State Assembly to be held virtually on October 10

For this year’s Pax Christi Massachusetts Assembly we have invited the National Pax Christi Executive Director, Mr. Johnny Zokovitch to be with us. Due to the pandemic it will be a virtual meeting. Johnny has been a member of both the national and the international Pax Christi leadership teams for a number of years. He has worked with the grass root organizers as well as witnessed some of the major peace initiatives which Pax Christi has been in the forefront of through these years. Johnny will reflect on those past and present initiatives and share with us some of the great engagements that Pax Christi groups have been doing around our nation and beyond. And we will have the opportunity to share with him initiatives that we here in Massachusetts are engaged in. Together we will enjoy a day that will help us rediscover the resilience and hope that strengthens us in this time of chaos.

Saturday October 10, 2020
11:00am to 12:30pm
Via Zoom

Registration is free. Email Fr. Rocco Puopolo at by October 8th and he will send you the link with password inviting you into the meeting.

Program: Opening Prayer and Introductions, Johnny’s presentation, Questions and discussion
Pax Christi Business meeting, concluding remarks and prayer

Co-sponored by the Agape Community

Registration is free. Email Fr. Rocco Puopolo at by October 8th and he will send you the link with password inviting you into the meeting.

Commemorating the 75th Anniversary of the Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, August 8-9, 2020

Pax Christi La Salette is collaborating with La Salette Shrine in Attleboro to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on the weekend of August 8-9.  All are invited to make a Peace Ribbon with the theme “What I cannot bear to think of as lost forever…” and drop it off at the Welcome Center information desk.  (See directions at  These ribbons will be displayed at the Shrine to call attention to the persistent danger of nuclear weapons.  Masses on Saturday evening August 8 at 4:30 pm and on Sunday August 9 at 12:10 pm will include prayers for peace and nuclear disarmament.  For more information, email Elaine at

Spring Retreat: Spiritual Resilience & Leadership in a Time of Climate Crisis

Saturday, March 28, 2020
Mary Dooley Campus Center, ELMS College
Faculty Dining Room, 291 Springfield Street Chicopee MA
Registration begins at 9:30am Program 10:00 am to 3:30 pm
For parking check out

In the face of ecological crisis, how do we maintain courage and hope? What spiritual practices and perspectives sustain us as we struggle to protect the web of life and to create a more just society? This retreat will explore a framework for the heart to help us become compassionate, prophetic leaders who are willing to take up the mantle of moral leadership that this decisive moment in history requires. Our time together will include presentations, guided meditation, group sharing, and space for solitary reflection and prayer.

Rev. Dr. Margaret Bullitt-Jonas is an Episcopal priest, author, and retreat leader who serves as Missioner for Creation Care for both the Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts and Mass. Conference, United Church of Christ. Rev. Margaret offers encouragement and guidance on creation care topics through articles, sermons and more on her website,, which she calls a place “to rest and reflect, to learn and find encouragement.”

2019 State Assembly on Sustainability

On November 9, 2019 Pax Christi Massachusetts held our state assembly at Saint Susanna Parish in Dedham, MA. Our keynote leader was Fr. Emmet Farrell, Director of the Creation Care Ministry for the Diocese of San Diego. Father Emmet referenced Pope Francis’ encyclical, “Laudato Si – On Care for Our Common Home” as well as multiple video’s and PowerPoint presentations. The materials that were presented on 11/9/2019 are all available by clicking on the links below.

1-Canticle of Saint Francis
2-Thank You Pope Francis for Laudato Si
3-Truth In Ten – PowerPoint Presentation (No Audio)
4-Video Summary of Laudato Si
5-Study Guide to Laudato Si
6-Methodology for Creation Care Teams
7-Video – How to join the Creation Care Team in the San Diego Diocese
8-Video – Go Make A Difference


Spring Retreat on Creating the Contemplative Space that Grounds Us

Saturday April 13, 2019
Our Lady of Fatima Shrine, Xavier Hall
101 Summer Street, Holliston MA

This year’s retreat leader was Sr. Teresita Weind SNDdeN, Congregational Leader
for the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur world wide. Teresita began ministry in
health care as a nurse, but served as pastoral minister and liturgical educator in
Archdiocese of Chicago and director of a house of prayer in Saginaw MI. She has
been congregational leader on a local and now general level since 2005. It
has taken her literally around the world and she will gift that experience with us!

This year’s retreat theme further developed and helped us internalize in prayer challenges and responses found in the recent Pastoral Letter on Racism.

Steadfast Hope: The Palestinian Quest for Just Peace

Pax Christi MetroWest and Mass. Peace Action are sponsoring a 3-part Study Group about the Palestine / Israel conflict, based on research by scholars in both America and the Middle East.

The conflict in the Middle East, especially Israel / Palestine, is currently often in our news media.  But most Americans do not know the history and current realities of this conflict, and as importantly, steps toward peace in the region that we can take locally.

The Study Group discussions will focus on the informative book, Steadfast Hope: The Palestinian quest for Just Peace  and a companion DVD.  These resources are researched, written, and published by the national Episcopalian and Presbyterian churches.

This 46 page booklet and DVD will be available prior to the start of each 3-series meetings.    Each discussion meeting will take about 90 minutes.

Currently a new Study Group will meet at the Xaverian House of Prayer / Fatima Shrine in Holliston on three Friday afternoons at 4 PM, usually lasting a bit over an hour.

November 30, December 7, and December 14.

101 Summer Street    Holliston, MA  01746

The purpose of the Pax Christi MetroWest group is to work toward peace, justice, and equality with a special focus on Palestine / Israel.    We do this by:

  1. Educating ourselves and others about nonviolent ways toward peace, especially in the Middle East and
  2. Taking prayer-based action based on the facts we have learned.

To let us know you are interested in attending or for questions please contact: or Fr. Rocco Puopolo at .

2018 State Assembly on Restorative Justice

Erin Freeborn, the executive director of Communities for Restorative Justice (C4RJ) lead this year’s annual assembly.  The assembly took place at St. Mulachy’s Parish, 99 Bedford Street, Burlington, MA on Saturday October 20th from 11am to 3:30pm.  Photographs from the day are included here.

PCUSA Statement on Militarization

“The land of the free and the home of the brave” is quickly becoming an oxymoron with the latest decision by the White House to deploy the National Guard to the Southern Border region of the US. This is another indignity aimed at our immigrant and refugee sisters and brothers who predominantly come from communities of color.  Those coming today are mostly women and children seeking request for asylum under US domestic law.  They post no security threat, nor are they the villains that the White House portrays.    In addition this administration’s suggestion to arm teachers and security guards in our schools and the continuing militarization of our city streets is a sad commentary on the moral values of this current administration.

To confront areas of tension with weapons of violence is to breed more violence.  Adding to tensions already present is to set a stage which is dangerous, ineffective and morally irresponsible.

Our Catholic Social Teaching stresses that equality and dignity are the result of human security (not border security), freedom to learn and thrive in an atmosphere of respect (not fear of being killed for holding a cell phone), and where the common good of all enacts sensible gun legislation (and not bowing to a gun lobby whose only interest is a profit motive.)

As members of Pax Christi USA we encourage us all to use our power to address the disproportionate and growing issue of militarism that is both a contradiction and an affront to our values as members of the community of peacemakers.

Pax Christi Massachusetts Spring 2018 Retreat

Witnessing the Roots of Peace in the World of Discord and Hate

Transcending the deep racism in our history and the current
worldwide anti-immigrant feeling to re-engage public
discourse and build the beloved community of
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream.

Retreat Leader: Fr. Warren Savage

Saturday, April 7, at ELMS College

Faculty Dining Room of the Mary Dooley Campus Center, 291 Springfield Street, Chicopee, MA

Registration begins at 9:30 – Program 10:00 am to 3:30 pm

View the Flyer Here

From Just War to Just Peace? Peacemaking as Gospel Vocation

The 2017 Pax Christi Massachusetts annual fall Assembly featured as keynote speaker Dr. Lisa Sowle Cahill, the J. Donald Monan professor of theology at Boston College, addressing the topic, “From Just War to Just Peace?; Peacemaking as Gospel Vocation.” The event attracted 60 or so Pax Christi members and supporters to St. Susanna Parish in Dedham on Saturday, December 2, 2017.  The author of many articles and books, including ‘Love Your Enemies: Discipleship, Pacifism, and Just War Theory (Fortress, 1994), Dr. Cahill was one of 80 worldwide participants, and the only one from New England, at the April 2016 conference “On Violence and Just Peace,” convened in Rome by Pax Christi International and the Vatican.  Rome conference participants ( She began with a brief summary of the background paper on Catholic social teaching and just war theory that she had been asked to prepare for the Rome conference. She noted the irony that while every modern Pope (since World War II) has unequivocally condemned war, they all “leave the door open” to the use of violence as a last resort in self-defense.  But Dr. Cahill argued that Pope Francis is trying to focus the Church on “nonviolent conflict resolution” in the form of “peacebuilding.” She described this process as the finding of common ground between conflicting parties, most often in “the global south,” who are tired of endless warfare and need to find a just and sustainable way of living together. This daily reality, she suggested, makes the academic debate about “just war” vs. “just peace” at best “distracting” and at worst “divisive.” Put another way, she said there is “no just war in practice.”  Dr. Cahill also noted that while the Rome conference produced a consensus “Appeal to the Catholic Church to re-commit to the centrality of Gospel nonviolence,” a number of other viewpoints we re-expressed in the “background papers” submitted from around the world. She saw Pope Francis’s World Day of Peace message for 2017 (“Nonviolence: A style of politics for peace”) as a direct outgrowth of the conference. She suggested that we familiarize ourselves with all these documents at the Catholic Nonviolence Initiative web site: After wryly commenting that “proof texting” is “not the Catholic way,” Dr. Cahill nevertheless pointed out the “Gospel basis of nonviolence” in several passages from Scripture, especially the sermon on the mount (Matthew 5:38-44).  Dr. Lisa Cahill ( In response to several questions following her remarks, ably solicited Oprah-style via mobile microphone by PCMA board member John Monaco, Dr. Cahill: revealed that she’s working on an updated edition of ‘Love Your Enemies’ ; and affirmed her belief in a “preferential option for pacifism” in contemporary Catholicism.  This year’s Assembly took the innovative form of beginning with a light lunch and social time at 11:00 am, followed by the keynote at 12:30 pm.  Lunch still included the full array of delicious home-made pies and other treats contributed by St. Susanna parishioners at prior Pax Christi events there. At the annual PCMA business meeting after the keynote, the 2017 peacemaker award went to Bill Toller of Springfield, whose separate profile in this issue more than establishes his bona fides.   An afternoon session facilitated by Pax Christi MA co-coordinator Fr. Rocco Puopolo, drew many thoughtful responses to three questions following up on Dr. Cahill’s presentation:

1. What is your vision of the ways and means to move forward with the “Appeal” that arose out of the Vatican conference in April 2016?

2. How can we make this information available to parishes throughout the state?

3. What “best practices” in your nonviolent peacemaking life seem to carry seeds of hope for change? A number of concrete suggestions, from local bulletin inserts, to collaborative support with other like-minded organizations for refugees, to further contacts with Pax Christi USA and our Bishops, promised that Dr. Cahill’s reminder about the power of public opinion to create change would not go unheeded.

[from the Winter-Spring 2018 Newsletter, article by Mike Moran]