In 1945, a small group of people in France met regularly to pray for peace. What kept them coming together was their experience of an agonizing fact: French and German Catholics, who professed the same faith and celebrated the same Eucharist, had killed one another by the millions in the 20th century. That situation could hardly be the will of God. So, the prayed for forgiveness, reconciliation, and peace.
After the war, Pax Christi centers were established in France and Germany. By the 1950s the movement had spread to Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland, and Belgium. PCUSA was started in 1972 at the initiative of a small group of prominent US Catholics, mostly lay people.
Pax Christi Little Rock initiated its most recent chapter in 2016. The membership was re-energized by the nationalistic political climate and the repression of minority groups. We work to establish equitable and just communities, and so promote peace.
Pax Christi Little Rock uses a model of prayer, study, and action to discern and then work for justice and peace. We promote the importance of understanding the root causes of injustice and violence.
PCLR members work in many ways:
- Implementing a peace curriculum in local schools
- Holding prayer vigils when executions are scheduled to take place
- Participating in events to lift up the call to Christian nonviolence
- Working to help those in need recover from natural disasters
- Providing school supplies for underprivileged children in public and Catholic schools throughout the state
- Promoting equal rights and supporting minority groups when unjustly treated
- Providing education via speaker series to promote peace and community building
- Working in partnerships with organizations on peace and justice initiatives
Pax Christi Little Rock strives to create a world that reflects the Peace of Christ by exploring, articulating, and witnessing to the call of Christian nonviolence. This work begins in personal life and extends to communities of reflection and action to transform structures of society. It advocates primacy of conscience, economic and social justice, and respect for creation.
Pax Christi Little Rock commits itself to peace education and, with the help of its bishop members, promotes the gospel imperative of peacemaking as a priority in the Catholic Church in the U.S. Through the efforts of all members and in partnership with other groups, PCLR works toward a more peaceful, just, and sustainable world. PCLR is committed to becoming an anti-racist, multicultural Catholic peace and justice movement.
Sherry Simon – President
Sherry Martin – Treasurer
Father Warren Harvey – Chaplain
Mary Hunt – Vice President
Tamara Tahat – Secretary
“I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality … I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.”Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.