Pax Christi USA - PSA e-Bulletin
Pray-Study-Act: The Challenge of Peace
In This Issue
PRAY: Peace prayer of St. Francis
STUDY: Our statement from 2008 on the 25th anniversary of The Challenge of Peace
ACT: Support Conscientious Objection

On The Web

Read or download this online version of "The Challenge of Peace" 


 Support Iraq War Resister Kimberly Rivera, recently sentenced to 14 months in prison


 Order or share this condensed version of The Challenge of Peace offered by Catholic Update for your parish or school


Browse the Pax Christi Store for resources for prayer, study and action in support of peace


Join us at the Pax Christi USA National Conference in Atlanta on June 14-16

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May 15, 2013


"On my knees I beg you to turn away from the paths of violence... I say to you, with all the love I have for you, with all the trust I have in young people: do not listen to voices which speak the language of hatred, revenge, retaliation. Do not follow any leaders who train you in the way of inflicting death... Give yourself to the service of life, not the work of death. Violence is the enemy of justice. Only peace can lead the way to true justice." - Pope John Paul II, September 29, 1979


Today is International Conscientious Objectors' Day and this month marks the 30th anniversary of the U.S. bishops' peace pastoral The Challenge of Peace. We invite you to take time today or during this month to reflect on what it means to be a peacemaker in our time in the world today. Below you will find resources for prayer, study and action in support of these observances. 


In peace,


Johnny Zokovitch

Pax Christi USA Director of Communications

PRAY: Peace Prayer of St. Francis

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,

Where there is hatred, let me sow love;

Where there is injury, pardon;

Where there is doubt, faith;

Where there is despair, hope;

Where there is darkness, light;

Where there is sadness, joy.


O Divine Master,

grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console;

to be understood, as to understand;

to be loved, as to love.


For it is in giving that we receive.

It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,

and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.

STUDY: Revisiting our 25th anniversary statement on The Challenge of Peace

Below is a statement originally issued as a sign-on statement in May 2008 on the 25th anniversary of the U.S. bishops' peace pastoral, The Challenge of Peace.


Twenty-five years ago, at the height of the Cold War, the U.S. Catholic Bishops issued their historic pastoral letter on war and peace in the nuclear age, The Challenge of Peace: God's Promise and Our Response. The "peace pastoral" affirmed the position of Christian nonviolence in the Catholic tradition and reaffirmed Vatican II's condemnation of nuclear weapons: "The [nuclear] arms race is one of the greatest curses on the human race, an act of aggression against the poor and a folly which does not provide the security it promises." (The Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, No. 81)


While in 1983 the U.S. Catholic Bishops made clear that nuclear weapons can never be used, they stopped short of condemning nuclear deterrence-the policy of maintaining large arsenals of nuclear weapons solely to prevent the use of those weapons. In that historical moment, they offered only a "strictly conditioned moral acceptance " of nuclear deterrence. Specifically, they said this must be an interim, not long-term policy; that it was only to prevent the use of nuclear weapons by others; and that it must be "a step on the way toward a progressive disarmament."...


Click here to read this entire statement.

ACT:  Support Conscientious Objection

Today, May 15 is "International Conscientious Objectors' Day." Conscientious objection has been a central tenet of Pax Christi USA from its inception and an issue of special interest to one of our co-founders, Gordon Zahn, a former CO. At this time, in light of the recent war in Iraq and the ongoing war in Afghanistan, it is important that we continue to publicize and educate about conscientious objection, as well as supporting COs. Consider sharing one of the resources offered on our CO page on the website to a young person in your family or a friend. Share these resources by making them available in your church's brochure area or on a display table. 


For free, downloadable pamphlets, brochures and more,  click here to go to the CO page on Pax Christi USA's website.