Pax Christi USA - PSA e-Bulletin
Pray-Study-Act: Close the School of the Americas
In This Issue
PRAY: Litany of Nonviolence
STUDY: The facts on the SOA
ACT: Come to GA or act from home

On The Web

Join Pax Christi USA at the SOA 


 See photos and more from last year's PCUSA event at the SOA


 Find out more information on the Stweart Detention Center vigil


Support the music of Joe Jencks, our musician for our Friday evening event this year


Watch our video interview with Fr. Jon Sobrino, SJ from the 2008 SOA Vigil and Action

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November 20, 2013


I've been traveling to Columbus, GA for the annual vigil and action protesting the School of the Americas nearly every year since 1995, and the thing that always impresses me is the conviction and compassion of the people who gather each year--conviction that the school needs to be closed and compassion for all those who have been victimized at the hands of SOA graduates. If you have never been before, I encourage you to make the trip this Friday and join with thousands of Pax Christi USA members, partners and friends from around the nation in calling for the closure of the SOA.


SOA 2011


For the 13th consecutive year, Pax Christi USA will be hosting a special event at the SOA on Friday evening, November 22nd from 5:30-7:30pm at the Columbus Convention Center. We're excited to have Kathy Kelly, PCUSA Teacher of Peace, and our own Sr. Patty Chappell, SNDdeN, executive director of Pax Christi USA, as our speakers, addressing the topic of gun violence.

We hope you'll make plans to arrive early and join us! And look at the "Action" section of this Pray-Study-Act e-bulletin for other opportunities to connect at the SOA and act to close the school down, once and for all.  


In peace,


Johnny Zokovitch

Director of Communications, Pax Christi USA

PRAY: Litany of Nonviolence


Provident God,

aware of our own brokenness, we ask the gift of courage
to identify how and where we are in need of conversion
in order to live in solidarity with all Earth's people.


Deliver us from the violence of superiority and disdain.
Grant us the desire, and the humility,

to listen with special care to those
whose experiences and attitudes are different from our own.


Deliver us from the violence of greed and privilege.
Grant us the desire, and the will, to live simply
so others may have their just share of Earth's resources.


Deliver us from the silence 

that gives consent to abuse, war and evil.
Grant us the desire, and the courage,
to risk speaking and acting for the common good.


Deliver us from the violence

of irreverence, exploitation and control.
Grant us the desire, and the strength,
to act responsibly within the cycle of creation.


God of love, mercy and justice, acknowledging our complicity
in those attitudes, action and words which perpetuate violence,
we beg the grace of non-violent hearts. Amen.

STUDY: The facts on the SOA

(This short introduction was put together by members of Pax Christi in Atlanta.)


On the night of November 16, 1989, a Salvadoran Army patrol entered the University of Central America in San Salvador and massacred six Jesuit priests, their housekeeper and her daughter. Nineteen of the military officers cited for this atrocity received training at the U.S. Army School of the Americas. The following year, Maryknoll Father Roy Bourgeois and a few supporters held a protest near Fort Benning and the SOA Watch was born. The protests have continued annually every November at Fort Benning since 1990 and now include thousands of demonstrators from across the country.


The School of the Americas (SOA) was founded in 1946 at the U.S. Army base in Panama to train military students from various Latin American countries. In 1984, the school was moved to Fort Benning in Columbus, Georgia, as required by the Panama Canal Treaty. The school has trained over 64,000 Latin American soldiers and police, producing some of the region's most notorious death squad leaders and human rights abusers. Graduates from the school have been indicted or implicated in numerous atrocities in their home countries, including the assassination of Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero in 1980. In 2000 the school was reorganized and renamed the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC). 


Pax Christi has long supported the goal of SOA Watch: to close the school and end the U.S. militarization of the Americas. Pax Christi members from across the nation have attended the vigils with regularity over the years, including members who have entered the base and been arrested for their witness. Pax Christi members have also signed petitions and written letters to members of Congress urging legislation to suspend operations at the school.


Click here to learn more of the facts about the SOA.

ACT:  Come to GA or act from home

We hope that if you plan on coming for the annual vigil and action at the SOA that you'll plan on arriving early enough to join us for the Pax Christi USA program, "Gun Violence Has No Room in the Spirituality of Peacemaking," with Kathy Kelly and Sr. Patty Chappell, SNDdeN. The program will feature music and prayer, in addition to our speakers, and we'll have a sales table with resources from Pax Christi USA available too. The program begins at 5:30pm on Friday evening, Nov. 22 in Ballroom A of the Columbus Convention Center. 


Click here for more information about the program.


Join us for the Pax Christi USA members meeting on Saturday morning! We'll be gathering in Room 208 in the Columbus Convention Center on Saturday morning between 7:30am and 9:00am. Regional leaders, local group leaders, members and partners are all welcome to attend.


Represent Pax Christi at the SOA! Remember to wear your Pax Christi t-shirts and buttons and to bring your Pax Christi banners. Pax Christi members are encouraged to meet together and to march together in the procession on Sunday morning.


Urge your Senators and Member of Congress to close the SOA/WHINSEC at Fort Benning!


Click here to contact your Senators.


Click here to contact your Member of Congress.


More action opportunities and general information on the SOA, including the schedule for this year's vigil is available by clicking here.