Join the Movement for Non-Violence
The Movement for Non-Violence Begins With Me comprises diverse individuals and groups in Trinidad, some of whom began meeting in April 2016 to discuss a response to the violence pervading our society. Guided largely by teachings of the US-based group Pace e Bene*, delivered locally by Franciscan nun Sr Julie Peters and her team from the Franciscan Institute for Personal and Family Development, we came to accept that “Non-Violence Begins With Me”. Our aim is to popularise that message and to reduce the violence in our country – one person at a time, one family at a time, one community at a time.
The Movement is not-for-profit, non-denominational and apolitical, and our membership is growing. Living Water Community (LWC) last year began the series of public talks at its Centre in Port of Spain which were broadcast on Trinity TV. Speakers addressed the issue of creating a culture of non-violence and, at the end, many persons took a pledge to live non-violent lives. (See sample pledge attached)
Private individuals, like Candice Clarke-Salloum and Susan Morgan, were captivated by the teachings on non-violence publicised by LWC and subsequently joined LWC Director Rhonda Maingot and Assistant Director Rosemary Scott as core members of the Movement.
In January 2017, membership began to broaden. Companions of the Transfigured Christ (CTC) was inspired to meet with LWC to discuss the violence in T&T and later became a core member of the Movement. Others were invited to join the Movement and accepted – like Junior Achievement Executive Director J Errol Lewis, media personality/social activist Errol Fabien and Families in Action. Next came open meetings on Monday evenings to which any concerned person or group was welcome.
Out of those discussions and meetings has come the Movement’s first major public initiative, 40 Hours of Prayer/40 Days of Action. Prayer is being offered by various faith groups from 6pm March 3 to 10am March 5, while the Days of Action are focused on raising the level of awareness of the violence in ourselves and educating the public about how to live non-violent lives. There are many activities organised by the Movement and other groups during the 40 days.
Feel free to contact us for further information and updates.
*N.B. Pace e Bene’s Campaign Nonviolence is a long-term movement for a culture of peace and nonviolence free from war, poverty, racism, environmental destruction and the epidemic of violence. For more, visit http://www.paceebene.org/programs/campaign-nonviolence/
Message from Rhonda Maingot, LWC Community Director (January 2017)
Happy New Year, dear sisters and brothers.
Our hearts are filled with praise and thanksgiving to God for a most blessed 2016, with all its ups and downs, hills and valleys, culminating in our celebration of the Advent Season and Christmas Day lunch with our most needy sisters and brothers. Many of you have contributed to this year of grace and I do want to personally thank you for your generous support of your time, talent and treasure…. thank you, thank you, thank you. May our generous God repay you a hundredfold as only He can.
As we begin 2017, I would like to quote Pope Francis in his World Day of Peace (New Year’s Day) message….”I wish peace to every man, woman and child, and I pray that the image and likeness of God in each person will enable us to acknowledge one another as sacred gifts endowed with immense dignity. Especially in situations of conflict, let us respect this, our ‘deepest dignity’, and make active nonviolence our way of life.”
As you know, as a Community we have already embarked on this journey of ‘active nonviolence’ and many of us have taken a pledge to live this way of life. In the Pope’s words I too say: “….I ask God to help all of us to cultivate nonviolence in our most personal thoughts and values. May charity and nonviolence govern how we treat each other as individuals, within society….” Of course this is a tall order ….I ask myself the question …. ‘does charity and nonviolence govern how I treat others?’ Wow! I’m sure most of us will say no. We need to address this in our lives, dear sisters and brothers. As I’ve said before ….we need a tsunami of nonviolence to push away the wave of violence in our homes, schools, workplaces, offices and communities….it must begin with ME. One family at a time, one school at a time, one community at a time.
But how can this come about? Firstly, a commitment to living nonviolence and then nurturing this way of life by prayer and education in understanding active nonviolence. To this end, we are continuing our monthly sessions in education and prayer. In January our session will be on Tuesday 17th and from February, on the first Tuesday of each month, beginning February 7th, at 8.00 pm, here at our Centre and Live on Trinity TV.
I would like to end, again using Pope Francis’ words….
“All of us want peace. Many people build it day by day through small gestures and acts; many of them are suffering, yet patiently persevere in their efforts to be peacemakers”. In 2017, may we dedicate ourselves prayerfully and actively to banishing violence from our hearts, words and deeds, and to becoming nonviolent people and to building nonviolent communities that care for our common home. “Nothing is impossible if we turn to God in prayer. Everyone can be an artisan of peace”.
Together we aspire, together we achieve…
Love and prayers in the hearts of Jesus and Mary…………..Rhonda
For further information: call 298-8827; email firstname.lastname@example.org; or visit www.nonviolencett.org