Obituaries

We pray for Pax Christi Members and Friends who have died and are now resting in the peace of God…

Remembering Pat Robb, CJ (-22)

We are sad to hear of the death of Sr Pat Robb. An tireless campaigner for justice and a recipient of the Pax Christi Peace Award in 2005. At the time she received the award, she was serving on the chaplaincy team at Oakington Detention Centre for asylum seekers. Sr Pat campaigned against the arms trade, speaking up at arms manufacturers’ shareholder meetings and had been chair of the East Anglia Diocese Justice and Peace Commission. In earlier years she had worked in Africa, where she had worked with survivors of the Rwanda genocide.

May she Rest in Peace.

Remembering Sue Scott (-22)

Sue Scott, who died recently, was a member of St Dunstan’s Parish, Kings Heath, Birmingham.

For many years she worked tirelessly to support Pax Christi and other peace and justice issues in the parish. Sue was always a source of information about the activities of Pax Christi to which she was very committed and we have cause to be grateful to her for keeping its spirit alive in our church.

A pilgrimage to Palestine, with Pax Christi in 2015, left a deep impression on her and on her return Sue  organised an evening to share her experiences. She then involved herself in a local group, set up to raise awareness of the difficulties faced by the Palestinians and to support those working for peace with justice. This included organising vigils and holding a stall for Palestine in the monthly farmers market.

Sue had a great empathy for those less fortunate than herself and initiated the collection of clothes and food at St Dunstan’s for distribution to refugees at St Chad’s Sanctuary.

She will be missed by many and by the various groups which have benefited from her help.

Gill Myall and Miriam Wilcher

Remembering Thích Nhâ’t Hanh (-2022)

Thích Nhâ’t Hanh who died at the age of 95 on 22 January was an advocate of ‘engaged Buddhism’ and a peace activist. His booklet Be Still and Know has long been popular with Pax Christi Members and is still available from the Pax Christi shop.

His obituary is available on the Independent Catholic News website.

Remembering Sr Pamela Hussey (1922-2021)

Anyone who heard Sr Pamela Hussey speak – radical words in her cut-glass accent – on the lives of women of El Salvador will have been moved and challenged. Ian Linden, former Director of the Catholic Institute for International Relations (CIIR) pays tribute to her on Independent Catholic News.

Remembering Stewart Hemsley

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Those who met Stewart  during his time with Pax Christi could rarely forget him.  Perhaps you remember him wearing sackcloth on the many Ash Wednesday liturgies he attended at the Ministry of Defence.  Or it could be that you remember Stewart carrying a banner bearing a powerful call to peacemaking, beautifully created by Anne, his wife.  You may even have seen him rushing about Cambridge where he lived, on his scooter.  Stewart had a great presence and lots of energy!

He came to Pax Christi in the early 2000s.  Already active in Cambridge with Stop the War, he was attracted to the Christian peacemaking of Pax Christi during the months following the 9/11 attacks.  He spoke on Pax Christi’s behalf at meetings in Cambridge.  In the run-up to the 2003 US/UK invasion of Iraq he joined Fr Owen Hardwicke on a speaking tour in the United States, offering solidarity to ecumenical groups struggling to stop the Bush administration rush to war.  In 2004 he took on the role of Chair of the Pax Christi Executive Committee, making himself available to the office team, joining in Pax Christi International gatherings in the USA, Germany and Belgium  and engaging in peace actions around nuclear weapons, the arms trade and drone warfare.  In 2005 he took up an invitation to monitor elections in Palestine where he met Jimmy Carter and shared a room with Jeremy Corbyn!  At the same time, he offered support to Cambridge Women in Black, a group to which Anne belonged for many years,  often joining their vigils. 

His great sense of humour, combined with his deep knowledge of scripture and skills in oratory, meant that Stewart  was never shy of speaking out and speaking up for peace and nonviolence  at meetings and events.   At their home in Cambridge they always offered warm and welcoming hospitality to members of the Pax Christi network.  Stewart’s term as Chair came to an end in 2010.

Stewart and Anne were moved to a care home during 2020/21 and sadly, Stewart died on 7 December 2021. 

by Pat Gaffney

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