Catholic Nonviolence Days of Action
Tuesday, September 27, 2021
Greetings of Peace!
We are one week into the Catholic Nonviolence Days of Action and there have been nearly twenty events in our local communities throughout the nation to commemorate these days. Each of these have involved direct calls for a more peaceful future. Over the course of the next five days, I hope you will join us for an event, make a recommitment to nonviolence, or gather with your community to dream of tomorrow.

This October 2nd, the International Day of Nonviolence, specifically offers us an opportunity to challenge ourselves to live more intentionally into the way of nonviolence. (See our ideas below for engaging that day.)

It’s incomplete to talk about nonviolence solely on the individual level while ignoring systemic violence. Too often, the philosophy of nonviolence is whitewashed and given false moral superiority by people who have never experienced systemic and institutional violence. The church itself has a long history of perpetuating this type of violence. The Catholic Nonviolence Days of Action are important in challenging the narrative and the practice of violence that directly opposes the nonviolent Jesus we believe in.

In living our our commitment to a more peaceful society and church, I hope you will pray, study, and act alongside us this week.
In peace,

Lauren Bailey
National Field Organizer, Pax Christi USA
by the Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd
God of love beyond measure, we hear your call to open our arms wide to let the suffering of the world come into our lives. We cannot remain passive in the midst of the challenge. We desire to live your love with total abandon without counting the cost or the reward. We long to care deeply for all of your creation and to make a difference where we can.

Help us to dedicate ourselves prayerfully and actively to banishing violence from our hearts, words and deeds, to becoming nonviolent people and to building nonviolent communities that care for our common home. Grant us strength and wisdom; we pray to enter live in justice and peace every moment, everywhere.

>> Read the vow of nonviolence, composed by Eileen Egan and Rev. John Dear. The vow is able to be read quietly in the silence of your heart, aloud in a small group, or proclaimed in a community gathering.
by Marie Dennis and Ken Butigan
The Cry of the Earth is a global, anguished call for nonviolent solutions to the violence of climate change, loss of biodiversity, destruction of habitat, the lack of access to clean water, and the enormous impact of human violence on the biosphere. Violence in every form—direct, cultural and structural—is assaulting our common home and compounding the growing crisis that threatens the very survival of our planet. The earth is suffering from the violence of indifference and domination, war and militarization, and destructive extractivism. In many countries, violence is also used to suppress environmental defenders, thus disrupting our capacity to respond to the Cry of the Earth. Ecological destruction is systemic and structural violence.

Research has shown that war, preparations for war and other military activities are particularly fossil fuel intensive, contribute very substantially to climate change and have a tremendous negative impact on the physical environment. Vast areas of planet earth have been rendered uninhabitable and unproductive during war and violent conflict by landmines, bombs, pollution, destruction of forests and the destruction of habitat as well as many diverse species of plants and animals.

A single nuclear warhead could cause devastating climate change, resulting in widespread drought and famine that could cost a billion lives. At the same time, around the world nuclear weapons facilities have already contaminated land and water with radioactive waste lasting 100,000 years. The dangerous legacy of nuclear weapons testing and the disposal of nuclear waste have impacted people of color, particularly indigenous people and Pacific Islanders, in a clear and tragic illustration of environmental racism."...

>> For a good introduction to the intersection of our commitment to anti-racism and nonviolence, read "An anti-racist critique of Pax Christi USA’s theology and practice of nonviolence", by Pax Christi USA Anti-Racism Team member alum Tom Cordaro.

>> Watch the videos from each session of our Advancing Nonviolence study circles, offered this past spring.
The Meta Peace Team will be offering a nonviolence skills training for the Pax Christi USA community on Saturday, October 2nd! From 11:00am-3:30pm EDT (8:00am-12:30pm PDT), participants will gather with other members of Pax Christi USA from around the nation to become trained in nonviolent action.

If you have any questions about the training, please contact Mary Hanna at or
>> To hear more about the context of the training, listen to this interview Mary Hanna gave to Nonviolence Radio on KWMR.
On Saturday, October 2nd at 8pm ET/5pm PT, join Pax Christi USA members and friends from across the nation to take the Vow of Nonviolence. Virtually over Zoom, we will gather to share in community to commit to peace and nonviolence.

>> Several Pax Christi USA local communities are hosting events to commemorate the Catholic Nonviolence Days of Action. Click here to view the list of events you can join this week.
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