Catholic Nonviolence Days of Action
September 21 to October 2

Thursday, September 3, 2020

"[I] call on all people of good will to recognize what Christians profess as a consequence of faith: that it is only by considering our peers as brothers and sisters that humanity can overcome wars and conflicts. ... Your thoughts on revitalizing the tools of nonviolence, and of active nonviolence in particular, will be a needed and positive contribution."

~ Pope Francis in his welcoming remarks to the April 2016 Nonviolence
and Just Peace conference participants, delivered by Cardinal Peter Turkson

In the nearly 5 years since Pope Francis sent that message to Pax Christi International's first "Nonviolence and Just Peace" conference in Rome, the Catholic Nonviolence Initiative has been working to promote the vision and practice of active nonviolence which Jesus proclaimed and embodied. Nonviolence has been at the heart of Pax Christi USA's charism since we were founded almost 50 years ago and we are making it a priority to dive more deeply into this extraordinary project that is having an impact on the Church all over the globe. 

This "deeper dive" comes with an invitation to our movement to participate in the first annual Catholic Nonviolence Days of Action, taking place September 21 (the International Day of Peace) through October 2 (the International Day of Nonviolence and Gandhi's birthday). The theme this first year is: "Making active nonviolence our way of life in the Church and the world". In solidarity with our 120+ sister organizations in the Pax Christi International network from around the world, Pax Christi USA invites our regions, local groups, members and partners to creatively find ways to pray, study, act and celebrate the power of nonviolence during these special days. 

We've created a new page on the website to keep you up-to-date on our national participation in the Catholic Nonviolence Initiative, and more specifically, on resources for the upcoming Catholic Nonviolence Days of Action. You'll find below a first PSA (Pray-Study-Act) e-bulletin in preparation of the days of action and we'll add more to the website, over social media and through the email network as the days approach. We hope you'll check out the new page on the site and find some small way to participate in this incredible global effort. 

In peace,

Johnny Zokovitch
Executive Director, Pax Christi USA 

Tens of thousands have taken the 
Vow of Nonviolence since it was composed by Eileen Egan and Rev. John Dear. It can be pronounced privately, with a local peace community, as part of a parish liturgy, or any other way that suits you. Consider professing the Vow as part of your observance of the Catholic Nonviolence Days of Action.
RECOGNIZING THE VIOLENCE IN MY OWN HEART, yet trusting in the goodness and mercy of God, I vow for one year to practice the nonviolence of Jesus who taught us in the Sermon on the Mount:

"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons and daughters of God...You have learned how it was said, 'You must love your neighbor and hate your enemy'; but I say to you, Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you. In this way, you will be daughters and sons of your Creator in heaven."

I vow to carry out in my life the love and example of Jesus:
  • by striving for peace within myself and seeking to be a peacemaker in my daily life;
  • by refusing to retaliate in the face of provocation and violence; by persevering in nonviolence of tongue and heart;
  • by living conscientiously and simply so that I do not deprive others of the means to live;
  • by actively resisting evil and working nonviolently to abolish war and the causes of war from my own heart and from the face of the earth.
God, I trust in Your sustaining love and believe that just as You gave me the grace and desire to offer this, so You will also bestow abundant grace to fulfill it.


Use this preparatory guide, "Making Active Nonviolence Our Way of Life in the Church and the World", designed by Pax Christi members from 4 continents, to gauge our experiences in nonviolence and to help groups and communities map out our response to this invitation.

Excerpt from  the preparatory document:

Pope Francis invites Catholics to "make active nonviolence our way of life," both in the Church and in the world. In accordance with "Nonviolence: A Style of Politics for Peace," (NSPP 2017) released by Pope Francis on the 50th anniversary of the World Day of Peace, the Catholic Nonviolence Initiative, a project of Pax Christi International, calls the Church to reflect on the theme: Advancing 'Active Nonviolence' As a Way of Life in the Church and the World. New paths for evangelization must be designed for and with the People of God ("Being the People of God, means being God's leaven in this our humanity" says Pope Francis), who live in situations of violence and yet are "artisans of peace" (Francis, NSPP, 7) and nonviolence in their communities and rural areas, their cities and urban centers, people who are migrants or displaced, in conflict zones or in situations of stable peace, and especially for and with indigenous peoples...


What you can do individually or as a group!
  • Use this framework for additional prayer resources, examples of actions of public witness, ideas for multimedia projects, suggestions for creating a nonviolent parish, and opportunities to celebrate nonviolent heroes.
  • Sign this appeal to Pope Francis thanking him for his leadership in stating that "nonviolence is the way forward".
  • SAVE THE DATE! Join the project coordinator for the Catholic Nonviolence Initiative, Judy Coode, for a Pax Christi USA webinar introducing the history and aims of the Catholic Nonviolence Initiative on Sept. 21. (Check the website for more info TBA soon!)

Please support Pax Christi USA by giving
to our Summer 2020 Appeal  by clicking here.
For the latest resources to put your faith into action for peace and justice, visit the Pax Christi USA website