A  Not too Short History of Pax Christi Long Island   c. 1980 to the present.

Our history starts with Joan Wittreich. She established PCLI in 1980, the traditions of Retreat Days, Pot Lucks and Peace Awards presentations and set forth the mission that still guides us.  PCLI has flourished under the guidance of dear and dedicated coordinators: Sister Mary Fritz, O.P., Veronica Fellerath, Sister Mary Beth Moore, SC and presently Sister Jeanne Clark, O.P. One sentence will never sufficiently encompass their energy and wisdom or our gratitude.

Ongoing activities:

Peaceworks – by Bob Keeler, LI Journalist and recipient of Pulitzer Prize Award
"Peacemaker" Newsletter by Nancy Dwyer, a bi-monthly update of local activities
Local regions meetings in Wyandanch, Bay Shore, Patchogue and West Nassau
Stand–Up for Justice Committee – dedicated to supporting immigrants, Muslims and others targeted for oppression

The moments we have considered to be significant:

  • a series of vigils outside St. Agnes Cathedral calling upon Bishop Murphy to denounce the war in Iraq.  
  • a car caravan that visited over 10 parishes calling for an end to war in Iraq
  • annual liturgies at different churches marking each new anniversary of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan
  • annual Memorial Day Peace Procession at Jones Beach. On this occasion, there is a display of military airpower and weapons that draws huge crowds. Our message is that Memorial Day is not the time to glorify war.
  • World Peace March about 10 preparatory events held on LI and then the glorious March across the Brooklyn Bridge in driving rain!
  • Pray-In outside Rep. Peter King’s office urging him to cancel the hearings concerning the Muslim community.

On March 13, 2011, PCLI will present the Peace Award to Seemi and Habeeb Ahmed of the Islamic Center in Westbury as “Builders of the Peaceful Community”  - and on April 2nd,  Peacemaker Award to John Dear S. J.

In summary, considering everything! … we are grateful for establishing connections with other peace and religious groups on Long Island; next, we are most grateful for our members, past and present, who, despite pressing commitments of family and work, and everything else that life hands out, have consistently given their time and dedication to the vision of Pax Christ – the Peace of Christ.  Alleluia for them!