|Spring/Summer, 1997||"Overcome evil with good, falsehood with truth, hatred with love"||Number 27|
Table of Contents (TOC)
|Dear Friends of Peace Pilgrim
LIFE FOUNDATION SCHOOL
INDIA, LOYOLA COLLEGE
A LETTER FROM TONY GENARO
PEACE POWER EXPRESS
THEATRE APPROACH TO PEACE EDUCATION
MISSIONARY SISTERS IN AFRICA
GET TOUGH POLICY TOWARD PRISONERS
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
TEXAS DEPT. OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE
BROTHERHOOD OF CONCERN, NY
MICHAEL TODD, FORMER INMATE
|UTAH CORRECTIONAL FACILITY
ALTERNATIVE TO VIOLENCE PROJECT
TURN OFF THE VIOLENCE CAMPAIGN
HARPING FOR HARMONY
WALK-ABOUT FOR PEACE DOWN UNDER
WEBMASTER (GREG KONAR) REPORT
BRUCE NICHOLS' INTERNET
THE CENTER FOR THE HOMELESS
COMMUNITY PEACE FELLOWSHIP
TO DO SOMETHING FOR PEACE
VALLEY RESTART SHELTER
BETHLEHEM PEACE PILGRIM
STRATEGIC AIR COMMAND
ST. JOHN'S UNITED CHURCH
SCHOOL OF AMERICAS
COSTA RICA QUAKER GROUP
Friends of Peace Pilgrim Home || Newsletter Index
Our lives are constantly enriched by visitors and volunteers who come because they love Peace Pilgrim's message. Next week an author is coming from Australia; several weeks ago a drummer came from Sweden. We've had a Buddhist from Massachusetts, and a round-the-world woman bicyclist from France. Several have come from India; one who was walking around the world found STEPS in Europe. Others have come from Spain, Brazil, England, Scotland, Germany, Mexico and Japan. All of them come because they are inspired by Peace Pilgrim.
They are always eager to see, and we are always eager to show the Peace Pilgrim books, now in ten languages. The STEPS TOWARD INNER PEACE booklets are now in 26 different languages. Let us know if you want a sheet with addresses of translations. We carry in stock only English, and Spanish books, and a few in Russian.
Also on display is a shelf of books with chapters about Peace Pilgrim - and samples of the hundreds of publications with quotes or articles about Peace Pilgrim. Since we do not advertise it is very helpful that they usually give our address, phone and offer of a free book. We often hear from someone who has just learned about her from a book or magazine.
There are over 400,000 Peace Pilgrim books and over a million STEPS booklets in print. Our audio and video tapes have been duplicated thousands of time.
We receive letters:
WASHINGTON STATE -- Dear Friends of Peace Pilgrim - and I think it's fair to add - friends of the world. Just read your newsletter. Each edition gives me renewed reason to be hopeful for peace in our world. I leave it where I'll see it often during the day and each time I glance at it, it acts like a booster-shot of encouragement and incentive to do my part for world peace.
MAURITIUS -- I was very fascinated by the article in the magazine HINDUISM TODAY. It is the first time in my life that I heard about this kind of Pilgrim. That woman has got much courage to do such pilgrimage, and I hope that God will always be on her side. In fact, she is setting a good example, and this will motivate us to follow the right path with these few words.
LIFE FOUNDATION SCHOOL OF THERAPEUTICS, ENGLAND -- They are on a 2000 mile walk across UK. We just received a call for a life-size picture of Peace Pilgrim to go with one of Gandhi and Martin Luther King. Earlier they wrote: We visited you briefly on our world Peace Tour. We continue to distribute Peace Pilgrim's inspiration and booklets to people we meet across the world and are constantly in awe of the marvelous legacy of peace she has left in the wake of her long pilgrimages. Your work is helping thousands of people around the world to find greater peace and well-being.
INDIA, LOYOLA COLLEGE -- Reading and reflecting on PEACE PILGRIM and STEPS was a source of inspiration to me. I take points from them for daily morning prayer. I am in charge of a Candidate House with 32 energetic youths, some of whom will become leaders of the Church. I congratulate you all for this noble ministry of promoting peace which is the need of the hour. Sent him a box of 40 compact books and 30 STEPS.
ZIMBABWE -- Dear Friends, I cannot express how happy I am to belong to this movement. The words of Peace Pilgrim summarize all that we need to do in order to make this world a peaceful place to live. "Overcome evil with good, falsehood with truth, hatred with love." These words need to be nailed to every door and to every signpost in the street. Peace is certainly what we need most in these troubled times of ours, because with it comes love and all of God's gifts. Give my regards to all my friends working in the Peace Pilgrim Centre through whose sacrifices and generosity we are blessed and enriched.
SWITZERLAND -- I have been going through an extremely tough time and found that STEPS has helped me enormously. My thoughts had been going along the lines -- "OK I'm going through a very difficult time, but perhaps instead of panicking I can make an effort to do at least one favor for someone every day. Why not concentrate on what you can give." When lo and behold your booklet, given to me by a friend several years ago, but not fully appreciated at the time, literally fell out of my bookcase! Talk about "the hand of God"! She requested STEPS in many languages.
ALASKA -- Here in Alaska Peace Pilgrim's message thrives.
Dr. Tony Campolo, the international evangelist who gave a sermon and the prayer at Clinton's inaugural breakfast, preaches the radical message of St. Francis of Assisi. And people are hungry for it. He has Peace Pilgrim's documentary and said he would put it in the right hands.
When I sent Dr. Campolo the STEPS booklet he wrote: "Thanks so very, very much for your note and especially for the little booklet about Peace Pilgrim. I knew about this precious woman and her work. The little summary is the sort of thing that I am going to read on a plane trip to pick up my spirits. Little booklets like this are precious."
So there you are -- a quote from a man of God who has written many books about Christianity, whose work is admired all over the world, who teaches sociology at Eastern college, a friend of Bill Clinton, with ministries in Haiti, New Jersey and Philadelphia. Above all he is a believer and activist about the values of St.Francis of Assisi.
Here are thoughts I had recently about Peace Pilgrim and St. Francis of Assisi: I taught several adult forums about both these people of God. What strikes me first is the joy and energy they both had when they talked about their life and gave their message of love and peace. Where did they get this living force, energy and power? Why were they so happy and full of gladness?
The second thing is the utter simplicity they both possessed. They needed nothing and had everything. They had no baggage, no money, no possessions, only the love of God and His Creation, and they were filled with peace and love of everything.
The third thing is the peace and harmony they preached and possessed. They lived in harmony with their friends and the environment. They were really happy children of God.
They were both always humble and grateful for all the gifts of God. They were thankful for everything, even simple things. They took nothing for granted. They were easily satisfied because their needs were little.
St. Francis lived over 800 years ago and Peace lived in our time. Yet they seemed to me to have lived together in time. There doesn't seem to be time involved. They are timeless Saints, and eternal for us all forever. And as St. Francis would say -- Goodness and Peace.
A prisoner writes: I happened to come across your wonderful book, PEACE PILGRIM, in the jail library. I can't tell you what it has meant to me in coping with the stress of this environment. The first book I found here, amidst all the unreadable junk books, was a novel on the life of Saint Francis, and the second was this book about a modern Saint Francis.
INDIA - I am a sincere spiritual seeker, studied PEACE PILGRIM many times and have benefitted immensely.
We are planning our second annual voluntary firearms turn-in. Last year 98 guns were collected and destroyed during a three hour period in Eugene -- under the aegis of Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon. A large effort was made by our all-volunteer staff that resulted in five newspaper articles and two days of television coverage to raise public awareness.
Donations were collected for food or merchandise which were given to those who gave up their weapons. John Saemann, 1775 Atkins Street #2, Eugene, OR 97401 541-687-7112.
A new newsletter for COMMUNITY PEACEMAKERS.
We're standing up for peace, non-violence and social justice. We begin with the achievements of celebrated peacemakers and social activists such as Peace Pilgrim and later Martin Luther King, Mother Theresa and Gandhi.
Peace Pilgrim begins the series-- her life and good works was our inspiration -- Don Marx, 2908 Madeline Street #100, Oakland, CA 94602-3337
I was ten years old. My fifth-grade teacher had sent a note home stating that my handwriting was very unsatisfactory... and that was enough to ignite a fight between me and my mother. We were both furious. When mother told me to go outside and weed the yard, I hatched a plan to run away from home. I took my savings out of the piggy bank and with my $5, I went outside and started walking.
After four hours or so, I ended up in the foothills on the east side of Albuquerque. Fearful that I would end up in a runaway's life of prostitution, I began to pray defiantly: "OK God, if you exist, tell me what I should do, Give me a sign."
A few minutes later this little old lady, with white hair and a dark blue sweatshirt with "Peace Pilgrim" on it, began to climb my foothill. How dare anyone climb my foothill! She worked her way up to me and asked what I was doing. Anger has always made me very truthful, so I told her that I was running away. The very next words out of her mouth were: "Oh, don't do that. God wouldn't want you to run away."
With her help and encouragement I mustered up the courage to call my parents. She dialed the phone and initially spoke with my mother. That helped me to gather my thoughts about the ramifications of being gone for more than six hours and causing my parents so much worry.
I often have marveled at this most gentle of "coincidences." Peace Pilgrim was a great lady. I am thankful that she touched my life.
PEACE PILGRIM: A READERS THEATRE APPROACH TO PEACE EDUCATION
Supervised by Joanne M. Curran, Ph.D, professor in the Department of Educational Psychology and Counselling at the State University of New York, Oneonta, New York. The following are excerpts from a paper describing this project presented by Joanne at the 1996 Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, New York: The purpose of this [Peace Pilgrim] project is to investigate a readers theatre format for peace education. It began in the mid-1980s as a program developed by myself and members of Woman's Action for Nuclear Disarmament (WAND). The setting was a time of discouragement (escalated funding for STAR WARS). Members who had been actively involved in protest activities were tired, discouraged and looking for inspiration. At this time I discovered a copy of PEACE PILGRIM in a local bookstore. Peace Pilgrim was a role model, someone who found great strength from within; she had found inner peace.
I wrote a first draft of a readers theatre based on the text of PEACE PILGRIM book and members of WAND completed and performed a readers theatre production of PEACE PILGRIM. We were inspired to continue with our work. We had been active in ways associated with negative peace: taking action toward peace and disarmament through explaining, persuading and attempting to get people to respond. We needed to add elements of positive peace: creating a sense of social justice, creating a vision toward which we could work. The words of Peace Pilgrim affirmed us in our work.
During a readers theatre performance a reader selects parts of the text to share. A group must act cooperatively, listen to each other, and compromise in selecting the most relevant aspects for discussion.
The text in this study, PEACE PILGRIM, uses a transformational approach - rejecting violence in any and all of its forms, calling for a change in thinking and formation of a particular set of values. Peace Pilgrim promotes living a life that is nonviolent at every level. Her peace message describes a process through which one can achieve inner peace and thus affect peace in the world.
Ten students enrolled in the study to investigate the potential of a readers theatre format for research of peace education. Results of this study were presented with regard to five issues: (a) students' choice to participate in the study; (b) students' reactions to Peace Pilgrim as a potential role model (c) students' reaction to the use of readers theatre as a curriculum tool; (d) change in students' attitudes toward peace education; and (e) change in students' emotional reactions to concept of world peace.
During the first class session, before the students had read the text PEACE PILGRIM, they watched some videos of Peace Pilgrim. Their initial reactions were not especially positive. Once they read the text their responses were favorable. One pivotal class discussion that resulted in transitions to more positive feelings toward Peace Pilgrim was a discussion on differences between religion and spirituality. One student's log entry for this discussion:
"Our discussion in class mainly centered on how Peace Pilgrim states that she bears no religion but is herself a very religious person. This to me was troubling because I myself am not a religious person, and the fact that she spoke of God so much, it came across to me that she was preaching. I could not relate to what she was saying. I think this is the point that many others had and will have a problem with her. In class though, we came to the conclusion that she is more spiritual than religious. This cleared up a lot of problems that I had with her, and now I could try to relate to her more."
The students were unanimous in stating that Peace Pilgrim served as an effective role model. Their initial discomfort was due to their perception of her work as "preaching,"and they did not want to be associated with proselytizing.
Conclusion -- Student reaction to the readers theatre project was enthusiastic. Readers theatre provides a potentially exciting means of evaluating identity issues. A script can be analyzed to determine points of interest, and a difference in interests can be noted. For those wanting a copy of the paper from which the above was taken, write to Joanne M. Curran, Department of Educational Psychology and Counselling, 120 Fitzelle Hall, College at Oneonta, Oneonta, New York 13820-4015.
At Beardon Middle School in Knoxville, I will be teaching a unit on Women Writers as part of Women's History Month. I will definitely include Peace Pilgrim.
WEST CHESTER UNIV. -- PEACE & CONFLICT STUDIES - Professor asks for STEPS: I plan to use this wonderful booklet again in one of my fall courses
NORTHLAND COLLEGE, WI -- Michael Piechowski, who has used PEACE PILGRIM books for seven years: Soon I will be teaching again my course in Transpersonal Psychology and my students will be reading Peace Pilgrim's life story and watching "The Spirit of Peace."
I will be returning to Uganda. I want to give STEPS to Congregations of Sisters and lay people who are working for peace. Peace Pilgrim was a prophet raised up by God and I would like to keep her flame burning and do my little part to make her work known. It is people like Peace Pilgrim who can inspire and encourage Christians to truly live their commitment to God and to His people.
For 14 years we have been sending hundreds of Peace Pilgrim books and tapes to prisoners and receiving glowing responses. Because they want to share Peace Pilgrim with other inmates our practice has been to send two compact books and four Steps booklets to each inmate who asked. In accordance with a new get tough policy toward prisoners that has swept this country, many prisons allow only one copy of a book to each inmate, so we now are sending only one book and STEPS booklet to each prisoner.
Many other restrictions have been applied, such as only accepting books mailed first class. In some prisons inmates are only allowed books that meet with the approval of the prison chaplain, who may not approve of Peace Pilgrim.
We are delighted to report that many chaplains are recognizing the value of Peace Pilgrim's books. We like especially to send boxes of Peace Pilgrim books to chaplains, librarians and social workers who give them to inmates. Here are some we have heard from:
Federal Bureau of Prisons -- The Supervisory Chaplain writes: We are the Religious Services Department with a Satellite Camp, housing approximately 1500 inmates. (Their library had received a video and hardback books an inmate had requested.) We are requesting a letter of authorization so that our inmate population may be able to enjoy this tape and aid in their spiritual development.
In continuing with our out-reach we are requesting free copies of STEPS TOWARD INNER PEACE. Due to the large inmate population we service, 500 copies would be ideal and greatly appreciated. We sent 500 STEPS.
A later letter from the Chaplain: We are requesting any free materials, including books, pamphlets, audio and video tapes. Please send us your most current catalog, complete with prices and telephone number, that we may use when ordering. Do not hesitate to call with any questions.
Director of Chaplains writes - Please feel free to contact the individual chaplains on each of our prison units within the Texas Dept. of Criminal Justice regarding your request. A prisoner had suggested there should be a Peace Pilgrim book in every prison library. Thank you for your interest in prison ministry and for your generous offer. Enclosed you will find a directory of units for your convenience. After consultation we sent to him 116 hardcover books for all Texas prisons.
THERAPIST -- Thanks for materials. It is very important work you are doing and filling a desperate need here.
BROTHERHOOD OF CONCERN, NY -- Thank you for the books. The prisoners grasp the beauty of them and of Peace Pilgrim. Even if they only manage a few steps at a time, it's a start. Her message has the simplicity and clarity Christ taught. I read a little each evening before I go to sleep. I am convinced she was a great soul. It spurs us on, lends strength and comfort.
Michael, who now helps prisoners, writes: Some prisoners described their reactions to the Peace Pilgrim materials as being introduced to the concept that inner peace was possible. Their lives previous to incarceration were motivated by selfishness, violence, retribution and lifestyles leading to self destruction.
A prisoner from Tennessee wrote to Michael, "It may interest you to know that inmates who have dedicated their lives to peace is a growing movement within the U.S. prison system. Your materials (Peace Pilgrim's) make a real difference in the hearts & minds of people such as ourselves. The kind of information and guidance prisoners get from these publications is truly priceless. When people like us begin to change our violent ways the world will certainly benefit." Since 1989 not one inmate has been rearrested since completing the peace program. That speaks for itself.
UTAH -- I recently received STEPS. It's marvelous! A friend and I will be delivering Christmas treats to the inmates of our county jail. We hope to be allowed to fill a Christmas stocking for each prisoner. STEPS would be just the right size and message to be shared. There are 275 needed -- send as many as you can. About one-fourth are women. We especially want to get it to them.
NY CHAPLAIN -- I've recently come across PEACE PILGRIM. I would like whatever you can send, and be assured I'll pass it on. I am absolutely fascinated by Peace.
GEORGIA -- I am a consulting psychologist in two prisons. I would like to get about 10 Compact Peace Pilgrim books to hand out to inmates and prison personnel. I would also like to get 200 STEPS. I have received permission to hand them out to inmates.
UTAH CORRECTIONAL FACILITY -- What a terrific surprise to receive the box of Peace Pilgrim books and tapes. I really didn't expect all that, but we were certainly thrilled to be able to get our program up and running so quickly. Peace's message has been enthusiastically received by our inmates. The books are being read, passed around, and they request extra STEPS for others in their dorms.
KENTUCKY -- I got your address while travelling in India.
John Amidon, a longtime Friend of Peace Pilgrim, has been involved for several years in the Alternative to Violence Project (AVP), working in his community and local prisons. AVP is a non-profit educational corporation with volunteers teaching peaceful methods of resolving conflict.
John writes: We believe that within each individual is the love and wisdom to transform anger and destructiveness into peaceful cooperation and community. AVP workshop offers an opportunity for self examination and reflection, coupled with exercises to enhance skills to help decrease violence.
As many of you are aware, recent cuts have reduced prison programs to a bare minimum. There is now a greater need for AVP facilitators. Many prisoners are not even aware of possible alternatives to violence. We can help many of these men and women to learn the skills of peace and to uncover the transforming power within. We can build a just and loving society.
Perhaps the prison environment is not suited to your abilities. AVP does community outreach and is working to put this vital and practical program in local schools and colleges. There is also exciting work being done internationally.
We need individuals who believe in the inherent dignity and goodness of humanity, who would like to become involved in this program for community peace making and transformation. AVP National Office: Marjorie Kerr, PO BOX 300431, Houston, Texas 77230-0431 713-747-9999.
A leader in an Alternative to Violence workshop: Something a prisoner said lit up words of Peace Pilgrim in my mind, something I had just read that morning in STEPS. When I read that paragraph to the group - you could just feel throughout the room its wonderful effect. One shy man came up later to ask if he could somehow get a copy. Thanks to you there may be more and more Peace Pilgrims everyday. We sent her 100 STEPS.
CORINTHIANS - NOW there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit, and there are varieties of services, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the spirit for the common good.
Storyteller Carol McCormick, 625 Windemere Drive, Plymouth, MN 55441, uses large quantities of STEPS and some Peace Pilgrim books with her stories before many audiences. There is available a Community Action Kit, educating individuals to choose nonviolent entertainment and nonviolent ways to deal with conflict.
Here are a few of the responses from the hundreds of letters we receive from prisoners. They show how much better off the prisons would be if they had more instead of less of Peace Pilgrim. Recently we have been hearing from more and more women prisoners:
* I am serving a 27 year prison term here. I want desperately to learn more about inner peace.
* I am enrolled in a drug treatment program here in prison. In one of my small group sessions, a friend of mine did a book report on Peace Pilgrim. It really interested me.
* STEPS has answered some questions I've been asking myself. I am on the path to spiritual progress and love it!
* I can't return the kindness to you with anything but prayer, but you'll receive that in abundance
* I read some ideas in STEPS TOWARD INNER PEACE that really grabbed my attention. I desire to greatly change my path. I'm tired of hating people and society.
* Its been an enlightening experience to read STEPS. I feel so much better about myself and I'm confident I have a real future ahead -- free of fear!
* I've just read your booklet STEPS TOWARD INNER PEACE, and it's given me NEW VIEWS ON PEOPLE. They've always been there, but you've made me come to realize it. And I would love to read the PEACE PILGRIM book. May God bless you.
* The STEPS booklet inspired me, BIG TIME -- to be at Peace with myself and others..Its truly a great thing all of you are doing. I see you all as water and sunshine on the seed of peace. At this point in my life I'm ready for total peace.
* Your program of spreading Peace at no charge to those in prison or unable to afford, is a great example of the message being taught.
* I read and very much enjoyed STEPS. I would like to read Peace Pilgrim. I am doing a 58 year sentence and good things to read seem hard to come by.
* After reading STEPS: In prison as well as in freedom its nice to hear an encouraging word.
* I'm in jail for drug charges. In 1973 I was searching for a way off drugs I had become addicted to in Viet Nam... I had been going through a heroin addiction drug program for three months. One day a beautiful woman came wandering in. It was Peace Pilgrim. I talked with her quite awhile. She was an inspiration to me. I remained in the program for ten years...Then I wandered from the path of truth and became involved in drugs again. Bo Lozoff sent me STEPS with his books. I saw Peace Pilgrim's picture and remembered she had the most beautiful clear blue eyes I had ever seen. Once again I've been inspired by her words. Thank you for spreading the truth.
We receive many letters requesting books, from this northwestern African country. We have sent hundreds of books and the requests kept multiplying. They cannot send money out of the country. We are now sending a notice with the books that the demand is getting too great for our small operation. We now suggest that we send books or tapes only to churches, schools or libraries to be used there or loaned out. This is working very well. We have several such centers now, here's one: The first time I read STEPS I felt within me that there should be a way I could get others to have this wonderful experience. The headmaster of this school fell in love with it...I have started the library program -- two books and five STEPS in the school library. I have given copies to good Christian friends in Cape Coast University to start a good work towards peace there. I promise to do my best to get the message of peace to as many peace lovers as possible. I have availed myself to give a talk in any school, church or gathering to get the peace message forward.
AUSTRALIA -- My friend sent me this wonderful book. It is to be sent on to Africa. However, it has so touched me and inspired my work in art that I will use its pages for my next installation. The work at the exhibition will be dedicated to the efforts of Peace Pilgrim _ "to at least make people think. To have them question themselves and leave the results in God's hands." She asks for books for herself and for Africa. Thank you for continuing this universal message. With the grace of God I hope to put to practice what I know deep in my heart, and draw on my resources to help with this mission.
The Peace Pilgrim book has been an important influence on my life and work. Now I am pursuing a mission of my own, which has some resemblance to that of Peace Pilgrim. In February, I took 12 harps to Haiti on a mission to promote a culture of peace, and a renaissance of hope. Though virtually unknown, the harp was quickly accepted, and suitable for Haitian folk and popular music. Truly, the harp is of the ancient common heritage of all peoples. I started a typical day before dawn, harping on the street in front of the Episcopal Cathedral while street vendors claimed their spots, and market-girls swept by with baskets on their heads. My Haiti Project follows similar projects in Russia (1995) and El Salvador (1994). John Lozier, 428 Van Gilder Ave, Morgantown, WV 26505
NEW ZEALAND -- Now, how in the world did I get your names and phone number? I am just as amazed that some computer software called SELECT PHONE has every listed phone number in the USA on it. All I did was type in the address that is on your video, and what appears at the top of this letter is what came up.
WANDER WOMAN GOES WALK-ABOUT FOR PEACE DOWN UNDER
It's been my inclination to start letting go of my attachment to my little home on wheels, the ol' Bear Bus -- to lead an even more simple lifestyle. As my mentor, Peace Pilgrim, says, "a simplified life is a sanctified life."
But how and where to start?
I decided to put into practice Peace's prophetic words by doing my life-long dream of visiting New Zealand. The journey would be mainly on foot and on faith, but compared to Peace Pilgrim's sparse worldly possessions, my 32 pound backpack seemed like pure indulgence.
My port of entry into this incredible unspoiled land of natural beauty was the Peace Pilgrim Centre in Auckland -- the gracious home of Angela and Graham Fitzgerald.
I let go of all plans and itinerary, relying on intuition and divine guidance as to where to travel and whom I'd encounter along the way.
Sometimes I felt Peace Pilgrim's reassuring presence, almost like a guardian angel when bedding down for the night behind a deserted church, in a tree-lined meadow under the stars, or in a crowded backpacker's hostel. I joyfully explored the scenic By-Ways of North and South Islands
Occasionally I'd hitch-hike, learning local lore, legend, and history from my "Rides," many of whom would turn tour guide, take me home to pick blueberries, or host me for dinner at their Sheep Station for the evening.
Some would tease me about my American accent, but all were genuinely interested in crossing the cultural bridge from differences and conflict to similarity and harmony between individuals and nations too.
I became a "WOOFER" (willing worker on organic farms) twice in my three months down under. I worked with farm families on a grass-roots level. My payment was more precious than money: a great place to stay, all the good food that I could eat, and Kiwi friendships that will last a lifetime. I've found it's the people along life's road that really make the experience. Many new opportunities in New Zealand, as everywhere, for spreading Peace Pilgrim's message through a friendly smile or an extended hand. It's the international language of love and it works wonders, opening doors and hearts world wide.
Down Under or Up Over, Peace Pilgrim's words ring ever clearer. More peaceful human relations must begin somewhere. So let it begin with me!
AUSTRALIA -- In a second-hand bookstore in Newcastle I picked up a small booklet, STEPS. There was interest among my friends but never could get another copy. For books and STEPS - AUSTRALIA CENTRE: Jurgen Malina, PO Box 424, Healesville, Vic 3777, Australia.
The Spanish version of STEPS TOWARD INNER PEACE is now on the website. I received help from Ricky Fuster of Madrid, Spain who converted the text on disk to the HTML format used for the web. He has a Spanish version website called Peregrina de la Paz.
As we approach the year 2,000, peace activity on the web is intensifying. There are literally hundreds of peace sites on the web now, and they are beginning to link up in very creative ways. Other sites are starting to display the "inner peace" emblem I created, which signifies they are supporters of FOPPs efforts to spread Peace Pilgrim's message. When visitors to these other sites click on the emblem they will come to the Friends of Peace Pilgrim site.
Bruce one of several friends who have placed Peace Pilgrim on the internet, writes: I wanted to share a couple of things I have been doing the last few months. The website has been a great source of delight and also served as a means of establishing contact with other Peace workers. Last fall I attended a meeting of the World Peace 2000 Network at the UN in New York City. Efforts to have January 1, 2000 a day of World Wide Peace are beginning to bear fruit.
Another recent addition to the Peace Pilgrim homepage has been sound. I have been able to add audio clips from some of the tapes. Now people visiting the site can actually HEAR Peace speaking. I wonder what she would think if she knew her voice could be heard by anyone in the world who had access to the internet. In the near future it will also be possible to do short video clips.
I have been having a Peace Pilgrim study group at our Congregational church library -- a WONDERFUL experience traveling with Peace for these last few weeks. How wonderful it has been to reread Steps and the book and then share insights and inspiration with others. We have also been listening and viewing tapes as we go along. In the fall I may try to take it to a larger community based project following the same format. The whole process has rekindled my resolve to do as much as I can to help realize Peace's vision of a world at peace.
THE CENTER FOR THE HOMELESS
I received some copies of STEPS TOWARD INNER PEACE from you and have used them in a class I teach to homeless adults. The pamphlet has been more than a testimony for them. It has helped many find a new way of life, a way out of spiritual homelessness, the first step to physical fulfillment. Thank you for providing me with a powerful, positive and specific teaching tool that helps to change peoples life. Katherine Dick, Director Case Management Education and Training, South Bend, Indiana.
If you want to start a Peace Group or just be in touch with friends of Peace Pilgrim in your area, we will list your name, address and/or phone. (see STEPS p.31, Book p.123) Following are friends who asked to be listed: Richard Rayes #33647, PO Box 2500, Lincoln, NE ** George Mathew, Manjapally Estate, Anakkal-PO, Kanjirapally - 686507, Kerala State, India ** Danny Waters #326197, PO BOX 668, Hays State Prison, Trion, GA 30753 ** Napoleon English N-82452, PO Box 99, Pontiac,IL 61764
TO DO SOMETHING FOR PEACE
Professor Andrea Foster has written helpful suggestions for a Peace Pilgrim Study/Prayer/Action Group. Peace Pilgrim suggested creating Community Peace Fellowships in every town. This paper includes Peace's recommendations, with Andrea's thoughts or suggestions included. We highly recommend these suggestions. For a copy write to Andrea Foster, 12 Grotto, Germantown, MD 20874
VALLEY RESTART SHELTER
200 East Menlo Avenue, Hemet, CA 92543, 909-766-7476. A nonprofit organization dedicated to providing services to the homeless and low-income of the San Jacinto Valley to enable them to normalize their living and working patterns and to become productive members of their communities.
The churches of Hemet have created a remarkable service during the last eight years of increasing homelessness in our society. They have provided meals and shelter in their churches until a permanent home was found. When the YMCA building became available, the Valley Restart was able to buy it. The homeless who are remodeling it are doing an amazing job of restoring and bringing it up to standard. Some are living in the shelter now. When restoration is complete shelter and meals for 120 persons will be provided.
Drugs or liquor are not allowed. Counselling is available and help is given to find jobs. When they find permanent jobs and are ready, they may move into a low rent apartment provided for a couple of years.
We are thankful to be in a religious community that helps those in need. Our contribution is Peace Pilgrim books and tapes to the homeless.
Compare this model program with the SINK OR SWIM attitude of our present federal government. Paul Edelman resigned as assistant secretary of U.S. Health and Human Services to protest the welfare reform bill. He said, "We shouldn't be talking about the end of welfare. We should be talking about the end of poverty. Personal responsibility and community responsibility have to intersect if we are going to end poverty."
BETHLEHEM PEACE PILGRIM
FATHER ZABELKA was chaplain to the airmen who dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagaski in 1945. After 20 years of reflection he became a pacifist. And in order to witness to the truth that had transfigured his own life, he set out on foot on Good Friday 1982 from the Trident Nuclear Submarine Base at Bangor, near Seattle. With 18 other American pilgrims, they headed for Bethlehem, the birthplace of the Prince of Peace. Printed on the front of their shirts was BETHLEHEM PEACE PILGRIM.
Eighteen months and 7,000 miles later, Father Zabelka said, "It is these weeks in the holy land which have revealed the point of our pilgrimage. So it may be precisely here, where the Prince of Peace was rejected, that universal peace will be born."
This story was taken from the December, 1984 Maryknoll magazine which has a picture of Father Zabelka and one of the peace pilgrims entering Jerusalem's Gate. Before their pilgrimage we had sent them many STEPS to give out. We were compiling the PEACE PILGRIM book at the time.
INDIA -- May God bless you and prosper your dedicated and wonderful work in the cause of peace. If only USA and other nations would stop manufacturing arms and weapons, piling them up and selling them to other countries - and instead divert the money to establish peace and harmony - a new era would certainly be ushered in. What a terrible crime to invest in the manufacture of destructive weapons! Unthinkable yet true. May God enlighten us.
General Butler, the former Commander-in-Chief of the Strategic Air Command, (along with 60 other military leaders from around the world) released a statement calling for the complete abolition of nuclear weapons.
It begins: "We, military professionals...are convinced that the continuing existence of nuclear weapons...constitutes a peril to global peace and to the safety and survival of the people we are dedicated to protect.
It concludes: "We have been presented with a challenge of the highest possible historic importance: the creation of a nuclear weapons-free world...We must not fail to seize our opportunity. There is no alternative."
ST. JOHN'S UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST, NEWPORT, KY -- The SPIRIT OF PEACE documentary ran for six weeks last summer on Public Access television. We also took the books to the libraries in our area -- we were pleasantly surprised that some libraries already had copies. The extra books were sent to an Army chaplain serving the troops in Bosnia.
SCHOOL OF AMERICAS STILL TRAINS ASSASSINS
For 50 years this US Army School in Ft. Benning, GA has trained 60,000 Latin American soldiers who leave a trail of blood in every Latin American country where its graduates return, according to Roy Bourgeois, a Catholic missionary. Torture Training Manuals used at the school that advocated executions, false imprisonment, physical abuse and torture techniques were taken out of use in 1991.
The Leadership Conference of Women Religious that represent 78,000 Catholic nuns wrote to the President, Congress and the Pentagon to close the school.
Seventeen people, including six Catholic nuns and two clergy were arrested recently for digging a symbolic mass grave on the Pentagon parade ground. There was a silent funeral procession around the Pentagon consisting of 250 religious leaders, veterans, and peace activists, including our friend, John Amidon. (see AVP article)
The Pentagon vigil and civil disobedience action was part of a ten day vigil and lobby effort. Over 1,000 people gathered from around the nation to call upon Congress to close the school. Joseph Kennedy has introduced legislation (HR 611) in the House of Representatives. The bill now has over 100 co-sponsors. A companion Senate bill is expected soon. Let your representative know how you feel. We recommend the Maryknoll video "School of Assassins" 800-227-8523, if you want additional information.
MONTEVERDE QUAKER GROUP, COSTA RICA -- We had a large group at a hotel showing the two videos (the half hour & the Spirit of Peace documentary) and then made available the Spanish and English Peace Pilgrim books and STEPS. We will do it again in a Quaker home.
Friends of Peace Pilgrim
43480 Cedar Avenue
Hemet, California 92544
page created by Bruce Nichols