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 second 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
|Pope Francis’ message to be topic of reflection at January 10th gathering|
“When victims of violence are able to resist the temptation to retaliate, they become the most credible promoters of nonviolent peacemaking,” Pope Francis said in his World Day of Peace message prepared for January 1st.
The Holy Father urged the faithful toward nonviolence by pleading, “In the most local and ordinary situations and in the international order, may nonviolence become the hallmark of our decisions, our relationships and our actions, and indeed of political life in all its forms.”
The papal document, Nonviolence: a Style of Politics for Peace, will be the topic of brief reflections when Pax Christi Memphis meets on Tuesday, January 10th. The program will begin at 7 pm after potluck.
Six of our members will analyze component parts of the document and offer their remarks on (1.) The introduction, (2.) A Broken World, (3.) The Good News, (4.) More Powerful than Violence, (5.) The Domestic Roots of a Politics of Nonviolence and (6.) My Invitation.
Clearly, the Holy Father’s historic message comes at a time when concern about worldwide aggression is paramount. Columnist Tony Magliano writing on the Pax Christi USA website says, “Francis points out that meeting violence with violence produces tremendous suffering, not only in death and destruction, but by diverting necessary resources for human life to military ends. And judging from recent dangerous comments of President-elect Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, the world could get far more violent.”
Magilano goes on to point out that Trump – a day after meeting with Pentagon and defense contractors – called on the U.S. to “greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability” until the rest of the world “comes to its senses” regarding nuclear weapons.
Pax Christi has played a key role in encouraging the pope to speak out on nonviolence. In mid-December, the Catholic Nonviolence Initiative gathered in Rome to reflect on and discuss the Holy Father’s message, and to strategize about next steps for this critical movement. The Catholic Nonviolence Initiative grew out of the
landmark April 2016 Nonviolence and Just Peace conference, co-sponsored by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and Pax Christi International, and is focused on affirming the vision and practice of active nonviolence at the heart of the Catholic Church.
Among many others who gathered last month in Rome were Pax Christi International co-presidents Marie Dennis and Bishop Kevin Dowling; Bishop Marc Stenger bishop president of Pax Christi France; Greet Vanaerschot, secretary general of Pax Christi International; Ken Butigan, Pace e Bene; Pat Gaffney, Pax Christi British section; Fr. Renato Sacco, Pax Christi Italy; Fr. John Dear, Campaign Nonviolence; and former Pax Christi International secretary general Jose Henriquez.
In a press release Ms. Dennis and Bishop Dowling said, “We are committed to following up on this statement on a deep level. It has raised many topics that deserve much reflection, and we are ready to help spread this message of nonviolence in whatever way we can.”
prominent members of the Pax Christi movement and Campaign Nonviolence.
Financial Support Needed
Our treasurer reminds us that it’s time for our annual appeal for financial support for Pax Christi Memphis. That’s $15 for an individual; $25 for a couple; $5 for student or one on limited income. Any amount greater in any category will be appreciated. Checks can be mailed to Pax Christi Memphis, 4043 Allison Ave., Memphis, TN 38122 or collected at any meeting.
In keeping with our observance of the New Year, we will renew our Vow of Nonviolence, composed by Eileen Egan and Rev. John Dear, S.J., at the conclusion of our program on January 10th, and join with thousands of our fellow peacemakers in striving for peace in ourselves and in our daily lives in the coming year.
Women’s March planned for January 21st
Pax Christi Memphis has been asked to support a Women’s March beginning at 10 am on January 21st. It will originate at the Courthouse and end at the National Civil Rights Museum. Monica Juma attended a planning meeting on the 14th and reported a good turnout. She said organizers are expecting as many as 500 participants.
“It seems like a really positive movement,” Monica said. “They emphasized that it’s not a protest of Trump but a show of solidarity for diversity, women’s rights, civil rights, etc. Part of their mission statement is 'we will work peacefully while recognizing that there is no true peace without justice and equity for all.' It was started in Memphis by a handful of women who didn’t know each other previously or have much experience in activism but who wanted to do something after the election.”
Monica will share more information and distribute flyers promoting the event at our meeting on January 10th.
Sierra Club continues work to protect the Memphis Aquifer
For those who heard the Sierra Club’s Conservation Program Coordinator Scott Banbury at last month’s meeting, know that efforts continue to address the recent denial by the Groundwater Quality Control Board of their appeal. For a copy
of Scott’s viewpoint column from the Memphis Flyer that outline deficiencies in
the 1987 groundwater ordinance on which the decision was based, see Paul Crum.
Letter to the Editor
To Memphis Pax Christians:
We have a new bishop servant-teacher. I urge us to be bold in communicating what Pax Christi is all about. Be completely honest. Express clearly our goals, without embarrassment or compromise. We have nothing to lose.
I also think PC should cooperate with other individuals and groups that seek the same goals. Some folks that come to mind:
Scott Banbury [Environment] Rev. Billy Vaughan [Servant Leadership] Dr. Peter Gathje [Ethics] Fr. David Knight [Spirituality] Dr. David Ciscel [Quakers] Dr. Nabil Bayakly [Muslims] Chip Ordman [Ecumenism] Rev. Elaine Blanchard [LGBT Community] Dr. Art Sutherland [Medical] etc.
Some issues/topics we might ask our servant-teacher to address publicly:
WMDs, especially nuclear weapons, Divorced & remarried members, Gays and Transgendered folks, $15 minimum wage scale, Healthcare, Homelessness, Veterans, The present, long-standing war in the Middle East, U.S. use of drone killings, Gun control, Women deacons, Israeli settlements in the West Bank, married priests.