from the desk of Rosemarie Pace, PCMNY Director


January-February, 2018


Close GitmoJanuary 11th, 2018 marked the 16th anniversary of the opening of the U.S. prison at Guantanamo, a prison where torture was practiced on detainees, many of whom were falsely arrested and held without charge. January 11th, 2018 also marked the day the Metro New York Religious Campaign against Torture, of which Pax Christi Metro New York is an active member, held a vigil at the Washington Square Arch in Washington Square Park. About 15 of us distributed over 100 information leaflets, collected numerous signatures calling for the closing of Guantanamo prison, and engaged passersby in conversation about the on-going unjust situation. We repeated this action on February 23rd, the Global Day of Action to Close Guantanamo Prison, but admittedly with fewer numbers and less impact due to the weather. While we weren’t completely rained out, rain did dampen our efforts. We hope to try again in the future, so please stay tuned. Meanwhile, you can sign a petition at, and you can read our leaflet by clicking the link here.

On January 20th, many PCMNY members joined the Women’s March on NYC. Well over 200,000 men, women, and children participated. Issues spanned a broad spectrum from women’s rights to immigration to health care to environmental protection and much more. What they all had in common, however, was a call for respect for all people and the planet without exception.

Women's March

The next day, January 21st, the Justice and Peace Committee at Sacred Heart Church in Bayside, Queens hosted a Peace Mass. Sacred Heart is a proud PCMNY Parish for Peace. The Mass was a true prayer for peace throughout the world. Particularly meaningful was the Offertory Procession at which Fr. Francis Gargani, the presider and PCMNY Board President, recited prayers for each of the seven continents while members of the Justice and Peace Committee carried symbols of each continent to the altar. In addition there was liturgical dance and a reflection by PCMNY Director, Rosemarie Pace. As people departed the church each received a paper ornament of the Earth with a peace quote on the reverse side.

Readers of our newsletter, Kerux, and recipients of our e-mail Action Alerts know about the crisis in Yemen and weekly vigils being held each Saturday from 11 AM to 1 PM at Union Square. In addition to those weekly vigils, Peace Action organized a rally, co-sponsored by PCMNY and others, outside the offices of Senators Schumer and Gillibrand on January 26th. It was a call to end U.S. complicity in the war on Yemen being perpetrated by Saudi Arabia. Speakers included Dr. Debbie Almontaser, PCMNY Peacemaker and native-born Yemeni; Carmen Trotta, Catholic Worker and prime organizer of the weekly Yemen Vigils; Sahar Alsahlani of CAIR-NY, Religions for Peace–USA, and Fellowship for Reconciliation, an Iraqi-born American-Muslim writer, producer, editor, activist, speaker, and media commentator; and Kate Alexander, Director of Policy and Outreach at Peace Action NYS. The crisis in Yemen warrants our persistent opposition.

Yemen Rally 2018

On February 6th, Pax Christi International held a Reception at the residence of the Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations. It was an opportunity for Marie Dennis, Co-president of PCI to report on PCI’s excellent programs in numerous countries around the world, as well as an opportunity for Sr. Patty Chappell, Executive Director of PCUSA,  to tell about PCUSA’s activities, and Rosemarie Pace to share what Pax Christi is doing right here in metropolitan New York. Featured speaker, however, was Kerry Kennedy, daughter of Robert F. Kennedy. Ms. Kennedy was an impressive speaker, telling some delightful stories of her childhood in a family as deeply immersed in the Catholic faith as in politics and telling of some of her own experiences of service in Africa and other parts of the planet. With such a background, Ms. Kennedy emphasized her strong support for Pax Christi.

Lent Leafleting 2018

For the first time in about 70 years, Ash Wednesday coincided with Valentine’s Day. Consequently, our Lenten Reflection that we distribute at St. Patrick’s Cathedral every Ash Wednesday incorporated Valentine’s Day into the message this year. In little over an hour we handed out close to 1600 leaflets. It’s the Seasonal Reflection at this website, so please take a look if you haven’t already.


Finally, in February, PCMNY welcomed a new delightful and enthusiastic intern from Hofstra University, Rachael Ferro. Rachael will be helping Rosemarie with some of the day-to-day tasks of the PCMNY office once a week throughout the current semester



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