Days of Action for Nonviolence
21 September and 2 October 2022
Theme: Blessed is every step towards nonviolence
We invite you to take part in this project of Catholic Nonviolence Initiative and Pax Christi International. What might you do?
- Celebrate the creativity of nonviolence. Can you bring a story or prayer for nonviolence and link it to one of the dates/events listed? Share and pray the Vow of Nonviolence on 2 October
- Amplify the many ways in which Pope Francis is moving us in the direction of nonviolence at personal, national and global levels.
- Explore the faith challenge of nonviolence. See below prayer and reflection card for personal or group use.
1 September – 4 October, Season of Creation theme: Listen to the Voice of Creation.
21 September, International Day of Peace
15 – 22 September, Week of Prayer for Peace in Palestine & Israel, theme: Faith, Hope and Love in Action: Towards Justice in Israel Palestine. 2 October, International Day of Nonviolence Use the nonviolence prayer & reflection card on this day in your home and parish. Order more from the office
World Week for Peace in Palestine and Israel, 15-22 September
As the 2022 Week for Peace in Palestine and Israel approaches in September, the World Council of Churches (WCC) invites people and churches all over the world to pray, advocate, and stand in solidarity with people in the Holy Land under the strapline Faith, Hope and Love in Action: Towards Justice in Israel Palestine.
“The annual world week for peace in Palestine and Israel offers an opportunity for all of us to engage in active hope towards ending the occupation,” said WCC acting general secretary Rev. Prof. Dr Ioan Sauca.
Pax Christi has produced a card to encourage us to ‘pray, learn, act’. One side has an affirmation: Change is in the Air by Jan Sutch Pickard and the other side some useful resources and ideas for action you can take. Available at £3.00 for 50 cards from our shop.
Urgent Appeal from Balfour Project
Independent Catholic News features a report from Sir Vincent Fean, Vice-Chair of the Balfour Project asking readers to take action against Israeli plans to build a new illegal settlement which would prevent any prospect of a joined-up Palestinian state. Read here.
Service to Commemorate the Life and Witness of Bl Franz Jägerstätter
Independent Catholic News carried a report of the evening of prayer and reflection organised by Pax Christi Members which took place in the Crypt of Westminster Cathedral. Read the report here. The text of the reflection given by Pat Gaffney can be read here. in it she draws on extracts from the letters Franz and his wife Franziska exchanged during his imprisonment for refusing to fight. More information on Franz Jägerstätter.
Statement from Faith Communities to Nuclear Weapons Conference
Pax Christi England and Wales was one of the signatories of a statement made to the tenth Review Conference of the Parties on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) currently taking place in New York. In the statement, the group of faith-based organisations and individuals express ‘their deep concerns about a potential escalation of nuclear war [and pledge] as faith communities to keep on working toward a future without nuclear weapons’. Report in Independent Catholic News.
2022 Commemoration of the Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (6 & 9 Aug)
On 6th and 9th August, Pax Christi commemorated the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki outside Westminster Cathedral. We gathered with members and friends to hold a stall, give out leaflets and prayer cards and make a public witness saying no to nuclear weapons. At 1pm on each day we had a time of prayer to pray for the victims of the bombings, an end to nuclear weapons and for world peace.
77th Anniversary of the Bombing of Nagasaki
In 1873, after the lifting of the ban prohibiting Christianity in Japan , most of the Urakami Christians returned to their village. Despite the lack of resources, in 30 years they completed the construction of their church under the guidance of the priests of the Paris Foreign Mission Society.
There was a statue of Mary Immaculate above the main altar. This 2 metre high wooden carving, copied from a painting of Murillo, was made in Spain and was donated to the Urakami Church by the Spanish Ambassador who served in Japan at the beginning of the 1900’s.
20 years later, on August 9th 1945, the church and the statue were completely destroyed by an atomic bomb. Later, the severed head of Mary was found among the rubble of the destroyed church and has been carefully preserved.
On August 9th 2005, on the 60th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, a new memorial chapel was dedicated to the bombed remains of the statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
The head of the suffering Blessed Virgin reminds us that Mary is always concerned about the foolishness of war. Mary prays, with us, for the realisation of peace for all people.
WCC delegation visits Ukraine amid ongoing war (8/8/22)
Independent Catholic News reports that a World Council of Churches delegation visited Ukraine from 1-5 August to listen to representatives of local churches. Read more.
UN Statement on Holy Land (6/8/22)
Independent Catholic News shares a statement made by Lynn Hastings, UN Humanitarian Coordinator in the occupied Palestinian territory voicing grave concern ‘by the ongoing and serious escalation of violence in Gaza and Israel’. Read more.
Pax Christi Team @ 2022 National J&P Conference
Pax Christi was well represented at this year’s Conference: ‘Hope! a verb with its sleeves rolled up’. Our Schools and Youth Education Officer, Aisling Griffin gave an input about the hope she sees in the enthusiasm of the young people she works with. Pax Christi Chair, Ann Farr, spoke of the ‘deep, deep-rooted steadfastness’ exemplified by the Palestinians who continue to plant and care for their olive trees despite ongoing destruction of them.
The videos of the speakers are available here and a report on the Conference from Independent Catholic News is here. Pax Christi Members might find Irish diplomat Philip McDonagh’s insightful suggestions on how we might begin a ‘rational dialogue’ about the war in Ukraine of particular interest. Read here.
Get your Council to Support the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons
CND recently held a workshop on ‘How to get our councils to support the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW)’. If you didn’t manage to see it live, it’s now available to watch on CND’s website, see https://cnduk.org/cnds-lockdown-seminars/.
Days of Nonviolence 21 September – 2 October
Theme: Blessed is every step towards nonviolence We invite you to take part in this project of Catholic Nonviolence Initiative and Pax Christi International. What might you do? A ‘menu’ of steps and activities for individuals, family, community, school or parish can be found here.
July-August Justpeace Newsletter Out Now
Justpeace July-August 2022 Articles: Ukraine – Another Way is Possible; 5 ways to help break the dynamic of violence in Ukraine; Solidarity and presence as peacemaking model; Days of nonviolence; Bruce Kent RIP; Annual General Meeting and Peace Sunday; Diary.
Pax Christi International searches for New General Secretary
Pax Christi International is hiring a new secretary general. They are looking for a creative, well-organized person who communicates well and has the skills to lead our diverse, international movement. The application deadline is 1 September. Please see the full application for job requirements and application process. Full details here .
Pope Francis tweets that the use and possession of nuclear weapons are immoral
Independent Catholic News (2/8/22) reports a tweet made by Pope Francis on both the immorality and use of nuclear weapons. This comment was made as the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) is being reviewed in New York and made even more poignant by the immanent anniversary of the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
“The use of #NuclearWeapons, as well as their mere possession, is immoral. Trying to defend and ensure stability and peace through a false sense of security and a “balance of terror” ends up poisoning relationships between peoples and obstructs real dialogue. #NPTRevCon”
Tribute to Bruce Kent by Chair of Pax Christi England and Wales
Independent Catholic News records the tribute made by Ann Farr on Thursday 7 July during an online memorial organised by CND and the International Peace Bureau. Read more here.
Bruce Kent’s funeral took place on 4 July
Report: Hundreds gather at Funeral Mass for Bruce Kent in Independent Catholic News.
Text: Archbishop Malcolm McMahon at Funeral of Bruce Kent in Independent Catholic News
Report by Ellen Teague: Bruce Kent ‘lived out his ministry to build the peace of Christ’ in The Tablet . at the end of Ellen’s article there is a YouTube link to a video of the funeral.
The funeral booklet is available at:
For tributes and more background on Bruce to go http://www.bruce-kent.com where you can also add your own tributes.
Do take a look at our Peace Education resources. If you have links with children and young people – as parent, grandparent, teacher, school governor or catechist – you will find ideas for peace education here … and our Schools and Youth Education Officer would be glad to add you to her mailing list email@example.com .
2022 Annual General Meeting Report
Pax Christi’s AGM (18/6/22) was an opportunity to reflect on the past year and to think about being peacemakers in a time of war. We were given helpful guidance to do this in inspiring talk Engaged, Wounded: Reframing Ourselves for Peace and Reconciliation given by the Reverend Mary Gregory, Canon for Arts and Reconciliation at Coventry Cathedral. The transcript of her talk can be found here. A recording of her talk will be available soon.
At the AGM Ann Farr was re-elected to serve as Chair, John Dowbekin was elected as Treasurer. Matt Jeziorski, Maria Lee and Fr Joe Ryan were re-elected to serve on the Executive for a further two years. Kathryn Lydon was elected for two years and Joan Sharples remains Vice-Chair for another year.
Joint Statement on Refugee Flights
Pax Christi Scotland and Pax Christi England and Wales deplore the UK Government’s policy to deport people seeking asylum offshore to Rwanda. See the full statement here.
Pax Christi Scotland: ‘Challenging the Hostile Environment’
This online conference featured distinguished speakers: Sophie Cartwright (Jesuit Refugee Service); Brendan Woodhouse (Refugee Rescue Activist) and Sabir Zazai (Scottish Refugee Council). The three powerful speakers can be heard on this recording.
Ukraine – Resources for Understanding, Prayer and Action
Resources are available on the News Reports 2022 page of the website.
Prayers for Peace in Ukraine
Pax Christi Members will be joining with friends from the Fellowship of Reconciliation who are holding an online Prayers for Peace in Ukraine on each Friday at 7.30pm. All welcome. Useful prayer resources are also available – Register Now
Continuing to promote the Message of Peace…
The resources produced to promote Pope Francis’ 2022 Message for World Peace Dialogue between Generations, Education, Work: Tools for Building Lasting Peace can be used any time of the year. they can be found here.
People Putting Peace Into Action
Peace – based on justice. A world where human rights are respected, basic needs are met, people feel safe and valued in their communities and we care for our common home
Reconciliation – a process which begins when people try to mend relationships – between individuals or whole countries after times of violence or dispute
Nonviolence – a way of living and making choices that respects others and offers alternatives to violence and war