Mark Your Calendar
Peacemakers Awards Reception
Help us celebrate our 2017
Peacemakers on Sunday, June 4th, in
Casserly Hall, St. Joseph’s Greenwich Village
Church from 3 to 6 PM. We’ll be honoring
Beth Begley, member of the Pax Christi
International NGO Team at the UN, Pax Christi USA,
PCMNY, and Pax Christi Maryknoll; Mary Anne Muller,
peace educator and long-time supporter of and
activist in the peace movement here in NYC; and
Vilma Torres, Director of Safe Horizon’s staff at
the Bronx Family Justice Center. We’ll also be
honoring Maloof Family Young Peacebuilders
Cira Mancuso, a senior at School of the Holy Child
in the Rye, NY; Margaret Griffin, a senior at
Marymount School of New York; and Kristiana Wolfe, a
senior at The Mary Louis Academy in Jamaica, Queens.
Come for the fun, the food, and the festivities.
Contact PCMNY to register now: 212-420-0250 or
firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also
You may also register online.
Good Friday Way of the Cross
40-Day Fast for Christian Nonviolence
Human Rights Day/Holy
Human Rights Day/Holy
Peacemaking Through the Arts
Ash Wednesday Leafleting
Ash Wednesday Leafleting
Our tradition on Ash
Wednesday is to offer a Lenten Reflection to the
faithful outside St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
Our tradition on Ash Wednesday is to offer a Lenten Reflection to the faithful outside St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
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.
Featured Recent Event
Peacemakers: Walking th e Road Together
e Road Together
by M. Doretta Cornell, RDC
This year’s PCMNY retreat centered around the stories of two sisters and one city and their engagement with the nuclear monster.
On Saturday morning, Sr. Megan Rice began the retreat by telling her story. Repeatedly saying that there was nothing unusual about her childhood, she recounted her parents’ deep engagement with Catholic thought and thinkers, mentioning visitors such as Martin Sheed, Maisie Ward, and Dorothy Day, and a neighbor, Dr. Selig Hecht,a biophysicist whosesecret work with the Manhattan Project later turned out to be developing the atomic bomb. She conceded that her work against nuclear weapons was a natural progression from all this.
Her studies as a Holy Child sister also prepared the way; while she was studying biology to teach in Nigeria, a mentor steered her toward examination of tritium’s effect on DNA; in her teaching, she continued to focus on radioactivity.
On a “transition retreat” back in the United States, Megan felt compelled to “do something” about nuclear weapons. This led her to a Franciscan Desert Experience near the U.S. nuclear testing facility which, combined with the first Disarm Now Plowshares trial, led her to believe the time had come for a new public action. Through the cooperation of Pax Christi Nashville, the 2012 Transform Now Plowshares action occurred. With two companions, Megan broke into the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. The plant makes components for nuclear warheads and is a storehouse for nuclear materials including bomb-grade uranium.Inside the facility, they cut through security fences, hung banners and crime scene tape, and splashed baby bottles of human blood around the secure area. Megan spent 35 months in prison as a result; her companions received longer sentences. She is still on parole.
On Saturday afternoon, Megan invited Maryknoll Sister Jean Fallon to tell her story. Jean told of living through World War II and, as a Sister, being missioned to Japan. Here she joined the National Peace and Justice Committee and toured Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Besides these, Jean said, all the major cities had been bombed “to smithereens” by incendiary bombs. Hiroshima and Nagasaki were designated as test sites for the experimental plutonium and uranium bombs. Jean told us some of the devastation caused by these bombs and brought a book of truly heart-breaking drawings made by survivors as a step toward healing.
I found Jean’s emphasis on the experimental nature of the bombing – the United States military wanted to learn what the bombs could do – particularly chilling, as was her final, haunting question: If we (the United States) had examined ourselves after World War II, what could we have done differently, and how different would we be now?
Rosemarie Pace noted that Pax Christi International will meet in Hiroshima in 2020 to celebrate its 75th anniversary.
We spent the rest of the afternoon digesting and discussing what we had heard and what actions we might take as a result.
Throughout the day, we spent time in prayer together and in quiet times alone, praying about all we had heard, and we shared the Eucharist on Saturday before enjoying one of several delicious meals and a time to relax and socialize.
On Saturday evening, we had yet another source of information, a video,Fukushima Five Years After, available on You Tube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wD29v1BSs4U. The video showed the long struggle to cope with the radiation from the meltdown after the earthquake on March 11, 2011and subsequent tsunami. The building and many areas around the plant remain contaminated. Workers continue to try to contain the radiation that is still being released and to remove millions of tons of earth that was contaminated. A particularly touching part of the video was about a man who lives in the contaminated region, caring for the many horses, cows, pigs and other animals abandoned by the fleeing inhabitants.
On Sunday morning, after prayer and sharing about what we had learned, we engaged in a Postcard Action. All were invited to write a postcard to the new United States Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, expressing our concerns about nuclear weapons. Beth Begley, who is a Pax Christi International representative at the UN, told why this is timely, as well as urgent. The General Assembly recently voted overwhelmingly to begin negotiations to eliminate nuclear weapons, and the preliminary negotiations will begin later this month. The United States and other nuclear-possessingnations were among the few dissenting votes.
This was PCMNY’s first retreat at the Maryknoll Sisters Center. All who attended found it a beautiful and welcoming setting. We are most grateful to the Sisters for their warm hospitality.
Pax Christi Metro New York © 2017
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