Tuesday, March 24, 2020


Candle reflection
This past weekend, we posted and began circulating this prayer, "A prayer for peace and solidarity in a time of pandemic", by our own Michelle Sherman, a member of the Pax Christi USA  National Council. Michelle wrote the prayer especially for our community and for it to be used as a way of being in solidarity with one another during this crisis.  We've had over 1500 people download it in the last 4 days, it has been liked and shared hundreds of times on Facebook, and many of you are even now reciting it daily, joining your voices with thousands around the country in displaying our shared values and prayerful solidarity. We hope you can make it a part of your individual or family practice. We hope that this act of common prayer shows that even when we are alone, we are still together. 

Tomorrow morning (Wednesday, March 25) at noon Rome time,  Pope Francis has asked that Christians throughout the world pray the "Our Father" for an end to the COVID-19 pandemic. That would be 7am EDT, 6am CDT, 5am MDT and 4am PDT for those of us in the United States. I'll be joining in at that time, praying with the pope, and then reciting our common prayer immediately after. If you want to join me and others in solidarity, it would be powerful to have us all saying it together at the same time.

From the national office, we've been trying to support you and your communities with ideas and resources for prayer, study and action. You can find all of those resources at  this link. We'll continue to add more in the days ahead. 

REPRESENTING YOU IN WASHINGTON AND TAKING ACTION: Know too that we are representing you and your values in the decisions that are being made in Washington, DC. We have joined our partners in initiating or supporting letters, statements and petitions focused on assuring immigrants are not left out of the economic support package the federal government is planning, keeping internet and phone access available to vulnerable communities, lifting sanctions against Iran to help with the unfolding tragedy they are experiencing, making sure workers are prioritized over corporations for financial help, protecting those in prisons and detention centers from exposure, and more. We've been posting some of these efforts on  Facebook and  Twitter; follow us to see what actions you can take too! And please share them within your networks.

OPPORTUNITIES TO BE ALONE, TOGETHER: With so many experiencing isolation and often confined to their own homes, we're also trying to find ways people can experience a sense of togetherness despite our separation. Reciting a common prayer daily is one way we're doing this. We're also recommending  a weekly movie for our extended community to watch "alone, together" (this week it's "Romero" in observance of the 40th anniversary of his martyrdom; also read Scott Wright's excellent piece on our website today, "Gospel hope in a time of global pandemic: Reflections on the 40th anniversary of St. Oscar Romero"). And we're looking for other ways to help you experience community despite not being able to physically gather. Please send your own ideas to us and we'll help promote and circulate them to the broader Pax Christi USA family. 

I just want to thank you all for your steadfast support of Pax Christi USA. I have heard from many of you during these difficult days and listened as folks told me about how Pax Christi USA, the local communities they are part of, the relationships and friendships they found and nurtured within our network, have been a sign of hope and encouragement in the midst of the anxiety and disruption all are experiencing. It is because of you and your witness to the peace of Christ that I am so proud to be part of this community and movement. 

   In peace,

   Johnny Zokovitch
   Executive Director, Pax Christi USA