Celebrating the Life of DDCW Founder Fr. Richard McSorley on His 100th Birthday

Date: Friday, October 3, 2014 @ 7:30 p.m.
Place: Dorothy Day Catholic Worker, 503 Rock Creek Church Rd. NW, Washington, DC 20010


October 2 marks the 100th birthday of Dorothy Day Catholic Worker founder, Fr. Dick McSorley, S.J.  Fr. McSorley died on October 17, 2002 and his legacy of peacemaking continues to inspire many. On October 3 we will remember and celebrate the life of this great peacemaker who dedicated his life to making the Gospel of Nonviolence a reality. For those who knew or were influenced in some way by Fr. McSorley, please come and share about how you were impacted by him. Please join us as we celebrate Fr. McSorley’s life and recommit ourselves, as he did, to following Jesus’ way  of nonviolence.   
For more info contact Dorothy Day Catholic Worker: 202-882-9649 or artlaffin@hotmail.com.
Published in: on September 22, 2014 at 9:08 pm  Leave a Comment  

Air Force Association – Arms Bazaar

Dear Friends,


On September 15 from 6:00-7:30 p.m., 15 people vigiled outside the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center at the National Harbor, ten miles south of D.C.,  to decry the scandalous Air Force Association (AFA) annual “Air & Space Conference and Technology Expo,” what we call an “Arms Bazaar.” Some 150 arms contractors are taking part in this year’s Arms Bazaar. Our vigil coincided with a $310 per plate banquet honoring outstanding airmen. Members of Pax Christi and other peace groups attended the vigil which was organized by the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker.




Our witness began with some of our group processing from the police designated vigil site across the street from the Gaylord to a resort entrance near where the AFA banquet was being held. As we approached the entrance we were stopped by security and police who declared we were on private property and instructed us to leave or face arrest. I responded by saying we were on God’s property and presented them with our leaflet. We appealed to them to address the real crimes that were taking place by the arms merchants inside the Gaylord and to join with us. They carefully listened to our plea but exclaimed that they did not have an opinion about the matter and that we must leave, at which pointed, we returned to the vigil site and conducted a prayer service for peace.


During the prayer service I gave a statement about our witness (see below). Bob More then read the Gospel account of the Beatitudes (Lk. 6:2-28). This was followed by Kathy Boylan reading a selection of Dr. King’s Riverside Church April 4, 1967 speech about why he opposed the Vietnam War. Malachy Kilbride read an account of drone bombing victims taken from the Bureau of Investigative Journalism. The response to each group of victims listed was: “God Forgive the U.S. For Making and Using Killer Drones.” Bob Cooke then offered a powerful reflection based on Pope Francis’s September 13 sermon during a Mass at the Italian Military Memorial cemetery at Fogliano in Redipuglia, Italy where over 100,000 soldiers are buried who died during the First World War. The pope denounced war as “madness” and declared: “Even today, after the second failure of another world war, perhaps one can speak of a third war, one fought piecemeal, with crimes, massacres, destruction…
Today, too, the victims are many.  How is this possible?  It is so because in today’s world, behind the scenes, there are interests, geopolitical strategies, lust for money and power, and there is the manufacture and sale of arms, which seem to be so important!

And these plotters of terrorism, these schemers of conflicts, just like arms dealers, have engraved in their hearts, “What does it matter to me?”
It is the task of the wise to recognize errors, to feel pain, to repent, to beg for pardon and to cry.”

(See below complete text of the Pope’s sermon)


Jack Payden-Travers proceeded to read facts about the U.S. war budget and, after each horrifying fact, the gathered community responded: “God forgive US!” Jack McHale then offered a prayer to exorcise the evil of militarism and convert our lives to God’s command to love. This was followed by Pete Perry and Brian Barrett leading a Litany of Repentance and Hope. The witness concluded with singing “This Little Light of Mine” and the lighting of candles to remember all victims of violence and war, the holy cloud of witnesses past and present, prisoners of conscience worldwide, including the Transform Now Plowshares and resisters from Jeju Island. Tom Siemer also gave a beautiful testimony about the late peacemaker Fr. Dick McSorley, SJ, whose 100th birthday is next month. We also remembered Eve Tetaz who was being tried in DeWitt Town Court outside of Syracuse for her resistance action to the killer drones at Hancock Air Base.


As President Obama has ordered new airstrikes against Islamic State forces in Iraq, let us redouble our efforts to do all we can to nonviolently resist the forces of violence and death and witness to the God of Life and Love as we strive to create the Beloved Community.


With gratitude,


Published in: on September 20, 2014 at 2:41 am  Leave a Comment  

Protest the Air Force Association “Arms Bazaar”

When: Monday, September 15, 2014, from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. (During AFA $310 per plate banquet)

Where: Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, 201 Waterfront St., National Harbor, MD 20745.
We will meet for the vigil at the corner of Waterfront St. and St. George Blvd., directly across from the Gaylord National Resort.

Sponsored by: Dorothy Day Catholic Worker
For more info contact: Art Laffin – 202-360-6416
War should always scandalize the faithfulThink of the children starving in refugee camps, these are the fruits of war. And then think of the great dining rooms, of the parties held by those who control the arms industry, who produce weapons. Compare a sick, starving child in a refugee camp with the big parties, the good life led by the masters of the arms trade.
                                                   –Pope Francis
                                                  February 25, 2014 Mass at the Vatican’s Santa Marta Chapel
                                                        Reported by Vatican Radio
Dear Friends,
This is an invitation to please join with the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker, with peacemakers from Pax Christi Metro D.C.- Baltimore and other groups to protest the annual Air Force Association(AFA) “Arms Bazaar.” Please come and bring a friend. And please spread the word and post this wherever you can.
The U.S. power structure, backed by weapons contractors participating in the AFA Arms Bazaar, is engaged in direct military intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan, continues its military support for the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, threatens Russia over its involvement in the Ukraine, proceeds with its military “pivot” in the Asia-Pacific to contain and threaten China, and wages unrelenting  killer drone attacks in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. The Pentagon is also increasingly militarizing its police forces at home. We urgently need, more than ever, to nonviolently resist all war and violence–from Iraq, Afghanistan and Gaza to Ferguson, NYC and D.C., and witness for peace and justice. Together, let us continue to do all we can to establish the Beloved Community and create a world free of nuclear and conventional weapons, war, racial hatred and oppression.
Please join this important vigil and say YES to Life and a resounding NO to the war profiteers. We must not let this Arms Bazaar go unaddressed.  
With gratitude, Art
Directions from Downtown D.C. to Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center — Parking and Meeting Place
Take 395 South (off of New York Ave. or Constitution Ave. at 9th St. NW) Merge onto 295 South via exit on left (crossing into Maryland) – 7.4 miles. Take the exit toward National Harbor. Take ramp to National Harbor Blvd. Bear left on National Harbor Blvd. and go two blocks to St. George Blvd. Make a right on St. George Blvd. Go to one block before Waterfront St. and look for street meter parking. Also St. George Parking Garage is on right in case you can’t find street parking (just past the cross street called Mariner Passage). The garage is one block before Waterfront St., where the Gaylord National Resort is located. We will meet for the vigil at the corner of Waterfront St. and St. George Blvd. on the sidewalk in front of the Gaylord National Resort. If you are coming from Maryland or Virginia use Map Quest for the most precise route to the Gaylord.
Published in: on September 5, 2014 at 3:52 am  Leave a Comment  

Campaign Nonviolence

Speakers: Bob Cooke and Judith Kelly

Date: Friday, September 5, 2014 @ 7:30 p.m.
Place: Dorothy Day Catholic Worker, 503 Rock Creek Church Rd. NW, Washington, DC 20010

Campaign Nonviolence (CNV) is a new long term campaign initiated by Pace E Bene to help bring nonviolence to the forefront of our culture and society. Its first year will be marked by well over one hundred actions in every state of the union during the week of Sept. 21-27th with the themes of ending poverty, war and environmental degradation.
Bob Cooke is a CNV volunteer and former regional coordinator for Pax Christi Metro DC-Baltimore.  Long-time peace activist Judith Kelly served as a Pace e Bene regional associate and is a former SOA Watch prisoner of conscience. They will share Campaign Nonviolence’s long term vision and September 2014 events – both locally and nationally. The CNV web site is:
Please join us!
For more info contact  Dorothy Day Catholic Worker: 202-882-9649, artlaffin@hotmail.com.
Published in: on August 23, 2014 at 8:38 pm  Leave a Comment  

Reflection for Aug. 9 White House Peace Witness

(Offered by Art Laffin)
We greet all who have come to the White House in a spirit of peace. We, members of the DDCW, Jonah House Community, Pax Christi, the Columban Fathers Office of Peace and Justice, The Open Door Community and other peace groups, come to the White House today, the 69th anniversary of the U.S. nuclear bombing of Nagasaki, to remember the past, repent the sin and reclaim the future. As people of faith we believe it’s a sin to build a nuclear weapon. We decry the existence and continued possession and threatened use of these and other idolatrous and murderous weapons.


Photo by Ted Majdosz Photos shows people doing a symbolic die-in to remember the victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

We apologize to the people of Japan for our country’s atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki 69 years ago, and ask forgiveness for these atrocities and the ongoing suffering of those affected by nuclear radiation. We repent for the continued proliferation of nuclear weapons at the expense of unmet human needs. Further, we repent for the over 50 times the U.S. has threatened to use nuclear weapons since the first atomic bombings.

We call for the closing of all U.S. nuclear weapons facilities and for the disarmament and abolition of all nuclear weapons and all weapons of terror, including killer drones. As we call on the U.S. to abolish its nuclear weapons program, we call, too, on all nuclear powers to do the same. And as a first step towards bringing about a Nuclear-Free Middle East, we call on Israel to abolish its nuclear weapons program.
The colossal violence unleashed by the U.S. in Hiroshima and Nagasaki is mirrored today in the wars the U.S. has waged since 1945, including the U.S. slaughter of Vietnam, of Iraq and Afghanistan, in the use of killer drones and most recently, and in the U.S. supported Israeli slaughter of Gaza. We call for an end to all U.S. military intervention worldwide. We call, too, for an end to all U.S. military support and aid for Israel. We call, too, for an end to U.S. militarization of Africa and the Asian Pacific. With respect to the U.S. military pivot to Asia, we call for an end to the construction of a new U.S.-backed naval base on Jeju Island in S. Korea that will serve as a U.S. military outpost to threaten and contain China.  
We join with the imprisoned Transform Now Plowshares serving 3-5 year prison sentences, the jailed Jeju Island resisters, the Guantanamo hunger strikers, and all peace and justice makers everywhere in calling for a world without weapons, oppression, torture and war, where all the swords of our time are transformed into plowshares. We make this plea in the name of all victims of our warmaking empire, from Iraq and Afghanistan to Palestine, Pakistan, Yemen and elsewhere. No More Hiroshima’s! No More Nagasaki’s! Disarm all weapons of mass murder! Abolish War!
Published in: on August 12, 2014 at 7:43 pm  Comments (1)  

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