from the desk of Rosemarie Pace, PCMNY Director


May-June, 2018


Members of Pax Christi Metro New York (PCMNY) were pleased to accept an invitation to the Berrigan Forum on Nonviolence at the Rose Hill campus of Fordham University on May 1st. Noted theologian and peace activist Jim Forest was this year’s speaker. Mr. Forest shared numerous personal stories of his time spent as a protégé of Fr. Daniel Berrigan, SJ, with special tribute to the 50th anniversary of the anti-war burning of draft cards by the Catonsville Nine. Much of what Mr. Forest related is available in his informative, inspiring, and insightful book, At Play in the Lions’ Den: A Biography and Memoir of Daniel Berrigan published by Orbis Books. You might also like to check out Mr. Forest’s website,, where you’ll find, among other treasures, his essay, “Ten Things I Learned from Dan Berrigan.”

The very next day, several members of PCMNY participated in the 35th Rabbi Marshall T. Meyer Retreat for Social Justice hosted by the Interfaith Center of New York. The theme was Multifaith Strategies for Nonviolent Direct Action with a focus on the then upcoming Poor People’s Campaign. The day began with a keynote address entitled, “Rediscovering Dr. King through Nonviolent Action Today,” presented by Rev. Claudia De la Cruz, Co-chair of the NYS Poor People’s Campaign. A panel on “The Multifaith Roots of Nonviolent Direct Action” included Muslim, Hindu, Jewish, and Buddhist speakers. The afternoon offered training in civil disobedience for those who would be risking arrest during the Poor People’s Campaign on Moral Mondays.

On May 17th, Xavier High School hosted Fr. Greg Boyle, SJ, founder of Homeboy Industries. Again PCMNY members were among the hundreds in attendance. It was hard not to be moved to tears as we listened to Fr. Greg and two of his “Homeboys” tell their poignant stories of lives lived with violence, abuse, drugs, heartbreak, and resurrection.

Ramadan began around the same date in May and brought with it many opportunities to join an interfaith Iftar (breaking of the fast meal). Some of us joined the Queens Community Iftar at LaGuardia Community College where a highlight was the recitation of Surah 89 from the Quran, known in English as The Dawn, by a very young boy with an angelic voice. Other features of the evening included a number of reflections on the holy month, activism, and community, awards to community activists, and, of course, the Iftar meal itself, accompanied by traditional warm and welcoming hospitality.

PCMNY is a member of the Council of Ecclesial Movements in the Archdiocese of New York along with many other Catholic lay ecclesial movements. Among them is the Community of Sant’Egidio which celebrated its 50th anniversary with a Eucharistic Liturgy at St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral on May 25th. The presider of the Mass was Archbishop BernarditoAuza, Permanent observer of the Holy See to the United Nations. Following the Mass was a reception offering some very delicious treats. PCMNY is honored to be part of this community of faith-based movements working in service to humanity.

On May 7th, our beloved Fr. James Noonan, MM, died, but his wake and funeral weren’t until June 4th and 5th respectively. Fr. Noonan served on PCMNY’s Board until he was diagnosed with cancer. Despite his illness, he always insisted he was doing very well and, in fact, he always looked well. Unfortunately, however, he contracted an infection just a short time before his unexpected death. Fr. Jim had served in mission in the Philippines, Thailand, Cambodia, and South Sudan. He also worked at the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns in the U.S. and represented Maryknoll at the United Nations for a while. He was deeply committed to peacemaking and wanted to promote a campaign to bring an end to war. There was no doubt how much he was loved as the tributes came rolling in at his wake, and his funeral Mass was a beautiful commemoration of a life well lived. We will miss him deeply, but are so grateful for the time we had with him.

Maryknoll is a very good friend of PCMNY. One of our local groups is Pax Christi Maryknoll, and many of our individual members and supporters are Maryknoll Sisters and Fathers. Each Spring into Summer, the Maryknoll Sisters offer Maryknoll Mission Institutes on a broad range of topics led by an array of renowned leaders. All PCMNY members are encouraged to attend, and this year we were represented at at least two. One was “God, Evolution and the Unfinished Self” led by Ilia Delio, OSF; the other was “Spiritual Resources for Interfaith Peacemaking” led by Yehezkel Landau, D.Min. These Mission Institutes provide stimulating experiences spiritually, intellectually, and communally in a beautiful setting. There are still a few Institutes upcoming. Visit to learn more.

The heartbreaking separation of children and parents at our southern border brought many of us together in a number of settings across our region. Some of us joined a Prayer Service at St. Francis Xavier Church in Manhattan, followed by a short walk and Candlelight Vigil in Union Square on June 29th. Our prayers were for refugee and immigrant families. The next day we participated in numerous rallies and marches from Manhattan to Mount Kisco and beyond. Speeches and signs all expressed a unified message: Families Belong Together.

We enter the summer with heavy hearts committed to continuing our work for peace and justice for everyone no matter their race, nationality, religion, age, or class.


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