Next gathering Nov. 14, 7 pm  • Quaker Meetinghouse, 3387 Walnut Grove at Prescott    

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

Program will focus on engaging youth in peace and justice movement

Michael Pahls will share what he has learned about engaging with young people on peace and social justice issues when he speaks to Pax Christi on Nov. 14th. The program will follow our usual Potluck Dinner at 6:30 pm.

For years it’s been a frequent topic of discussion among Pax Christi members and other groups working for peace and justice. How do we encourage more young people to become involved in the work?
Michael J. G. Pahls works daily in the classroom with teenage and college age students, and will share his insights with us at our monthly gathering on November 14th.
Michael is part of the faculty of theology at Saint Agnes Academy in Memphis. He serves additionally as an adjunct professor of theology at Christian Brothers University and Memphis Theological Seminary. A former Anglican priest, he is presently director of senior high youth at Saint Brigid Catholic Church and hopes to return to priestly ministry as a Roman Catholic. Michael specializes in modern European and North American Christianity and has published on John Henry Newman, the Oxford Movement, and in other areas of historical, constructive, and biblical theology.

In a 2016 message aimed at youth, Pope Francis spoke of those who lived in situations of war, extreme poverty, daily troubles and loneliness.
“Don’t ever lose hope”, he said. “The Lord has a great dream which, with your help, he wants to come true! Your friends, young people your age living in less trying conditions than your own, have not forgotten you; they are working for peace and justice for everyone everywhere.  Don’t be taken in by the messages of hatred or terror all around us. Instead, make new friends. Give of your time and always show concern for those who ask your help. Be brave and go against the tide; be friends of Jesus, who is the Prince of Peace.”

Living Peacefully in a Violent World course successfully completed

Judy Bettice leads a discussion at a Thursday evening session of Living Peacefully in a Violent World. Other presenters were Msgr. Albert Kirk, Jerry Bettice and
Paul Crum. Classes concluded on October 28th.

Facilitators from the nonviolence course are pictured
with visiting members from Pax Christi Little Rock.
LtoR: Paul Crum, Marian Paquette, George Simon, Jerry Bettice, Sandee Haslauer, Msgr. Al Kirk, Judy Bettice, Sherry Martin and Sherry Simon.

At least 40 people representing 15 parishes and two other congregations attended last month’s diocesan course on nonviolence presented by Pax Christi Memphis. Classes were offered at St. Louis Catholic Church on four Thursday evenings as well as two Saturdays.
Beginning with an examination of Old Testament scripture, particularly some of the more troubling “violent” passages, students compared  them with those from the New Testament during the first week. An examination of Bishop Carroll Dozier’s 1971 pastoral letter, Peace: Gift and Task was also included as well as a practical module on peacemaking in the personal, interpersonal and systemic realms.
Week two began with a discussion of Catholic tradition and the influence of early church leaders such as St. Augustine leading up to the development of the Just War Theory. A study of documents including Bishop Dozier’s letter, writings from John XXIII, the second Vatican Council and the Catechism of the Catholic Church was conducted to examine the Just War Theory in greater detail. The session concluded with a look at the two feet of Catholic social teaching; Charity and Justice.


Weeks 3 and 4

The class moved into an examination of Pope Francis’ 2017 World Day of Peace Message during the third week, and discussed historical achievements of nonviolent actions, noting that respect for human dignity has been a consistent fundamental principle guiding leaders in nonviolence. Students were led in a discussion of the “fight, flight or third way” response to violence.
In the concluding session, discussion of the Pope’s World Day of Peace message continued to include a look at the Catholic Nonviolence Initiative from April of 2016. Week four included a discussion of the perils presented by the nuclear arms race and the possibilities of eventual nuclear disarmament.
“The sessions included everything I appreciate,” commented Jan Kidder, one the participants, “... substantive content by well-informed presenters, time to reflect with other participants, and lots of ‘recommended reading’– the latter will keep me engaged for a while!”
Five members of Pax Christi Little Rock traveled to Memphis to attend the last Saturday session, and left with a request to “bring the show on the road.” The possibility of a day-long joint retreat or similar event is being considered for a future date.
Msgr. Al Kirk, who led the course, expressed pleasure at how it proceeded throughout the month.
“I thoroughly enjoyed working with Judy, Jerry and Paul,” he said. I thought we made a good team and had a good balance of theory, facts and experiential modules. The participants seemed to enjoy it as well.”

Pax Christi Little Rock honors Memphis
chapter with “Peace Partners” designation

From the PCLR November Newsletter: Peace Partners highlights various peace and social justice organizations that share our vision: active promotion of peace in our neighborhood, state, country and world. The goal is to increase awareness of the many organizations in our area that work for peace through social justice and invite joint ventures between these groups to increase the effectiveness of our mission.
Pax Christi Memphis is a chapter of Pax Christi USA. This Catholic peace and social justice movement strives to create a world that reflects the peace of Christ by witnessing to the call of Christian nonviolence. Over the years, this group of peacekeepers has initiated a host of programs that have contributed to the well-being of many in the Memphis area. Examples of more recent sponsored events include backpacks filled with supplies for the homeless at Manna House, a series of courses on nonviolence, a week of Action during Peace Week, and participation in a forum on the Death Penalty. PCLR is proud to work with Pax Christi Memphis as we seek new ways to sow peace in our world.
Thank you Pax Christi Little Rock. We are honored!

Pax Christi members Karen Scott, Pat Crum and Paul Crum take a break from
loading a truck filled with donations for Manna House in midtown.

Manna House items delivered
Remember the scene in Jaws when Roy Scheider catches his first glimpse of the great white shark and utters the line, “You’re gonna need a bigger boat?” That was the feeling when we were faced with the task of transporting over 20 boxes and bags bulging with personal care items to Manna House on October 12th. Pax Christi Memphis had to rent a U-Haul truck to complete the task.
In addition to the donated items, we collected over $800 and purchased 200 backpacks for Manna House. Thanks again to everyone who supported this project.

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