100 Years Since the U.S. Invasion of Haiti–How Is Haiti Now?

Speaker: Eugenia Charles, Longtime Haitian Activist

Date: Friday, October 2, 2015 @ 7:30 p.m.

Place: Dorothy Day Catholic Worker, 503 Rock Creek Church Rd. NW, Washington, D.C. 20010

Haitians heading to the polls for a Presidential Election on Oct. 25 are in the midst of a humanitarian and electoral crisis. During his 4 year term, the Clinton “selected” President Martelly has squandered the treasury on 6 major carnivals and countless trips abroad while basic social services are non existent. Demands of the people to know where the earthquake money, the promised investments and jobs are go unanswered. Can Haiti withstand another U.S. “selection process?”

 Please join us!

For more information contact Dorothy Day Catholic Worker: 202-882-9649 

Published in: on September 29, 2015 at 2:46 pm  Leave a Comment  

Report of the Sept. 14 Peace Witness at the Air Force Association “Arms Bazaar”

Dear Friends,

Last night 9 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 $300+ 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.

As we arrived at the Gaylord, a Prince George Police vehicle was already stationed in front of the main driveway entrance, across the street from our vigil site. A contingent of Gaylord security and a PG police officer then came across the street to our vigil site to greet us. I explained to them the purpose for our vigil and gave each of them our leaflet. We all shook hands and they left to return to their post in proximity to where the AFA banquet was being held. The police vehicle stationed at the Gaylord main entrance remained at the site for the duration of our vigil.

Our witness began with a reading of our leaflet (see below). Katerina Sasieta then read the Gospel account of the Beatitudes (Lk. 6:2-28). This was followed by Kathy Boylan, Joe Wiehagen,  Rich Neapolitan and Steve Bush reading a selection of Dr. King’s Riverside Church April 4, 1967 speech about why he opposed the Vietnam War. Bob Cooke then offered a compelling reflection about the purpose of our witness, how Pope Francis has condemned the arms trade and war profiteering, and of our urgent need to follow the Gospel of Nonviolence.

I then offered a prayer to exorcise the evil of militarism and convert our lives to God’s command to love. A Litany of Repentance and Hope was then offered by Brian Barrett, Katarina and David Carrier. The witness concluded with the lighting of candles and singing “This Little Light of Mine,” as we remembered all victims of violence and war, the holy cloud of witnesses past and present, and all who are working today to bring about God’s reign of justice, love and peace.

Today, the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows,  we remember the four girls who were killed and those who were injured in the Birmingham Church bombing on September 15, 1963. We thank God for the lives of the four girls and we pray for their families and community who still grieve their loss. Let us recommit ourselves to ending the racial hatred that took their lives. And 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 15, 2015 at 7:20 pm  Comments (1)  

Freddie Gray’s Baltimore

Speakers: Brendan Walsh and Willa Bickham 

Date: Friday, September 11, 2015 @ 7:30 p.m.
Place: Dorothy Day Catholic Worker, 503 Rock Creek Church Rd. NW,

Washington, DC 20010

Why did Baltimoreans rise up after the police murder of Freddie Gray on April 19, 2015? Brendan Walsh and Willa Bickham, who founded the Viva House Catholic Worker in west Baltimore 47 years ago, will discuss Freddie Gray’s death, the subsequent uprising it spurred, the pervasive racism and the myriad of problems plaguing Baltimore that his death magnified. Articles by and about Walsh and Bickham’s response to the Baltimore riots have appeared in the New York Catholic Worker and the National Catholic Reporter. See June/July 2015 issue of the New York Catholic Worker, and: articlehttp://ncronline.org/blogs/making-difference/baltimoreans-reflections-baltimore- riots.


Please join us!

For more information contact Dorothy Day Catholic Worker: 202-882-9649 or


Published in: on August 24, 2015 at 4:32 pm  Leave a Comment  

Protest the Air Force Association “Arms Bazaar”

When: Monday, September 14, 2015, from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. 
What: A Nonviolent Vigil and Prayer Service for Peace during the AFA $310 per plate banquet (please bring a candle)
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

The U.S. power structure, in concert with 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 threaten and contain China, and wages unrelenting killer drone attacks in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. While undertaking a historic agreement with Iran to curb its nuclear program, the U.S. government is planning to spend $1 trillion over the next thirty years to modernize its own nuclear arsenal. The U.S. military is also the world’s single biggest consumer of fossil fuels which is directly destabilizing the earth’s climate. The victims cry out for justice, and the earth, under daily assault, groans in travail. 
Who will speak for the poor and the victims, as arms dealers reap huge profits from their lethal weapons? Who will protect our sacred earth and environment? We urgently need, more than ever, to nonviolently resist all war and violence–from Iraq, Afghanistan Pakistan and Gaza, to Ferguson, NYC, Baltimore, Charleston and D.C. Together, let us continue to do all we can to establish the Beloved Community, end the climate crisis, and create a world free of nuclear and conventional weapons, war, racial hatred and oppression.  
As we undertake this vigil, we do so in solidarity with Campaign Nonviolence, who will be sponsoring a week-long series of actions nationwide from September 20-27 See: http://www.paceebene.org/programs/campaign-nonviolence
Please join this important witness to say YES to Life and a resounding NO to the war profiteers. We must not let this Arms Bazaar go unaddressed.
With gratitude,
Art Laffin
Directions from Downtown D.C., 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.

Public Transportation
If you would like to use public transportation, take the Green Line to Branch Ave. Get off at Branch Ave. and take the NH1 National Harbor bus line. This bus takes you to the corner of St. George Blvd. and Waterfront St. across from the Gaylord National Resort. Call 202-637-7000 and select “ride guide” for best directions. Or go WMATA web site.


Published in: on August 23, 2015 at 3:06 pm  Leave a Comment  

Aug. 6 Pentagon Witness-Five Arrested

Dear Friends,
To commemorate the 70th year since the U.S. began the Nuclear Age by dropping an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, 30 friends from the Atlantic Life Community and other peace groups participated today in an early morning peace witness at the Pentagon that was organized by the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker. The group carried signs, photos of the aftermath of the Hiroshima bombing, and banners, two of which read: “Remember the Past, Repent the Sin, Reclaim the Future–Hiroshima and Nagasaki” and “Abolish Nuclear Weapons.” The group then processed from Army-Navy Drive to the regular protest site near the Pentagon metro station. While most people entered the police designated protest area, five of our community remained on the sidewalk a good distance behind the main procession, and were prevented by police from walking any further. They proceeded to kneel or stand  across the sidewalk, holding photos of Hiroshima victims, as several people spread ashes on the pavement. Bill Streit, Nancy Gowen, Kathy Boylan and Andrea Eiland were arrested within ten minutes. Steve Baggarly, who handed out at least of dozen leaflets about the conversion of Fr. George Zabelka, the Enola Gay military chaplain, was also arrested for leafleting. They were all charged with “disobeying a lawful order.” Steve was given an additional charge under a “soliciting” statute. They were all  processed and released after several hours. They were given a trial date of October 1 in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, VA.

As the five were awaiting arrest, the community that had gathered in the designated protest area, held a prayer service of repentance (see below). During the course of the service, which was repeated twice during the one-and-a-half hour witness, there were periods of silence. Shortly before 8:15 AM, which was the exact time the bomb was dropped, the leaflet with George Zabelka’s testimony was read and the song of the A-Bomb survivors was offered. We concluded our witness with a centering Shalom prayer, followed by a blessing for five friends, including recently-released Transform Now Plowshares prisoners Sr. Megan Rice and Mike Walli, who were immediately leaving to attend peace events in Knoxville, TN, organized by the Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance (OREPA). Our closing circle ended with the singing of “Vine and Fig Tree.”



Published in: on August 10, 2015 at 3:57 am  Leave a Comment  

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