Pax Christi USA - PSA e-Bulletin
Pray-Study-Act: Ferguson and Racial Justice
In This Issue
PRAY: Lamentation for Ferguson
STUDY: Ferguson - Reflections on race and racism in America
ACT: Actions from our statement
  Can you give to the Pax Christi USA Special Appeal?

On The Web

Read "An important lesson that White people must learn if they're serious about fighting racism" 


 Tell GoFundMe to stop profiting from racially-motivated donors celebrating Michael Brown's death


 Read this interview with CCHD's Ralph McCloud on race, economic justice and Ferguson


Use this Pax Christi USA resource, "For Now We See Through a Mirror, Dimly: An Anti-Racist Critique of Pax Christi USA's Theology and Practice of Nonviolence" with your local group


Read The Peace Current, Summer 2013 issue focusing on Interracial and Economic Justice in the U.S.

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September 23, 2014



During this week, people all over the nation, including thousands of members of Pax Christi USA, will be taking action as part of Campaign Nonviolence's week of actions. Last week, we sent out two PSA e-bulletins; the first inviting you to take part in Campaign Nonviolence and the second on the issue of climate change as it related to the march in New York. We also sent out an action alert on the violence in Israel-Palestine. 

    As you participate in actions this week, we hope that you will also incorporate an awareness of what happened in Ferguson, MO this past summer and the questions the shooting death of unarmed teenager Michael Brown raises about racial justice in our country, as well as the issues brought to our consciousness in the aftermath of that tragedy, like the militarization of our police forces. 


    Sr. Patty Chappell, SNDdeN, Executive Director of Pax Christi USA wrote in our statement, "The shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO stands as a stark reminder of the reckless disregard of human rights in our country by profiling groups of its citizens, and the serious lack of interracial justice in the U.S." 

    We hope that the resources in this PSA e-bulletin will help you to remember Ferguson this week as we pray, study and act for nonviolence.


In peace,


Johnny Zokovitch

Director of Communications, Pax Christi USA

PRAY: Lamentation for Ferguson, MO

by Sr. Anne-Louise Nadeau, SNDdeN
Program Director, Pax Christi USA

Laments are cries of anguish and outrage, groans of deep pain and grief, utterances of profound protest and righteous indignation over injustice, wails of mourning and sorrow in the face of unbearable suffering. Laments name the present pain, and forthrightly acknowledge that life and relationships have gone terribly wrong. Lamentations transcend the logic of reason, rational analysis, study and planning. They pierce the crusty calluses of numbness, cynicism, indifference and denial. (Racial Justice and the Catholic Church, Bryan N. Massingale, 2010, Orbis Press)

Our response to each lament is "HOW MUCH LONGER, O HOLY ONE, HOW MUCH LONGER?"

How much longer will terror grip families, neighborhoods and cities ... terror caused by unjust systems that prey on the vulnerability of people, especially communities of color?

How much longer will the expectation of heartbreak, suffering and death be a way of life for too many?

How much longer will it take for war zones to become zones of safety and well being?

How much longer will the stench of death, misery, tear gas and bullets eclipse the beauty of creation in neighborhoods?...


Click here to read the rest of this prayer of lamentation.

STUDY: Ferguson - Reflections on race

and racism in America

by Scott Wright


On August 9, Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, was shot and killed by six bullets fired at close range by a white Ferguson, Missouri police officer.

    His death sparked outrage in this black suburb of St. Louis, and led to weeks of nightly protests in the streets where black residents faced off with a militarized white police force ready to turn on U.S. citizens as though they were enemy combatants.

    It was a familiar story, but something seemed different this time. The police response to the protests looked like they were prepared to invade a village in Iraq or Afghanistan. Black protesters, hands in the air, carried signs with the message: "Hands up, don't shoot!" What happened?

    I remembered last summer, when thousands of people - black and white - returned to the site of the 1963 March of Washington on the 50th anniversary to remember and recommit themselves to work for racial justice in our nation. Then, the mood was festive, though Martin Luther King III reminded the crowd: "Our task is still not done, the journey is not over," and Congressman John Lewis issued a challenge: "We cannot go back. We cannot wait. We want jobs and freedom."

    This summer, on the eve of the anniversary of the March on Washington, we were reminded by the events in Ferguson of all that has not changed in our country these past fifty years...


Click here to read the rest of this reflection.

ACT:  Actions from our statement on Ferguson

Shortly after the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Pax Christi USA released this statement. In the statement, we called for people to consider undertaking the following actions:

  • sign this petition from
  • for those in the St. Louis area to connect with Ferguson residents who are asking for a non-violent investigation and transparency of this unjust situation 
  • examine the structures, policies and attitudes that created and escalated the violence
  • write letters and Op/Ed pieces for your local newspapers
  • ask your local parish community for a specific Prayer of the Faithful for strength and courage for the Brown family for the coming weekend