like our God, could not be contained.

The retreat began on Saturday morning with an invitation to “Step into the Holy Circle.” A song by the same name performed by Charlie King via the web welcomed us all. We then had the opportunity to introduce ourselves to one another, revealing a delightful mix of persons and personalities. We concluded this introductory session with another song, “Lord of the Dance” to which Mary Anne had us up and dancing a simple circle dance. She then blessed us with a beautiful blessing by John O’Donohue:

Blessed is the longing that brought you here and that quickens your soul with wonder.
May you have the courage to befriend your eternal longing.
May you enjoy the critical and creative companionship of the question, “Who am I?” and may it brighten your longing.
May a secret providence guide your thoughts and shelter your feeling.
May your mind inhabit your life with the same sureness with which your body belongs to the world.
May the sense of something absent enlarge your life.
May your soul be as free as the ever-new waves of the sea.
May you succumb to the danger of growth.
May you live in the neighborhood of wonder.
May you belong to love with the wildness of dance.
May you know that you are ever-embraced in the kind circle of God.

The second session was titled, “Erase the Blackboard.” Mary Anne began by asking us to guess when and where we thought a monastery she described in detail was. This monastery was central to the lives of married and single people, clergy and lay, families with children. Religion was important, a joyful religion. Everyone had a soul friend in whom to confide, but there was no confession to a priest. Overall, it was an idyllic place. It was 7th century Ireland, and it began centuries earlier and endured until the 11th century when Rome completed its destruction. How and why did this happen? Mary Anne grounded the change in the history of St. Augustine and Pelagius. Augustine had roots in Manichaeism which taught that matter is evil. He promoted the belief that original sin is transmitted through the sex act. In contrast, Pelagius, the prophet, denied original sin. He taught that a baby is born in God’s image and God is good. Other teachings of his were equally kind and compassionate. Ultimately, the Roman Church chose the teachings of Augustine over those of Pelagius, condemning Pelagius as a heretic. The Church became one that is punitive and dogmatic, one, holy, catholic, and apostolic, but one in need of becoming one, loving, joyful, and peaceful, passing all understanding. This is the baggage we carry to this day, despite the return to a more caring and merciful Church since Vatican II. This is the baggage that clutters the blackboard that we still need to erase in our individual faith lives.

The third session of the retreat, “Sofia Speaks,” started with the greatest Prophet, Jesus, and then raised up more contemporary prophets. The opening song, “Jesus Christ” by Woody Guthrie, recognized Jesus as one whose message and example of care for the poor and sick, the lowly and needy, landed him in his grave. Mary Anne then defined a prophet as one who speaks truth to power and one who either “speaks for, forth, or before.” She elaborated: Moses was an example of one who spoke for God. We speak forth when we offer empathic advice to a friend or relative. Those who foretell or forewarn about impending dangers, like the impact of environmental abuse, speak before an event in hopes of changing the course of our bad behavior. Modern prophets who have spoken for, forth, or before include Fr. Daniel Berrigan, Elizabeth McAlister, Sr. Anne Montgomery, Cesar Chavez, and Fr. Jerry Zawada. All had one message in common: We are all one, called to serve joyfully. Another prophet, Fr. Thomas Berry, extended this message: We are all one, including all of creation. And from where does such prophecy come? Mary Anne answered, spirituality and prayer.

In the next session, “Behold the Lilies of the Field,” Mary Anne taught us about “Eternal Inflation,” a concept in physics that builds on the Big Bang Theory. Mary Anne explained it with a very helpful diagram too complex to replicate here, but fascinating and worth checking out on the Internet. If we look at Eternal Inflation as an image as God, it is clear that God is everywhere and “cannot be contained.” With that said, Mary Anne presented one last prophet, S. Liz Proefriedt, a poet and mystic of our time. Liz was a scientist and a lover of God and nature. She was steeped in Earth-spirituality and prayer. Mary Anne emphasized the importance of prayer and assured us that prayer can come in whatever form works for who we are. For some that might be contemplative prayer, for others repetitive chants, for still others Lectio Divina, and so forth. To illustrate the expansiveness of God and prayer, we got to enjoy a video presentation of “All God’s Creatures Got a Place in the Choir” sung by Tommy Makem on the web.

The final session of our exceptional retreat was a session of sharing. Mary Anne had directed each of us to walk outside and come back with something in which we saw God. She then asked us to share what we chose and why. The session was named for the ancient rock on the Maryknoll grounds. This rock was scientifically tested and found to be in the vicinity of 400 million years old. None of us brought back anything that old, but the items we did present reflected the greatness of God as life-giving, diverse and bounteous, generous and beautiful, affirming and strong, and so much more.

In addition to all these sessions, we spent time in silent and shared prayer; Mass; a social filled with stories, jokes, music and laughter; and hearty meals enhanced by wonderful conversations. The overall assessment was that this was one of our best retreats ever. Special thanks go to Mary Anne Muller for making it so.


 

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Pax Christi Metro New York © 2018

  371 Sixth Avenue, New York, NY 10014 | (212)420-0250 | fax (212)420-1628 | info@nypaxchristi.org