On the Road to Peace
A Monthly Newsletter from Fr. John
A Monthly Newsletter from Fr. John
Peace be with you! I’ve been traveling the country since Feb. 28th, talking about my new book They Will Inherit the Earth, and will finish my speaking tour on May 24th in Boise, Idaho. What a blessing to meet so many good people, hear about so many good projects and campaigns, and discover the Spirit of Jesus alive and at work everywhere, leading us to peace.
As of May 1st, I’ve spoken to over 3,000 people, in some forty events in sixteen states, and sold over 3000 copies of They Will Inherit the Earth. One event was cancelled unfortunately, at Union Theological Seminary in New York City, because of the blizzard. I’ve had a number of local and regional press articles, along with articles in The National Catholic Reporter, St. Anthony Messenger, the Progressive; a facebook live interview with the Center of Action and Contemplation; and an interview with John Fugelsang on his Sirius XM live radio show.
April took me to events in Milwaukee and Madison, Wis.; Joliet and Chicago, IL; Grand Rapids and Detroit, Mich.; Canton and Sylvania, Ohio; Richmond, IN; St. Louis and Kansas City, MO; Sarasota and Lakeworth, FL; and Birmingham, Al.
One of the most memorable events was the launch of “Nonviolent Tiffin,” organized by the Franciscan Sisters of Tiffin. As I drove into town, I noticed signs on front lawns across the city saying, “Join the movement for a ‘Nonviolent Tiffin.’” Two hundred people came out for this exciting evening, including many youth. A representative of the city council introduced me. What a hopeful event! They are claiming a new vision of nonviolence for their city, and along with Cincinnati, have overnight become the leaders of our “Nonviolent Cities” project.
Along the way, I’ve visited with many close friends, such as Ken Butigan, Bishop Tom Gumbleton, Ed DeBerri, Jim and Shelley Douglass, Jim Flaherty, Danny Muller, Kathy Kelly, Ben Jemenez,
Ethel Kennedy, Jean and Bill Buchanan, Steve Spetnagel, and Steve Berry.
In May, I’ll be speaking in Denver and Boulder, Colorado; Iowa City, IO; Charlottesville, VA; Washington, D.C.; Raleigh and Asheville, NC; Little Rock, ARK; Portland and Corvallis, OR; Salt Lake City, UT; and Boise, Idaho.
In Erie, PA, I will record four online videos about my recent book, The Beatitudes of Peace, for my friends the Benedictine Sisters who run “Monasteries of the Heart,” an online program. My four week course on the Beatitudes and nonviolence will start on Labor Day. To register, visit: www.monasteriesoftheheart.org
Monasteries of the Heartwww.monasteriesoftheheart.orgWhen you become a member of Monasteries of the Heart you receive free weekly practices that can help you develop a monastic spirituality—prayer, lectio (reflective reading), good works, study and community.
Along my travels, I’ve heard how people are discouraged and grieving for our country, the world, and creation, but also how they have been heartened and energized by the extraordinary Parkland students and the great “March for our Lives” national march against gun violence held on March 24th.
Despite the bad news, the horrendous administration and the ongoing global crises of violence, war and systemic injustice, people are not giving up. They are responding to the call to rise to the occasion, to do what they can for justice, disarmament and creation, to pursue a new vision of nonviolence.
People are keeping the faith, practicing nonviolence, taking a stand, and letting their little light shine. Everywhere I’ve gone, people have inspired me and given me new hope.
I’ve been encouraged, too, to hear how people across the country are planning actions and marches for the Campaign Nonviolence National Week of Action (September 15-23). Others are hoping to join our national march on Saturday, September 22, from the Dr. King statue in Washington, D.C. to the White House for a peace vigil and nonviolent direct action. Please check out our website for more details: www.campaignnonviolence.org.
Despite the bad news, I’m choosing with so many people to believe the good news of the nonviolent Jesus, and to carry on his work of proclaiming the coming of God’s reign of peace and nonviolence.
May the Holy Spirit renew you and energize you this Pentecost to rise to the occasion, let your light shine, and carry on the mission of peace and nonviolence for a new world of peace and nonviolence. God bless you!