Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Pax Christi State Conference


Names of Persons in Photo L to R: Bridget Cook, Mark Peña, Michlle Peña, Frank Skeith-Coordinator of Pax Christi Texas, Ann Cass, Gerald Brazier, Pearl Brazier

Members of Holy Spirit Peace and Justice/Pax Christi USA local community attended the Pax Christi Texas State Conference held May 19, 2007, at St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church Parish in Austin.

The theme of this years conference was “Be Doers of the Word: Working for Peace With Justice.” The conference keynote speaker was the Most Reverend Thomas Gumbleton, Retired Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Detroit. Bishop Gumbleton is the Founding President of Pax Christi, USA and was a member of the U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishop’s Committee that drafted the 1983 Pastoral Letter “The Challenge of Peace: Gods’ Promise and Our Response.”

Bishop Gumbleton’s conference address was based on Pope John Paul II’s World Peace Day Message of January 2002, made soon after the tragic events of 9/11, in which Pope John Paul II stated, “My reasoned conviction, confirmed in turn by biblical revelation, is that the shattered order cannot be fully restored except by a response that combines justice with forgiveness.”

Pax Christi members from throughout the state attended the Pax Christi conference. The six member local delegation represented approximately 50 Pax Christi members throughout the Rio Grande Valley.

Pax Christi USA strives to create a world that reflects the Peace of Christ by exploring, articulating, and witnessing to the call of Christian nonviolence. The organization rejects war, preparations for war, and every form of violence and domination. It advocates primacy of conscience, economic and social justice, and respect for creation.

Pax Christi USA commits itself to peace education and, with the help of its bishop members, promotes the gospel imperative of peacemaking as a priority in the Catholic Church in the United States.

For more information about Pax Christi, please visit www.paxchrstiusa.org. If you are interested in joining Holy Spirit Peace and Justice/Pax Christi local community, please contact Mark or Michelle Peña at 380-3731 or email at mpena113@rgv.rr.com.


Anonymous said...

So where is the peace?

Ann Cass said...

Don't know what Anonymous meant by "Where's the peace?" That's part of what we learned this weekend as well as on Affirmation Night. Peace is not the absence of war. Peace is calling people to accountability, it needs justice which is putting things back in the right relationship and giving to people what is rightfully theirs. It is speaking the truth to power. It is a difficult concept for people to understand.

To keep struggling against hate and to practice forgiveness need not mean abdicating one's rights or renouncing justice. This should be emphasized over and over again. It is part of loving one's enemy that Christians must remind the "enemy" of justice and right. It is part of loving to speak the truth.
- Naim Ateek
from "Justice and Only Justice: A Palestinian Theology of Liberation"

Anonymous said...

Exactly! So where IS it?

Anonymous said...

"Peace be with you." Jesus greeted his disciples and all of us with these words. Peace is with each of us, in our inner most being and as children of God. Peace can be with the circle of people and situations we come in contact with if we choose to be instruments of God's peace and live a life of non-violence, love and justice. Peace could be in our world if we all were committed to living non-violently, loving one another (even our enemies) and seeking the justice due each of God's creations. "Blessed are the peacemakers, they shall be called children of God." On a lighter note: "Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape."

Anonymous said...

I suggest to anonymous #1 that a better question is WHAT CAN I DO to contribute to Peace? I'm sure you will find it in yourself as soon as you begin to work for Peace, when you answer the Christian call to be a Peacemaker.

The two previous bloggers gave you clear and plenty of examples of what Peace is.

Anonymous said...

But I want to know what is the TRUE peace that Msgr. Louie talks about.

Anonymous said...

I think many of us have that same question. All of his helpers, at least at the 8:30 mass have such dour and unhappy faces, and Father Louis does not seem to be at peace. He always stops a little short when he talks about love and peace. He advocates it for families, but does not define it very well for communities, especially for the Holy Spirit community.
If he would only talk to us, we could ask him to explain it better.
I continue to pray that all of us will better understand what can lead us to TRUE peace. I don't think ignoring injustice is part of achieving TRUE peace.