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Maine welcomes Fr. John Dear

Posted by Erin Bechtol

You can listen to a recording of John Dear’s talk here.

Such a pleasure to spend the past two days with Fr. John Dear! No stranger to Maine, Fr. John brought his lively Spirit-filled message and his challenging invitation to ‘Live the Nonviolent Life’ to over 100 people gathered at St. Joseph’s College in Standish on March 17th.

Bringing Fr. John to Maine was a collaborative effort by three faith based organizations, the College’s Center for Faith and Spirituality, Unity of Greater Portland and Pax Christi Maine. The following day, Fr. John spoke at the Unity Church service and offered a workshop on Living the Beatitudes.

Living the Nonviolent Life requires being meticulously nonviolent towards self, towards all people, creatures and Mother Earth and full participation in the grassroots movement for peace, justice and environmental sustainability. Fr. John urged his audience to get involved in creative nonviolent action, to form small communities for support, and to plan for actions throughout Maine during the week of Campaign Nonviolence September 15-23, 2018.

Fr. John recognized current activist efforts in Maine to resist a corporate welfare tax giveaway to General Dynamics, parent company of the Bath Iron Works which builds guided missile destroyers for the Navy.

In these desperate times, immersed as we are in a culture of violence, Fr. John emphasized that we have no alternative but to transform hearts and minds and to live out the teachings of the nonviolent Jesus.

Sharing stories from his personal journey, Fr. John provided inspiration and encouragement to all present. Nonviolence as a practice, he reminded us is well supported by the great teachers who came before us such as Jesus, Gandhi, King, the Berrigans, Dorothy Day, and so many others.

By going deeper into Gospel Nonviolence, understanding the Beatitudes as a road map for living and carrying that message to our communities in Maine and beyond, we will be building a new culture of Peace and Nonviolence.  

Mary Ellen Quinn, Co-Coordinator
Pax Christi Maine

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