Faith & Resistance Retreats

Annually three times a year, Jonah House and the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker of D.C. organize Faith and Resistance Retreats: one during Holy Week, the second on the anniversaries of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki during the first week of August, and the third during the Feast of the Holy Innocents in December. These retreats operate on the praxis of reflection/action/reflection. Inspirational and informational presentations lead to public witness, prepared by the community that gathers, at the White House, Pentagon, and other sites in D.C. The presentation and the action are evaluated and the community moves to the next stage of retreat.

Everyone is welcomed to join us for any of these retreats.



When: Wednesday, March 27 — Good Friday, March 29, 2013

As we enter into Holy Week to commemorate the Last Supper, arrest, torture, trial and crucifixion of Jesus, please join in a time of prayer, reflection, community building and acts of nonviolent resistance focusing on the theme:“PUT AWAY THE SWORD.” The retreat, which will include time for communal reflection and several nonviolent actions, will commence with a 6:00 p.m. dinner on March 27 and conclude on Good Friday following a nonviolent witness at the White House from 11:30-12:30 p.m.

The retreat is sponsored by Jonah House and the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker.

Where: St. Stephen and the Incarnation Church, 1525 Newton St. NW, (corner of 16th St. and Newton)


For more info contact: Jonah House,
and Dorothy Day Catholic Worker,
phone#: Jonah House: 410-233-6238, Dorothy Day House: 202-882-9649.


The Massacre of the Holy Innocents Faith and Resistance Retreat 2012
“Let All The World’s Children Live!
Remember The Massacred Children!
Create The Beloved Community And A Disarmed World!”
Please join members of Jonah House, the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker, and members of the Atlantic and Southern Life communities in a time of prayer, reflection and nonviolent witness to commemorate the slaughter of the Holy Innocents–past and present– and to proclaim our hope for a world of nonviolence, peace and justice.
When: December 27- December 29, 2012. We will begin on Thursday, Dec. 27 with 6:00 p.m. dinner and end on Saturday, Dec. 29 with a Noon-time nonviolent witness at the White House

Where: St. Stephen and the Incarnation Church, 1525 Newton St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20010.

For more info contact :
Jonah House, 410-233-6238,; or Dorothy Day Catholic Worker, 202-882-9639


Faith & Resistance Retreat Archive:

Join Us For A Faith And Resistance Retreat: FEAST OF THE MASSACRE OF THE INNOCENTS DEC 27-30, 2011

Let All The World’s Children Live… Remember The Massacred Children… And Create The Beloved Community In A Disarmed World.

We will begin with supper at 6:00 P.M. on Dec 27th, 2011 at St Stephens and the Incarnation Church. We will then move into the schedule that our communities have drawn up for the retreat, continuing through a noon witness at the White House on Friday, Dec 30th.  For more info, please call Dorothy Day CW at 202.882.9649 or Jonah House at 410.233.6238

Feast of the Holy Innocents | Dec. 27-30, 2009 Washington, DC

Visit here for the full summary

Faith & Resistance Retreat | August 5-9, 2009, Washington, DC

Join us at St. Stephen and the Incarnation, 16 Newton St, NW, Washington, DC

In the year 1945 an “ORIGINAL CHILD” was born

64 years later, let us
Remember the Pain
Repent the Sin
Reclaim the Future

in a Faith and Resistance Retreat

We’ll gather August 5, 2009, for dinner
and continue through the morning of August 9, 2009
entering together into a praxis of reflection and action.
We’ll give special attention during this retreat to two films.
Original Child Bomb A documentary based on Thomas Merton’s book by the same title. Merton described the book as “Points for meditation to be scratched ont eh walls of a cave”–presumably the cave in which survivors of atomic war would have to live. Merton’s points are loaded with ironic understatement; they will be a source for our meditation and prayer together.
On Paper Wings A documentary about Japan’s secret balloon bomb project. It exposes the balloon bombs’ history and the lives it impacted. The film tells the stories of three communities touched by the project. The bombs were intended to strike mainland US , and though the Japanese launched thousands of them, they had no idea whether the project was effective. Meanwhile, the US military censored reports of the mysterious explosions; families were required to not speak about their origin. The film is a moving presentation of forgiveness and reconciliation.
We also hope to feature a speaker from the Center for Defense Information who will help to intensify grassroots participation in the Year Long Preparation for the 40th anniversary of the Nuclear nonproliferation Treaty and its implementation.
We will plan, enact and evaluate acts of peace witness and resistance together. We sincerely hope that you can make time in these days to join sisters and brothers in saying:

No More Hiroshimas!
No More Nagasakis!
No More War–War Never Again
Abolish Weapons of Mass Destruction Forever

Please let us know if you can be with us…You can phone, e-mail or write

Dorothy Day Catholic Worker, (202) 882-9648
or Jonah House, (410) 233-6238 or


Holy Week Faith and Resistance Retreat
6 pm Wednesday April 8–noon Saturday April 11, 2009

St. Stephen and the Incarnation, 16th and Newton Streets, Washington DC
The disciples, like us, don’t understand nonviolence.
When Jesus is threatened with arrest, torture and the death penalty,
the disciples ask, “Shall we strike with a sword?”
Jesus answers to the disciples then, and to us now,
“Put away the sword.”
And this is the theme of our retreat: Put away the sword. Put away our nuclear
weapons, our drones, our D.U., and all our weapons of war.
Come and join us: call Jonah House 410-233-6238
or Dorothy Day Catholic Worker 202-882-9649

Click here for a report on our last retreat!

Feast of the Innocents Faith and Resistance 2008
Washington, DC

During his sharing at the retreat, Ammon Allen-Doucot said that, in Guatamala, he learned that there’s a big difference between charity and justice. The community of more than 100 people gathered at St. Stephen and the Incarnation in Washington D.C. to commemorate the feast of the massacre of the innocent and to stand for justice – against the relentless slaughter of the innocent around the world that is our reality. Art Laffin opened the retreat, inviting us to consider how we respond to today’s Herods who deem children expendable and to reflect on how empire and war affect children? All of us know, deep down that
– nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction imperil all life and creation itself.
– war is perpetual and unending – driven by an imperial claim to control the earth’s resources;
– dehumanizing poverty is a consequence of a greed-driven economy now in catastropic collapse;
– global climate crisis and ecological destruction are consequence of our addiction to consumer life-styles.

In contrast he implored us to consider what kind of world we want to build for children. And he invited us to respond to the words of Jesus: “Let the children come to me!” (Mk 10:14)

During the retreat we heard stories of people from our communities encountering victims of our empire. Clare Grady reflected on her time in Iraq; Paul Rehm spoke on the suffering he saw in Hebron; Micah and Ammon Allen-Doucot shared some insights they gleaned from their time in Darfur and Guatamala respectively and Justin Colville spoke of what the Guatamala trip meant to him. In another session, Bernadette and Maura Ryder-O’Neil shared the ups and downs of life in a Catholic Worker Community. All their families seek to model a way of life that embodies Gospel peacemaking, nonviolence and social justice.

We prayed – always accompanied by the music of Lydia Wylie-Kellerman and Luke Mattson, often enriched by Marie DeMott Grady and Oona Grady DeFlaun. Ardeth Platte, with Peter De Mott and M.J. and Jerry Park, led a moving liturgy on Tuesday morning.

We acted – a voice for the voiceless. On Monday we were at the Pentagon confessing our need to act more consistently against the weapons and war that make that institution such a curse against humanity and the earth. Eleven people – Beth Brockman, Danny Burns, Mary Jo McArthur, Peter De Mott, Bill Frankel-Streit, Mary Grace, Brian Hynes, Sr. Margaret McKenna, David Ryle, Kim Williams and Steve Woolford – were arrested attempting to block entrances to the building. All appear in Federal District Court in Alexandria, VA March 6, 2009.

Lydia Wylie Kellerman led the children in preparation for their witness that afternoon. After they shared their scenario with the group, all traveled to the Iraqi and Afghani Embassies. No one was home at the Iraq Embassy; the children sang, read their statement, held posters, and had a die-in. After the die-in, they got up and sang. Tim Ryder-O’Neal was the coordinator of this action outside the Iraqi Embassy gates. All were welcomed into the Afghan Embassy. The children sang and and brought messages of peace. where parts of what we wished to share were welcome but other parts were not.

In a huddle outside the embassy, we determined to the Israeli Embassy to witness against Israel’s murderous conduct against Gaza. We held the sidewalk for a time before being commanded to cross the street. For many it was hard to leave. For three women, it was impossible to respect that distance. Ellen Grady, her sister Clare and Heidi Schloegel crossed the street and took up their post at the fence with signs facing the embassy. The women were arrested and held until late the next afternoon. They’ll plea to charges of crossing a police line on Jan. 29 in the D.C. Court.

Meanwhile, the rest of us prepared for a witness at the D.C. Headquarters of President Elect Obama’s Transition Team. We agreed to the simple message – “Yes we can (!Si Se Puede!)”…
Create peace without weapons...
– end the war in Iraq…
– bring peace to Afghanistan…
– stop war everywhere…
– care for veterans rather than create them…
– dismantle nuclear weapons…
– lead the world in nuclear disarmament…
halt nuclear weapons research...
stop making and selling weapons…
study peace…
– raise children in a nonviolent world…
– practice nonviolence!”

We lined the sidewalk with these messages, handed out leaflets, sent a delegation to bring the message to the Transition Team (alas, all were denied access), sang and gave personal statements of our will to struggle for a disarmed world in 2009 and to hold Obama to his promises. In the hour we were there, we passed out more than 700 leaflets with the above message. Our closing circle was held between Obama’s headquarters and the court. As many returned to their homes, some went to welcome the arrested sisters from lockup.

Review of August 5-9, 2008 Faith & Resistance Retreat

Thanks to all who participated in the annual Faith & Resistance Retreat remembering the U.S. bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. You’re prayers, support, and actions are God’s presence calling the human race to disarmament and nonviolence.

Click here to link to the retreat review on the Jonah House web site, including the Baltimore Peace Flotilla protesting the commissioning of the USS Sterett on August 9th.

Click here to see retreat photos

Published on June 21, 2008 at 4:41 pm  Comments (1)  

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One CommentLeave a comment

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