For Pax Christi leader, peacemaking and Catholic social justice are inseparable

Rosemarie Pace speaks at a Campaign to Unload vigil.

Rosemarie Pace
Age:
61
Who she is: Director of Pax Christi Metro New York
Lives in: Middle Village, Queens, N.Y.

Sr. Camille: You have been the face and energy of Pax Christi Metro for 14 years. What brought you into this arena?

Pace: I don't remember when I read in The Tablet of a group of Catholics who were engaged in some kind of peace activism. Intrigued, I was curious to know more, but it was years before I inquired about them at St. John's University, where I worshipped on Sundays. The sister in charge of the choir directed me to a Fr. Jim Reese, who taught at SJU. He was a member of Pax Christi Queens. He directed me to Elaine L'Etoile, another member of the group, who invited me to a meeting one Sunday evening in September 1987. I dragged along a friend so I wouldn't be a lone stranger in the group. I was immediately drawn in and have been a member ever since, even though at that time, I knew nothing of Pax Christi beyond that little local group. That's when and where my education began.

What do you see as Pax Christi's challenges?

I'd put our challenges in two categories: those related to mission and those related to administration.

First, mission: Being the Catholic peace movement (so dubbed by Pope Pius XII in Pax Christi's early history), we come up against two problems.

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