To Italy, a “Julie Andrews” Moment, and then Home

On Thursday and Friday, May 21-22, we visited this experimental university in sophia panel, Italy.  In the picture we are listening to a panel of students chaired by Professor Amy Uelman.  Our students were impressed by the truly international student body.  This panel from left to right included students from Syria, Brazil, Argentina, Italy and India.  The university has as its goal giving students the skills to build a ‘culture of unity.’   There are students studying communication, economics, philosophy and theology, and political science.   Management students especially work to build a new style of business building an ‘economy of communion,’ where profits are divided into thirds, one third reinvested in the business, one third to promote the wider economy of communion in the community, and a third to be used to support the poor.

We were quite impressed by the focus on religious diversity on campus and the related emphasis on dialogue and understanding in contrast to proselytizing.  The expectation is that students of different religious backgrounds, including ‘no-religion,’ would hear and learn from each other and learn to pursue a common ‘golden rule.’ That will bring peace.

While in Loppiano, we also visited the local arts program, where some remarkably talented and globally grounded artists produce works that contribute to cross cultural unity.  We also visited several cooperative enterprises ranging from a café, a winery and a fabric producer who are guided by the economy of communion concept.

After our visit to  Loppiano, our final stop is Marzabotto, Italy (between Florence and Bologna).  We picked an agrituristicaMarzabotto chapel site for our last three days so that students could prepare their final project proposals in a relaxing and reflective community.  We have stayed at Chiesa D’Ignano 1778, lodging built into an old chapel destroyed by the Nazis in 1944 as they fought partisans in retreating from Central Italy.  Marzabotto was the site of a Nazi massacre of civilians in this beautiful mountain region.  The massacre is much like that at Oradour-sur-Glane in France, except it was spread across a mountain into two valleys.  The massacres in this region have recently been the subject of two films – Spike Lee’s “Miracle at St. Anna (2008) and an Italian film, whose English title is “The Man Who Will Come.”  The images which differ in the emails, show how half the chapel was destroyed when a German tank fired into the front door.  Both films show how the Nazis rounded up people in the churches and killed the priests and the parishioners, as at Oradour.

On a lighter, final note, after drafting the policy proposal, the students climbed to the top of Monte Sole which is the center of a National Park dedicated to peace.  In the image, they could not help recalling scenes from the “Sound of Music,” and Marzabotto Hills are Aliveas they posed on the meadow just below the summit they hummed “The Hills Are Alive with the Sound of Music.”

While the final student proposal is only in draft form, it focused on helping Alma College learn from the emphasis on peace, economic justice, openness to religious and cultural diversity that they experienced during the visit to Sophia University.

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From France, and then Switzerland, and on to Germany

This photo is from Monday, May 11 in Chambon-sur-Lignon, France.  We’re standing in front of the church of Andre Trocme, Trocme churchthe reformed church minister in the town who with his wife inspired the community of 5,000 people to shelter an equal number, mostly Jewish fleeing the holocaust.  The story of the courage of the towns of the region to simply open their doors to foreign strangers of a different faith is amazing and came for the students after we left Oradour-sur-Glane, the town that symbolizes the worst in human nature.  There is an absolutely wonderful film about Chambon, “Weapons of the Spirit,” produced by a Jewish film producer who happened to have been born in Chambon in 1944 while his family was living [hiding] on a farm outide of town.  The students also read a great book on Chambon, “Lest Innocent Blood be Shed.”  Even today, the current generation in Chambon is sheltering 25 refugee families from Verdun Cathedralplaces like Syria and Kosovo.

Here is the side wall of Verdun Cathedral (where there was the Pax Christi info) in France.  The outsides of the Cathedral are pick marked with holes from exploding shells from WWI.

PCINTL_in_Verdun

Last night in the back of Verdun Cathedral we found the French Pax Christi newsletter – prominently on the info table!

UN gate Geneva group

Heading to Switzerland, we had visits with international agencies and non-governmental organizations in Geneva.  The student really liked Jesuit Refugee Service, the World Council of Churches and Doctors Without Borders!

UN Conf Rm Group

These pictures are from our visits in Geneva, Switzerland.  Two are at the UN headquarters, one the gate and the other in one of the conference rooms.  In addition to touring the UN facilities, the students met with officials of the UN affiliated international Labor Organization (ILO).

Jesuit refugee group

This picture is from our meeting with Father Mike Gallagher, S.J., Geneva coordinator for Jesuit Refugee Service.  We met with both his office and also leaders of the World Council of Churches.

Nuremberg doc center discussion

This picture (it was hard to get a perfect one) was taken during a discussion of Alma students with a staff expert on propaganda at what is called the Nazi Documentation Center in Nuremberg.  The center (and there is a similar one we visited today in Munich) focuses on how an advanced, modern society could fall for a racist regime like the Nazis.  The discussion focused on some samples of propaganda from early in the 20th century.

Nuremberg courtroom 600

A picture of the courtroom where the Nuremberg Trials were held.

Nuremberg Justice Process

A picture of students going through the exhibit above the Nuremberg Trials courtroom that does an excellent job of showing the evolution of international justice from the 19th century through the International Criminal Court, showing both the pioneering role of U.S. leaders such as Abraham Lincoln through our failure to join the International Criminal Court.

Dachau Carmelite Convent

At the Dachau Concentration Camp students walk into the chapel, one of five at the former concentration camp (there are a
Catholic, Protestant, Russian Orthodox and Jewish center at the back of the former concentration camp just outside Munich).

In the afternoon of May 19 we visited the various White Rose memorials at Munich University.  This image shows one onWhite Rose Inside Univ. the wall of the foyer where Sophie Scholl distributed flyers by the anti-Nazi group (she was caught after this and she and her brother and other leaders were beheaded a few days later).  The university remembers the White Rose leaders, including their professor, Huber, who also was beheaded.

Sophie school fountain

This fountain, outside the main door of the University of Munich honors the Scholl Siblings who led the White Rose and who were beheaded in February 1943.  An identical fountain and park across the streets honors their Philosophy Professor Dr. Huber.  Here the Alma students stand by the fountain

Finally, on May 19 we visited the new Nazi Documentation Center in Munich (opened April 30, 2015) where we received an amazingly informative tour focused on the rise and legacy of Nazism.  In this photo, the Alma students are listening to a presentation on “fighting forgetting.”  The role of the museum is to educate the public both in Munich and around the world Nazi Doc Center Munich fight forgettingin learning from the rise of the Nazis and continued racism, anti-immigrant and super nationalistic movements.   How can modern societies avoid these movements which effectively use fear, economic uncertainty and modern propaganda techniques to turn societies against others?

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A Synopsis of the Itinerary:

  • May 5: Arrive in Madrid, Spain. Visit Prado
  • May 6: Visit Museo Reina Sofia. Depart Madrid for Valladolid. Visit Colegio de San Gregorio.
  • May 7: Leave Valladolid for Arantzazu.
  • May 8: Visit Guernika Peace Museum and Basque Assembly Hall; Depart San Sebastian for Bordeaux, France
  • May 9: Rent cars and drive to Oradour-sur Glane. Oradour is a Shrine.
  • May 10: Depart Oradour by car for Chambon-sur-Lignon
  • May 11: Visit Chambon-sur-LignonEurope
  • May 12: Depart Chambon-sir-Lignong for Geneva, Switzerland. Visit the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
  • May 13: Visit World Council of Churches and the International Labor Organization
  • May 14: Visit Jesuit Refugee Service and the Red Cross.
  • May 15: Visit Emmanuel Tronc, Humanitarian Advocacy & RepresentationCoordinator, Médecins sans Frontièrs (Doctors Without Borders). Depart Geneva for Verdun, France.
  • May 16: Visit Centre Mondial de la Paix and tour WW I battlefield and cemetery.
  • May 17: Depart Verdun for Nuremberg, Germany.
  • May 18: Visit Dokumentationzentrum and Memorium Nürnberger Prozesse.  Depart Nuremberg for Munich.
  • May 19: Visit Dachau, the White Rose memorial, and Rupert Mayer shrine and Munich Nazi Documentation Centre.
  • May 20: Depart Munich for Incisa, Italy
  • May 21: Visit Sophia University and the School of Civil Economy, Incisa in Val d’Arno.
  • May 22: Visit Community of Loppiano and Loppiano Cooperative in Incisa Val d’Arno
  • May 23: Depart Incisa for Monzano-Vado.
  • May 24: Field trip to Sept. 29, 1944 massacre site.
  • May 25: Final papers prepared; spend night at Chiesaignano Agroturismo, Italy
  • May 26: Depart for home.

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A Glimpse at the Leadership in Human Rights and Conflict Resolution Syllabus

As we follow PCM Council Members Ed and Marilyn Lorez – leading this Human Rights Class across Europe – we gain even more understanding of where they’re going and why by reading the class syllabus (HERE).  This truly is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

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PCM Council Member Leads Spring Semester Peace Leadership Class

Alma College Public Affairs Spring Term class on Leadership in Human Rights and Conflict Resolution is visiting various organizations and sites in Western Europe related to the struggles over the last 500 years to develop legal procedures to protect human rights and regulate the conduct of war.  This excursion is coordinated by PCM State Council member and Alma College professor, Ed Lorenz.  Over the first three weeks in May, the students will visit France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Switzerland, beginning with Spain.  The first two days were spent in Madrid and Valladolid, Spain.

Here are brief descriptions:

Prado Lawn

Prado Lawn: Upon the arrival of the students overnight from Canada, they visited the great Prado Art Museum in Madrid, and here are taking a well-deserved break on the Prado’s back lawn.  It was a gloriously refreshing spring day.  The Prado has many great paintings, especially some by Goya that portray the horrors and foolishness of war and the pompous leaders who often send their country into war.

Reine Sofia Door

Reine Sofia Door: On our first full day in Spain we began with a visit to see Picasso’s Guernica, the world’s great symbol of the horrors of modern war.  They waited for the Reine Sofia Museum to open on Wednesday morning.  Two days later they would visit the Peace Museum and other sites in the town of Guernica.  The painting from 1937 is inspired by the April 1937 bombing of the city during the Spanish Civil War.

San Paulo Valladolid

San Paulo Valladolid: In midday on Wednesday, the class took a high speed train to Valladolid a city about 140 miles northwest of Madrid.  Valladolid was the location of what is often called the Great Debate About Human Rights in 1550.  Here the students stand in front of the grand Church of San Paulo adjacent to the site of the 1550 debate.

dramaticreading1

Dramatic Reading: The students were allowed to do a dramatic reading of “The Controversy of Valladolid,” a play by Jean-Claude Carriere that dramatized the effort by Bartolome de Las Casas in 1550 to get the Spanish government and the Church to recognize the humanity and thus the human rights of the indigenous peoples in the Americas.  Here the students practice their readings in front of the altar where the debate took place.

Collegio Courtyard Window

Collegio Courtyard Window: After the dramatic reading, the students went to look at the beautiful courtyard of the Collegio de San Gregorio where the great debate took place.  Again, the weather was perfect for our visit.


As we continued our human rights and peace leadership class, we visited some additional sites on Thursday, Friday and Saturday (May 7-9).  Here are some descriptions linked to the attached photos:

Arantzazu Sanctuary

  1. Arantzazu Sanctuary: On Thursday and Friday, May 7-8, 2015, we visited the Arantzazu Sanctuary near Onati, Spain. This is an old center for pilgrimage that in recent years has become a center for meetings on peace and conflict resolution. The students have read essays and books on the development of cooperatives and peace building processes in the Basque country of northern Spain.  The sanctuary is both a wonderful symbol of successful peace making and an absolutely awesome sight up a long mountain road and at the base of cliffs, pastures filled with sheep, cattle and goats, and forests.
  1. Arantzazu Group: Before departing the Sanctuary Aranzazu Groupfor a visit to the peace museum in Guernica, Spain, the students posed against the mountains south of Arantzazu. We then drove an hour to Guernica, the site of the first major incendiary bombing, during the Spanish Civil War in 1937. The peace museum in Guernica does an excellent job of relating four issues together: 1. The Right to Life; 2. The Right to Freedom of Expression; 3. The Right to Equality of Opportunity; and 4. The Right to Peace.  Simply working for one of the four leads to general failure to build a good society that will be stable.
  1. Oradour Street: On Friday evening the group crossed into southwest France and went to Oradour StreetBordeaux for the evening. On Saturday we drove to Oradour-sur-Glane, a town in France that was eradicated by the Nazis four days after D-Day (June 10, 1944), sending a message that the Germans would tolerate no resistance. On the morning of June 10, the Waffen SS surrounded the town, ordered all men into one of several town squares and put the women and children in the church.  They then shot all but four of the men (who managed to hide).  Then they went to the church, the doors of which were barred.  They gassed the women and children, then threw hand grenades into their midst (killing all but one).  A total of 642 civilians were slaughtered.  France decided to maintain the town as a reminder of human brutality, fencing it a limiting access through a below ground visitor center.  In this photo Alma students are walking down the former main street of Oradour.

Oradour Church

  1. Oradour Church: The church in Oradour has been left as it was after the Nazis killed all the women and children and burned the bodies and the whole town. Next to desecrated altar is the remains of a baby stroller. The remnant town identifies itself with all the other towns that faced similar atrocities both during World War II and down to the present.  A terrible characteristic of modern societies has been the temptation to brutalize civilians in the name of some distorted crusade.  Everyone leaves Oradour silent but hopefully determined to teach these they meet about the horrors we are prepared to bring to others and, thinking back to Arantzazu, that we can change and take steps to undermine hate.

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EdLorenz

Follow PCM Council Member Ed Lorenz as he leads a group of human rights and international law students to France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and Switzerland to study and meet leaders and visit sites related to development of international law and organizations to control and reduce conflict.

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Pope Francis to Families: Get Off Your Screens and Actually Talk to Each Other

AS REPORTED IN TIME MAGAZINE:

The Pontiff says technology should be used to enable conversation, not hinder it

“By growing daily in our awareness of the vital importance of encountering others, we will employ technology wisely, rather than letting ourselves be dominated by it,” the Pontiff said Friday in his annual message for World Communications Day.

In other words, cut down on your screen time, kids.

Not that mothers and fathers aren’t beyond reproach: “Parents are the primary educators,” he said, “but they cannot be left to their own devices.”

“The media can be a hindrance if they become a way to avoid listening to others, to evade physical contact, to fill up every moment of silence and rest, so that we forget that ‘silence is an integral element of communication; in its absence, words rich in content cannot exist,’” Pope Francis said.

This isn’t the first time the Pope has implied those family-centric Apple ads might be misleading. “Maybe many young people waste too many hours on futile things,” like “chatting on the Internet or with smartphones,” he said last year.

Glued to the ScreenEven in 1967, long before the dawn of the selfie, Pope Paul VI remarked upon the rapidly expanding world of communications, noting how television and other media leave “their deep mark upon the mentality and the conscience of man who is being pressed and almost overpowered by a multiplicity of contradictory appeals.”

It’s like they say in Proverbs 18:2: “A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion [on Twitter].”

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JOHN DEAR: “Leaving the Jesuits after 32 years”

John Dear  |  Jan. 7, 2014 On the Road to PeaceImage

This week, with a heavy heart, I am officially leaving the Jesuits after 32 years. After three years of discernment, I’m leaving because the Society of Jesus in the U.S. has changed so much since I entered in 1982 and because my Jesuit superiors have tried so hard over the decades to stop my work for peace — most recently, when my provincial ordered me to Baltimore but gave me no assignment and, I felt, encouraged me to leave, as many other superiors have done in the past.

According to my provincial, the Society of Jesus in the U.S. has renounced its commitment to “the faith that does justice.” It has also deepened its financial involvement with the culture of war and decreased its work with the poor in favor of serving through its universities and high schools. Given this change and the lack of support (and, at times, censure) I have endured over the years and its debilitating effect on my health, I realized I could no longer stay.

This decision was sparked three years ago, when Archbishop Michael Sheehan of Santa Fe, N.M., removed my priestly faculties because he objected to the prayer vigils for peace and against nuclear weapons development I was leading at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, the birthplace of nuclear weapons. He had received many complaints regarding my peace efforts over the years from the local pastor in Los Alamos and other Catholics who work in Los Alamos, building nuclear weapons.

After this, Fr. James Shea, my Jesuit provincial, the head of the Maryland Province, ordered me to leave New Mexico and return to Baltimore, to be near province headquarters. Instead of supporting my work for peace, he was embarrassed by it. I moved to Baltimore, where the archbishop there gave me full priestly faculties as a priest in good standing, though I was not given an assignment by my provincial. Over the course of several meetings, I felt Fr. Shea was urging me to stop my work for justice and peace and leave the society. He said, for example, that nothing I have done over the last 10 years has had anything to do with the Society of Jesus.

He explained to me that the Society of Jesus has renounced Fr. Pedro Arrupe’s groundbreaking vision of justice and the documents of the 31st and 32nd General Congregations, which call for a radical commitment to justice. It no longer advocates for justice or works for justice, he told me. The Maryland Province has closed all its projects that serve the poor. From now on, he said, because the number of Jesuits is in sharp decline, U.S. Jesuits will only serve in our 25 universities and 25 high schools. This direction, it seems to me, differs vastly from the order I entered in 1982, with its visionary call to “accompany Jesus as he carries the cross in the struggle for justice.” If I stayed, he said, I would have to work in one of the Jesuit high schools.

In recent years, I’ve been saddened to see many Jesuits involved in the U.S. military, our schools deepen their involvement in the U.S. military, and Jesuits permitted to work even in places such as the Los Alamos Labs, West Point, and Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. As far as I can tell, Jesuits who work for the military can continue their work. I’ve been especially saddened that the Jesuits at Loyola University in Baltimore have been allowed to hold an annual Mass where[1] after Communion, they bring their nearly 100 ROTC cadets into the sanctuary to profess an oath to “defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” I told my provincial that I consider this blasphemy, a mockery of Jesus and the Eucharist, but he said he had no problem with it.

So after five months in Baltimore as a priest in good standing, I moved back to New Mexico, went on a leave of absence from the Jesuits, continued my discernment, asked to leave and this week, left the society. I’m still a Catholic priest but have no priestly faculties. I doubt any U.S. bishop will give me faculties because most also object to my work against war and injustice, so I’m not sure if I will remain a priest.

In his recent America interview [2], Pope Francis spoke of the great harm he did when he was a Jesuit provincial through what he Imagecalled his “authoritarianism.” For decades, my friends and I have suffered under similar authoritarianism. We believe many U.S. provincials and superiors abuse the vow of obedience to suppress public, political work for justice and peace, which we regard as central to discipleship to Jesus and at the heart of the Jesuit mission.

I’ve long believed that Jesus was nonviolent and that he commands us to put down the sword, love our enemies, and become peacemakers and justice-seekers. I think that means every Christian has to become nonviolent and reject war and violence, and that the church, locally and globally, has to reject war and violence and espouse and practice nonviolence. Also, that every religious order has to reject war and violence and espouse and practice nonviolence. If Jesus really is the divine embodiment of peace and nonviolence, then everything has to change to fit within his vision and methodology of nonviolence.

My vocation is to follow the nonviolent Jesus by teaching and practicing the Sermon on the Mount, resisting the culture of war and injustice, and proclaiming and welcoming God’s reign of peace and nonviolence. I’ve been told in very clear terms by many Jesuit leaders that U.S. Jesuits do not do this. I’m very sad about this and am moving on to try to remain faithful to my calling. I’m grateful for all the wonderful experiences I’ve had as a Jesuit — the studies, retreats, prayers, travels, good works and, most of all, friendships.

I think the nonviolent Jesus wants us — all of us — to work as best we can in these critical times for the abolition of war, poverty, nuclear weapons and catastrophic climate change so God’s reign of peace will spread. So I have joined the staff of Pace e Bene [3], a small group that works to promote Gospel nonviolence. I’m also helping to organize Campaign Nonviolence [4], which calls for demonstrations across the country in every congressional district before the elections this fall to protest war, poverty and environmental destruction, beginning with a national gathering Sept. 21 in Washington, D.C. I hope everyone will join this exciting movement. We need everyone’s help.

I thank all those who have supported me and my work over the years and ask for your prayers in this time of transition, that I might continue to do my part to promote God’s reign of peace and justice for many years to come. Let’s also pray that the Society of Jesus and the church might uphold the nonviolence of Jesus more and more. May the God of peace bless us all!

[John Dear’s new book, The Nonviolent Life, is available at paceebene.org [5] and Amazon.com [6]. John will be in South Africa for the rest of the month and will speak in California in February. He will lead a weekend retreat, “Lotus in a Sea of Fire [7],” with Roshi Joan Halifax Feb. 28-March 2 at the Upaya Zen Center in Santa Fe, N.M. For more information, go to John’s website [8].]

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Alpena’s 30 Days of Peace

“This year’s 30 Days of Peace observance takes on more significance than ever before.” (Alpena News 11/13/13) Alpena Pax Christi (including the Alpena Peace Coalition) felt this challenge more than ever as they planned a month long calendar of activities that revolve around the need for peace locally, nationally and around the world.  The 7th annual 2013 Thirty Days officially began on Sept. 11 with a mayoral proclamation on behalf of the city of Alpena to recognize its importance. Following are some of the events:

  • A LARCC opening service in the style of Taize was led at Trinity Episcopal Church
  • The First Congregational United Church of Christ offered contemplative services on four consecutive Mondays. These reflective services included soft music, readings on non-violence and prayers for peace 
  • A Taize service with music and periods of silence focused on Sacred Creation was prayed at Trinity Episcopal Church
  • Noon liturgies each Wednesday at Trinity Episcopal Church wove awareness of the need for peace with global events as they were happening.
  • The 7th annual Peace Contest was held for area students. The month long contest ended with a formal ceremony hosted by All Saints Catholic School where the mayor of Alpena presented students awards.
  • All Saints Catholic School sponsored a “Penny Drop For Peace” during the 30 Days and students presented $75.00 to the Alpena Peace Coalition at the student awards ceremony.
  • A Friday coffeehouse jazz and blues night featured student project winners who presented their original works to the public.
  • Popcorn, movies and discussions were held on Friday evenings at Grace Lutheran Church. 
  • St. Paul Lutheran Women’s Interfaith Study Group presented a well-attended panel discussion on peace and unity
  • The crowning event of the 30 Days was the 7th annual Peace Concert hosted by St. Anne’s Catholic Church. Area musicians offered expressions of peace through their music to a church that was filled to capacity. Guest performer Gemini, a Christian folk artist/composer/singer from Toronto, Canada performed her second year at the concert.Image

The Alpena Newspaper continued its overwhelming support of the 30 Days events by featuring weekly interviews of Peace Coalition members who explained the events of the coming week and their significance. In addition, local television coverage of events kept the community aware of the 30 Days.  The Alpena Peace Coalition observed how fortunate they are in continuing to have such great media coverage and community support.  Each year the events have grown in popularity and attendance.

The Peace Coalition has received many expressions of gratitude.  The 3rd grade  teacher of a winning entry called to report that the young boy chose to use his $25 prize not on himself but to purchase three books on bullying which he donated to the school library. Another supporter who attended many of the events summed it up beautifully in a thank you card.  She wrote, “You people give us hope and assurance that this world is a good place. Thank you for doing what you do.”

(The core planning group for the Alpena Peace Coalition’s 30 Days of Peace initiative includes, seated from left, Sally Buza, Sylvia Owens, Sister Catherine Anderson and Jim DesRocher. Standing are Sister Mary Hughes, Carol Skiba, Rev. Tom Orth and Duffy Gorski. Not pictured are Rev. Bruce Michaud, Rev. Bob Case and Betsy Adamus),

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Our Trip to Ft. Benning for the SOA Watch

By Ed and Marilyn Lorenz

On Friday, Nov. 22, Ed and Marilyn Lorenz went to Columbus Georgia with five students from the Amnesty International chapter at Alma College to participate in the School of the Americas (SOA) Watch protests at the gates of Ft. Benning.  They traveled on an United Auto Workers bus from Detroit, arriving in Georgia on the morning of Saturday, Nov. 23.  On Saturday they participated in events at the Gates of Ft. Benning.  They also met member of Pax Cristi from Washington, D.C.

The number of young people at the events was especially encouraging.  There were groups from Warren Williams College in North Carolina, Loras College in Dubuque, The College of St. Thomas and St. Catherine’s in the Twin Cities, Holy Names College in California, and Goshen in Indiana.  There were high school students that we met from as far as California and Missouri.  Of course, there also were the United Auto Worker members.

On Saturday evening there were a number – almost too many – of great presentations and films.  John Dear, S.J. gave a great talk on living the work of peace.  There were films on torture, cooperative worker enterprises and women and the military.

On Sunday we returned to the gates of Ft. Benning for the formal ceremonies recalling the martyrs of the Americas, often killed by people trained at the School of the Americas.  As we went to Ft. Benning, one of the UAW members led us in prayer, including for the soldiers put in the terrible position of following orders and killing people of good will.

Sunday was an extremely cold day for Georgia, with highs in the 40’s and a strong wind from the North.  We were glad to return to the warmth of the bus, with a diverse group of defenders of peace and human rights – workers, students, younger kids of UAW members, and some of us not so young.  We arrived back at Solidarity House in Detroit at 5:30 a.m. on Monday.  Our Alma group then drove two and half hours back to campus, arriving about 8;00 a.m., shortly before two students had 8:30 classes.

The experience, especially affirmed for us how we need to focus on finding and supporting youth to take up the challenge of building peace and justice.

Marilyn and ed

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SOA Watch founder speaks: Fr. Roy Bourgeois

SOA Watch founder speaks: Fr. Roy Bourgeois.

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