Thursday, March 24, 2011

Remembering Romero

Monsignor Oscar Romero continues to inspire many to work for peace even under the yoke of poverty, poltical opposition, or social alienation.  St. Joseph's parish at 19th and Aloha, who have a Sister Parish in San Salvador, are hosting an event tonight titled "Living the Legacy of Romero" at 7pm in the Parish Center.  They invite all to join for food, conversation, and reflection on the life of Romero and how each of us can continue to live his legacy.

You can also reflect with Pax Christi USA's article on Oscar Romero available via this link.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

How Can I Keep From Singing?

Songs of peace abound in every era and in every genre.  When I'm in folk mood (churning butter or hanging long flowy skirts on the clothes line...) I like to sing Let There Be Peace On Earth.
Let there be peace on earth
And let it begin with me.
Let there be peace on earth
The peace that was meant to be.

If I'm crooning along to Josh Groban, I go to You Are Loved (Don't Give Up) and gain strength from the knowledge that God is ever faithful in supporting our journey towards peace. 
Don't give up
Because you want to burn bright
If darkness blinds you
I will shine to guide you

Sometime I want to rock.  The reggae and hip hop groove of Michael Franti's Bomb The World is so quotable. 
We can bomb the world to pieces
But we can't bomb it into peace

Violence brings one thing
More more of the same

So i sing out to the masses
Stand up if you're still sane!
To all of us gone crazy
I sing this one refrain

We can bomb the world to pieces
But we can't bomb it into peace

You tellin' me it's unpatriotic
But i call it what i see it
When i see is idiotic
The tears of one mother
Are the same as any other
Drop food on the kids
While you're murderin' their fathers
Power to Peaceful.

He captures the frustration I feel about the wars the U.S. has engaged in over the past 10 years, but also provides a rallying cry.  Hope powers us in our quest for peace, even when the world seems so resistant to non-violence and life.  Like the oft-invoked image of a single candle in the darkness, each song is a flame quietly doing battle for peace. 
My life goes on in endless song:
Above earth's lamentation,
I catch the sweet, tho' far-off hymn
That hails a new creation.
Through all the tumult and the strife
I hear the music ringing;
It finds an echo in my soul--
How can I keep from singing?

What songs are you singing?

Thanks for the SF Weekly for the photo:

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The WORD was made flesh: the close tie between words and actions

Pax Christi Central Seattle
Wednesday January 19
7 - 8:30pm
Seattle University Student Center Room 210

Join us!

Our gathering will focus on the relationship between peaceful words and peaceful action.  From the terrible politically-motivated violence in Arizona to bullying in our schools to force-through-intimidation abroad, the continuum from violent words to violent action is a real and dangerous slope.  Let us come together to rejuvenate our reserves of kind, reconciling, and peaceful vocabulary so that they too make turn into action.  

We'll be meeting on the Seattle University campus.  The #12 bus stops next to campus. Driving directions and visitor parking lots can be viewed here.  The Student Center is at the opposite end of the main campus axis from St. Ignatius Chapel.  I have circled the parking and the Student Center on this screenshot below and the full map is available here.


Email us with any questions!

credit to Howard Ignatius on Flickr for the beautiful shot of being led through an Arizona slot canyon by a guide.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Wherever two or more are gathered in my name, so there am I.

Welcome to 2011, Workers for Peace!  

At our early October gathering, Fr. Marti brought up the concept of Base Christian Communities.  Base Christian Communities have been tied to Liberation Theology (particularly in Central and South America) and the preservation of Catholic teaching during communist oppression (as in Hungary)[1].  The concept is not in service of a particular political reality, but rather an affirmation that strenuous times have inspired Catholics to return to the small group for sustaining prayer and meaningful action, as Jesus and his Disciples shared. 

I’ve been thinking about the quotes below as I look ahead to the next meeting of Pax Christi Central Seattle (stay tuned!).  They were gathered by Presentation Ministries[2] of Ohio

from the writings of Pope John Paul II and Pope Paul VI.  Could the model of Base Christian Communities be helpful to us as we work for peace in our urban community here and in the world at large?

"A rapidly growing phenomenon in the young churches…is that of 'ecclesial basic communities' (also known by other names) which are proving to be good centers for Christian formation and missionary outreach. These are groups of Christians who…come together for prayer, Scripture reading, catechesis, and discussion on human and ecclesial problems with a view to a common commitment. These communities are a sign of vitality within the Church, an instrument of formation and evangelization, and a solid starting point for a new society based on 'civilization of love.'

"These communities decentralize and organize the parish community, to which they always remain united" (Pope John Paul II, The Mission of the Redeemer, 51).

Communautes de base (basic communities) "will be a hope for the universal Church to the extent:
  • that they seek their nourishment in the Word of God and do not allow themselves to be ensnared by political polarization or fashionable ideologies, which are ready to exploit their immense human potential;
  • that they avoid the ever present temptation of systematic protest and a hypercritical attitude, under the pretext of authenticity and a spirit of collaboration;
  • that they remain firmly attached to the local Church in which they are inserted, and to the universal Church, thus avoiding the very real danger of becoming isolated within themselves...;
  • that they maintain a sincere communion with the pastors whom the Lord gives to His Church, and with the magisterium which the Spirit of Christ has entrusted to these pastors;
  • that they never look on themselves as the sole beneficiaries or sole agents of evangelization — or even the only depositories of the Gospel — but, being aware that the Church is much more vast and diversified, accept the fact that this Church becomes incarnate in other ways than themselves;
  • that they constantly grow in missionary consciousness, fervor, commitment and zeal;
  • that they show themselves to be universal in all things and never sectarian."
"On these conditions, which are certainly demanding but also uplifting, the ecclesial communautes de base will correspond to their most fundamental vocation; as hearers of the Gospel which is proclaimed to them and privileged beneficiaries of evangelization, they will soon become proclaimers of the Gospel themselves" (Pope Paul VI, On Evangelization, 58) [emphasis mine].


and thanks to Pawas Shrivastava on Flickr for the beautifully captured photo

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Connect with other Peacemakers via our calendar

Thank you for joining us October 7th!  It was great to meet everyone and get the conversation started with Joe Hastings' engaging presentation on "The Myth of Redemptive Violence".  One topic that came up as we discussed the formation of the new chapter was using the online calendar as a central gathering place for announcements about all the great events happening around the city to support peace and social justice efforts.  If you have an event you would like to add to the calendar, please send me an email at pc{dot}centralseattle{at}gmail{dot}com.  I will managing the chapter's online resources each Wednesday so please plan accordingly.  We will be in touch soon with details for our next meeting!  -EB-

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Be a Planner for Peace

We're looking forward to seeing you tonight at the first Pax Christi Central Seattle event!  The seeds for the Central Seattle chapter were sown last April when an interest meeting was held at St. James Cathedral.  Marie Dennis from Pax Christi International spoke at the event, sharing her experiences and answering questions about the role of chapters in the local, national, and international initiatives of Pax Christi.

Through that initial meeting, a few people indicated an interest in leading the formation of a new chapter for Seattle.  Fr. Tom Marti, Meghan Mayo, Max Lewis, Patty Bowman, and myself met over the summer.  As a Coordinating Committee we made some early decisions about the shape of the new group, keeping in mind that some Peace and Social Justice-oriented groups already exist in the area, like Just Faith and Pax Christi Northwest.   We put together this inaugural event, with keynote speaker Joe Hastings, to reconnect with everyone who expressed interest in the chapter back in the spring.  We will be looking for other individuals who would like to participate on the Coordinating Committee so that we can nurture these first shoots into great programs and faith-enrichment opportunities for the Seattle metro area.

If that sounds like you, make sure to check the box on your interest card tonight!   Also, feel free to email us questions in advance: pc{dot}centralseattle{at}gmail{dot}com.  Looking forward to growing a bountiful harvest of peace with you.    -EB