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Speaker Series

SR. ILIANA APONTE, DC

PAX CHRISTI LITTLE ROCK

PRESENTS

SR. ILIANA APONTE, DC

PARISH OUTREACH LIAISON CATHOLIC CHARITIES OF AR

EMPOWERING THE LATINO FAMILY: UNITY AND STRENGTH IN COMMUNITY

Thursday, August 18 6:30 pm Fitzgerald Hall

St. John’s Catholic Center 

Email paxchristilr@gmail.com for a Zoom link.

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Pantry Mission Updates

Pax Christi LR Pantry Mission Updates: May-June 2022

My dear Pantry Mission volunteers, we are in the midst of one of the hottest summers on record and your efforts are doubly appreciated. Thank you for all your hard work as we continue to do our part with Settled Souls and Jericho Way to give our previously unsheltered neighbors a new beginning.

On May 3, Settled Souls housed Chuck and Pax Christi provided staples, canned and fresh foods as an initial pantry set-up. Chuck is a 55- year-old gentleman who was born and raised in Stuttgart. Ho worked as an over -the-road truck driver from the age of 18. He has two adult children. After his youngest child left home, he sold him house and began driving a dump truck. At that time, he was living in motels. In 2020, Chuck was hit by a car and unable to work. He spent some time at the Compassion Center and Our House. However, he had to leave Our House as he remained unable to work. He was then living on the streets until he began receiving his disability assistance. Chuck has now rented an apartment and is very thankful for the help he has received in moving into his new home.

Kimberly moved into her new home on May 13. She was diagnosed thirteen years ago with bone cancer, necessitating surgery to remove her right leg below the knee. In March, 2021, her home burned down and she lost almost all of her belongings. Fortunately, the owner of some apartments let her work on fixing up one of the units as a deposit and she was able to move in. Her mother recently visited her to help her with decorating. She is happy to be living in a quiet neighborhood and thankful for the help in acquiring some of the home goods she was missing.

On May 19, Settled Souls and Pax Christi helped settle in Dennis. Jan Pipkin provided the food box. Dennis said that it had been many years since he had a place of his own. He most recently lived with his mom for 10 years until she had to go into a nursing home with dementia. This led to Dennis becoming homeless. He is very excited to have his own place and he was grateful for the help to make it feel more like a home.

On June 3, Settled Souls and Pax Christi helped settle in Roderick. Fifteen years ago, Roderick was injured on the job and began receiving disability. After his injury, he moved to Atlanta to be close to his mother. After his mother passed, Roderick lived by himself until he was evicted. He then lived in a tent for four months until he moved back to Little Rock to live with his aunt. Roderick received an apartment through North Little Rock housing. He worked for the school district in Los Angeles for 25 years before the accident. He was very grateful for making his new place feel more like a home. Thank you to Mary Dandurand and Lee Bass for bringing the food!

On June 7, Mike B’s Settled Soul team helped settle in Keith. While Keith worked many years in the roofing business, he became disabled and for the past few years has been homeless. With help from Jericho Way, he secured housing and is grateful to be in a more comfortable/welcoming place. Many thanks to Mary Dandurand and Jan Pipkin for supplying the food pantry.

On June 14, Mike B’s team helped settle in Gabrielle. Gabrielle has two sons and recently got a housing voucher to help get her back on her feet. She has a challenging road ahead, but having housing is a positive first step to becoming more stable. Gabrielle is working on getting her children into daycare and taking first steps to getting a job. Thanks to Mary Hunt and Lee Bass for taking the Pax Christi food pantry.

Beginning June 15, Settled Souls will take a well deserved break until the first of July. This gives us a moment to look back over the progress of this year. During the first half of 2022, Settled Souls and Pax Christ Pantry Mission completed 25 moves. Our goal is to help folks feel more settled and comfortable in their new homes. You are a part of such an important mission. God bless you all.

Categories
Pantry Mission Updates

Pax Christi LR Pantry Mission Updates: April 2022

Greetings to our wonderful Pantry Box volunteers. April was a very busy month. Settled Souls assisted in moves for four individuals and Pax Christi was able to provide a start-up supply of staples, canned foods, meats and other fresh foods. Thank you for everything you do!

On April 6, Settled Souls housed Hasaunee. Hausanee was born and raised in New York. She worked as an ER nurse before she became disabled. Her support system consists of her son and her mother who live in Illinois. She has been in Arkansas since September of 2021, living out of her car. She was very happy to have a home again and was thankful for the food provided by the Pax Christi food pantry team (Larry and Carol Lantz). In her spare time, Hausanee likes to listen to audio books and music.

Stephen was settled into his home on April 14. He was born in Athens, Greece. Stephen is from a military family and was raised in South Korea and Turkey. For many years, he worked in the painting and construction business. Due to some family issues, however, he has not had a home of his own for 10-12 years. He lived with his mother for some time but has lived either in his van or camped for the past three years. Stephen has three children and remains close to his mother. He was extremely grateful to have a comfortable home again.

On April 19, Settled Souls and Pax Christi helped a woman who asked that her name be kept confidential. She was born and raised in Pine Bluff, AR where she received a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. She has not been able to find jobs that paid her enough to have her own home. She lived in public housing in Pine Bluff until 2005. Through the help of Our House, she was able to build a resume and is currently working in an office and computer lab. This is her first time working out of her home in many years. She has four adult children and grandchildren. Her support system includes her sister and some close friends. She has been able to make many positive changes in her life recently and is very thankful for the generosity of everyone who has helped her.

On April 28, Settled Souls and Pax Christi helped move Donald into his first “home of his own.” Donald is a middle-aged gentleman who has slept on the streets or in abandoned houses for the past four years. He lost his family because of his drug and alcohol addiction. With the help of the church he attends, he has been able to turn his life around. His past work experience was in food service. He loves to cook and is looking forward to having a kitchen to cook in. Donald’s hobbies include watching sports and walking.

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Active Peacemaking Events

Pax Christi USA’s 50th Anniversary National Conference 2022

When: August 5-7, 2022

Where: Washington, DC

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Fundraisers

“Servitude”

Exotic/Rare Wood Handcrafted Boards

Choose from a variety of serving boards, each unique in its selection of exotic and rare hardwoods, handcrafted by Raymond Bertasi in the PaxTinyWorkshop. Ideal for any gathering where serving is the main theme, the minimum suggested donations for these boards help fund programs providing essential school supplies to needy children.

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Pilgrimage for Peace

2022 Pilgrimage for Peace

Held on Sunday, April 24, consisted of over 90 peacemakers from across the state gathering (live and virtually) to mourn the violence in our community.

Representatives from numerous religious and social justice organizations walked from Heifer International across the Junction bridge to the Beacon for Peace and Hope where a Remembrance Service was held for all those who died at the hand of violence in Pulaski County over the past year. The names of victims were read, interspersed with readings, poems, and music around the theme of peace.

Funds were raised for the Center for Healing Hearts and Spirits to assist the families of those murdered in Central Arkansas. Ukrainian peace ribbons were also available for a donation to UNICEF that went to aid victims of violence in Ukraine.

Categories
Active Peacemaking Events

Pilgrimage for Peace 2022

Join us Sunday April 24 at 2pm.

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Peace Week

Peace Week 2020

On September 19 & 20, people came together to paint murals for peace.

Murals for Peace – 7th Street underpass, Little Rock

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Peace Week

Little Rock Peace Fest

By Sherry Simon. Peace Fest was a little different this year due to COVID restrictions, but it turned out to be a beautiful day with several families dropping by to enjoy the diverse activities offered by different organizations. Beneath the trees of the Central High School National Historic Site, parents could walk their kids through seven stations that highlighted the Pledge of Nonviolence. Lessons were shared on respecting self/others, communicating well, listening, forgiving, recreating nonviolently, respecting nature, and acting courageously. Once they got each station checked off, they could get free Peace Week t-shirts for all family members. 
Other activities included sidewalk chalk, learning how to make origami peace cranes and painting peace rocks. Snacks, ice cream and bottled water were also provided. 
Thanks to the many volunteers who worked to make things come together this year. Peace and social justice groups including Arkansas Coalition for Peace and Justice, Pax Christi Little Rock, WAND, and Community of Christ Church came together to make this event possible. Special thanks go out to Bob Estes for his tireless efforts in promoting and organizing Peace Fest each year.

This is Peace Week, those days around September 21-the UN International Day of Peace, when many peace and social justice organizations come together to promote peace and nonviolence in our city, state, country and world. This year, I have had the good fortune to be involved with many folks who have been planning and carrying out events that project this message of peace to others. These are not programs attended by thousands or even hundreds of people, and in years past, I have been saddened by the small numbers who decide to attend these scheduled events. In spite of that, however, peace organizations keep celebrating Peace Week because the message of nonviolence and respect for our fellow man is powerful and much needed in our divided world.  
This Peace Week has been different for me than in years past and I’d like to share my thoughts on the beauty of what I’ve observed. In several situations, I have witnessed interactions between individuals that were clearly soul connections, moments where the peace of Christ was shared. Interestingly enough, it was always in a moment of great pain or great joy. I believe with all my heart that this is the little known secret of Peace Week. It isn’t in the numbers of people who attend or the meetings, panels, concerts, or gatherings that have been organized. It is in the process, the one-on-one sharing of hearts that brings about something bigger than all of us. That’s when the miracles happen. That’s when souls are touched. That’s when the peace beyond all understanding comes into the world. 
Many thanks to all of the peacemakers that just keep coming back every year. You know who you are. I am proud to count myself among you.

Categories
Peace Week

Landscape for Peace

By Sherry Simon. This morning, Pax Christi Little Rock, Arkansas Coalition for Peace and Justice, Arkansas WAND and Braver Angels all sent out members to work with Central Arkansas Habitat for Humanity on landscaping not 1 or 2 but 7 homes in North Little Rock. You may remember over a year ago when we started the campaign to raise $2500 so that we could work with Habitat to landscape a home. Well, because of COVID restrictions, our opportunity to work together was delayed . . .until today! Just in time for Peace Week. What a perfect day we had for digging, planting and mulching. A cool and cloudy 70 degrees. Our crew got there around 8 am and we were told that they had enough plants and bushes for four houses. Well, by 9:30 we had just about finished the work to be done on those four homes, so they sent Susi Blanco off with a credit card to get more bushes, mulch, etc. after asking us if we would be willing to continue. We were having so much fun, there was no question about that. We had all 7 houses finished with an additional 14 potted flowers to leave on porches by 11:30. And that was in spite of the big rocks we had to dig up in the process!