Francis Gargani, C.Ss.R. 12/6/16
I am honored to serve on the Board of Pax Christi for the last two years, as President this 2016-2017 year. Of course, I am prejudiced in favor of Pax Christi, but our Metro NY chapter is a pretty amazing little organization that manages to sponsor a full calendar of events over each year promoting social justice and reconciliation. From our Fall Assembly to our yearly opportunity for retreat for everyone with nationally recognized presenters, to our Peacemaking through the Arts January program, to our annual Good Friday Stations of the Cross through mid-town Manhattan and Times Square, to our Spring Peacemakers Award Reception, Pax Christi Metro New York offers multiple events to continually invite its members and interested New Yorkers to pray and work for peace and an end to violence in our nation and world. And the events mentioned is not an exhaustive list, since there's a yearly program and ritual on the anniversary of Hiroshima, Holy Innocents, UN International Peace Day, and other events! Through prayer, study and action, members of Pax Christi Metro New York in union with members throughout the world, continue to light the candle for peace and tolerance and healing and liberation for all peoples and all creation.
Pax Christi works tirelessly to present programs and activities that highlight the Gospel message of peace and reconciliation. The members are dedicated to self knowledge and personal growth as well as community education and activism. Although this is the international Catholic movement for peace people of all faiths are welcome. The goal of Pax Christi is to work with others to stem the tide of violence, intolerance and poverty in our own neighborhoods as well as in our global communities.
For close to 40 years Pax Christi Metro New York has been leading the way to helping Catholics and many others in their desire to follow the non-violent Jesus. Through many activities such as the Good Friday Walk for Peace in Manhattan and annual retreats and conferences members can put their desire for peace into action. There is no limit to the efforts of the many local groups supported by this regional center. We can always depend upon Metro New York for support, education and inspiration.
This organization works for peace and justice and helps me sort through all the information available to see what is really happening. By working with them I am able to have an impact, where by myself I feel powerless to fight against injustice. I also have found out about how to follow in Jesus' nonviolent footsteps - learning through their conflict resolution workshops the context of Jesus' words about 'turning the other cheek' and 'walk another mile, if asked to walk one mile', what they really meant. And Kerux, their newsletter, always has great writing as well. I hope you can join us! Margaret A. Flanagan
Learning how to live as a nonviolent follower of Jesus, I have found Pax Christi Metro New York to be an excellent source for opportunities to meet with like minded people and learn how to do more and be an active person choosing non violence in our troubled world. The retreats each year challenge me to grow in my understanding of how to follow Jesus and give peace to everyone I meet. The Way of the Cross across 42nd Street is my favorite part of Good Friday, the way the various groups tie in the theme each year is more powerful than the last. The networking helps me to find out what is really going on.
This nonprofit has one paid staff member, who leads a couple of hundred volunteers in many initiatives throughout the calendar year. The initiatives center on prayer, study, and action, true to the mission of the national and international umbrella Pax Christi organizations.
Highlights include a weekend prayerful retreat, a daylong study of a theme having to do with peace-building, a fast to remember the victims of atomic war, and a public witness with a dramatic Good Friday peace walk across Manhattan's 42nd Street. Local smaller groups are relatively autonomous and choose their own activities along the prayer, study, action spectrum.
Pax Christi has fostered my own call to peace-building, pointing me toward becoming a volunteer mediator with the New York Peace Institute. And it has led to close friendships with like-minded peace-builders!
Pax Christi Metro NY has helped me focus on problems being faced by people, and inspired me to act for justice on their behalf and to work for peace for us all. Faithful, over the years, this group keeps me going. As a matter of fact it keeps many of us going together, towards a vision of a better future by trying to live this out right now.
This organization has inspired me to be a better person and contribute to the cause for peace in the world through the practice of nonviolence in my everyday life.
This has enabled me to be a person who reaches out to others and see them as fellow Christians on a journey.
Pax Christi New York (PCMNY) has inspired and nourished me for over twenty-five years. Part of the international and national Catholic peace movement, PCMNY follows a model of prayer, study, action. In all it does, PCMNY is set on a solid foundation of a scripture based spirituality of non-violence. It is an excellent source of education on topics relating to peace and justice and it provides oppportunities to take action on these topics. The annual retreat, Fall Assembly, Good Friday Peace Walk, Hiroshima Day Remembrance and other events provide time for people to gather, support and energize each other to continue the work of peace building in our city and our world. Participating in PCMNY activities and volunteering on committees has allowed me to meet many people fully dedicated to nonviolence and peace building and they have inspired me to do more.
Pax Christi Metro New York has been an inspiration to me for many years, and a great support in my belief that a peaceful world is possible. I have been encouraged by the example of members participating in protests against violence, particularly war and nuclear weapons; advocating for policies that promote peace; and educating themselves and others about situations that need attention and nonviolent conflict resolution techniques. The annual awards events honor people engaged in such diverse expressions of peace as participating in Christian Peacemaking Teams that work with Palestinians and Israelis; teaching alternatives to violence in prisons; celebrating and teaching peace through the arts; educating for all cultures and religions, and creating local organizations to help those most in need.
This is a chapter of the international Catholic peace movement. I am not a Catholic but I am inspired by the faith, commitment and activism of the beautiful people I have met in this organization. They do amazing things on a partial shoestring. The dedication is astonishing. The approach is faith, study and a action. That balance keeps the group focused in a way that makes them the change they are trying to create for a peaceful world of justice and mercy that reflects the peace of Christ.
Pax Christi Metro New York is the New York face of the national and international Pax Christi movement. It provides coordination services for the many local Pax Christi groups in the greater New York metropolitan area, including my own, Downtown Brooklyn Pax Christi. PCMNY disseminates information about local activities relating to peace and justice. It provides opportunities, such as the Good Friday Stations of the Cross in central Manhattan, for a public expression of our spiritual commitment to peace. And it reaches out to other religious groups to strengthen the interfaith community's search for justice. Without peace, there is no justice; without justice there is no peace.
My inolvement with PAX CHRISTI METRO NEW YORK keeps me open to a deepening awareness of our common humanity and the kinship between economic justice, freedom and harmony amongst peoples. My background is in Communications and Pastoral Care and I experience PAX CHRISTI as an extension of my livelhood and personal goals. Faith can only be vindicated by action and PAX CHRISTI METRO NEW YORK continues to expand awareness of its presence and engage people in its universal human values throughout the New York City area. Highlight events include the Annual Public STATIONS OF THE CROSS throughout the Wall Street neighborhood with over 2,000 witnesses drawing attention to the suffering in our city, country and world while identifying the very real obstacles to peace and equal opportunity that are omnipresent in our society; a multi-denominational and multi-Faith March each Spring in Queens that fosters solidarity among people of all faiths and walks of life as it witnesses to our need for more dialogue and understanding; annual Awards Dinner acknowledging significant contributions to peace and reconciliation (last year's award winners included a Rabbi who reconciled a violent racist to dialogue and conversion, a young woman completing a PhD in International Justice issues whose activities fueled an impressive dissertation offering tools for social change). Pax Christi offers Christian Conflict Resolution Programs and Speaker Events in schools, churches and other organizations and sponsors an annual weekend of spiritual retreat to refresh and inspire people in the fields of peace and justice. With increased efforts for further collaboration with other like-minded organizations, PAX CHRISTI METRO NEW YORK will continue to help keep my faith in action and inspire others to do the same.
Pax Christi Metro New York (PCMNY) plays an invaluable role in making Catholics in and around New York aware of peace and justice issues. There are many aspects of PCMNY's work that I admire, but the event that I appreciate the most is the annual Pax Christi Way of the Cross. Each year Pax Christi volunteers remind hundreds of New Yorkers of the profound connection between Jesus's death on the cross and peacemaking by leading them through the fourteen stations of the cross on the streets of Manhattan. The diversity of the participants and the power of the experience had a lasting impact on me. In many ways, the Stations of the Cross is Pax Christi's signature event, proclaiming the group's mission to the city.
Pax Christi Metro New York helps me to keep current regarding the issues of Peace and Justice that are happening in our nation and in the world. I am grateful for the commitment of the staff and board of directors who keep this organization running on a shoe string during difficult economic times. It is an inspiring organization that encompasses the elements of prayer, study and action that are the foundation of Pax Christi
Whenever there is a local, national and/or international incident which sets communities against each other, demonizing some and glorifying others, I look to Pax Christi Metro New York (PCNY) to disseminate a voice of reason and manifest a consciousness that we are all ONE, sisters and brothers sharing this planet with all creatures. From this posture, PCNY encourages decisions on local and national budgets and speaks out for marginal communities who have been silenced while encouraging them to regain their Voice.
As an author of novels that deal with issues of peace and social justice, I’m impressed with how Pax Christi Metro New York gets out in front of the issues, raises public awareness of them, and organizes events that involve the community in promoting change. I have participated in a number of these events, including a recent commemoration of the anniversary of our dropping atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I believe that the work of Pax Christi will influence political leaders to change their policies and bring the world closer to peace. I’m proud to be a member of this organization.
In this tumultuous era of continual war, with our nation's budgetary priorities focused more on weaponry than on human needs, we more than ever need citizens willing to stand courageously for peace and nonviolence. In Pax Christi Metro New York, I have found a thoughful, dedicated community whose members are willing to step beyond their comfort zones to tackle the critical issues of the day. Pax Christi members study and stand publicly against military excess; endeavor respectfully to engage with others who hold different viewpoints; and share insights, information, and practical information about how effectively to respond to situations, both local and global, in which violence needs to be countered. Being faithful to the Gospel injunction to love one's neighbor isn't always easy. It takes patience and practice. Pax Christi Metro New York shares with its members practical tools for living non-violently; nourishes its members with focused retreats by noted peacemakers; and helps equip its members to go into the world with a message of peace. I can think of no more important undertaking, nor any organization better suited to that task -- notwithstanding its small size and budget. Nor can I think of any organization from which I have personally derived, or witnessed, greater learning or benefit.
Pax Christi Metro New York is a small powerhouse nonprofit poised to become so much more!
A multi-talented, resourceful Executive Director, generous volunteers and supporters/donors and a committed board produce a solid offering of diverse peace and justice events/programs throughout the year that logically should not come from such a small organization. Its modus operandi of prayer, study and action ensure the entire person grows and participates in the ways of peacemaking; the interfaith collaborations facilitate community-wide actions for justice and opportunities to incarnate that unity is not sameness.
If I headed up a private equity fund and Pax Christi Metro New York was a private start-up, instead of a Catholic nonprofit spreading the peace of Christ, I would definitely be the first in line for the IPO. In fact, if I were a venture capitalist, I would invest heavily in Pax Christi Metro New York right now.