Director’s Blog

January 17, 2011

 

The Reverend Brian F. Linnane, S.J.
President, Loyola University Maryland
4501 N. Charles St.
Baltimore, MD 21210

 

Dear Fr. Linnane,

We the undersigned are part of your community. We are students, teachers, advisors and peacemakers.  We are also parents, committed and vowed religious or simply responsive members of a thinking society. Many of us are part of the Loyola family of students, parents and alumni. We have come together to ask for a meeting with you to discuss the Army ROTC program at Loyola.

As a Catholic University committed to the teachings of Jesus and the Church, Loyola is responsible for helping its students come to recognize the sanctity of every human life and to become peacemakers. Quoting Blessed Pope John Paul II, the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church states:

With the conviction of her faith in Christ and with the awareness of her mission, the Church proclaims “that violence is evil, that violence is unacceptable as a solution to problems, that violence is unworthy of man. Violence is a lie, for it goes against the truth of our faith, the truth of our humanity. Violence destroys what it claims to defend: the dignity, the life, the freedom of human beings.” (496)

The unfortunate truth though is that violence is taught at Loyola. In Loyola’s classrooms students are trained in the craft of war, and in Loyola’s chapel every May students swear a solemn oath to be willing to do lethal violence in defense of the national interest of the United States. We are concerned that this represents a significant conflict in values for Loyola as a Catholic school.

The presence and role of military education at Loyola raises complex questions, and we believe that it is vital to Loyola’s ability to fulfill its mission that these questions be examined. Loyola and Jesuit institutions throughout the world have a proud tradition of addressing such complex but vital issues head-on. We know how committed you are to Loyola’s excellence and trust that you will give our concerns great attention.

We would like the opportunity to come speak with you about these issues and ways that together we could further strengthen Loyola’s commitment to the “gospel of peace” (Eph 6:15). Our intention is that this dialogue would be open, cooperative and supportive.

We look forward to the chance to meet with you at your convenience. I, Ms. Rosemary Thompson, will be in contact with your office regarding the scheduling of our meeting. Know that many of us have been blessed by our associations with Loyola. We are grateful for the work you do and pray for God’s blessing upon it.

 

In the peace of Christ,

 

 

Rosemary Thompson, Executive Director
Murphy Initiative for Peace and Justice

 

David Tenney, former ROTC Cadet (BA-’00)

Mary Kate Ryner (‘85 )

Father Bernie Survil (M.ED, ‘67)

Catherine Kelly, Loyola College Board Member, 1988-1990

Amanda (Walker) Daloisio (’97)

Paul Cooke (BBA-’06) (MSF-’09)

Erin (Fisher) Tenney (BA-‘00)

Marcelle I. Grano, The Catholic University of America BA in Theology and Religious Studies ’08, Loyola University Maryland MA in Spiritual and Pastoral Care’10

Matthew Daloisio (’99)

Robert Cooke, parent of MD Loyola alumnus

Eli S. McCarthy, Georgetown University, Professor – Justice and Peace Studies

Robert S. More, Esq., Boston College ’74, Harvard Law School ’77, Chairperson, Pax Christi Metro DC-Baltimore

Richard J. DeBona, Boston College, ’85; Le Moyne College Campus Minister (’92-’98)

Marie Dennis, co-President, Pax Christi International

Jerome C. Park, RN, Alumnus of Marquette University High School and Saint Francis Seminary, Milwaukee;  returned Peace Corps India Volunteer, and co-director of Little Friends for Peace which trains children and their caregivers in the skills of Nonviolence.

Sister Kathie Uhler, OSF, Assistant to the Executive Director, Catholics Mobilizing Network to end the use of the Death Penalty

Martha Larsen, RSM

Mary E. Wendeln C.PP.S., Immigrant advocate, Cincinnati, Ohio

Chuck Michaels, Esq., Volunteer Coordinator, Pax Christi Baltimore, Celebrating Over 25 Years of Peace & Justice Activities in the Baltimore Metro Area

Chuck Frascati, Chair, Steering Committee, Pax Christi Baltimore

Mary Joan Park, teacher, parent of 6 children, Co-founder and Co -Director of Little Friends For Peace, member of Pax Christi Metro DC-Baltimore, member of St. Aloysius Parish , DC  

Mary Liston Liepold, Ph.D., SFO

Lucille Mostello, M.D.

Gary Gillespie, Member of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), Baltimore, MD

Jack McHale, Pax Christi USA National Council, Treasurer

Robert E. Graf Jr., Marquette University 61-65, 67-68;St. Louis University, 67-68 B.A. P & L; Loyola University, Chicago MPS, 96-98


Joan Tirak, Coordinator, Pax Christi Michigan

 

Fr. Fred Thelen, Cristo Rey Church, Pax Christi Lansing

 

David Ryner, St. Francis of Assisi Pax Christi, Derwood, MD

 

Sigrid Dale, Pax Christi Michigan

 

Ginger Fitzpatrick, Pax Christi Burtonsville

 

Ron Dale, Pax Christi Michigan

 

Judith Kelly, Arlington, VA, Pax Christi Pentagon Area

 

Mary Beth Seymour, Pax Christi, Redford MI

 

Susan Kerin, St. Francis of Assisi Pax Christi, Derwood, MD

 

Kimberly Redigan, Pax Christi Michigan State Council

 

Joan McCoy, coordinator, home for peace and justice

 

Aetna Thompson, Esq.

 


 

January 5, 2012

 

Dear Principal,

Yesterday a friend shared with me a sweet conversation he had with his small child. Mille, age 8 had had an epiphany, but what she told her Dad is that this new understanding “has entered into my dreams.” I have found myself quite taken by her remark. I am writing to you today to thank you for entering into the dreams of the young people to whom you are so dedicated.

As you know, the P. Francis Murphy Initiative and Pax Christi Baltimore are offering an award for peacemaking to one student in each Catholic High School in the Baltimore Archdiocese. We are very excited about this new venture for us as well as the opportunity to talk to students about the life of nonviolence based on the instructions of Jesus and the Social Teaching of our faith.

It has been my honor to speak to many of you personally. I have enjoyed speaking to your students and am looking forward to more conversations.

Enclosed please find more details of the award.  I would also like to invite you to take a look at our new web site www.pfmjpi.org. We are living in exciting times! Thank you for all you do for justice and peace.

Chuck Michaels from Pax Christi and I will be back in touch with you in the next few weeks. In the meantime, if you have questions or are looking for clarification please do not hesitate to give me a call.

Wishing you peace in the New Year!

 

Rosemary M. Thompson