“Communion in the Lord” – JPIC ZOOM Conference
June 27, 2023
Crossing 16 different time zones, almost 90 SND and Mrs. Katie Draeger, Co-Director of the National JPIC Office of the SND in the United States, gathered via ZOOM on June 20 and 21 for presentations and dialogue on JPIC topics. The meeting, organized by Sr. Maria Nonata, Congregational JPIC Coordinator, was open to JPIC Coordinators from each Unit and any interested SND.
On the first day of the meeting, Kenyan Sr. Wamuyu Teresia Wachira, IBVM, gave a presentation entitled “Companions in the Lord: Living and walking together with the nonviolent Jesus.” Sister is the Co-President of Pax Christi International and serves as Senior Lecturer and Program Leader in Peace and Conflict studies at St Paul’s University, Nairobi, Kenya.
During her talk, Sister shared an image of Jesus depicted in a stained-glass window in the 16thStreet Baptist Church, Birmingham, Alabama, USA (pictured above). The image shows the two hands of nonviolence: one stopping oppression, the other reaching out in forgiveness and reconciliation. Sister’s presentation sparked questions and energetic dialog among the participants. Non-violence begins with each of us being mindful of our own words and actions and supporting non-violence in our communities.
The second day of the conference focused on the film created by director Nicholas Brown, “The Letter.” Released in October 2022, the film is based on Pope Francis’ encyclical, “Laudato Si” and documents the meeting with Pope Francis of five individuals who represent different aspects of our common home: the poor, young people, the created world and indigenous persons. (If you have not seen the film, you can find it on You Tube in English at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FmLJn_Q8bt4 or perhaps other languages. It is well worth watching!) Sr. Mary Kathleen Ryan, co-director of the JPIC National Board for the USA, and Mrs. Katie Drager, facilitated prayer and small-group discussion about the film, focusing discussion on the voices in our world that need to be heard and our role in facilitating this.