Pax Christi, the Peace of Christ, strives to create a world that reflects this peace by witnessing to the call of Christian nonviolence. Although the majority of members are Roman Catholic, Pax Christi is open to all people who want to work for peace in the spirit of the nonviolent Jesus.
Pax Christi Memphis meets the third Tuesday of
every month at the Quaker Meetinghouse located at 3387 Walnut Grove, Memphis, TN 38111. Additional parking is available on Prescott, or in the Kroger Parking lot across the street.
For more information, or if you need a ride to our meeting, call Janice Vanderhaar at 362-9364.
Building peace, economic & interracial justice through a spirituality of nonviolence
Fat Tuesday and the conversation(s) continue
Msgr. Albert Kirk gave historical
and scriptural context to the church’s position on immigration policies at the Share the Journey event last month at St. Francis Church. He will revisit the topic
at this Tuesday’s Pax Christi meeting at 7 pm.
|Six Pax Christi members, including Msgr. Albert Kirk who presented a portion of the program, participated in Share the Journey, a day long session on immigration held at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church on January 27, 2018.|
Msgr. Kirk will revisit parts of his talk this Tuesday at our Pax Christi gathering. He will provide scriptural support of the church’s teaching on migration, citing passages such Leviticus 19:33-34: “When an alien resides with you in your land, do not molest him; you shall treat the alien who resides with you no differently than the natives born among you; have the same love for him as yourself; for you too were once aliens in the land of Egypt. I, the LORD am your God.”
Diane Randall, lobbyist of the Friends Committee on National Legislation warned of the
dangers of military action in the Korean peninsula. Local Friends representative Susan Penn will review her talk and lead a discussion at this Tuesday’s gathering.
The Second Vatican Council warned against discrimination in wages and working conditions, Fr. Al pointed out, and stated that public authorities should treat them not merely as tools of production, but as persons, and should facilitate them having their families with them. The council held that more prosperous
nations are obliged to welcome the foreigner is search of the security and the means of livelihood which they cannot find in their country of origin.
More recent statements from Pope John Paul II and Pope Francis urge the faithful to “break the bread of friendship, brotherhood and mutual help” with our immigrant brothers and sisters, distributing the planet’s resources which are meant to be equitably shared by all.
Other presenters brought their unique perspectives to the topic, including Michael Trujillo, Relationship Manager of the U.S. Southeast Region of Catholic Relief Services, who told those assembled that 65 million people have fled their homes recently.
“That’s 20 people per minute forced to flee by conflict or persecution,” Trujillo said.
He claimed 84 per cent of the world’s refugees are hosted by four developed nations, and only nine per cent of them are hosted by the world’s six most wealthy countries.
One of the most moving narratives of the day came from Maria Herrera, a Christian Brothers University pre-med student and DACA recipient.
Herrera spoke of a childhood where she questioned why she wasn’t allowed to participate in many of the normal activities of her fellow students until her mother took her aside one day to explain their family’s undocumented status. Her stories brought a human face to the difficult path our Memphis neighbors struggle with to gain legal status and citizenship.
Becoming a DACA recipient was an expensive and complex process, and even then Herrera was ineligible to attend the first few schools she applied to, falling victim to last minute dismissals due to legal technicalities. Even now, she still faces the possibility of deportation next February if the Dreamers’ issue is not resolved by our nation’s legislature.
During lunch, Karen Spencer, Church and Community Engagement Manager from World Relief Memphis, led the assembly in a Refugee Simulation Experience. She challenged everyone to describe what they would be forced to leave behind if they were directed to flee with only the people and possessions available to them at that moment.
Finally, Chris Butson, Director of Immigration Services at Catholic Charities of West Tennessee related some of her experiences from resettling refugees from all over the world into the local community. Once again, her stories illustrated the incomprehensible difficulty and ridiculous duration of the naturalization and citizenship process inherent in our current immigration system in shocking detail.
Several Pax Christi members gathered the following weekend at First Congregational Church to hear Diane Randall, Executive Secretary of the Friends Committee on National Legislation, address the heightened concern over tensions with North Korea, and the threat of a conflict escalating to nuclear war.
Randall, who oversees 10 lobbyists and an equally large support staff on Capital Hill, spoke of the Friends Committee’s efforts to convince lawmakers to continue seeking diplomatic solutions to escalated saber rattling between the Kim Jong-un government and the Trump administration.
She expressed fear that, “... tensions are racing out of control and we could go stumbling into war.” Randall said a strike aimed at taking out Kim Jong-un would likely not destroy all of the weapons (nuclear, conventional and chemical) stockpiled north of the DMZ. She pointed to Iraq and Syria as examples of the long lasting repercussions of ill-advised military adventures, and said the millions left dead in the last Korean conflict would pale in comparison to a present day war.
“Hundreds of thousands would die on the first day of fighting,” she said.
Randall also predicted such an action would ruin our diplomatic efforts around the world, increase the difficulty of mobilizing troops and plunge us further into disastrous debt.
Another concern she raised was the threat of an accident leading us into war.
“We are fallable you know,” Randall said, pointing to the 38 minutes of terror that spread across Hawaii last month as the result of a false report of incoming missiles.
“We were foolish to cast away talks with North Korea in a vain attempt to get all we want,” she lamented, adding that congress, “... isn’t voting on much of anything these days.”
She said she feared that the White House and the military view congressional silence as consent to start a war.
Randall did praise some legislators, including Tennessee Senator Bob Corker and Congressman Steve Cohen for speaking out against President Trump, and, in Cohen’s case, supporting legislation to require congressional approval to launch military action.
She pointed to a bill introduced last October by Connecticut Democrat Senator Christopher Murphy (S.2047) that would prevent a preemptive war, specifically aimed at North Korean conflict.
Specifically, the bill states that “No funds may be used for kinetic military operations in North Korea absent an imminent threat to the United States without express congressional authorization.” It has been read twice and referred to the Committee of Foreign Relations.
Randall urged those present to write letters to the editor and to contact their representatives in support of such legislation and to express concern about the 30% cut to the state department thereby weakening diplomatic efforts around the world.
“Most members (of congress) are not hearing about matters of war and peace,” she said.
On Tuesday, a representative of the local Friends Community, Susan Penn, will offer a brief review of Randall’s talk and lead a discussion centered around the points she made. This will augment the discussion Pax Christi Memphis began in January about the Papal statement condemning nuclear arms, stating that is immoral for countries to even possess such weapons. Randall praised Pax Christi International, ICAN and others working to rid the world of nuclear weapons.
MICAH invites community & faith based groups
The Memphis Interfaith Coalition for Action and Hope (MICAH) is a coalition of faith-based and community organizations joining together to give a more powerful voice for issues of justice to our city.
|MSPJC Event rescheduled|
Snow and icy conditions forced the cancellation of the Mid-South Peace and Justice anniversary event on January 13th. Living the Legacy of Nonviolence with Rosa Clemente has been rescheduled for March 10th. Previously purchased tickets will be honored.
WIN stands with Fight for $15 tomorrow
|WIN will be joined tomorrow,|
February 12th, by Fight for $15 in Memphis plus Workers, clergy and leaders from all over the country. Scheduled speakers include Reverend William Barber, Mary Kay Henry from SEIU, Lee Saunders from AFSCME and more!
12 Noon - McDonalds 2037 Union
3:30 PM - Line up @ Clayborn Temple
4:00 PM - March to City Hal
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