Mark Your Calendar


 

 

Peacemaking through the Arts

Our winter concert will feature several professional singers and accompanist offering a cabaret-style production of show tunes and other popular music to lift your spirits and tug at your hearts.Join us on Sunday afternoon, February 10th, 2019 at St. John Lutheran Church, 81 Christopher Street, Manhattan to be entertained and to support PCMNY’s work building peace and promoting social justice. Registration will begin late December.

  



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 opening and end 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


Fall Assembly 2018

 by Rosemarie Pace

 

For the third consecutive year, Manhattan College Peace Studies, under the generous leadership of Dr. Kevin Ahern, hosted PCMNY’s Fall Assembly on Saturday, November 3rd. In some ways, this Assembly was much like its predecessors, but in one very important way it was quite different. It was similar in that we began with prayer, prayed mid-day, and ended with the opportunity for people to attend Mass. It was also similar in that we had the usual brief morning business meeting to inform members of what and how PCMNY is doing. And it was similar in that we had a wonderful keynote speaker in the afternoon—a bit more about him later. What was different and so invaluable was the student panel that filled the bulk of the pre-lunch session.

We were very honored to have students Carly Brownellfrom Manhattan College (MC), Quincy Tyler from the College of Mount Saint Vincent (CMSV), and Fiona Staunton from Iona College (IC) give of their time to share insights about what they and fellow young adults know and think about various issues of peace and justice. Dr. Ahern served as the moderator of the panel. While all were asked the same questions, answers often varied reflective of the individual student or the classes and colleges they attend.

All seemed to agree that student involvement in peace and justice issues is average. Determining what that means would require inferences from other questions and responses. There seemed to be consensus that students find it easier to address global rather than local issues because the former are less personal and controversial. Nevertheless, they said there isn’t much talk about issues like Afghanistan, Iraq, nuclear weapons, or the like; there is much more talk about past wars.

When asked what issue might be raised, climate change and the use of plastic straws were named.

Asked if their colleges offered peace and justice courses, Quincy said CMSV does not, but relevant issues are raised in religion classes. Carly is a Peace Studies Major and president of the Just Peace Club at MC, so for her, such courses are pervasive. Fiona is a Criminal Justice major at IC. She informed us that IC has dedicated peace and justice courses, largely drawing from history, but, for her, peace and justice topics are more a personal interest that she can relate to her major.

With all the students coming from Catholic colleges, Dr. Ahern asked them how faith enters into their learning experiences. Responses included through community, service trips, campus ministry, and, at CMSV, the presence of the Sisters of Charity.

An important question for PCMNY and a reason for having this panel followed: What can PCMNY or other peace organizations do for you? A group of MC students participated in a Peace Action conference, so Carly reported how that experience revealed to her how much bigger peacemaking is and how much more can be done beyond college. Catholic Relief Service was also acknowledged. In addition, students noted the diversity of people and perspectives contact with organizations like PCMNY can provide.

In the Q & A, members of the audience raised additional issues.

Regarding gun control, students expressed little interest, saying prayers and actions have happened after an incident, but are not enduring.  Regarding just war, students weren’t sure, but at least one said she was leaning against war. Fair trade clothing?At CMSV, neither talk nor action.At MC, available, but costly. At IC, it’s a new awareness. Voting? Some registration efforts, but not everywhere. Homelessness? It’s tricky because you don’t know who’s real and who’s cheating; better to give non-monetary help, prayers, and presence.

Two questions spanned the spectrum from inner peace to structural change. The idea of self-care elicited modest awareness and support, but structural change was considered overwhelming. Petitions and lobbying got a mention, but no strong commitment. The students, themselves, suggested a need for much earlier introductions to issues and opportunities than college. Early education would not only increase knowledge, but also career options.

Then someone reiterated a question about faith, this time how faith might inform action. Responses included being taught faith as peacemaking and care for the Earth, but more as part of our early roots than as contemporary responsibility.

Another question couldn’t have been more current. In light of the great divide in our country, an audience member asked if the colleges have offered occasions for students with opposing viewpoints to dialogue. At CMSV, yes. At MC, yes during the election period, but not since. Carly added, “People don’t want to discuss such things.” At Iona, yes during Peace Week and at events off campus.

So, how do we market peace? How do we get students more excited, interested, and involved for the long term? Student responses ranged from “Wish I knew” to try more community building, present issues that students consider relevant, offer food. One student cited a “Peace Tour” of places with particular significance to peace events and people as very appealing and enlightening, but another cited the problem of clubs meeting at the same time so students have to forego one for another, and clubs are often the most likely time and place to focus on peace and justice causes.

One could come away from the student panel with a multitude of feelings. We were all very grateful for these students’ time and honest and revealing sharing. In some cases, we were impressed by the insights provided, but we were also disappointed that more students weren’t as invested in peace and justice issues as these three young adults. The general consensus was that this panel was most worthwhile and worthy of repetition.

The afternoon of our Fall Assembly belonged to Dr. Joseph Fahey, co-founder of Peace Studies at Manhattan College and now retired professor. Joe based his talk on one part of his book, War and the Christian Conscience: Where Do You Stand? a highly recommended read. In the book, he presents four traditions on war and peace in Christian history: Pacifism, Just War, Total War, and World Community. His focus at our Assembly was World Community, “an international democratic union of states that will abolish war, defend human rights, secure social and economic justice for all, and safeguard the environment.” You might think utopia, but Joe is very hopeful that World Community is possible and, more so, that we are actually moving toward it despite the apparent darkness of today. In short, he outlined six ways to peace. The first three are citizen-based: exchange of intellectuals, exchange of artists, and exchange of athletics which provide opportunities to travel, meet people, and learn. The remaining three are formal: international trade, exchange of ambassadors, and international alliances.

Rather than try to do justice to Joe’s words, I encourage you to read his various handouts linked below. Any one is very worthwhile. Combined, you will get a rich body of fascinating information grounded in scripture, church history, and contemporary socio-politics.

A Path to Peace    Overview of Four Traditions on War and Peace

A Letter to My Students     Peaceful Countries and States

Thanks to all who contributed to this exceptional Fall Assembly. Stay tuned for 2019!

 
 

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Pax Christi Metro New York © 2018

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