The People's Peace Initiative

A Catholic Collaboration to Articulate the Challenges of Peace in the 21st Century

The risen Jesus gave peace as his first gift to his followers. As disciples of Christ, we seek to make the peace which Jesus gives us visible in our lives and in our world. In doing so, we become peacemakers and may deserve to be called 'children of God. - Bishop Wilton T. Gregory

The People's Peace Initiative is a collaborative effort of national Catholic organizations to articulate the challenges for Catholic peacemaking in the 21st century. Begun in 2003 as we celebrated the 20th anniversary of the U.S. bishops' peace pastoral, Pax Christi USA issued an invitation to national Catholic organizations and ministries to join in developing a grassroots process of reflection that would lead to the writing of a "people's peace letter." Central to the vision are Jesus' Gospel values and the experiences and insights of marginalized people-especially communities of color, women and the impoverished in the U.S. and around the world.

The two components of this initiative included:

The writing and publication of a document, based on input from small group reflection processes in parishes, dioceses, organizations, small faith communities, universities and more.

An invigoration of the "vocation of peace-making" and strengthening of relationships among Catholic organizations at the local level to further the work of building a more just and peace-filled world.

In Fall 2009 - following a year of national organizing and collaboration, 2 years for the small group reflection process, and a little over a year for collating the input and writing the final document - Pax Christi USA published the groundbreaking document, Called to be Peacemakers: The Challenge and Promise of Peace in the 21st Century. Pax Christi USA would like to thank especially the twenty-one national Catholic organizations and ministries which took part in the process and the thousands of Catholics across the United States who added their voices to articulate the hopes and dreams for peace in the 21st century.

Click here to read the final documents of the People's Peace Initiative Project. 

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