Pacific Northwest gathering to focus on commitment to peace, nonviolence

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Marie Dennis in a 2012 file photo (CNS/Nancy Phelan Wiechec)
Marie Dennis in a 2012 file photo (CNS/Nancy Phelan Wiechec)

by Dan Morris-Young

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More than 200 persons have registered to make a muscular public commitment to "active nonviolence and just peace" on Saturday, Sept. 24, at St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Burien, Washington, a suburb of Seattle, report event organizers.

Marie Dennis, co-president of Pax Christi International, will keynote the 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. gathering "Becoming Peacemakers: A Gospel Response to Violence."

"In addition to providing awareness through Marie to the global peacemaking efforts of Pax Christi International, we will also have some local stories and opportunities for prayer, reflection and personal discernment about the call to peacemaking," said Vincent Herberholt, a board member of JustFaith Ministries, one of five sponsoring organizations.

"We will end the morning with a public witness of the entire group to nonviolence and peacemaking," Herberholt said.

Other event sponsors are the Seattle archdiocese's Missions Office, the Intercommunity Peace and Justice Center, Maryknoll, and Pax Christi.

"My goal for the day is to engage participants in a dynamic conversation about the potential for the human community to move beyond perpetual violence and war and, in particular, about the contribution the Catholic Church could make to helping us move in a direction that better reflects Jesus' teachings and way of life," Dennis told NCR in an email.

She added that she would pay particular attention to the landmark document stemming from April's Nonviolence and Just Peace conference, co-sponsored by Pax Christi International and the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace in Rome.

There is a $15 fee to attend the convocation. That includes an optional afternoon session from 1:15 until 3:30 that will focus on "contemplative dialogue," according to an event flyer.

"I will be inviting participants to reflect on their own experience of violence and nonviolence through prayer, reflection and conversation," Dennis said.

[Dan Morris-Young is NCR's West Coast correspondent. His email is]

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