Next gathering Sept. 13, 7 pm  • Quaker Meetinghouse • 3387 Walnut Grove  • Memphis    

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

Slain Sisters Paula Merrill and Margaret Held remembered
as beloved members of Pax Christi Memphis
In last month’s issue of this newsletter we printed Pax Christi USA’s statement on the brutal murder of Fr. Jacques Hamel as he celebrated Mass in France. It seems somewhat surreal now to once again reflect on more senseless killing, this time much closer to home and to our hearts.
Sisters Paula Merrill and Margaret Held were found in their home in Durant, MS on August 25th. Their killer was arrested just a few days later and confessed to the horrible act. Both sisters were 68 years old and worked tirelessly to serve the people of the surrounding community.
Sr. Susan Gatz, president of Merrill’s religious congregation, the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, was quoted as saying that Held and Merrill were “extraordinary in just an ordinary, simple way.
“What made them superb is they loved the people they served,” Gatz said.
Many members of Pax Christi Memphis remember the sisters attending meetings here during their time at Holly Springs. A few of them traveled to Mississippi to attend memorial services for them there.
Janice Vanderhaar offers this remembrance.
Srs, Margaret Held and Paula Merrill were two amazing women who exemplified Gospel Nonviolence as they served the poorest of the poor through their healing skills as nurse practitioners in Mississippi for over 30 years, first in Holly Springs and then at the medical clinic in Lexington.
They went out of their way to raise funds for those who could not afford their medicine which they often desperately needed. They often wore the hat of social worker in one of the poorest counties in the nation.
Pax Christi Memphis especially remembers them coming to our
meetings during the ‘90’s when they were on mission at the medical clinic in Holly Springs. They would prepare very creative prayer services and even helped organize one of our retreats. We were always blessed by their presence.  

Paula Merrill

Margaret Held
We’ll never know why they were brutally slain but we can be sure that they would forgive the man who killed them asking God’s mercy on him.  The sisters’ communities, School Sisters of St. Francis, Milwaukee, WI and the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, Ky, have both made statements that there should be justice, not revenge through the death penalty for Rodney Sanders.
They left a legacy of healing, love, compassion on many people’s lives as Jesus did.  They died as true martyrs both by the way they lived and the death they endured.
Paula and Margaret, Presente!

Life of St. Francis presented
in unique perforance

A special performance by David Hoover of Inscape Ministries comprised last month’s Pax Christi meeting at St. Patrick at The St. Patrick Center downtown.
David said he drew from the works of Fr. Murray Bodo, Fr. Richard Rohr and Carlo Carretto to write the play, adapting bits and pieces to flesh out the story, which was organized into a number of scenes:
• Francis Appears • The beginnings • A false start • Naked before the Bishop
• Embracing the leper • The mystery of Gospel poverty • All creation
• The Wolf of Gubbio • Our dream of peace and non-violence
• The secrets of Jesus
The Hoovers expressed their appreciation for the support offered by Pax Christi Memphis with this note:
We just want to say thank you for organizing the opportunity for us to be with the Pax Christi group.  It was a privilege and gift to be there. And what a wonderfully receptive group...that always draws a good performance from the presenter.
We also want to thank you and the Pax Christi group for the generous donation of $200. The audience gave $167 so your generosity will allow us to take our presentations into other places.
We hope that sometime in the future we will be back in Nashville and maybe at that time we can visit with you, also.
Sharon and David Hoover
Inscape Ministries

Plans for Campaign Nonviolence week and
report from national meeting on agenda for September

September began with participation in the Workers Interfaith Network Labor Day Picnic for many of our Pax Christi members, and the month promises to be a busy one, especially for those involved with the Interfaith Vigil and other activities planned around Campaign Nonviolence’s Week of Action beginning September 18th.
Monica Juma will provide details on the groups involved and the activities planned
at our September 13 meeting.
Janice Vanderhaar and Ed Wallin returned recently from the Pax Christi USA National Conference in Baltimore, and will present their report on what they learned and witnessed there.
Other discussion will include visioning meetings and ideas for the future PCM gatherings and aims and goals for the year. Future meetings may include a presentation on “Mindfulness” as well as a program on the history and
background of the Quaker Peace and Social Witness movement. Join us to discuss our plans for future programs.

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