On The Road to Peace

Monthly Newsletter from Fr. John

November 2014

Dear Friends,

Advent is my favorite time of year. Itís a season of peace, prayer, and renewal, as we get ready all over again for the coming of the Prince of Peace and his gift of peace on earth. The world seems to reject the nonviolent Jesus and his gift of peace, but you and I are trying our best to welcome him and his gift.

That means, we try to live in peace, spend quiet time in prayer with the God of peace, and make peace with one another and everyone. Nothing is needed more than this Christmas gift of peace.

This Advent began for me with a visit from my friend Jim Douglass, author of the major book, JFK and the Unspeakable, which I hope everyone reads. Jim and I spent a memorable day interviewing our new friend Adam Walinsky. Long ago, as a young man, Adam served as Robert F. Kennedyís speechwriter. We interviewed Adam for Jimís upcoming book on the life and assassinations of Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert Kennedy. Being with Adam reminded me of RFKís prophetic call to end the war in Vietnam and poverty at home, a call which inspired me even as a boy and continues to inspire me.

Now Iím in New York City for a week visiting with Fr. Daniel Berrigan, who is 93 and very frail. Iíve been staying with him at the Jesuit Infirmary where he now receives full time care.

I was supposed to begin Advent in Rome, visiting with Pope Francis. Thich Nhat Hanh asked me to join him and a few of his Buddhist monks in a private meeting and discussion with the Pope. Alas, dear Nhat Hanh took ill and then suffered a severe brain hemorrhage, so the meeting never happened. He is being cared for in a French hospital.

Please keep Daniel Berrigan and Thich Nhat Hanh, these two great pioneers of peace, in your good prayers.

This month, I will address the gathering of New Mexicans for Gun Safety, on the second anniversary of the Sandy Hook School massacre. We will take a pledge to do what we can to help end gun violence, so that no more children are killed. Iím also working now to organize for next yearís peace events through www.campaignnonviolence.org. This spring, I will go on a national speaking tour. If your church or school is interested in hosting me, please contact me.

This is the work of Adventópromoting peace, working to end violence and war, offering kindness and wisdom to one another, turning in prayer to the God of peace, doing what we can to prepare for the coming of the nonviolent Jesus and his gift of peace on earth. Itís ours if we want it.

May Advent be a time of blessing and grace for each one of you, and may we all welcome the nonviolent Jesus and his Christmas gift of peace.

May the God of peace bless you all this Christmas!

---Fr. John

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