Loretto Committees Sponsor Program on Active Nonviolence
The Denver Activities Committee and the Loretto Peace Committee sponsored a program on “Active Nonviolence: Our Response to Injustice in Our Time.” Byron Plumley facilitated the conversation. Byron was chair of the Peace and Justice Studies Department at Regis University. In his introduction he suggested that we are the “choir” since we are all committed to work for peace and act for justice. However, the choir needs to rehearse or learn a new song from time to time. Byron said that we already are aware of the many topics of injustice and violence, and that the challenge is to feel our anger at injustice but not become hateful. He posed the question whether we can allow our anger and frustration to motivate us toward nonviolent actions of love and compassion. The agenda included singing “Make Me a Channel of Your Peace,” led by George McShea, a film on Gandhi and the Salt March and table discussions reflecting on questions such as what is the lesson for today or what actions can we take to address injustice? We considered whether violence has become the new norm. Libby Comeaux pointed out that the United States has a long history of violence and that it is not new in our society. There were refreshments, large group sharing and a closing song, “Glory to God,” led by George.
There were several handouts that reflected on topics that could be foundational for considering nonviolence as a way of life. The philosophy and teaching of Gandhi are focused on nonviolence as a way of life in everything from care for the earth to resolving conflict. He teaches truth force, doing no harm and non-cooperation with injustice. The 60 people in attendance reflected on themes that included acknowledging our own potential for violence, our respect for the earth, taking a stand to address violence and realizing that every action contributes to the work of justice and peace. We have heartfelt gratitude to Pat McCormick, who brought us all together by organizing the event and calling personally to invite people. Others who would like to replicate this program may obtain a video of the introduction and copies of handouts when available. There will be a notification in Loretto announcements.