Mark Your Calendar


 
People’s Climate March, September 21

In September, world leaders are coming to New York City for a UN summit on the climate crisis. UN Secretary­ General Ban Ki-­moon is urging governments to support an ambitious global agreement to dramatically reduce global warming pollution. With our future on the line and the whole world watching, PCMNY will join with 100s of other groups and 1000s of individuals to take a stand to bend the course of history. We’ll take to the streets to show the world that we stand for a world with an economy that works for people and the planet; a world safe from the ravages of climate change; a world with good jobs, clean air and water, and healthy communities, a world where peace overcomes violence. The March will begin at Columbus Circle at 11:30 AM. PCMNY members and friends will be gathering to march together, so keep in touch with the office to learn when and where to meet. Visit www.peoplesclimate.org for additional information.

 

UN International Peace Day, October 5th

The UN International Peace Day has been held on September 21st  for decades now, but so many people still aren't familiar with it; yet, it's such an important day.  Not only is it a day for the United Nations to renew its dedication to the pursuit of peace; it is also a Day of Ceasefire, both personally and politically.  This year we celebrate the actual day with the People’s Climate March, but we continue the recognition on Sunday, October 5th, when John Kim, UN Representative for Fellowship of Reconciliation and Korean War veteran will be speaking on "Ending U.S. War in Korea: from Armistice to Peace." Often forgotten is the fact that the Korean War has never officially ended. Its interminable impact on Koreans and Americans will be a focus of this informative presentation. Join us in Casserly Hall, St. Joseph’s Greenwich Village Church between 2:30 and 4:30 PM. A free-will offering will be greatly appreciated.

 


________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________



Annual Events

 

Fall Assembly
T
he PCMNY Fall Assembly is a both an opportunity to gather members and friends together to learn the latest news of the movement in our region and to be inspired and challenged by one of our great leaders in nonviolent peacemaking.  On November 2nd, 2013 over 50 people gathered at the Convent of Mary the Queen in Yonkers to hear about PCMNY’s achievements of the past year and to help plan for the upcoming year.  They also had the privilege of sharing in the wisdom and insights of Fr. Michael Crosby, a Capuchin Franciscan, who spoke on A Franciscan’s Thoughts about Peace-Making: Making No Claims/Widening Our Circles of Care. Consider joining us throughout the year to help us build a more peaceful world.

Feast of the Holy Innocents
I
n
recent months, several New York City children have been killed by random gun violence.  Across the ocean in Syria, many more children have died, been injured, or become refugees.  On the Feast of the Holy Innocents, Pax Christi gathers to pray for the victims of violence, especially children.  In 2013, our remembrance took place on the feast day, December 28th, at the 12:10 Mass at St. Joseph’s Greenwich Village Church on Sixth Avenue and Washington Place.  Joyce Mennona, a volunteer with LifeWay Network, offered a brief reflection on Human Trafficking, a crime of epidemic proportions on today’s Holy Innocents.  After Mass, we learned even more from Joyce, including ways to help.

Peacemaking through the Arts
For several years now, PCMNY has been promoting peace with the help of the performing arts.  We’ve held concerts from folk to jazz.  We’ve hosted plays like In Between about being half Israeli Jew and half Palestinian Muslim and Pilgrims and Prophets of Peace about Dorothy Day and Thomas Merton.  We’ve used music and literature to pay tribute to Fr. Daniel Berrigan.  In 2014, we presented Luke Live! which was created and performed by Fr. James DiLuzio, CSP.  Luke Live! is a dramatic proclamation of the Gospel of Luke
interspersed with Song Meditations--both sacred and secular.  For Pax Christi, Fr. DiLuzio highlighted the Peace and Justice components in Luke's Gospel.  You can read more about it in our Featured Recent Event below.  If you think your parish would like to host Luke Live!, visit www.lukelive.com to learn how to do so.

Annual Retreat
Each year, PCMNY hosts a retreat to invite members and friends to take some time away to pray, grow spiritually, and be inspired to return home to do the work of peacebuilding. From February 28th to March 2nd, 2014, Sr. Kathleen Deignan, CND led us on our retreat at the St. Joseph’s Renewal Center in Brentwood, Long Island. Blending her passions, her retreat theme was "Pax Christi/Pax Terra: Thomas Merton and Thomas Berry in Dialogue on Making Peace with Earth." Fifty-one retreatants were blessed by the experience.


Ash Wednesday Leafleting

Our tradition on Ash Wednesday is to offer a Lenten Reflection to the faithful outside St. Patrick’s Cathedral. On Ash Wednesday, 2014, six PCMNY members distributed 1500 leaflets to the faithful receiving ashes. Click here to read this year’s Reflection.

Good Friday Way of the Cross
PCMNY is probably best known for its Good Friday Way of the Cross, which was its founding event. Our 32nd consecutive Good Friday Way of the Cross, commemorating Jesus' suffering in His own life and in the lives of people throughout the world today, took place on April 18th, 2014. Hundreds processed together, praying for change in ourselves and a society marred by such sins as poverty, racism, bullying and gun violence, human trafficking and war.  Concluding with a 15th Station, we were reminded that we are a Resurrection people in a Good Friday world. Plan to be with us and pray with us at our 33rd Way of the Cross on April 3rd, 2015.

Peacemaker Awards Reception
Each year PCMNY honors peacemakers, some known nationally, some known locally, and some known mostly within the Pax Christi community, but all doing noteworthy work to make the world a more peaceful and just place for all of us to live. We honor these exemplary people at a reception that is a true celebration of them and the peace community that supports them. On Sunday, June 1st
, 2014, our Peacemaker Award Reception honored Sandy Hook Promise for their work against gun violence, the Carmelite Commission for Peace, Justice, and the Integrity of Creation for its ministries to people in need and for social change, and Sr. Jean Fallon, MM, for her work in support of nuclear weapons abolition and Palestinian rights. We enjoyed the beautiful music of Jeff Smith (our gifted Good Friday flutist) and friends Frank Lalley and Dorothy Valla. We feasted on hot and cold hors d'oevres, cookies, wine and soft drinks. And we "gave peace a chance" with a variety of raffles and prizes. To read more about this wonderful celebration, please see below. 

40-Day Fast for Christian Nonviolence
Pax Christi Metro New York joins others around the country in an annual fast for Christian Nonviolence. This fast is an opportunity to remember, repent, and resolve to transform our culture of violence, whether the violence of the street or the violence of war, drones, and nuclear weapons proliferation. It begins each July 1st and ends on August 9th, the tragic triple anniversaries of the executions of St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein), Jewish convert to Catholicism and holocaust victim; Blessed Franz Jaegerstaetter, martyr for refusing to serve in Hitler's army; and the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, Japan, the largest Christian community in Japan. PCMNY frames it with prayers made available for you to pray alone or in community. For more information about the fast, contact the PCMNY office: info@nypaxchristi.org or, when the Fast approaches simply sign up as an individual or group to fast a day, a week, or longer between July 1st and August 9th to end the horror of nuclear weapons proliferation and all forms of violence. Let the PCMNY office know your chosen day(s) and date(s).

Hiroshima/Nagasaki Memorial
Each year PCMNY offers this commemorative event to mourn and repent for the horrific loss of life caused by the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August, 1945 and to advocate for the abolition of nuclear weapons today. Now, we can add Fukushima to the list of Japanese cities devastated by nuclear tragedy. This year’s Memorial featured the film, The Ultimate Wish: Ending the Nuclear Age, with a discussion led by co-producer, Dr. Kathleen Sullivan. It took place on Sunday, August 3rd, starting at 2:30 PM in Casserly Hall, St. Joseph’s Greenwich Village Church. A silent procession and public vigil followed. See article below to read more about it.

Summer Picnic
PCMNY’s annual pot-luck picnic has become a refreshing tradition that brings together members and friends in a spirit of invaluable camaraderie. Our most recent picnic brought together 10 people who delighted in the comfortable weather, a delicious assortment of foods, and great conversation. We gathered in Central Park in view of the majestic Metropolitan Museum of Art, behind the Temple of Dendur. Plan to join us at our next picnic in 2015.

 

 

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Featured Recent Event


Hiroshima/Nagasaki Memorial

by Elisabeth Mulder with an introduction by Rosemarie Pace

When PCMNY gathers to commemorate the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, we are not dwelling in the past, but rather drawing on the past in pursuit of a far more peaceful future. And, as with all our events, this one blends prayer, study, and action to move us as much as possible in that direction. Thus, this year’s Hiroshima/Nagasaki Memorial began with prayers composed by residents of Nagasaki, Japan, praying for those who lost their lives on August 9th, 1945; those still suffering from the effects of radiation poisoning; and all of us working to prevent any repeat of that disaster. Next, Dr. Kathleen Sullivan introduced the film she co-produced with Robert Richter, The Ultimate Wish: Ending the Nuclear Age, which we watched with unbreakable attention. After the presentation, there were questions for Kathleen and paired discussions. Finally, we processed in silence to Fr. Demo Square where we stood in silence except for the ringing of a gong 69 times for the 69 years since the attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. What was particularly impressive this year was the receptivity of the people in the park. They watched and listened, accepted fliers explaining our witness, and engaged in open conversation. When we concluded with “We Shall Overcome,” led by Bud Courtney’s band, “The Filthy Rotten System,” one person applauded.

Helping us out throughout the afternoon was Elisabeth Mulder, a sophomore at The Ursuline School in New Rochelle, NY. The following is Elisabeth’s reflection on The Ultimate Wish: Ending the Nuclear Age.

On Sunday, August 3rd, I sat in a room full of people and realized why so many action movies use atomic/nuclear weapons as the means for world domination—it is a threat so potent and real that any audience can easily imagine a supervillain’s motive to want to control it, that of course being power. And while this gives a screenwriter an easy way out, it is a terrible reality for mankind. In this room full of people, I watched the documentary, The Ultimate Wish: Ending the Nuclear Age, from which I learned many terrible realities about nuclear weapons/power, three of which I would like to share with you.

The first terrible reality I learned is the nuclear weapons’ very real existence, which I personably find pointless. The thing about nuclear weapons is that they are not useful for anything other than causing more meaningless deaths. From what I understand, all the countries that currently have active nuclear weapons, only still have their weapons active—ready to be used within a 10/15 minute pre-activation time—because they do not want to let their defenses down in the case that another country decides to attack. Now seeing how these nuclear weapons cannot offer any physical protection whatsoever, the only upside to having them active and usable would be to offer a counteroffensive— basically fighting fire with fire, hitting them as they hit you—and hope that it is enough for your opposing country to back off, at least temporarily, or agree to find other means to settle whatever disagreement caused the first offensive attack on your country. That first step of attacking each other with nuclear weapons is entirely avoidable and unneeded. Why cause mass amounts of unnecessary deaths?

The only other strategic pro, that I can see, that comes with having active nuclear weapons is the creation of a mutual agreement for both sides not to use their weapons. (Whereas if only one side possessed such nuclear power, the other would have seemingly no means for an equivalent counterattack, and furthermore, no means to negotiate that agreement previously stated.) However, if both sides possess active nuclear power, they can both agree not to wield it. The problem here is the lack of trust. If countries trusted each other enough to believe they would not be attacked while they disabled their own nuclear weapons, everyone could agreeably terminate the world’s nuclear power/weapons. Sadly, there would be no way to ensure that countries would keep their word, or, moreover, that rebels within countries would not make their own nuclear weapons and hide them.

Another problem with existence of these nuclear weapons is that they have to be contained in some variation of a neutralizing structure/nuclear reactors and subsequently real people are needed to manage and transport these weapons. As Fukushima showed us, the risk of a failure among the nuclear reactors resulting in a nuclear accident is still a very real possibility and threat to the people involved with the management of these weapons and the surrounding areas.  If that risk alone is not enough to stop the continued use of nuclear weapons/power then surely the effects of a nuclear attack are.

This leads us to the second terrible reality I learned about nuclear weapons/power – its potency. The Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings showed us the many impacts an atomic bomb can have on the victims and survivors of the targeted area, including death, disease, psychological abandonment, and life-long health risks. In the documentary, Sague Shimohira, a survivor of the Nagasaki bombing, described the immediate effects she saw on the survivors, including lost limbs, large burns disfiguring and scarring victims, and even eyeballs hanging out of their sockets.

The radiation alone caused an increase in cancer risks and lifelong internal side effects, many of which the survivors don’t think doctors quite understand yet, and if they do, did not make public knowledge. It also contaminated the water in the surrounding areas of the bombing, unknown at the time to the villagers living there who drank and fished from the water only to be rounded up and quarantined on ships where it was too late to reverse the effects of contamination.

 Many survivors were also left with the psychological damage of living a life feeling like an unwanted alien among their peers, neighbors, family, and friends. Those who were unfortunate victims to the bombings were likely burnt alive and commonly left only unrecognizable bones in their wake.

Another survivor shown in the documentary told his story of finding the barely breathing body of a friend who was filled only with the thought that he deserved better than to die such a meaningless death. To witness a friend, your age, have their future shutdown for no reason at all sounds absolutely heart-wrenching. And then having to put that barely living friend out of his/her misery and watch him/her burn away is unspeakable to me. I can’t help but think about how many people woke up that morning with dreams still in their eyes only to die with emptiness in their hearts. And for what? A noble cause? No, a non-heroic death, forgotten under a pile of bones. Only remembered by the survivors that knew them.

 The third and final terrible reality I learned from “The Ultimate Wish” was the fact that nuclear weapons are still currently an active threat. I have already expressed how pointless their existence seems to me, between offering virtually no positive advantage for humankind, their own existence posing a threat, and the horrible effects of a planned attack, nuclear weapons can only harm more than they already have. Some may counter that people will always use what is available to them, or rather that we cannot stop the spread of knowledge once it has been introduced to people. To this I would quote from the documentary, “Humans know how to be cannibals, but they choose not to be.” Why? Well obviously because we have evolved enough to realize that cannibalism only ends in self-destruction. And I think nuclear weapons will do the same.

As for action movies, until I saw “The Ultimate Wish” they were of the few references I had about any knowledge of nuclear weapons/power. Therefore, I would also like to thank the creators of the documentary, including Kathleen Sullivan whom I met during the screening on August 3rd, for further exposing me to this issue and inspiring me to learn more.

The film is available on loan from the PCMNY office.

 


Children's Artwork


____________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________________


Pax Christi Metro New York © 2014

  371 Sixth Avenue, New York, NY 10014 | (212)420-0250 | fax (212)420-1628 | info@nypaxchristi.org