Mark Colville    is a founding member of the Amistad Catholic Worker community and house of hospitality in New Haven, Connecticut (amistadcw.wordpress.com), where he lives with his wife, Luz Catarineau, and a circle of friends who are dedicated to the daily practice of the Works of Mercy, prayer, nonviolence, environmental justice and promoting human rights and dignity for all people.  They have raised six children together at the Amistad house: Keeley, Soledad, Justin and Isaiah Colville, and Crystal and Mario Fernandez.  Mark’s family life is centered around a common table where Christ is welcomed in the person of the poor, and it is that experience, over the course of many years, that has instilled in him a deep reverence for all life, and impelled him to come to the Kings Bay Trident base with a plea for personal and collective disarmament:  “The Trident Submarine is an idolatrous blasphemy against God.  It’s mere existence refutes all of the basic tenets of faith that I have embraced as a Christian.  While our leaders frequently invoke Christianity as this nation’s heritage, they wantonly violate its most basic command, namely, that we are to place our ultimate security in God alone, not in a weapon or a nation.  Trident is an omnipresent threat to all life on the planet, and it has never been more urgent that the human community, and particularly the people of the United States, to confront exactly what that reality means:  “We stand poised to murder our own children, for no other reason than to preserve our nation’s dominance in the world.  This is the definition of idolatry.  This is the definition of insanity.  “The man whose life and legacy we celebrate today, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., issued us this warning in 1968: ‘The ultimate logic of racism is genocide.’  How terrifyingly ironic it is that, as we step onto the Kings Bay Naval Base on Dr. King’s birthday in 2018, trying desperately to shed light on the evil that dwells there, an elected president who just this week has definitively exposed himself as a racist, has also managed to brin this nation closer to initiating nuclear genocide than we have ever been in our history*.  “Brothers, sisters, we beg you, let us turn these swords into plowshares.”   

Mark Colville

is a founding member of the Amistad Catholic Worker community and house of hospitality in New Haven, Connecticut (amistadcw.wordpress.com), where he lives with his wife, Luz Catarineau, and a circle of friends who are dedicated to the daily practice of the Works of Mercy, prayer, nonviolence, environmental justice and promoting human rights and dignity for all people.  They have raised six children together at the Amistad house: Keeley, Soledad, Justin and Isaiah Colville, and Crystal and Mario Fernandez.

Mark’s family life is centered around a common table where Christ is welcomed in the person of the poor, and it is that experience, over the course of many years, that has instilled in him a deep reverence for all life, and impelled him to come to the Kings Bay Trident base with a plea for personal and collective disarmament:

“The Trident Submarine is an idolatrous blasphemy against God.  It’s mere existence refutes all of the basic tenets of faith that I have embraced as a Christian.  While our leaders frequently invoke Christianity as this nation’s heritage, they wantonly violate its most basic command, namely, that we are to place our ultimate security in God alone, not in a weapon or a nation.  Trident is an omnipresent threat to all life on the planet, and it has never been more urgent that the human community, and particularly the people of the United States, to confront exactly what that reality means:

“We stand poised to murder our own children, for no other reason than to preserve our nation’s dominance in the world.  This is the definition of idolatry.  This is the definition of insanity.

“The man whose life and legacy we celebrate today, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., issued us this warning in 1968: ‘The ultimate logic of racism is genocide.’  How terrifyingly ironic it is that, as we step onto the Kings Bay Naval Base on Dr. King’s birthday in 2018, trying desperately to shed light on the evil that dwells there, an elected president who just this week has definitively exposed himself as a racist, has also managed to brin this nation closer to initiating nuclear genocide than we have ever been in our history*.

“Brothers, sisters, we beg you, let us turn these swords into plowshares.”

 

   Clare Grady    has lived for many years in Ithaca, NY, on Cayuga People’s land, in Haudenausaunee territory. She comes from a big loving family, and is the mother of 2 grown daughters, Leah and Rosie. Drawing deeply from her Irish Catholic roots, she is grateful that her parents, Teresa and John,  raised their five kids in a community of faith-based resistance.  .Clare Grady’s personal statement:   Since taking part in the Griffiss Plowshares Action with six friends in 1983, disarming a B-52 Bomber, outfitted to carry first strike cruise missiles, I see Plowshares actions as sacramental; Outward signs of inward and spiritual divine grace.  Responding to God’s call to disarm, I see the act of hammering as an act of transformation.  When I withdraw my CONSENT to the existence and use of these weapons in my name, I experience a transformation of the weapon, of myself, and of my relationship with the system that the weapon upholds. This system embodies the giant triplets, identified by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, as racism, extreme materialism and militarism.  When I disarm the weapons, which I see as the head of the beast, I find myself brought  (through the courts and jails) into the belly of the beast. It is from this place that I see with new eyes, the nature of the beast, the system that kills and steals 24/7 in my name.  I see a corollary: to the extent that we white people of privilege withdraw our consent to the existence of nuclear weapons, we will begin to unravel the triplets. We will see with new eyes.  No longer will we scapegoat people of color here and around the world, as savage, illegal, criminal or terrorists. Instead, we will see that they have been living and resisting the real crime, the real savagery, the real illegality and terrorism, perpetuated by this system.  We will see with new eyes and understand the words of Martin Luther King, “The greatest purveyor of violence is my own government.” We will see our complicity and we will see that in withdrawing our consent, we say yes to life, a life fed by truth, justice, and peace.  Amen.

Clare Grady

has lived for many years in Ithaca, NY, on Cayuga People’s land, in Haudenausaunee territory. She comes from a big loving family, and is the mother of 2 grown daughters, Leah and Rosie. Drawing deeply from her Irish Catholic roots, she is grateful that her parents, Teresa and John,  raised their five kids in a community of faith-based resistance.

.Clare Grady’s personal statement:   Since taking part in the Griffiss Plowshares Action with six friends in 1983, disarming a B-52 Bomber, outfitted to carry first strike cruise missiles, I see Plowshares actions as sacramental; Outward signs of inward and spiritual divine grace.

Responding to God’s call to disarm, I see the act of hammering as an act of transformation.

When I withdraw my CONSENT to the existence and use of these weapons in my name, I experience a transformation of the weapon, of myself, and of my relationship with the system that the weapon upholds. This system embodies the giant triplets, identified by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, as racism, extreme materialism and militarism.

When I disarm the weapons, which I see as the head of the beast, I find myself brought  (through the courts and jails) into the belly of the beast. It is from this place that I see with new eyes, the nature of the beast, the system that kills and steals 24/7 in my name.

I see a corollary: to the extent that we white people of privilege withdraw our consent to the existence of nuclear weapons, we will begin to unravel the triplets. We will see with new eyes.

No longer will we scapegoat people of color here and around the world, as savage, illegal, criminal or terrorists. Instead, we will see that they have been living and resisting the real crime, the real savagery, the real illegality and terrorism, perpetuated by this system.

We will see with new eyes and understand the words of Martin Luther King, “The greatest purveyor of violence is my own government.” We will see our complicity and we will see that in withdrawing our consent, we say yes to life, a life fed by truth, justice, and peace.

Amen.

   Martha Hennessy     seventh child of Dorothy Day’s only child Tamar, divides her time between the family farm in Vermont and volunteer work at Maryhouse Catholic Worker in New York City.  She is 62, a retired occupational therapist, and grandmother of eight. She has been arrested and imprisoned protesting nuclear power, war, the use of drones, the torture of prisoners in Guantanamo and other prisons, and the use of starvation as a weapon of war in Yemen.  She has traveled to Russia, Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Jordan, and Palestine to understand the effects of war on other peoples.  Martha travels and speaks on the topics of life and work in community, Catholic Social Teaching, and peacemaking efforts in the tradition of the Catholic Worker movement.   

Martha Hennessy 

seventh child of Dorothy Day’s only child Tamar, divides her time between the family farm in Vermont and volunteer work at Maryhouse Catholic Worker in New York City.

She is 62, a retired occupational therapist, and grandmother of eight. She has been arrested and imprisoned protesting nuclear power, war, the use of drones, the torture of prisoners in Guantanamo and other prisons, and the use of starvation as a weapon of war in Yemen.

She has traveled to Russia, Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Jordan, and Palestine to understand the effects of war on other peoples.

Martha travels and speaks on the topics of life and work in community, Catholic Social Teaching, and peacemaking efforts in the tradition of the Catholic Worker movement.

 

   Steve Kelly SJ    A lot of travel in my life. I was what was called an Air Force dependent. My father was in the Air Force for 27 years.  One of the places we stayed for 2 years was Turkey. I was adolescent. While in the Eastern Mediterranean I encountered poverty on a very pronounced scale. As it turns out it affected me. I saw systems at work or dysfunctional at that impressive age.  It was later when I went to college that I began to do an analysis of the structures of poverty and racism.  I also had the opportunity to reflect on my own involvement in bigotry.  I felt I was called to something deep for my life.  I would end up being ordained a Roman Catholic priest in the Jesuit order in 1990.  But in my Jesuit formation many ministries and immersions would take me to the inner cities as well as Sudan Africa and after ordination to work with refugees in El Salvador.  I can say that I encountered Christ in these experiences of the poor from Turkey to the urban United States and in Central America. I encountered Christ in the poor.  The experience and the people taught me a lot about nonviolence, violent structures and systemic poverty.  I had a long lasting desire to address if not eradicate the causes of poverty.  Simultaneously the image of Christ in these instances also included that of a shepherd.  The Gospel has many instances of the parables of Jesus inserting himself between the flock and the dangers; namely the thief and the wolf.  In today’s or rather contemporary application of the Gospel is that Christ is incarnate in the poor in the flock and the thief is the budget dedicated to war profiteering and nuclear annihilation. The wolf is the ever-present danger of the threat and, God forbid, the use of nuclear weapons.  So it is my life long quest to  imitate the Good Shepherd.  I will insert myself between the dangers and the flock.  In order to use my limited time I will, along with others, try to embody the vision given to us through the prophet Isaiah. It is a conversion of weapons to devices for human production.  The gift of Isaiah 2:4 is an economic, political, and moral conversion of the violence of nuclear annihilation.  With others, I hope to be instruments in God’s hands for showing a way out of the escalation, the proliferation of this scourge of humanity.  I feel strongly that Martin Luther King Jr. would agree with the principle I attribute to Gandhi that we cannot be fully human while one nuclear weapon exists.   

Steve Kelly SJ

A lot of travel in my life. I was what was called an Air Force dependent. My father was in the Air Force for 27 years.  One of the places we stayed for 2 years was Turkey. I was adolescent. While in the Eastern Mediterranean I encountered poverty on a very pronounced scale. As it turns out it affected me. I saw systems at work or dysfunctional at that impressive age.  It was later when I went to college that I began to do an analysis of the structures of poverty and racism.  I also had the opportunity to reflect on my own involvement in bigotry.  I felt I was called to something deep for my life.  I would end up being ordained a Roman Catholic priest in the Jesuit order in 1990.  But in my Jesuit formation many ministries and immersions would take me to the inner cities as well as Sudan Africa and after ordination to work with refugees in El Salvador.  I can say that I encountered Christ in these experiences of the poor from Turkey to the urban United States and in Central America. I encountered Christ in the poor.

The experience and the people taught me a lot about nonviolence, violent structures and systemic poverty.  I had a long lasting desire to address if not eradicate the causes of poverty.  Simultaneously the image of Christ in these instances also included that of a shepherd.  The Gospel has many instances of the parables of Jesus inserting himself between the flock and the dangers; namely the thief and the wolf.  In today’s or rather contemporary application of the Gospel is that Christ is incarnate in the poor in the flock and the thief is the budget dedicated to war profiteering and nuclear annihilation. The wolf is the ever-present danger of the threat and, God forbid, the use of nuclear weapons.  So it is my life long quest to

imitate the Good Shepherd.  I will insert myself between the dangers and the flock.

In order to use my limited time I will, along with others, try to embody the vision given to us through the prophet Isaiah. It is a conversion of weapons to devices for human production.  The gift of Isaiah 2:4 is an economic, political, and moral conversion of the violence of nuclear annihilation.  With others, I hope to be instruments in God’s hands for showing a way out of the escalation, the proliferation of this scourge of humanity.  I feel strongly that Martin Luther King Jr. would agree with the principle I attribute to Gandhi that we cannot be fully human while one nuclear weapon exists.

 

   Elizabeth McAlister    I was born a twin, the 6th of 7 children to parents both of whom were “refugees” from the North of  Ireland in the early 1920s. Being Catholic then and there meant being unwelcome, if not complete outcast. My father set up a contracting business in New Jersey and directed it for the rest of his life.  Catholic and Republican, it was a shock to them that I became an ardent opponent to the war in Vietnam even as my twin’s husband fought there. There were many family disagreements but we were blessed at being able to continue to laugh. love, visit and to talk with one another throughout. It taught me much about fidelity.  I entered religious life from college and, upon profession, was assigned to teach History of Art at Marymount College – an all women’s college in Tarrytown NY. The war in Vietnam was heating up; my students had brothers, boy friends facing induction and potential if not probable injury and/or death. How to mentor? How to grieve? How to walk with them? The answer was in the streets opposing the war; the answer grew to participating  in acts of civil resistance to it.  Communities of resistance formed and I became part of them. The people in them touched my heart and helped to form my conscience.  This was the context in which I met Philip Berrigan, a Josephite priest. He was instrumental in helping to move many people from meetings and marches into direct action and resistance.  He was the first Catholic priest in the country to engage in civil resistance and to suffer prison in consequence. He then worked tirelessly to encourage acts of resistance; there were no less than 300 actions against draft boards  across the country which finally forced the military to move to a volunteer army, navy, etc. I participated in the draft board action in Delaware in which all the boards in that state were compromised in the one evening.  Phil and I both left our religious communities in 1973, married one another and began  our life in community with a circle of people with whom we had worked over the years. We called our community “Jonah House” and it continues to struggle to live and act responsibly in a war torn world. It was there that our 3 children were born and raised.  It was from there that we organized regular resistance to war and weapons at the White House, the Pentagon, and Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Research Lab – among other sites.   Sometime in 1973 we read of the change of US nuclear policy under James Schlesinger- then secretary of war- from MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) to FTO (Flexible and Strategic Targeting Options). We set ourselves to research it and learned that it made nuclear war more probable and imminent. We agreed to remain with resistance to Vietnam until it ended but to learn as much as we could about the implications of the new policy and how we might address it. Two years later our military was ingloriously routed from Vietnam and we began to address the horror  of nuclear  war!     A whole series of “plowshares” actions happened all across this country. In each, people went through a process of formation in order to feel right and ready to address an aspect of the nuclear triad. They occurred not just in the U.S. but in England, Scotland, Germany, the Netherlands, Australia and New Zealand.  I participated in the Plowshares action at Griffiss AFB in Rome N.Y. on Thanksgiving Day 1983 and was sentenced to 3 years in Federal prison.  Throughout the time I supported many going through such actions as well as continuing to resist locally in Baltimore and D.C.  I come to King’s Bay on MLKing’s Day to raise the cry against these weapons of mass destruction which have already done incalculable harm to the lives of many both here and abroad.   The devastation of which they are capable is almost beyond imagining.  We must pull it back; we must turn it around; we must stop it – for God’s sake, for the sake of the children, for the sake of life on earth.

Elizabeth McAlister

I was born a twin, the 6th of 7 children to parents both of whom were “refugees” from the North of  Ireland in the early 1920s. Being Catholic then and there meant being unwelcome, if not complete outcast. My father set up a contracting business in New Jersey and directed it for the rest of his life.  Catholic and Republican, it was a shock to them that I became an ardent opponent to the war in Vietnam even as my twin’s husband fought there. There were many family disagreements but we were blessed at being able to continue to laugh. love, visit and to talk with one another throughout. It taught me much about fidelity.

I entered religious life from college and, upon profession, was assigned to teach History of Art at Marymount College – an all women’s college in Tarrytown NY. The war in Vietnam was heating up; my students had brothers, boy friends facing induction and potential if not probable injury and/or death. How to mentor? How to grieve? How to walk with them? The answer was in the streets opposing the war; the answer grew to participating  in acts of civil resistance to it.

Communities of resistance formed and I became part of them. The people in them touched my heart and helped to form my conscience.  This was the context in which I met Philip Berrigan, a Josephite priest. He was instrumental in helping to move many people from meetings and marches into direct action and resistance.  He was the first Catholic priest in the country to engage in civil resistance and to suffer prison in consequence. He then worked tirelessly to encourage acts of resistance; there were
no less than 300 actions against draft boards  across the country which finally forced the military to move to a volunteer army, navy, etc. I participated in the draft board action in Delaware in which all the boards in that state were compromised in the one evening.

Phil and I both left our religious communities in 1973, married one another and began  our life in community with a circle of people with whom we had worked over the years. We called our community “Jonah House” and it continues to struggle to live and act responsibly in a war torn world. It was there that our 3 children were born and raised.  It was from there that we organized regular resistance to war and weapons at the White House, the Pentagon, and Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Research Lab – among other sites.

 Sometime in 1973 we read of the change of US nuclear policy under James Schlesinger- then secretary of war- from MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) to FTO (Flexible and Strategic Targeting Options). We set ourselves to research it and learned that it made nuclear war more probable and imminent. We agreed to remain with resistance to Vietnam until it ended but to learn as much as we could about the implications of the new policy and how we might address it. Two years later our military was ingloriously routed from Vietnam and we began to address the horror  of nuclear  war!   

A whole series of “plowshares” actions happened all across this country. In each, people went through a process of formation in order to feel right and ready to address an aspect of the nuclear triad. They occurred not just in the U.S. but in England, Scotland, Germany, the Netherlands, Australia and New Zealand.

I participated in the Plowshares action at Griffiss AFB in Rome N.Y. on Thanksgiving Day 1983 and was sentenced to 3 years in Federal prison.

Throughout the time I supported many going through such actions as well as continuing to resist locally in Baltimore and D.C.  I come to King’s Bay on MLKing’s Day to raise the cry against these weapons of mass destruction which have already done incalculable harm to the lives of many both here and abroad.   The devastation of which they are capable is almost beyond imagining.  We must pull it back; we must turn it around; we must stop it – for God’s sake, for the sake of the children, for the sake of life on earth.

   Patrick O’Neill     61 years old I am the father of six daughters and two sons. My wife, Mary Rider, and I cofounded the Fr. Charlie Mulholland Catholic Worker House in Garner, N.C. in 1991, an intentional, pacifist, Christian community that works to uphold the Consistent Ethic of Life. Our daughter, Brianna, is married to Ricky Bennett. She is the administrator of the Women’s Birth and Wellness Center in Chapel Hill, N.C. Daughter, Bernadette, is married to Jeff Naro, and is a Catholic campus minister at Marist High School in Atlanta, GA. Daughter, Moira, works in the area of Food Justice at the Tucson, AZ, Food Bank. Daughter, Veronica, is a Bonner Scholar at Guilford College in Greensboro, N.C. Son, Timmy attends the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Daughter, Annie, and son Michael, attend Raleigh Charter High School, and daughter, Mary Evelyn, attends the Exploris School in Raleigh, N.C. In addition to Catholic Worker responsibilities, Mary is a social worker and I am a journalist. As Catholics we try to put into practice God’s call to Love One Another. Our peacemaking efforts include extensive work opposing nuclear weapons, working for abolition of the death penalty, supporting immigrants, participating in the N.C.-based Moral Monday Movement, the new Poor People’s Campaign, Black Lives Matter and other anti-oppression and anti-racism efforts. Mary and I both participate in nonviolent direct action as a tactic for justice. Mary has been jailed three times and I have spent more than two years in jail and prison for my peace work.   

Patrick O’Neill 

61 years old I am the father of six daughters and two sons. My wife, Mary Rider, and I cofounded the Fr. Charlie Mulholland Catholic Worker House in Garner, N.C. in 1991, an intentional, pacifist, Christian community that works to uphold the Consistent Ethic of Life. Our daughter, Brianna, is married to Ricky Bennett. She is the administrator of the Women’s Birth and Wellness Center in Chapel Hill, N.C. Daughter, Bernadette, is married to Jeff Naro, and is a Catholic campus minister at Marist High School in Atlanta, GA. Daughter, Moira, works in the area of Food Justice at the Tucson, AZ, Food Bank. Daughter, Veronica, is a Bonner Scholar at Guilford College in Greensboro, N.C. Son, Timmy attends the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Daughter, Annie, and son Michael, attend Raleigh Charter High School, and daughter, Mary Evelyn, attends the Exploris School in Raleigh, N.C. In addition to Catholic Worker responsibilities, Mary is a social worker and I am a journalist. As Catholics we try to put into practice God’s call to Love One Another. Our peacemaking efforts include extensive work opposing nuclear weapons, working for abolition of the death penalty, supporting immigrants, participating in the N.C.-based Moral Monday Movement, the new Poor People’s Campaign, Black Lives Matter and other anti-oppression and anti-racism efforts. Mary and I both participate in nonviolent direct action as a tactic for justice. Mary has been jailed three times and I have spent more than two years in jail and prison for my peace work.

 

   Carmen Trotta     has been a member of the New York Catholic Worker for over thirty years.  He is an integral part of the community which operates two houses of hospitality on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, caring for the poor and homeless, offering meals, clothing and shelter. Carmen is also an associate editor of The Catholic Worker newspaper which is published seven times annually and has been in constant publication since 1933.  He is a graduate of Grinnell College, where he played football and studied religion.    More recently Carmen has been spending three days a week with his ninety-three year old father on Long Island, caring for him in his home where he wants to remain. Carmen’s large family – he has 5 brothers and 1 sister -- have greatly appreciated the flexibility of his work at the Catholic Worker making it possible for him to spend so much time caring for their father

Carmen Trotta

 has been a member of the New York Catholic Worker for over thirty years.  He is an integral part of the community which operates two houses of hospitality on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, caring for the poor and homeless, offering meals, clothing and shelter. Carmen is also an associate editor of The Catholic Worker newspaper which is published seven times annually and has been in constant publication since 1933.

He is a graduate of Grinnell College, where he played football and studied religion.  

More recently Carmen has been spending three days a week with his ninety-three year old father on Long Island, caring for him in his home where he wants to remain. Carmen’s large family – he has 5 brothers and 1 sister -- have greatly appreciated the flexibility of his work at the Catholic Worker making it possible for him to spend so much time caring for their father