July, 2015

Dear Friends,


Like everyone else, I was shocked and saddened by the brutal racist massacre and terrorist attack which killed nine sisters and brothers in Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, last month. I hope and pray that we can renew our efforts to end handgun violence, systemic racism, and the addiction to violence which continues to plague all of us. (You can read my essay for the Huffington Post just below this box.)

With that event in mind, I continue to travel, speak and teach Jesus’ way of nonviolence, which I believe, along with Gandhi and Dr. King, remains our only hope.

I’m just back now from an amazing speaking tour of Germany, where I spoke in a different city every day for a week, and met some of the leading activists for justice and peace. In Frankfurt, I was interviewed by the national magazine, “Public Forum,” (which is available somewhere on line for those who read German!), then I traveled to Cologne, Idstein, Munich, Stuggart, and Rastatt. My journey ended with the Pax Christi National Congress where I met long time Catholic activists who have been struggling against injustice, war and nuclear weapons for decades.

I was so moved by their witness, their fidelity, and their vision of a more nonviolent Germany and Europe! As with my speaking tours of Australia, New Zealand, England, Canada and Scotland, I find that there is much to learn from peacemaking sisters and brothers around the world, that good people everywhere are doing what they can for disarmament and justice, that there is reason for hope in the global grassroots movement for peace.

This month, I will speak at the Wildgoose Festival in Hot Springs, North Carolina, and make my own private eight day silent retreat. But mainly I am preparing for our annual peace vigils at Los Alamos, New Mexico, on August 6th and 9th, and for our Campaign Nonviolence national conference at the Hilton hotel in Santa Fe, which has been sold out for months.

All our events from August 6th through the 9th will be broadcast live on line at www.campaignnonviolence.org. You can watch the Los Alamos vigils, hear Jim Lawson’s keynote speech, and listen to all the panel discussions with leading activists. We expect tens of thousands of people to follow us. Join us!

And then get ready to engage in some public action for justice and peace during the week of September 20th as part of our Campaign Nonviolence project.

May the God of peace bless us all!

–Fr. John