|Janice Sevre-Duszynska, ARCWP, at Peace Demonstration|
September 21-27, 2014 is Pace e Bene's Campaign Nonviolence Week with over 240 actions taking place in the U.S. and world.
On Sunday after Eucharist at St. Ben's in Milwaukee we gathered to share with Maria Luisa Rosal, Field Organizer for the School of the Americas Watch and to talk about the upcoming SOA Watch Vigil in Columbus, GA Nov. 21-23. Born in Guatemala 31 years ago, when she was 2, she told us her father was disappeared by the military whose officers were trained by the SOA during the bloodbath there, Salvador, and Honduras. I spoke about the torture of young activists, their teachers, union workers, etc. in Uruguay and Argentina during the dirty wars and the connection with the SOA -- which I learned from my recent visit as part of the delegation on the Task Force on the Americas. Other issues included immigrants, the border children, economic and military bullying by the U.S. Later some of us Former Prisoners of Conscience (POCs) of SOA Watch were invited to lunch at POC Joyce Ellwanger's home and the topic was solidarity with our Latin American sisters and brothers.
Yesterday, Sept. 24, 2014 Milwaukee area peacemakers, including Franciscan Fr. Jerry Zawada and I, gathered at a Rally to End Militarism at Marquette University. The rally was part of 240 actions held across the U.S. and world through Pace e Bene's Campaign Nonviolence Week. I was invited to give an opening prayer (below) Organizer and peacemaker Bob Graf of the Milwaukee 14 burned 10,000 draft cards in 1968 to protest the Vietnam War. During our action we burned brochures from Marquette's ROTC program which includes Reflexive Killing as part of its training. Later, Bob, Catholic Worker Don Timmerman and I tried to deliver our letter to end the ROTC program to the office of the new president of Marquette. We were stopped upon entering the building by the security police officer and denied access to the president's office. After much discussion, we gave the security officer the letter to give to Marquette's new president. Later that afternoon we watched the newly released classic documentary "Hit and Stay," about Catholics who protested the Vietnam War, which included the Milwaukee 14 and protests led by priests including brothers Dan and Phil Berrigan. I highly recommend it.
Morning Prayer for Peace
Good Morning. My name is Janice Sevre-Duszynska and I am a Roman Catholic Priest. I was born on Milwaukee’s south side and my Busia and Dzia Dzia (grandma and grandpa came from Poland). Milwaukee is still an ethnic city of immigrants by The Lake.
Would you bow your heads with me now and remember our good friend, Jesuit Father Bill Brennan, who left us in August. Fr. Bill witnessed alongside you all for years to close the ROTC program here at Marquette. We miss you, Bill. We feel your presence.
Let us pray.
Loving God who encourages us to build life-giving community, we ask that this Catholic Jesuit school end its ROTC program which is the antithesis of our faith.
For it is here that ROTC students learn how to bury their conscience -- to destroy human lives. Here, they begin to deny Your voice echoing through their souls.
Someday, when they leave here, will they press the button that murders a village full of someone else’s parents, of someone else’s children?
What will it feel like when these well-trained ROTC killers forget their humanity? What will it feel like when they remember they are your sons and daughters, Loving God? Help their parents to become advocates to end this program. May our taxpayer dollars provide free education for all of our children without turning them into killers. May our taxpayer dollars be used to teach peace.