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
News and Notes
Number 2, February 2017
|Sharing our beliefs is different from discussions in learning factual material. The kind of sharing that leads to learning from one another in our Pax Christi community benefits from some simple practices. These might be considered integral to our practice of personal nonviolence. |
A Contrast Between Discussion and Dialogue will be presented by Jerry Bettice when our group meets on February 14th.
“Our interactions will be framed,” said Jerry, “hopefully, in the context of nonviolent communication.”
|Program for February 14th Gathering |
The program will begin at 7:00 after we share a
potluck dinner at 6:30. All are welcomed.
Peace alone is holy – not war. Violence profanes the name of God
On January 10th six Pax Christi members reflected on select sections of Pope Francis’ World Day of Peace message, Nonviolence: A Style of Politics for Peace. Printed below are brief excerpts from those reflections, some paraphrased. It is our prayer that the world will heed the Pope’s call to nonviolence, and that an encyclical devoted to peace may be forthcoming.
“This is a quantum leap forward or a radical redirection. The pope in his introduction talks about making active nonviolence a way of life. He was very inclusive at the beginning. He wants to get everybody aboard. It’s unusual that he talks about it as a style of politics. The church doesn’t encourage people to talk about politics in the pulpit in the way Francis is talking about. He encourages us to think of ways to solve conflict in the world, and I think there’s been a lot of energy and effort around that lately.”
|Monica Juma |
“How do we acknowledge and quiet that violence and fear within, acknowledge that unconditional love and become an agent of nonviolence? How do we make it our way of being? John Dear recommends 30 minutes of quiet meditation and prayer a day. Studies are coming out that show that those who meditate have physical changes in their brain ... so now there is evidence that daily prayer and meditation that Gandhi and others urged can lessen our fears and enable us to go out and live nonviolently.”
|Ray Berthiaume |
“One way to bring about nonviolence is being available to people in your own life circumstances. Another aspect is being voices heard. Pax Christi may be a mouse, but we need to roar like a lion. Make our presence known. There are practical ways of making the public aware of the presence of a population that does not believe in violence as a remedy for problems, but in presence and activity in a nonviolent way.”
|Msgr. Al Kirk |
“Nonviolence is not passivity, it is not lack of caring and it is certainly not surrender. We need to steer (Dr. King’s words) into people’s minds, ‘Violence never buys permanent peace, it solves no social problems, it merely creates new and more complicated ones.’ If you read the comments from the last couple of days about increasing our Navy, you get the impression that it is war that’s holy – it’s war that’s going to bring about peace. And if we can just throw enough money into it we’ll be able to bring about a peaceful world. War just creates problems.”
|Deacon Henry Littleton|
“How does the analogy of a family fit with the message of Pope Francis that violence finds its source in the heart? I think it is that moment when there is a fundamental decision to do something good or something less than good. Once we start to think of what we are doing in our heart - to our family members, and the pursuit of happiness in the family becomes a possibility, and through that the desire to promote goodness throughout society. It’s a way of playing it out – an analogy between the two.”
“Somebody went to a place of need and a woman said to them, “If you came here to do things for us, you can go home. But if you’re going to work with us and collaborate, then you can stay.” I think that’s something that we as Pax Christi could do better. Engage with people who are already working and even find solidarity with people in need. Another important theme of the pope’s writings is dialogue. How do we sit down with people we don’t agree with? I have to examine my own heart and ask how nonviolent am I in my speech and in my thoughts?”
Pax Christi represented at Women’s March
Pax Christi Memphis and Campaign Nonviolence joined an estimated 6,000 marchers as they walked in solidarity with the Women’s March on Washington on January 21st.
The Commercial Appeal reported, “The marchers were women and men of all ages, members of many races, representing various religions and sexual orientations. Jubilant in the sunshine of an unseasonably warm winter day, they carried signs, chanted slogans, played drums and rattled tambourines.”
Participants assembled at the courthouse on Adams and walked to a rally at the National Civil Rights Museum.
The march was billed as an affirmation and a call to action in the ongoing fight for women’s rights and human rights.
|Terry Hash Marches on Washington|
Pax Christi Memphis was also represented at the Women’s March on Washington by our dear friend Terry Hash, who left us this past year for retirement in North Carolina. She is pictured here with her college roommate Liz. The duo road tripped to DC after considering joining demonstrations in Charlotte or Raleigh.
“It was such a positive experience – so much great energy and love,” Terry reported. “It wasn’t just an anti-Trump movement, it was an anti-hate movement. Lots of love and respect in the air – the Spirit was moving!”
Terry said she witnessed a great display of nonviolent resistance in the nation’s capital. “It made me realize that if we truly want peace in the world, more women need to be in power and involved in making the rules!” she exclaimed.
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