Pax Christi assembly hears about building a just peace
The annual assembly of Pax Christi, Northern California, was held Nov. 12 at St. Elizabeth High School in Oakland. The theme was "Building a Just Peace in a Conflicted World."
The keynote speaker was Ken Butigan, director of Pace e Bene, a nonprofit organization teaching Christian non-violence. He also works with Catholic Nonviolence Initiative, an international group that co-sponsored, along with the Vatican, the "Nonviolence and Just Peace" conference held in Rome last April. In his address, Butigan spoke about the power of nonviolence to change the world and the broad support among religious leaders at the conference in Rome for pursuing "just peace" instead of "just war."
The assembly at St. Elizabeth also included breakout sessions on a variety of topics related to peace and justice.
Stephanie Van Hook, executive director of the Metta Center for Nonviolence, shared her techniques on teaching peace to young children. Jackie Cabasso, an advocate against nuclear weapons, spoke on the urgency of eliminating all nuclear weapons. A session on ethical policing was presented by Deacon Reginald Lyles, a retired police captain. Ejaz Naqvi, a frequent speaker at interfaith events, spoke on the communalities between the Christian and Muslim faiths. José Luis Gómez, who serves with Catholic Worker, advised the participants of the best ways to assist immigrants who have recently arrived. Nicholas Dresler, a Bishop O'Dowd senior and winner of the Pax Christi multimedia contest on building peace, showed his presentation on the ministry to the poor and elderly at St. Mary's Center in Oakland.
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