New Zealand: Pax Christi Aotearoa local groups active on a variety of issues

 

10/11/18 -  During Pax Christi International's tour of New Zealand in October and November, we connected with a number of local groups of Pax Christi Aotearoa. Below you will find some highlights shared with us from some of those groups.

from Peter Archer, Pax Christi Mt. Maunganui

As in the past, our group is parish-based at the church of St. Thomas More, Mt. Maunganui, a member church of All Saints-by-the-sea Parish, Papamoa Coast. We run in conjunction with the parish social justice group – which comprises mostly our Pax Christi members...

Fr. Stuart Young, who last year was our new Assistant  Parish Priest, is now our Parish Priest. Fr. Stu-art has stated that he deems Church Social Teaching to be very important so we are hoping to gain his strong support.

As in the past our members are also organisers of the Tauranga Moan Amnesty International Group, and one member is also part of the Tauranga Moana Women for Peace group. Networking with other groups is vital to our work.

Actions taken include:

  • December 2017: International Human Rights’ Day - “Write for Rights”. Civic leaders were invited. Working as Pax Christi with our Amnesty Group, the day was quite successful with the public, although many actions were completed by our Amnesty group members. We also invited parishioners at Sunday Masses to be involved and a good number of actions were completed there.
  • February 2018: We searched for a nominee for Amnesty’s Robert Anderson Award, given to a local person outstanding in the field of human rights. Our nominee was successful: Denise Arnold, a lawyer of the Cambodia Trust set up to provide education for deprived young women in Cambodia.
  • Easter 2018: We ran the Caritas Lenten Programme entitled: “Let us go together” – about our journeying together. We ran the reflection programme on the theme for parishioners, organised the powerpoint show at Masses; wrote after-Mass short notes each Sunday on the weekly theme for the Mass celebrant to read out; made the Lenten Giving envelopes available at Sunday Masses. During the Leneten season, we collected Easter eggs and sweets which were given to the Tauranga Foodbank for distribution to children.
  • April 2018: On 5th April we attended Alyn Ware lecture, “Global Achievements of the UN.” Alyn is the Global Co-ordinator of 'Parliamentarians for Nuclear Disarmament’. The meeting was organised by the UN Assn. of Tauranga.
  • July 2018: “See No Evil”. We ran a launch of Mairie Leadbeater’s book at a local book store. We hired a projector & screen to go with Maire’s talk and provided drinks & food. Twenty people attended...
  • September 2018: We attended the lecture by Dell Higgie, Permanent Representative to the Conference on Disarmament. She spoke on the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons 2017 and New Zealand’s part in it and disarmament in general. For Caritas Social Justice Week 2018, with the theme: “Enabling Communities- Everyone has part to play,” we organised the Powerpoint display at Sunday Masses; included the theme in the liturgy; distributed the brochures to parishioners; and with the parish secretary went over the checklist provided by Caritas concerning ease of access etc. to services for disabled persons.

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from Michael Beazley, Chairperson, Pax Christi, Whangarei 

Our social justice group meets monthly on the first Monday of the month for a time of prayer, reflection, education and to discuss possible future actions . We have been involved with the following activities during 2018.

  • We organised a liturgy for Migrants and Refugees to coincide with World Refugees and Migrants Day.
  • To mark World Water Day we invited Milan Ruka from Environmental River Patrol Aotearoa to speak at an open meeting on his passion to clean up waterways.
  • We promoted and attended a presentation by Mike Treen who was part of the Freedom Flotilla to Gaza.
  • We promoted and attended the book launch for "See No Evil" written by Marie Leadbeater on the subject of Independence for West Papua.
  • We attended a presentation by film-maker Wensi also on the topic of independence for West Papua.
  • We submitted for publication in the Parish bulletin, suggestions for actions for a more environmentally sustainable world.
  • We forwarded to the Parish Priest and Liturgy Committee material that we received from Caritas for Social Justice week.
  • Members sell Tui Motu at the three weekend Masses. Some members also meet and reflect on and discuss articles from the magazine.

 

Michael Beazley, Pax Christi Whangarei, Pax Christi Aotearoa, New Zealand, Peter Archer, Pax Christi Mt Maunganui