Next gathering Sept. 12, 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

Pax Christi Memphis is trying to locate these donation boxes in churches throughout the Diocese to accept donations of personal care items for the people served by Manna House. These are the type of items we are looking for:
Toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, shampoo, lotion, mouthwash, nail clippers, foot powder, Tylenol/aspirin, soap, tissue, shaving gel/razors, Visine, Q-tips, washcloths and socks
Please mail monetary donations to:
Pax Christi Memphis
4043 Allison Ave.
Memphis, TN 38122
Make checks payable to: Pax Christi Memphis

Pax Christi Memphis hopes to make life just a bit easier for a few homeless and impoverished individuals trying to survive life on the streets of Memphis. The group recently purchased 200 drawstring backpacks that they hope can be filled with personal care items they will solicit from parishioners throughout the Diocese and others.

Teaming with Manna House, a place that offers hospitality in the Madison Heights neighborhood of midtown, Pax Christi will deliver the backpacks there with whatever items they collect at the end of September. Volunteers at Manna House will sort and bag the items so that they can be appropriately distributed to fit individual needs.

“We borrowed this idea from Pax Christi Little Rock,” said Pax Christi member Paul Crum. “We see homeless people carry their belongings in garbage bags and flimsy grocery sacks, so we thought this small gesture might provide some of our brothers and sisters with a few items we typically take for granted.”

The group will soon begin asking churches for permission to place a donation box in a visible location during the month of September. The items suggested for donation include toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, shampoo, lotion, mouthwash, nail clippers, baby powder, Tylenol/aspirin, soap, tissue, shaving gel/razors, Visine, Q-tips, washcloths and socks. Pax Christi Memphis will also provide a means for monetary contributions for those who may be too busy to shop for the items themselves.

Pax Christi is happy to be working with Manna House, which was established in the tradition of the Catholic Workers Movement. They have demonstrated a tradition of welcoming each guest with respect and compassion, and claim not to be a social services agency, but rather a group of persons welcoming other persons to share themselves, their gifts and the gifts received from others.

Manna House opens at 1268 Jefferson Avenue on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday mornings. During warm weather their guests enjoy a shady backyard and cold water, and there is always plenty of coffee available. Manna House offers showers, a change of clothes and some personal items such as socks and t-shirts.

Anyone interested in the backpack program or other Pax Christi Memphis initiatives may email the group at or call (901) 327-8068.

Pax Christi Memphis
News and Notes
Number 8, August 2017

August gathering will recall
Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings

Now sunflowers carry new meaning. They have become the symbol of a world free of nuclear weapons.
Sunflowers were even used near Chernobyl to extract radionuclides cesium 137 and strontium 90 from contaminated ponds following the catastrophic nuclear reactor accident there.
This came about after an extraordinary celebration of Ukraine achieving the status of a nuclear free state. On June 1, 1996, Ukraine transferred to Russia for dismantlement the last of the 1,900 nuclear warheads it had inherited from the former Soviet Union. Celebrating the occasion a few days later, the Defense Ministers of Ukraine, Russia, and the United States met at a former nuclear missile base in the Ukraine that once housed 80 SS-19 missiles aimed at the United States.
The three Defense Ministers planted sunflowers and scattered sunflower seeds. Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma said, “With the completion of our task, Ukraine has demonstrated its support of a nuclear weapons free world.” He called on other nations to follow in Ukraine’s path and “to do everything to wipe nuclear weapons from the face of the Earth as soon as possible.” U.S. Secretary of Defense William Perry said, “Sunflowers instead of missiles in the soil would ensure peace for future generations.”
This dramatic sunflower ceremony at Pervomaisk military base showed the world the possibility of a nation giving up nuclear weapons as a means of achieving security. It is an important example, featuring the sunflower as a symbol of hope. The comparison between sunflowers and nuclear missiles is stark—sunflowers representing life, growth, beauty and nature, and nuclear armed missiles representing death and destruction on a massive, unspeakable scale. Sunflowers represent light instead of darkness, transparency instead of secrecy, security instead of threat, and joy instead of fear.
The Defense Ministers were not the first to use sunflowers. In the 1980s a group of brave and committed resisters known as “The Missouri Peace Planters” entered onto nuclear silos in Missouri and planted sunflowers as a symbol of nuclear disarmament. On August 15, 1988, fourteen peace activists simultaneously entered ten of Missouri’s 150 nuclear missile silos, and planted sunflowers. They issued a statement that said, “We reclaim this land for ourselves, the beasts of the land upon which we depend, and our children. We interpose our bodies, if just for a moment, between these weapons and their intended victims.”
In the aftermath of the Cold War, many people believe that the nuclear threat has ended, but this is not the case. In fact, there are still more than 15,000 nuclear weapons in the arsenals of the nine nuclear-armed countries. These countries have given their solemn promise in the Non-Proliferation Treaty, which entered into force in 1970, to negotiate in good faith to achieve nuclear disarmament, but they have not acted in good faith. It is likely that until the people of the world demand the total elimination of nuclear weapons, the nuclear weapons states will find ways to retain their special status as nuclear “haves.” Only one power on Earth is greater than the power of nuclear weapons, and that is the power of the People once engaged.
On August 8, Pax Christi Memphis will devote time to remembering the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August of 1945.  Prayer and discussion will point to the seriousness of the threat of nuclear weapons and the need to work for a nuclear weapon free world.

Pax Christi Memphis urges senators to consider single payer healthcare
In the time since our July gathering, Senate Republicans have failed to pass a bill that would repeal major provisions of the Affordable Care Act. Debate is certain to continue and the fate and health of millions of Americans will depend on the actions of the legislature in the months ahead.
Dr. Art Sutherland, who sits on the national board of Physicians for a National Health Program and
serves as state coordinator, held fast to his support of a single payer system when he spoke to our group last month.
Single payer national health insurance is a system in which a single public or quasi-public agency organizes health care financing, but the delivery of care remains in private hands. According to information provided by Dr. Sutherland, all residents of the US would be covered for all medically necessary services, including doctors, hospital, preventative, long-term care, dental, vision, prescription drug and medical supply costs.

Dr. Art Sutherland

The PNHP group contends that Americans already pay enough for health care for all – we just don’t get it. Because we pay for healthcare through a patchwork of private insurance companies, one-third of our health spending goes to administration.
The meeting was very well attended and the discussion that ensued was spirited and informative. The consensus among attendees was that until the health care system is fixed, things will continue to get worse.
As the discussion concluded, participants were asked to sign letters addressed to Tennessee’s two US Senators urging them to not support pending legislation that would ultimately leave millions of Americans uninsured, but to instead consider single-payer as a means of joining most industrialized nations that offer a much more stable system with lower spending and more efficient delivery of health services.

Mimi Wade, Tommie Cervetti, Bob O’Connor and Ro O’Sullivan were among those who packed our meeting space to sign letters and add personal notes to Senators Bob Corker and Lamar Alexander.

Our beloved Msgr. Al Kirk had the opportunity to visit with Pax Christi friends John and Terry Hash while vacationing in July. He is pictured here hiking near their home in North Carolina. Msgr. Kirk will lead the course, Living Peacefully in a Violent World to be offered this fall at St. Louis Catholic Church, 203 S. White Station Road. The course will be structured as four two-hour sessions from 7-9 pm on consecutive Thursdays commencing Oct. 5th. Additionally, it will be taught on two Saturdays, Oct. 14th and 28th, from 10 am until 2 pm.


The backpacks purchased feature the Pax Christi
logo and reflective stripes
for pedestrian safety.

Pax Christi will seek to fill backpacks for the poor and homeless
This Tuesday evening Pax Christi members will discuss further plans to distribute drawstring backpacks and the items to fill them to Manna House, which serves the city’s poor and homeless population in the tradition of the Catholic Worker Movement.

Donation boxes similar to
this will soon be placed
in area churches to hold
donated items.


Specifically, volunteers will be called forth to contact various churches and other venues in the Diocese and beyond. Our plans call for collection boxes to be placed in these locations during the month of September. At the end of the month, personal items helpful for survival on the streets will be delivered to Manna House to distribute among the people they serve.
A number of donation boxes have been purchased for this purpose, and a demonstration on how they can be assembled and distributed will be presented.

Suggested items for donation include: toothpaste/toothbrushes, deodorant, shampoo/conditioner, lotion, mouthwash, nail clippers, foot powder, Tylenol, soap, Kleenex, shaving gel/razors, Visine, Q-tips, feminine hygiene products, washcloths, socks, snack foods such as gra-
nola bars, nuts, protein bars, fruit snacks, etc., and gum.
Donations are being currently accepted at Bartlett Art Printing & Graphic Design, 2919 Elmore Park #4 in Bartlett. Call 266-2464 to arrange. Anyone without time to shop may make a monetary contribution by mailing a check to: Pax Christi Memphis, 4043 Allison Ave., Memphis, TN 38122. Just designate “backpack project” in the memo area of your check

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