POSTPONED: PCM IS POSTPONING OUR CONFERENCE UNTIL IT IS DEEMED SAFE TO HAVE LARGE SOCIAL GATHERINGS AGAIN (per the Coronavirus Safety Protocols). WE WILL KEEP YOU POSTED ON A FUTURE DATE.
At the Crossroads:
Active Nonviolence in a Time of Crisis and Opportunity
Pax Christi Michigan proudly invites you to our 39th Annual State Conference, to be held Saturday, April 18th 2020 at Ss. Simon and Jude Church in Westland. We are thrilled to announce that our Keynote Speakers will be Ken Butigan and Jean Stokan. Our theme will hold accountable our church and our community in committing to nonviolence as our tool for change, carving out a future of peace with justice. The Catholic Nonviolence Initiative will be held up as an example of how to move forward with an agenda of creative peacebuilding and a humane justice system, espousing integrity and a reverence for each other, our earth, and all of creation.
Our speakers, Jean Stokan and Ken Butigan, are well-versed in this theme. Briefly, Jean is the vice-Chair for the Pax Christi USA and serves as justice coordinator for immigration and nonviolence with the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas. Ken serves on the executive committee of Pax Christi International’s Catholic Nonviolence Initiative. He is a professor in the Peace, Justice and Conflict Studies Program at DePaul University in Chicago, works with Pace e Bene, and co-founded Campaign Nonviolence.
As an added special event for this conference, Pax Christi USA will be honoring Bishop Thomas Gumbleton with the designation of Bishop Emeritus of Pax Christi USA. Per PCUSA National Chair, Bob Shine:
“I am pleased to announce on behalf of the National Council that Bishop Thomas Gumbleton has been named Bishop President Emeritus of Pax Christi USA in honor of his decades-long commitment to the Catholic peace movement.
Bishop Gumbleton's involvement with Pax Christi USA dates back to his crucial role as a co-founder in 1972. He was one of the few U.S. bishops willing to condemn the Vietnam War at the time. In the intervening years, Bishop Gumbleton has advocated courageously for the cause of peace with justice, work rooted deeply in nonviolence. He has traveled the world to accompany peoples mired in conflict and violence, all the while condemning publicly the militarism behind so much of their suffering. He was instrumental in the U.S. bishops' 1983 peace pastoral.
Beyond the cause of peace, Bishop Gumbleton has been an advocate for many other justice issues. He stood against his own archbishop's decision to close parishes attended predominantly by communities of color, and has been a strong advocate for racial justice in his hometown of Detroit and elsewhere. He has been a healing presence to people harmed by the institutional Catholic Church, including to LGBTQ people and their families and to survivors of sexual abuse by clergy.
Pope Francis has expressed a need for more "credible witnesses" in our world, people who refuse to be indifferent and who choose to risk for the Gospel. I wrote recently, "Few Christians living today offer as credible a witness as Bishop Thomas Gumbleton, his life a masterclass in how to pursue justice even when it hurts . . . in the wounded church and the troubled world we inhabit, studying the credible witness of one who refused to be indifferent and risked so much for the Gospel is precisely what we need to be people of hope and action."
We will be honoring Bishop Gumbleton during Pax Christi Michigan's annual assembly on April 18, 2020. More information on that event and ways you can help honor Bishop Gumbleton will be forthcoming. For now, join me in a prayer of gratitude for Bishop Gumbleton and all that he has given to Pax Christi USA for nearly fifty years.”
Please join us for the wonderful gathering and celebration that this 39th State Conference promises to be. Registration and brochures can be found the link below ♦