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January 10, 1997     The Message
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January 10, 1997
 

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2 The Message 'iorC;tholics of'Sbuthwestern Indiana -.-.- . , Bishops, network, urge ai'Stand against00vibl By PAUL R. LEINGANG Message editor 22, and planning classes and seminars on nonviolent behavior and conflict resolution. "Individually, we can help reduce violence by examining our hearts and living lives that are consistent with peacemaking," states William F. Davis, O.S.F.S, from the USCC Department of Education, in a prepared state- Catholics throughout the United States are being asked to pay particular attention to an effort to "Stand Against Vio- lence" this month. In the document, "Confronting a Culture of Violence," the U.S. bishops call on the Catholic corn- , men t. "But, peacemakers coming munity to focus on the "moral together through our parishes and schools can create more sig- nificant and longer lasting changes," he continues. "Local churches can play a significant role in raising the awareness of violence in our hearts and in our communities. Working together, we can come up with strategies that help reduce this violence." The "Family Pledge of Nonvi- olence" found on this page is adapted from material developed by the Families Against Violence Advocacy Network, which has been established through the efforts of the Parenting for Peace and Justice Network, which is headquartered in St. Louis. Part of the design of the and human cost of violence" between the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr., and the anniver- sary of the Supreme Court deci- sion legalizing abortion. The time period for that focus this year is from Sunday, Jan. 12 through Wednesday, Jan. 22, a period which includes both anniversaries. The USCC Department of Education encourages parishes to observe this time period in various ways. Among sugges- tions are conducting a Family Peace Night, holding evening parish programs around anti- violence themes, joining the march against abortion on Jan. pledge is artwOrk representing a circle of families.. A. goal of the network organizers is to create a circle of families, one million families strong,, by the year 2000. A "manifesto' issued by the Families Against Violence pro- claims that "We are families and those who care about families who have joined together to say: 'Enough! No m0re Violence! We can do better!'" The network includes "all types of families from a variety of racial, economic and cultural groups .... who are involved because of our belief in God and . . because of our belief in humanity." The network includes "a vari- ety of political persuasions" who work to "transcend our differ- ences and join together as peace- makers in advocating for alter- natives to violent behavior and in promoting violence preven- tion." Organizers and supporters of the network acknowledge that people are "frightened, confused, sented on frustrated, angry, and perhaps worst, feeling powerless," but that it is nonetheless important to "express a moral voice, a voice schools; of outrage, that calls all families use in one and our whole culture t6 reject The violence and violent 'solutions' to used at some We will break the cycle ofv by creating a circle of fa cal00 be strong and bold i . stand together. problems. We will break the cycle of violence by creating a cir- cle of families who can be strong and bold because we stand together." The network is committed to bringing together organizations and individuals who share the goal of violence prevention. Plans also call for developing an annual "Families against Vio- lence Advocacy Agenda." The network has issued three variations of the pledge of non- family life; on a holiday, confirma national holidaY- Copies of the edge! may be signed prominently in a ;n;: may be obtai'4t h* Lg work, along wl its use. A booklet, "F a Circle of Peace,: stories, cartoons, questions to help ! pledge, is availabl enr Educational P for school or classrc available for a fee. For more the Advocacy Net The tice Network, and Justice, #408, St. Lou mail Family Pledge of Non-Violence Making peace must start within ourselves and in our families. Each of us, members of the family, commit ourselves as best we can to become non-violent and peaceful people. . To Respect Self and Others To respect myseifio affirm others and to avoid uncaring criticism, hateful words, physical attacks, and self-destructive behavior. To Communicate Better To share my feelings honestly, to look for safe ways to express my anger, and to work at solving problems peacefully. To Listen To listen carefully to others especially those who disagree with me, and to consider others feelings and needs rather than insist on my way. To Forgive To apologize and make amends when I have hurt another, to forgive others and to keep from holding grudges. To Respect Nature : To treat the environment and all living things, .... ificltidihg our pets) With respect and care. To Play Creatively To select entertainment and toys that support our family's values and to avoid those that make violence look exciting or acceptable. To BeCourageous To challenge'violence'athome, at school,.at work; or .in the community, -, . , %(i- .;q" L -;: . ,, ' , ;:: .... ," P , -' .,' , , andta wlthotlierswhO:aretreated,unfairly. This is our pledge. These are our goals. We will check ourselves on what we have pledged once a month on for the next twelve months so that we can help each other become more peaceab!e people. Pledging family members sign beloW Eliminating violence, one family at a time