Mark Your Calendar


 
 

Fall Assembly. November 8th

Be sure to attend our Fall Assembly on Saturday, November 8th, at the Convent of Mary the Queen in Yonkers. It’s always a great day to bring the membership together to share our hopes and dreams for PCMNY and to learn about the wonderful activities happening throughout our region. And this year our keynote speaker will be Margaret O’Brien Steinfels, former editor of Commonweal Magazine speaking on the Peace passages in Pope Francis’s The Joy of the Gospel. Plan to spend the full day from 10 AM to 4 PM.


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Annual Events

 

Feast of the Holy Innocents
I
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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.

UN International Peace Day
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.  In 2014, we celebrated the actual day with the People’s Climate March, but continued the recognition on Sunday, October 5th, when John Kim, UN Representative for Fellowship of Reconciliation, spoke on "Ending U.S. War in Korea: from Armistice to Peace."

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Featured Recent Event


UN International Peace Day, 2014

Ending U.S. War in Korea: from Armistice to Peace

by James Kelly and Rosemarie Pace


It’s a common claim: The current war in Afghanistan is the longest U.S. war in history, but that is not true. It may be a technicality, but it is not true. The so-called “police action” in Korea in the early 1950s was a war by any other name, and it is a war that has never ended, making it a war of over 60 years.

On Sunday, October 5th, Pax Christi Metro New York (PCMNY) hosted its UN International Peace Day event, "Ending U.S. War in Korea: from Armistice to Peace." John Kim, himself Korean born, a lawyer, and International Fellowship of Reconciliation's Representative at the UN, as well as Coordinator of the Veterans for Peace-Korea Campaign, enlightened the audience about a shameful history of U.S.-Korea relations that is over 140 years old. It is a history marked by greed, dirty deals, lust for power, and nuclear intimidation, not to mention the all-out war noted above. Using PowerPoint, video, and personal passion, Mr. Kim led us through that history from 1866 to the present with step-by-step clarity that is rare and disturbingly revealing.

Prior to 1866, any encounters between the U.S. and Korea were benign, but in1866 the American armed merchant ship, the General Sherman,disregarding Korean directives,sailed up-river, crashed, and was fired on by Korean military. Five years later, the United States returned with a military expedition of five warships and 2,000 men. They attacked Gangha Island, took five forts, and killed 100s, losing only three U.S. soldiers. In 1882, a U.S.-Korea Treatytried to reverse hostile relations with both nations pledging to seek international negotiation to prevent any further military hostility in the area and to promote “peace, amity, commerce and navigation.” But in 1905 William Howard Taft, with President Teddy Roosevelt’s secret approval, signed what is now known the Taft-Katsura Secret Agreement which gave Japan a free hand in Korea in exchange for U.S. control of Hawaii and the Philippines. In September of the same year, the Portsmouth Treaty ended the Russo-Japan war with Russia also agreeing to give Japan free-reign in Korea.

Things changed dramatically with the end of WWII. The defeat of Japan meant the division of Korea into north and south, the north going to the Soviet Union and the south going to the U.S. When the U.S. objected to Soviet advancement into the south, the official divide at the 38th parallel was arbitrarily and unilaterally established. The U.S. quickly established a military government in South Korea, distinguishing its government from that of the north and denying South Korea immediate independence. Soon after, there were local resistances to U.S. hegemony, such as theJeju Island Uprising, where up to 30,000 Koreans may have been killed, and the Yeosu Rebellion. By 1949, while many Koreans from north and south were attempting to reunite, civil war erupted with U.S. military intervention supporting the status quo of two Koreas and siding with the dictatorial southern regime. Other countries also took sides, leading to the Korean War of 1950 which was replete with war crimes from napalm to carpet bombing, killing of POWS to shooting of refugees, chemical and biological weapons to destruction of power plants and irrigation dams, and the threat to use nuclear weapons. Finally, in 1953, using the threat of a nuclear attack, the U.S. succeeded in bringing North Korea and China to the table to sign a temporary ceasefire agreement. The preamble to the 1953 Armistice Agreement, states that its ultimate purpose was to stop “the Korean conflict, with its great toil of suffering and bloodshed on both sides, and ... [to] insure a complete cessation of hostilities and of all acts of armed force in Korea until a final peace settlement is achieved." Intended only as a temporary measure, the Armistice Agreement was meant to be replaced with a permanent peace accord in three months’ time.Needless to say, that never happened, and the Korean people are still waiting.

But much else has happened since 1953, and it is a roller coaster of ups and downs: China withdrew its military from North Korea in 1958, the same year that the U.S. introduced nuclear weapons into South Korea. In 1974 North Korea proposed a peace treaty with the U.S., but the U.S. did not respond. In 1978 the U.S.and South Koreaformed a combined military command to defend the south, but the U.S.holds the dominant voice. In 1991 the U.S.withdrew all nuclear weapons from South Korea, and in 1994 the U.S. andNorth Korea adopted an “Agreed Framework” for ending the Korean War and dismantling North Korea’s nuclear weapons program in exchange for the provision of two light-water reactors by the target date of 2003.But this too never happened. Instead, in 2002 George W. Bush unilaterally rejected the 1994 Agreed Framework and named North Korea part of the Axis of Evil subject to attack in the war against terror. While there have been inter-Korean summits in 2000 and in 2007 in which Korean leaders adopted joint declarations to pursue denuclearization and the peaceful reunification of Korea, the U.S. continues its harsh economic sanction on North Korea and its annual joint war drills. It is in reaction to all this that, in 2006, North Korea began testing its first nuclear weapons.

Today,the U.S. maintains 30,000 troops in South Korea. It has spent $3 trillion dollars on the reallongest war in American history, the “Forgotten War.”It is now engaged in the U.S. Pivot to Asia to strengthen economic control over the region. The Korean people, especially those in the north, are suffering. Families are divided between north and south; sanctions against the north deprive it of food, seeds, medicines, and technology; and fear of attack is ever-present.

All of this is why a Peace Treaty is needed NOW. We must speak out and we can speak out.

 

Here are some concrete things we can do:

Read Bruce Cummings, Korea’s Place In The Sun: A Modern History, 2005: NY, W. W. Norton & Co. and The Korea Peace Campaign on the webpage of Veterans for Peace www.veteransforpeace.org.

Visit http://www.asck.org, the website of the Alliance of Scholars Concerned about Korea.

Watch End the Korean War Now at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SxCDLDkyAUw.

Sign the petition to end the Korean War at www.endthekoreanwar.org.

Pray the prayer we prayed at the opening of this event. Click here.

Contact John Kim at kpe@veteransforpeace.org to arrange to have him speak to your group.


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Pax Christi Metro New York © 2014

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