In 1945, a small group of Catholics in France began to meet regularly to pray for peace. They were troubled by the fact that the French and German Catholics, who professed the same faith and celebrated the same Eucharist, had killed one another by the thousands during World War II. A French woman, Marie-MartheDortel Claudot, planted the seeds of Pax Christi. She invited a French bishop, Pierre Marie Theas, to be the first Bishop President. While in a German war prison camp, Bishop Theas had already begun to pray and work for reconciliation. Under their leadership, the movement spread throughout France and Germany and by the 1950’s began to take root in other European countries. Today Pax Christi is active in over 50 countries.
Pax Christi USA was founded in 1972 and commits itself to peace education and, with the help of its bishop members, promotes the gospel imperative of peacemaking as a priority. In cooperation with other groups, Pax Christi members work toward a more peaceful, just and sustainable world through prayer, study and action. Learn more at Pax Christi USA.
The annual Pax Christi conference is sponsored by Aberdeen Presentation Sisters, the Watertown Benedictine Sisters and local Pax Christi chapters and costs $25, which includes lunch and breaks.