Next gathering Sept. 8 at 6:30 pm  • Quaker Meetinghouse • 3387 Walnut Grove        

Pax Christi, the Peace of Christ, strives to create a world that reflects this peace by witnessing to the call of Christian nonviolence. Although the majority of members are Roman Catholic, Pax Christi is open to all people who want to work for peace in the spirit of the nonviolent Jesus.

Pax Christi Memphis meets the second Tuesday of every month at the Quaker Meetinghouse located at 3387 Walnut Grove, Memphis, TN 38111. Additional parking is available on Prescott, or in the Kroger Parking lot across the street.

For more information, or if you need a ride to our meeting, call Janice Vanderhaar at 362-9364, or Terry Hash 849-0983

Building peace, economic & interracial justice through a spirituality of nonviolence

Pax Christi Memphis
News and Notes
Number 7, 2015

August meeting presents study of the past and vision for the future
Opening with a prayer calling for global disarmament of nuclear weapons as expressed decades ago by the Catholic church, Pax Christi Memphis marked the 70th Anniversary of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings at the August 11th gathering. Prayers included the words of Pope John XXIII, Pope Paul VI, Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI, the U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops and Archbishop Dominique Mamberti. Members responded to each petition in the spirit of the great prophet Isaiah: “May we pray to remember our call from Christ to be makers of peace and to become the children of God.”
Jerry Bettice presented slides, handouts and graphic posters detailing the development of nuclear weapons and the decision to use them toward the end of World War II. He described the immediate impact and many of the after-effects the bombings had on their targets and the surrounding area, including the death, suffering and lingering consequences of 200 kinds of radioactive isotopes and phenomena such as black rain.

His presentation included appeals for peace from Pope John Paul II and others. He read from Hiroshima Mayor Matsui Kazumi’s Peace Declaration that begins with these words: “In our town, we had the warmth of family life, the deep human bonds of community, festivals heralding each season, traditional culture and buildings passed down through history, as well as riversides where children played.
“At 8:15 a.m., Aug. 6, 1945, all of that was destroyed by a single atomic bomb. Below the mushroom cloud, a charred mother and child embraced, countless corpses floated in rivers, and buildings burned to the ground. Tens of thousands were burned in those flames. By year’s end, 140,000 irreplaceable lives had been taken.”
Direct action in the form of a letter to our Diocesan Bishop urging him to put the issue of nuclear weapons and the recent US agreement with Iran before the Catholics of West Tennessee was proposed near the end of the presentation. Members in attendance signed the letter and plans are underway to present the document to Bishop Steib.

Just back from the Campaign Nonviolence National Conference in Santa Fe and Los Alamos, Monica Juma related her experiences marching to and participating in two peace vigils, and listening to the many speakers at the events, including John Dear, Kit Evans-Ford, Erica Chenoweth, Kathy Kelly, Jim Lawson and many others. She was especially impressed with the non-violence training led by Ken Butigan, and brought back a large poster created by the “Memphis Team” as part of an exercise during the training. The poster illustrated what a nonviolent Memphis might look like ten years from now.
The artists’ vision included a pyramid converted to a Center for Nonviolence, a gun-free zone, interfaith groups promoting nonviolence with collective wisdom and many other creative ideas to form Memphis into a “soul healing, spirit lifting city with a nonviolent river flowing through.”
Monica’s enthusiasm will serve as a springboard as the local arm of Campaign Nonviolence plans actions this month.

September program will focus on personal practice for inner peace
In Chapter Three of his book The Nonviolent Life, John Dear writes: Peacemakers throughout history testify to need for quiet meditation if we are to live the nonviolent life of peace. The story of the nonviolent Jesus, according to Luke’s account, begins with him sitting in silent prayer by the Jordan River. In that quiet time of contemplative listening and opening to the Spirit of peace, he heard that he was God’s beloved, In this sacred space, he was able to take that message to heart, to claim that truth as the core of his identity. Like the nonviolent Jesus, we too need to sit still in silent meditation and open our hearts and minds to the Holy Spirit of peace and let the God of peace call us God’s beloved.
Do you have a daily spiritual practice that helps you toward inner peace? Whether it is meditation, rote prayer, centering prayer, scripture reading or just quiet contemplation, peacemakers are urged to adopt a practice that brings peace to their soul. What works for you? Are you able to find solitude in your daily environment?
Henri Nouwen writes: It is in solitude that compassionate solidarity grows. In solitude we realize that nothing human is alien to us, that the roots of all conflict, war, injustice, cruelty, hatred, jealousy and envy are deeply anchored in our own heart. In solitude our heart of stone can be turned into a heart of flesh, a rebellious heart into a contrite heart, and a closed heart into a heart that can open itself to all suffering people in a gesture of solidarity.
A portion of our September meeting will include a discussion of daily spiritual practices to make us more effective peacemakers. Please join us for an evening of sharing.

Sept. 7 PCMemphis will host an information table at the Thirteenth Annual Faith and Labor Picnic on Labor Day, Monday, September 7 from 11-2pm. Tickets are $12 and includes all food, beverages and entertainment. Proceeds benefit WIN - Workers Interfaith Network. Come on out and support labor on Labor Day!
Sept. 25-27 – PCMemphis will also have an information booth along with Campaign Nonviolence at the Frayser Block Party for Peace, Fri-Sun., Sept. 25-27. We would like to man our booth the whole time the Block Party is going on so we need plenty of volunteers. Please consider coming to support the Frayser neighborhood and to share your interest in PC and CNV to all that attend. Please email Terry at if you would like to help
Sept. 27 - The Father McCarthy Gospel Nonviolence study group will meet on Sunday, Sept. 27 from 3-5pm at the home of Yvonne Fournier, 5051 Barry Rd. Prior attendance is not required and all are welcome. Please call Yvonne for more info – 212-3030.
October 30-31 – Sr. Simone Campbell will return to Memphis

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