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Friends of
Peace Pilgrim

A Non-Profit, Tax-Exempt, All Volunteer Organization
43480 Cedar Ave, Hemet, CA 92544  (909) 927-7678


Summertime, 1990 "Overcome evil with good, falsehood with truth, hatred with love" Number 10

Online Edition

Table of Contents:
Dear Friends of Peace Pilgrim
Nobel Peace Prize Recipient
Indian Friends of Peace Pilgrim
Palestinian Center for the Study of Nonviolence
Washington Peace Park
Archbishop Oscar Romero
Community Peace Fellowship
Volunteers
Martin Luther King Institute for Nonviolence
The Tao of Peace
Making Room for Silence in Daily Life
World Friendship Center, Hiroshima
Lanterns for Hope
Peace Pilgrim in Russian!!
A Road to the Future
Mother Teresa
The Citizen Diplomacy Project
The Peace Taxpayers
Letter from a Franciscan Sister
UN Commission on Human Rights
Do the Right Thing
Peace Pilgrim Answers Questions
Our Man in China

Friends of Peace Pilgrim Home || Newsletter Index


(Back to TOC)   Back to Table of Contents

Dear Friends of Peace Pilgrim,

            IT SEEMS I ALWAYS have to say something about our wold friends. Well, I wasn’t going to this time until a lizard started peeking into the window where we work on this newsletter. First he slowly crawls across the screen, then he goes down and peers over the edge right into the window and all we can see are his eyes and mouth, looking exactly like Kermit the frog.

           Lately, readers of our newsletters have been especially interested in letters we receive from Eastern Europe, Russia and China. Here is a letter with thoughts that many have expressed: “Your newsletter is a great picker-upper. How comforting to know and see that peace and brotherhood are bursting out all over.”

            Here is another: “I don’t read your newsletter – I devour it! It’s so heartening and refreshing to hear you emphasize, and therefore of course strengthen the good in the world. As for myself I am presently attempting one of the most challenging tasks I have ever undertaken – a fast from negative thoughts. It’s as though I hardly know this new me. – or am I just reawakening to whom I’ve been all along: a being of light, a walking miracle like every single one of us, longing from the depths of my soul to give, give, give as God gives to us?

            “You all are gifts.”

                                                                                                            Ann

 

            The STEPS booklet is now in English, Spanish, French, German, Serbo-Croatian, Polish, Russian, Chinese, Norwegian and Swedish. The last five are not published yet, although Russian STEPS is about to be. We received a phone call recently from a man in Norway who had finished translating STEPS into Norwegian and needed a picture of Peace Pilgrim before going to press. The translations have all been done by volunteers who love Peace Pilgrim’s message and want their own people to be able to read it in their own language. 

            We have received phone calls for books from Australia, Nova Scotia, German, Cameroon, Scotland, England and Sweden. One day we received letters from India, Norway, Bulgaria, Nigeria, and Russia, in addition to the letters from our own country that we always receive joyfully. 

            Your gifts to help- get STEPS printed in Russian, books and STEPS sent to China, the Peace Pilgrim book printed in Spanish and Russian, and to place a Peace Pilgrim book in every public library are most heart-warming. Thanks from the bottom of our warmed-up hearts.

                                                                                                Jeff, John & Ann

 

 

NOBEL PEACE PRIZE RECIPIENT – A PEACE PILGRIM FRIEND     (Back to TOC)

 Excerpts from Jim McDade’s letter: 

            Betty Williams, 1977 Novel Peace Prize recipient, gave me a copy of PEACE PILGRIM a few weeks ago, just after we began working together to wrote a never, PLEASE LET US LIVE, about her work in Northern Ireland.

              How wonderful to have received such a gift, PEACE PILGRIM, from another woman whose whole life is dedicated to peace, non-violence, and love…This is a work that I must share with my children and friends.

              I just flipped the book open to read whatever words fell in front of my eyes. This is what I read. (p113) There is an awakening-taking place today which may very well develop into a new renaissance.

              Thank you for your love and your work. And for keeping Peace alive so that those of us who are just now awakening can learn.

  

*****

 

A LETTER FROM                                                (Back to TOC)
INDIAN FRIENDS OF PEACE PILGRIM

              “I am receiving the newsletters that you kindly send. They are read by several of my friends in Madurai. Important news items are translated and published in our monthly magazine.
              “We have printed 10,000 copies of the ‘Steps’ booklet in the Tamil language. Some magazines reprint portions of ‘Steps.’ There is a Franciscan monthly which regularly prints the message of Peace Pilgrim. You will be happy to know that this reaches more than a thousand homes of fishermen in the coastal area of the Bay of Bengal.            “I am getting everyday letters from friends saying that ‘Steps’ is being used for individual and group meditation. These friends assure me that they are getting new light from the Peace Pilgrim and her words have changed their lives.” –Dr. K. Arunachalam, India.

 *****

              Only those who are attached to God alone are truly free.
                                                                                               
Peace Pilgrim

  

Palestinian Center For The Study of Nonviolence     (Back to TOC)

In East Jerusalem

              We are including the following article because it describes a significant development in the Palestinian, Israeli conflict. The Intifada emphasis is not to use guns, but we wish they had gone farther and not thrown rocks (and we wish even more that the Israelis would stop shooting Palestinian children). We would like to ask Mubarak about that. A Friend, who was there recently, tells us of the tragic situation of Palestinian schools being closed by the Israelis and that this contributes greatly to the problem.

              MUBARAK AWAD, who grew up a Palestinian, is the founder (1985) and director of this Center that advocates nonviolent resistance to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. Mubarak is a Christian. His Biblical studies at a Mennonite College in Ohio, his studies of Gandhi and Martin Luther King influenced him. Since his deportation by the Israeli government in 1988, he has lived in this country with his wife, Nancy Nye, a teacher in the Ramallah Quaker School north of Jerusalem.

            Following are excerpts from and interview by Harry Cargas in the Catholic Worker. First he asked about Muslims and nonviolence:

            Mubarak – Many times we use and abuse religion; we kill in the name of religion, saying we have God on our side. Everyone used religion: Muslims, Christians and Jews.
            All people can participate in nonviolence, including Muslims. There is a tradition of nonviolence among Palestinians. Before the Itifada began I kept track of the protests. It was a constant; there were calls for strikes and shops would close in solidarity, women would go to the prisons to see their husbands or sons and the officials wouldn’t allow them in so the women would stage a sit-in. They would refuse to move until the prison leaders allowed them entry. All kinds of nonviolent activities. But they never jelled together, never done with enough unity to have the kind of impact that the Intifada had.
            We were doing research in our Center; studying Islam, Arab, Palestinian nonviolence. We wrote about nonviolence and translated it into Arabic. We did not intend to have actions and sit-ins. It was on a very academic level that we began. That changed. 

            Nancy – The attitude toward us changed through actions, especially with the Intifada. The Intifada started, then mass rebellions and mass civil resistance; then people started coming into our Center and books we hadn’t been able to give away suddenly began to sell. The more pressure the Israelis put on Mubarak, the better the idea of nonviolence appealed. There was a direct relationship. 

            Mubarak – A whole people can be changed by nonviolence. With guns you eliminate a large portion of the population from participation, but with nonviolence you can incorporate the young, the elderly, the women.

            For the next nine months here in the US, I have no openings in my calendar for speaking engagements. There has been a tremendous amount of requests for me to speak at universities, churches, peace groups. They want to know more about the Palestinian issue, about nonviolence, about the activities of the Intifada.
            I still have a lot of Israeli supporters who strongly believe that a two-state solution is the best way for the Israelis and the Palestinians. Some think that my presence there is powerful and they are working for me to be permitted to return. The support there is growing.
            By the Israelis deporting me, they proved to the Palestinians that this fellow who believes in nonviolence is dangerous and they don’t want anybody to follow him. So my deportation has caused Palestinians to think that nonviolence works. If the Israelis kick out a fellow who doesn’t believe in guns, who believes in peace, his wok must be effective. So the ideas of nonviolence have been advanced this way more than by my being there, telling them what to do.
            I feel that to change the Palestinians from people who use a gun, to people who would not use a gun, is a great dream. I never thought it would take 20 or 30 years. Now suddenly it happened; circumstances brought it to reality faster than I thought. The most satisfying thing for me is that the Palestinians, who in the beginning rejected me, came to accept me…And to be part of this Intifada makes you feel that there is an inspiration.             The one who brought me into all of this was my mother. Not only me but all of my brothers and sisters. Because of my father’s death in the war of independence, she would tell us: “you don’t need revenge, you don’t need to kill anybody; you don’t need to make orphans or widows.” Then, I was influenced also by a lot of the Mennonites and Quakers.
            I was influenced by the U.S. Black movement and the Gandhian movement. It would give great satisfaction to find the people you love not killing. I am completely against killing. I am against was, against anyone carrying a gun. And to see that your own people are doing it is a great satisfaction. We will reach to a Higher Power level when we say that every life is an important life.
            After struggling with it for a long time, I came to strongly believe the Quaker concept that there is a part of God in ever person. Then I knew that all killing was wrong. It doesn’t matter who does the killing – the government, the police, the army, a soldier, or a civilian. It is wrong because it is killing a part of God. I have incorporated this into the tradition of civil disobedience and nonviolence.
            I experienced that change when I was in prison. I was fasting, and my lawyer came to me and said, “Look, there’s an Israeli who is fasting for you outside. If you don’t stop fasting, he will die. You are fat. You can handle yourself, but he cannot.” I stopped my fast because of an Israeli fellow who was fasting in support of me! Imagine how you would feel if your enemy was fasting for you!! 

Washington Peace Park     (Back to TOC) 

            Four years ago Elizabeth Ratcliff, mother of five children and a long-time peace activist, was walking through the parks in Washington, DC. As she contemplated the grand display of gardens, a vision came to her of a peace garden, like the loveliest of parks, with everything in the garden, its shape, its atmosphere and the displays inside, devoted to the subject of peace. It would encourage visitors to contemplate and define peace for themselves.
            A congressional subcommittee hearing was arranged to consider a peace garden. Among those who testified in favor was a young woman she met on the Washington Metro who had said: “oh, a peace garden! I’m a tour guide and take thousands of young people through town. They start with Arlington Cemetery, then to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, then to the Kennedy graves, on to the Iwo Jima Memorial and the Vietnam Memorial, listing the thousands and thousands of young people who were lost in that war. I sometimes wonder, what are we teaching our young people about the great institutions of our democracy? It would be so great, at the end of the day, to take them to a peace garden.”
           
In January 1987 Congress voted its formal approval for the National Peace Garden, “to honor the commitment of the people of the United States to world peace.” It is now planned for 12 acres at Hains Point, where the Potomac and the Anacostia Rivers meet. The design, selected from nearly a thousand submitted, is a contemplative set of landscaped walks that seen from the air forms a shape of a massive olive branch.

  

ARCHBISHOP OSCAR ROMERO      (Back to TOC) 

A letter to the editor from a lawyer and a long-time Friend of Peace Pilgrim.

            March 24th, 1990 marked the 10th Anniversary of the Martyrdom of Archbishop Oscar Romero. A native of El Salvador (the Savior), Romero was assassinated while saying mass and died at the foot of the cross. Like so many martyrs before him he had made the unforgivable mistake of asking the rich to share with the poor and soldiers to stop killing their brothers and sisters. 

            The following is a statement by Romero shortly before his assassination: 

            “I have frequently been threatened with death. I should tell you that as a Christian, I do not believe in death without resurrection. If they kill me, from this moment I offer my blood to God for the redemption and resurrection of El Salvador. My death will be for the liberation of my people and as a testimony of hope for the future.” 

            A powerful movie named simply ROMERO has been released by the Paulist Fathers highlighting his struggle with the Oligarchical Families in behalf of the poor. (We rented the Romero video and highly recommend it.) 

             It is an ideal was to commemorate the life of a modern-day martyr, who like Gandhi preached and practiced nonviolence.

 

COMMUNITY PEACE FELLOWSHIP      (Back to TOC) 

            Grass-roots peace work is vitally important. In this crisis period, there should be a COMMUNITY PEACE FELLOWSHIP in every town. Such a group can begin with a handful of concerned people. It can begin with you!
                                                                                                Peace Pilgrim

 *****

            Occasionally, people want to know of other Peace Pilgrim friends in their area who might be interested in starting a Prayer for Peace Group or Community Peace Fellowship, as suggested in STEPS. Here are two of them: 

            Cliff and Deborah Wiseman, Frankfort, Ohio (614) 998-5664. Deborah writes, “My husband and I would like to start our own Peace Pilgrim group. We feel it is part of our journey to find our own inner peace and express that to the world. Please feel free to give out our name and number.” 

            Gertrude Berndt, Milwaukee, WI – (414) 438-1119 – “I have searched for a while to invest volunteer time in a peace endeavor. I would truly like to know if there is a COMMUNITY PEACE FELLOWSHIP in the Milwaukee area and how I can contribute time, energy, goodwill to this group (as described in your booklet).” 

            SOUTH AFRICA – “Recently STEPS TOWARD INNER PEACE was placed in my hands. From the first few sentences I realized that it was going to change my life and before I finished it a feeling of ‘co-worker’ attitude was born. The call of a COMMUNITY PEACE FELLOWSHIP in every town on page 32 did not fall on deaf ears and we have already started a small group toward this end in our beautiful countryside 30 miles south of Johannesburg. These enthusiastic ‘pilgrims’ feel sure that our Fellowship is bound to grow…even beyond our town’s borders.” 

WHITTIER AREA PEACE COALITION 

            Ten years ago in Whittier, California, the Chaplain of Whittier College, Jon Moody, called a few of us peace activists and draft counselors together to consider starting a Community Peace Fellowship. From that small gathering has grown a large coalition of groups and churches working for peace and justice. They meet at Whittier First Friends Church. 

            The Peace Coalition has many significant programs, such as this year’s 4th annual Pathways to Peace Conference, where we were privileged to give a workshop on Peace Pilgrim and the simple life. I was delighted to share Peace Pilgrim’s message and video in the Friends Church where Peace spoke several times through the years. In January, 1953 she spent the first night of her pilgrimage in the home of two dear friends and members of the church.                                                                                                             Ann        

 *****

              Always dwell upon the golden age which could come, to help bring it into materialization. If we knew how powerful thoughts are we would never think a negative thought.
                                                                                               --
Peace Pilgrim

 *****

  Volunteers     (Back to TOC)

 

            The Peace Pilgrim Center is blessed by many volunteers. Jeff  Blom and John and Ann Rush are full time. Bill Stokes, who lives in Hemet, often comes to help. Mary Hoffman recently came from Freedom House in Richmond, Virginia where she works with people without homes and other basic human needs. She came to help for a few days in the kitchen and the office where she typed the STEPS booklet into the computer. This is the first step in the process of publishing a larger-print edition of STEPS which a few friends have requested and we plan to publish soon. 

            Two other recent volunteers write of their experiences: 

BRAD WILLIAMS: I have just spent the first half of 1990 living and working at the Peace Pilgrim Center. It has been a fastest six months of my life, and as my time here comes to an end, I have much to reflect on. 

            I first discovered Peace Pilgrim in 1986 while spending my senior year of high school as an exchange student in Germany. I met a woman from California who was studying In Heidelberg, and she loaned me her copy of the Peace Pilgrim book. Little did I know that my life was about to be forever changed.

The book so profoundly influenced me; it was as if I had found my calling without even looking. I read the top paragraph on page 14 and was inspired to immediately become vegetarian (the idea had never even occurred to me, but when I read what Peace Pilgrim wrote about the animals, it was like remembering a truth buried deep in my soul). My materialistic attitudes were also dramatically affected, and I realized that my life was going to be meaningless unless I could work to make our world a better place. 

            While attending the University of Texas, I became a student activist, involving myself with every progressive cause imaginable. Among countless other activities, I served as present of UT’s chapter of United Campuses to Prevent Nuclear War. 

            After finishing college, I decided to come out and help spread the message of that incredible woman to whom I felt I owed so much. 

            My job here was to read each day’s mail and process the orders. I would enter each order into the computer, then go out to the garage and package the materials requested. After Ann wrote her personal notes for all the orders, I would figure out the postage and send them on their way. 

            The highlight of each day was when the postman came. Sometimes we would receive as many as fifty letters on a single day. Reading the inspiring words from people all over the world whose lives have been touched by Peace Pilgrim – that was the most gratifying aspect of my experience here. 

            In May I decided to put my journalism experience to use. I created a project to try to make the mainstream American media aware of Peace Pilgrim. 

            We hear from so many people who are disturbed that they never heard of Peace Pilgrim through the media. One person wrote, “She should’ve been on the covers of Life and Time and Newsweek.” With this in mind, I wrote a d page press release and sent press kits to 50 of the United States’ most respected newspapers and magazines, as well as radio and TV programs  (at this writing it is too early to know what the response will be.) I also did a mailing of Peace Pilgrim materials to all US youth hostels. 

            Now I’m returning home to Texas to help my friend Ann Richards win the governor’s race there. I know I will always look back on my time here as an invaluable experience on my path of service. John and Ann and Jeff have become like family, and although I never had the opportunity to meet Peace Pilgrim, she has become my inspiration, my guide, my friend. 

THE NEW ROAD MAP FOUNDATION is a group of individuals who have become financially independent by living simply and saving their earnings. After saving enough to be able to live on income from investments, they work for good causes without pay. They also hold seminars and sell audiotapes explaining how to accomplish financial independence. They give the income from these projects to non-profit organizations. (We have received generous gifts from them) If you are interested in learning more about them write to P.O. Box 15981, Seattle, WA 98115. 

            MARCIA MEYER recently retired from her position as Executive Secretary of the American Holistic Medical Association in order to work full time with the New Road Map Foundation. It was a delight to have her as a volunteer, helping with some of our projects. We greatly appreciate her suggestions for ways of making more people aware of Peace Pilgrim and her message. The following are some of her observations about our center: 

            To volunteer with Friends of Peace Pilgrim has been a dream that I have at last realized. Now that I have arranged my life so that I no longer need to “work for a living” and can participate in projects without taking wages, I can spend a few weeks with Ann and John, Jeff and Brad. As expected I feel a strong sense of alignment and kinship with this small, dedicated group of people who are accomplishing a staggering amount of work from their modest home and are doing it was a sense of fulfillment and joy. 

            What I didn’t expect is the overwhelming response they receive to Peace Pilgrim’s message from all over the world. It is absolutely thrilling to read the heartfelt, thankful and inspired letters from people whose lives have been touched by Peace Pilgrim. Many say they have just learned about this remarkable woman, which makes me acutely aware of the need for communicating this important, powerful and timely approach to peace much more widely. 

            And so I reflect on my own peace work back home. Some of my projects include keeping the Seattle food co-ops stocked with free copies of the Peace Pilgrim booklet or compact book in the educational section of their stores; sponsoring a video evening periodically to which our household invites around two dozen interested people to view one of Peace’s university lectures, followed by tea and discussion. These evenings have been very enthusiastically received and often generate provocative exchanges of ideas. Also I speak with Beyond War groups and participate in STEPS TOWARD INNER PEACE study groups. 

            I am looking for other methods of putting this way of peace into receptive hands. What has worked (and not worked) for you? How have you empowered and spread the word? I hope that you will write to Friends of Peace Pilgrim and describe what you have done – or if you have brainstorms that have not yet been implemented – share those. This is the time to further extend ourselves to spreading this empowering message of hope for our troubled society. 

Martin Luther King Institute For Nonviolence      (Back to TOC)

              On August 1, 1988 the State of New York established the Martin Luther King Institute for Nonviolence. This is the first time in the nation’s history that a government sponsored an institute for teaching the principles of nonviolence. 

            The King Institute was created to develop new techniques to promote nonviolent solutions to social conflicts. Acts of violence are becoming everyday occurrences; but no less significant are the more subtle forms of violence that are economically based, such as homelessness, malnutrition and unemployment. The Institute’s agenda calls for a broad approach involving education, information and training. 

            To date, (Oct. 1989) some two dozen two-day workshops have been held in Buffalo and Niagara Falls. The King institute will provide instructors and instructional materials to those wishing to sponsor a workshop. 

            A direct outgrowth of the workshops is the Associates Program – a core group whose members have been selected from those who attended the two-day workshops. They have not only expressed an interest in nonviolence but also plan to apply their newly acquired skills in a major way in their communities. 

*****

              “I would like to commend your wonderful service! You have helped to enlighten my soul, and I thank you. Even though I’m only 13, I would like to start the ball rolling in my own community.” – from a letter 

***** 

ON THE APPALACHIAN TRAIL, excerpts from a letter 

            “I recently read PEACE PILGRIM while hiking  (as she did) on the Appalachian Trail. I found it at the Hiker’s Hostel – run by the local Catholic Church in Hot Springs, North Carolina. It’s a magnificent story – I’m surprised I never heard of her before – I believe she deserved the Nobel Peace Prize.”  

            He requested books and 150 STEPS. “I will leave them in shelters along the Appalachian Trail, to which I will be returning soon.” 

 

THE TAO OF PEACE     (Back to TOC)

by Diane Dreher 

            Peace Pilgrim is featured twice in this recently published book as an example of one who found happiness by simplifying her life and rejoicing in the freedom she found. Peace Pilgrim is quoted, “A persistent simplification will create an inner and outer well-being that places harmony in one’s life.” 

            When enough of us find inner peace, our institutions will become more peaceful and there will be no more occasion for war.                                                                                                 Peace Pilgrim 

 

MAKING ROOM FOR SILENCE IN DAILY LIFE      (Back to TOC)

Excerpted from SEEDS OF UNFOLDING MAGAZINE, 2061 Broadway, New York, NY 10023 

            Silence has been a value in all the religious traditions and spiritual paths throughout the history of humanity. As St. John of the Cross writes, only in silence can the soul hear the divine. Only in silence can one go within, can one deepen spiritual life. Exterior noise tends to distract from inner life, and this is why the spiritual adepts of so many different traditions have long sought ways of living with silence. 

            To seek sanctuary in high mountains or in the solitude of the desert has been a practice for centuries among the monks of these different religions. For, it is recognized, only by silencing exterior noise can one begin to be silent within. And with inner silence, the soul begins to penetrate the divine mysteries. 

            We see in the life of the great political and religious leader, Mahatma Gandhi, a practical and at the same time spiritual use of silence. In his work for the independence of India, Gandhi found himself overwhelmed with work – visits from journalists, endless correspondence from all over the world, young people who came to seek his counsel. In order to better do his work, Gandhi decided to dedicate every Monday as a day of silence. On this day, he did not speak. If some urgent communication was needed, he might write some short note, but he did not carry on conversation with anyone. This self-imposed silence made this day for him one of relative peace and recollection. He was better able to answer his correspondence, and he had the silence he needed to meditate on all the problems he had to resolve. He was to write later that what began as an essentially practical solution to a too-noisy life became an important spiritual practice. In silence he found himself better able to meditate and pray, to seek within himself the solution to all the problems and responsibilities that he carried. It was a silence that he learned to love and value for the inner life it opened up for him. 

***** 

            “There is no saint without a past. There is no sinner without a future.”
                                                                                                A Persian Rosary

  

WORLD FRIENDSHIP CENTER, HIROSHIMA      (Back to TOC)

            Our dear friend, Barbara Reynolds, made her “glorious transition” in February in Wilmington, Ohio. She was a founder of the World Friendship Center in Hiroshima where hibakusha (survivors) meet people from around the world. She also created the Hiroshima/Nagasaki Memorial Collection of nuclear memorabilia at Wilmington College. She had gone there to gather historical material for presentation this summer in Hiroshima at the 25th anniversary of World Friendship Center. 

            In 1975 Barbara became the first non-Japanese woman designated as an honorary citizen of Hiroshima. Last summer we were honored when she brought 4 Japanese young people from Hiroshima and Nagasaki to visit our Peace Pilgrim Center. Hemet Friends Meeting had an exciting international potluck with them in our backyard. Since they were very interested in Peace Pilgrim, later we sent a box of books to Hiroshima for them. 

            In January, 1979, Barbara joined a small group in our backyard in Whittier, California, gathered together to talk with Peace Pilgrim about the spiritual life. It was a beautiful time of sharing. Peace Pilgrim’s response to Barbara’s request, “Could you tell us your concept of prayer?,” is now in the section on prayer in the spiritual life chapter of our Peace Pilgrim book. 

            Sometime later Barbara asked us to become directors of World Friendship House in Hiroshima. We considered this wonderful opportunity but decided to continue our peace work in this country. We are thankful that we stayed and were able to participate with others in the fascinating experience of compiling the Peace Pilgrim book. 

            In the latest World Friendship Newsletter there is a call for directors: “We offer an excellent opportunity for volunteer service for a couple who are peace loving and seeking ways to build bridges of understanding between cultures.” If interested please write or call Charles and Helen Sutton, Co-chairs American Committee, World Friendship Center, 1202 Vernon Drive, Dayton, OH 45407 (513) 277-7259. 

                                                                                                Ann and John

  

LANTERNS FOR HOPE      (Back to TOC)

The International Peace Lantern Exchange Project 

            “Lanterns for Hope” are floated by local groups each year, accompanied by ceremonies, and exchanged with other groups around the world. In Philadelphia the floating is preceded by talks given by famous peace activists. 

            In Greeley Colorado about 80 glowing paper lanterns floated across the lake, including a lantern made by a boy in the Soviet City of Leningrad. 

            The ceremony is rooted in a Buddhist custom in which lanterns are floated on rivers in remembrance of ancestors. After we dropped the bomb on Hiroshima names of those killed in the bombing were put on the lanterns. Now the ceremony is performed around the world on the first Saturday in August in remembrance of August 6th, 1945, the day the atomic bomb changed the world. For more information write to Peggy and James Baumgaertner, PO Box 2999, LaCrosse, WI 54602. 

 

PEACE PILGRIM IN RUSSIAN!!      (Back to TOC)

            We now have PEACE PILGRIM and STEPS both translated into Russian by our wonderful friend and volunteer translator, George Dolnikowski, a Russian-American professor emeritus of Juniata College. We plan to publish both books, though preparation has taken longer than expected. We think the Russian edition of STEPS will be available to take to Russia before the end of the summer. We have many requests for them. The Russian edition of Peace Pilgrim’s book will not be available until later.
                                                                                                            Jeff 

 

A ROAD TO THE FUTURE     (Back to TOC)

BY Mikhail Gorbachev 

            Richard Polese, Ocean Tree Books, P.O. Box 1295, Santa Fe, N.M. 87504, has just published a booklet of the complete text of the December 7, 1988 United Nations address of Gorbachev. In a recent letter Richard makes a special offer to all readers of this newsletter. 

            “People are excited when they see the little Gorbachev book. I would like to make 200 copies of it available free to readers of Friends of Peace Pilgrim Newsletter on an individual request basis. It’s so important to get these inspiring thoughts and expressions disseminated into the world at this time – especially the call for wold wide co-creation among peoples of different cultural and ideological backgrounds.” 

 

MOTHER TERESA      (Back to TOC)

            An article in the Toronto Globe about Mother Teresa before her recent retirement: 

            Mother Teresa and her Missionaries of Charity are setting up nursing stations in the Soviet Union to care for the sick and dying. “This is a wonderful gift from God that we have been able to come here and share God’s love,” the 78-year old Roman Catholic nun said. 

            The fact that her India-based order of nuns is being allowed to set up three hospices indicates the change in official Soviet attitudes toward religion under President Mikhail Gorbachev. Now religious figures, such as Mother Teresa, are welcomed by senior Communist officials. “Her sisters make our nurses seem more mild. They smile more,” said Dr. Livshits, a Soviet neurosurgeon. 

            There are 12 members of the order now working in the Soviet Union. The sisters have been invited to work with dying elderly patients at one of Moscow’s hospitals. “We will give it your name and it will be one of your holy houses. We have many homes for the aged, but we have a dire shortage of compassion,” Sergei Ivehenkov, Moscow City director of social security told Mother Teresa. 

            Mother Teresa did not hesitate when asked what she might tell Gorbachev if she had a chance. 

            “Love your people and help them to live in peace…Help them to pray together.” 

 

THE CITIZEN DIPLOMACY PROJECT      (Back to TOC)

            She writes: “Homestays in the USSR are the newest ‘glasnost’ development, and having done them in Moscow, Tallin, Estonia and Yalta, I’m convinced it’s the best way to get to know the Soviet people. I would love to have Peace Pilgrim folks come on my trips (hopefully carrying Russian STEPS). Trips will be 17 days, with two weeks in two different cities. You will have your own room in a Soviet flat, where English-speaking hosts will take a week off work to introduce you to family, friends and townspeople. Total cost will average $2500. One trip will be over Christmas to Moscow and Yalta, featuring skiing in Yalta.” 

***** 

PRAYER: O divine spirit, whose light fills the universe and all living things, we lift up to your presence Mikhail Gorbachev and George Bush. 

Illumine them with your light; inspire their decisions. Guide their actions that the nations they lead may turn from the insanity of the arms race to the healing of the earth and the meeting of human needs. Amen. 

Receptive prayer results in an inner receiving, which motivates to right action.  --  Peace Pilgrim 

*****

The Peace Taxpayers      (Back to TOC)

            Ed Pearson has recently initiated an international organization, THE PEACE TAXPAYERS. The goal of this group is to help provide each taxpayer on planet Earth with a choice to pay her or his full share of taxes toward non-military, non-violent government purposes. For more information about THE PEACE TAXPAYERS send a legal size, self-addressed, 45 cent U.S. postage stamped envelope to THE PEACE TAXPAYERS, PO. BOX 333, Nellysford, VA 22958-0333, USA. Telephone 804-361-1039. 

A Letter From A Franciscan Sister Who Knew Peace Pilgrim      (Back to TOC)

            In the 70’s Sister Johnella saw Peace Pilgrim on TV and became pen pals with her but she had to wait 6 long years before meeting her. Sister Driver brought her to our Villa home, and what a warm welcome she received! Everyone wanted to say something to her. Sister Johnella was beaming all over and couldn’t get away from Peace Pilgrim. She gave us a talk with prayer in the Community room. 

            Three years later she came for three days and two nights. She felt quite at home and loved our beautiful park-like grounds. She spoke in the mornings to those of us who had no pressing duties and also in the afternoons and evenings. Her charm, warmth and sincerity just had attracted us to her. 

            One morning we washed her personal things, and she took a warm bath. We told her we would gladly supply her with new shoes and tunic, but she said she preferred we did not. 

            One day, I had more time to visit with her by myself and we got well acquainted. I said to her, “I would like to be a companion to you and do the same things together for peace, to keep you company so you would not be alone.” “No,” she said, “you cannot help me or come with me, as much as I would like to have you. It is a mission very different and only for one person, me, Peace Pilgrim” Then she said to me, “When my mission of Peace ends and I am gone then Peace will come.” She was a prophet; peace is now coming. She talked of her early experiences on highways and in cities, how God had always protected her.  --  Sister Mary Westalkak, La Crosse, Wisconsin

UNITED NATIONS COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS       (Back to TOC)

            “The United Nations commission on Human Rights voted to recognize conscientious objection as a human right on March 10, 1987 – 15 years after the question was first raised. The Commission recognized that conscientious objection to military service comes from profound religious, ethical and moral convictions. 

            “The Commission appeals to States to recognize that conscientious objection to military service be considered a legitimate right of freedom of thought, conscience and religion, recognized by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.” – from Conscience and Military Tax Campaign, Seattle, Washington. 

***** 

            “I am getting married June 30, and I have suggested contributions to Peace Pilgrim in lieu of gifts from my friends. My future husband and I will be joining Larry Miner for the Wilderness Peace Pilgrim Retreat in July. This is our honeymoon.”   --   From a Letter 

 

DO THE RIGHT THING     (Back to TOC)
Excerpts from a Peace Pilgrim talk at Oak Park, Ill., Unity Church:

            If you are willing of your own accord to do the right thing, that’s fine. If you are not willing of your own accord to do the right thing, some problem will be set before you to push you into doing the right thing. Now, for instance, I gave up my money and things voluntarily. If I hadn’t been willing to give them up voluntarily undoubtedly they would have been taken from me in one way or another, you see. 

            I’ll tell you something was taken from me one time when I was publishing a little paper. This was long before I was on my pilgrimage. I thought it was valuable – the paper, but I felt that my time to terminate publishing that paper had just about come. But I just kept on going. Otherwise rational people acted in an irrational fashion, and that paper was just gone. 

            Well, you see, if I had been willing to follow, to give it up of my own accord, then of course maybe it could have survived; I don’t know. But, in any case I had enough. I really was only publishing it, I didn’t have control of it. But I realized that there is always more than one way to learn, and I would hope that all of you would be willing to do the right thing without being pushed into it. 

            If you are not willing to do the right thing without being pushed into it, you’re going to be pushed into it. By some problem of course. 

            (The paper she was publishing was Scott Nearing’s WORLD EVENTS.) 

Peace Pilgrim Answers Questions In a College Class In Montana       (Back to TOC)

Q:  “I can never see any justification for killing another human being, and something that really disturbs me is capital punishment.” 

PP:  “Oh, it is legalized murder; yes. It is legalized murder. They have just recently murdered a man in Florida, and it was legal, just as it is legal when they murder people in war. But we do not realize the consequences of these things. We do not realize that the person who commits the murder suffers terribly. So, when you believe in capital punishment you are not only committing to death some human being who may later be proved to be completely innocent, because many have been, but you are also stipulating that somebody has to commit that murder and be injured by committing it. So yes, I think that it shows how much advancement is still necessary for us when we still commit legal murder. Yes?” 

Q: “When I try to help someone, I never know whether my actions will be truly beneficial or not. I try to have good motives but I never really know.” 

PP:  “Yes, you have to do the best you can, and motive is extremely important, extremely important. For instance, if you are doing some good thing because you feel it will benefit you, you will receive no benefit. You must be doing the good thing out of love, you see, with a good motive in order for it to benefit you. It is very interesting.” 

Q: “Do you feel that if the person is highly motivated, there is some kind of guidance beyond himself?” 

PP: “Well, we all have tremendous guidance, but especially those who are willing to allow their lives to be governed by the higher nature. You see, that higher nature is there and to a certain extent you receive some guidance, but if you allow it to govern your life (and you have free will as to whether you will allow it to govern your life or not); then, of course, you will receive constant guidance. Our lives are ordered and arranged for us in many wonderful ways if we allow it to happen.” 

Our Man In China      (Back to TOC)

            We plan to print most of Dr. Lee De Stefano’s recent letters in our Fall newsletter. He was “thrilled and elated” to hear of the response to his appeal for help in getting more books to China. He also wrote that they need the prayers of those who read this newsletter. Here are a few excerpts from his letters: 

            I am sure I need not tell you how my students are being affected by Peace’s book. It is incredible to see the transformation that takes place. There is no greater pleasure than handing PEACE PILGRIM to an eager reader, knowing, and then explaining that it is possible to distribute this book because of the love and kindness of so many people. 

            Peace’s book is one of the answers to this low-intensity warfare that is going on – and once that book is read and digested, a great outpouring of incredible love and compassion is possible. Just tonight, one of my students told me how her mother became very interested in what she was reading. She now translates the book for her mother. Her mother’s initial reaction was wishing that Peace Pilgrim was still among us. I asked my student about that and she replied, “Her spirit is still alive and living amongst all the people of the world. Her work will never end.” Many of the students grieve the way she passed this mortal realm but I have explained that this was really not as terrible as they perceived it to be. I know deeply in my heart that she had no fear of dying. 

            I reverently bow to our brothers and sisters all over the world who are awakening and becoming beacons of this growing Love and Light that brings Peace.

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