The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons:
One year since it entered into force, Jan. 22
Saturday, January 15, 2022
Greetings of peace!

This week we welcomed Archbishop John C. Wester’s pastoral letter, “Living in the Light of Christ’s Peace: A Conversation Toward Nuclear Disarmament". If you have ever had any doubt about the influence and impact of our work for nonviolence and nuclear disarmament for the past 50 years, read Archbishop Wester's letter and see how much of the language of Pax Christi USA is present throughout. Early on in his letter, he writes,

When He began His public ministry, Jesus said, “The kingdom of God is at hand, repent and believe in the Gospel” (Mark 1:15). In part, He was saying the days of violence, injustice, war and empire are coming to an end. We are invited to welcome God’s reign of peace and live in God’s universal love and nonviolence here and now. (from page 15)

And in the "More Ideas for Action" section on page 42:

Practice and study the nonviolence of Jesus daily so we can decrease our violence and become peacemakers.

In Appendix 1, "Suggestions for Study, Reflection and Action", Archbishop Wester lists us and our nuclear disarmament page in particular as a resource, and in the suggested readings section, he recommends resources from Pax Christi USA Ambassador of Peace Fr. John Dear; Pax Christi USA Teacher of Peace Art Laffin's book which we just featured in our most recent literary circle for liberation; and Pax Christi International's Advancing Nonviolence and Just Peace in the Church and the World. To see our commitment and work featured so prominently in this major pastoral letter on nuclear disarmament should feel gratifying to all of you who have been prophetically speaking and acting in service of this issue for the 50 years of our existence. And it should be fuel to keep us moving this work forward!
Archbishop Wester's letter was released just in time for our observance of the first anniversary, January 22nd, of the entry-into-force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW). We invite all Pax Christi USA local groups, members, partners and friends to engage this coming week to lift up this important anniversary, employing and sharing the resources for prayer, study and action below.
In peace,

Ronnie Fellerath-Lowell
Back from the Brink Organizer, Pax Christi USA

Johnny Zokovitch
Executive Director, Pax Christi USA
At the Peace Memorial in Hiroshima, Nov. 24, 2019
by Pope Francis
In a single plea to God and to all men and women of good will, on behalf of all the victims of atomic bombings and experiments, and of all conflicts, let us together cry out from our hearts: Never again war, never again the clash of arms, never again so much suffering! May peace come in our time and to our world. O God, you have promised us that “mercy and faithfulness have met, justice and peace have embraced; faithfulness shall spring from the earth, and justice look down from heaven” (Ps 84:11-12).

Come, Lord, for it is late, and where destruction has abounded, may hope also abound today that we can write and achieve a different future. Come, Lord, Prince of Peace! Make us instruments and reflections of your peace! Amen.
>> For the past few years, Pax Christi members and groups have been reciting this "Prayer for Disarmament" by Kim Vanderheiden of Pax Christi Northern California.
Living in the Light of Christ's Peace:
A Conversation toward Nuclear Disarmament
by Archbishop John C. Wester
For personal reading and discussion in local groups, we recommend Archbishop John C. Wester’s new pastoral letter on nuclear disarmament. The 52-page pastoral is an excellent resource for spiritual motivation, well-documented historical background, and usable actions that directly address nuclear disarmament. The document is set up to be studied, prayed over, and orient people toward action. In the letter, you'll find an appendix of resources, suggestions for action, questions for personal and group reflection, and suggested readings.

Click here to read our press release on the pastoral letter with quotes from Bishop Stowe and Bishop Gumbleton, followed by additional reactions of key leaders from throughout the Pax Christi USA community.
>> Watch this 15 minute video with Dr. Ira Helfand on nuclear famine and the disastrous climate effect of even a 'small' nuclear war.

>> Earlier in 2021, we shared Pax Christi International's campaign connecting climate change and nuclear disarmament. If you're interested in learning more, click here to register for the webinar, Climate Change & Nuclear War, offered by Massachusetts Peace Action on Jan. 22.
Act in support of Archbishop Wester's letter this week
EFFORTS TO INFLUENCE THE NUCLEAR POSTURE REVIEW: PCUSA is urging our members to take part in campaigns to push the White House to produce a Nuclear Posture Review report which changes the current direction of nuclear weapons development and strategy. The review is due in a few weeks and we need to mount an effort immediately. The current direction is to invest more and more in nuclear weapons and to resist reducing our arsenal. One action that we are supporting is the effort to get people to sign Physicians for Social Responsibility’s open letter to President Biden.

You can also go to the White House "contact us" form at this link and leave a message. A sample message would be:

President Biden: The setting of U.S. nuclear weapons policy is much too crucial to be done, as it is being now, behind closed doors. I implore you to hold a series of public forums as part of the Nuclear Posture Review to hear from concerned citizens and public-interest experts who want to be heard on this existential global-impact issue. Our Nuclear Posture Review is much too important to the public welfare to be set, as it has in the past, in a non-participatory way.
GET INVOLVED WITH PAX CHRISTI USA'S BACK FROM THE BRINK CAMPAIGN: For the past few years, Pax Christi USA members and groups have been involved in Back from the Brink, a national grassroots campaign that brings local communities together to build the public support and political will needed to fundamentally change U.S. nuclear weapons policy and prevent nuclear war. Find the latest report from our Back from the Brink organizer by clicking here. 

Join us by organizing and advocating for your local government to endorse the five-point Back from the Brink resolution! Add your individual endorsement today at this link. And contact Ronnie Fellerath-Lowell, our nuclear disarmament organizer at if you want to get involved.
MARK THE 1ST ANNIVERSARY OF THE TPNW: Take part in events to mark the first anniversary of the TPNW entering into force this week. Click here for in-person and virtual events across the country.

If you're in Washington, D.C. this week, teams from local peace groups, including Pax Christi USA, will visit over 40 embassies of nations that have ratified the TPNW to thank them, show U.S. citizen support for nuclear abolition, and to draw media attention to this issue. Find out details at this link or contact Ronnie Fellerath-Lowell, And please send us any details of your planned events for the first anniversary of the TPNW. 

If you can make a special contribution in celebration
of our 50th anniversary, we'd be so grateful! 
Just click on the donation button to the right
to give securely & quickly online. Thanks!!