March 14-17 Midwest Catholic Worker Faith & Resistance Retreat
(All activities will take place at Trinity United Methodist Church, except where noted)
Friday, March 14th 4:00 p.m. Arrival and check-in - Dingman Catholic Worker House 6:00 p.m. Supper - Dingman Catholic Worker House 7:30 p.m. Movie/Banner-Making/Social - Trinity United Methodist Church
Saturday, March 15th 7:30-9:00 a.m. Breakfast 10:00-11:15 a.m. Rally at Des Moines drone site 12:00 p.m. Lunch 1:30 p.m. Welcome, overview, introductions 2:00 p.m. History of past Midwest F&R Retreats & report on west and east coast drone campaigns 3:00 p.m. Break 3:30 p.m. Overview of Iowa campaign and nonviolent direct action planning 5:00 p.m. Catholic Worker liturgy with Carl Kabat 6:00 p.m. Dinner 7:30 p.m. Program: Elliott Adams and Daniel Hale
Sunday, March 16th 7:30 a.m.-8:45 a.m. Breakfast 9:00-11:45 a.m. Round Tables 12:00 p.m. Lunch 1:00 p.m. Nonviolence training facilitated by New Hope CW Farm, Dubuque, IA 3:00 p.m. Break 3:15 p.m. Program: Susan Crane “Doing Resistance for the Long Haul” 4:30 p.m. Direct action planning 7:00 p.m. Dinner 8:00 p.m. Program: Kathy Kelly
Monday, March 17th 7:30 a.m. Breakfast / Clean-up 8:30 a.m. Meet at church to leave for demo
Des Moines Catholic Worker Houses 1310 7th St. 713 Indiana Ave. 1301 8th St. 1317 8th St.
Trinity United Methodist Church 1548 8th St.
Iowa Air National Guard 3100 McKinley Ave.
NONVIOLENCE STATEMENT for the March 14-17 Midwest CW and VFP Faith and Resistance Retreat and St Patrick’s Day Witness
CW’ers and VFP are committed to nonviolence and nonviolent action.
All participants in events and protest hosted by the DMCW and the DM VFP March 14-17, 2014 are expected to share this commitment to nonviolence and nonviolent action. While nonviolence is defined in different ways by different people in different contexts, and while there exists the need to continue discussion and debate on how nonviolence and nonviolent action is conceived. The Midwest CW and VFP Faith and Resistance Retreat and St Patrick’s Day Witness is adopting the following principles for March 14-17, 2014
We will act with love, openness, compassion, and respect toward all who we encounter and their surroundings. We will not be violent in our actions, words, or otherwise -toward any person or property.
We will act fairly and honestly with people regardless of the situation or the role they play.
We will remain calm and aware at all times.
We will prepare ourselves before we act, and will recognize our opposition is to the US Military wars of empire and its weapons systems, not to individual members of the military, counter protesters, police and security people we may encounter.
We will keep a clear state of mind, refraining from the use of drugs or alcohol, other than for medical purposes and we will not bring any illegal drugs or alcohol to the March 14-17 events.
We will carry no weapons.
We will seek dialogue with those who may disagree with us and maintain a spirit of openness, friendliness and respect towards all with whom we engage.
We will gather and act in a manner that reflects the world we choose to create.
Three Speeches by Bishop Dingman on the 1980s Farm Crisis
by Frank Cordaro
This year’s Occupy the World Food Prize week was awesome! Second year into the campaign and we were real players in the public discourse about the World Food Prize and who it serves. And on a personal level I was able to help resurrect the good spirit, life and prophetic witness of Bishop Maurice Dingman, a man who had more faith in God and the work of the Holy Spirit in the Church than anyone I ever knew.
It began when we secured Jim Hightower to be our keynote speaker in February. Soon after that we got the Des Moines Methodist Federation for Social Action to co-sponsor the Hightower event and they secured the First United Methodist Church. And Citizens for Community Improvement signed on to co-sponsor the event and help us fill the church.
Next came the announcement in June that this year’s (corporate) World Food Prize committee was picking three of their own to be the recipients of their prize. Naming three GMO inventors as their 2013 World Food Prize winners lifted the veil that usually stands between the recipients and the owners of the prize. This made the odds of us filling First United Methodist Church even better.
Then Cardinal Peter Turkson, the Pope’s peace and justice man, came into the picture. The Cardinal accepted an invitation to be one of three world leaders to speak at the official (corporate) World Food Prize. And to the surprise of all, the Cardinal also accepted an invitation to speak at our Occupy the World Food Prize Jim Hightower event! In her letter of invitation to Cardinal Turkson, Sharon Donavan from the OWFP working committee wrote that “Iowans fondly recall the prophetic words of Des Moines’s late Catholic Bishop, Maurice Dingman,” and she cited three great quotes from speeches Bishop Dignman gave during the 1980s Farm Crisis.
We referenced Bishop Dingman for the Cardinal because much of what we had been reading about the Cardinal and his position on corporate agriculture in Africa and in the rest of the developing world struck a common chord with the way Bishop Dingman framed the problem for Iowans and the small US farmer during the 1980s Farm Crisis.
We ended up filling the First United Methodist Church October 16 program with a combined billing of Cardinal Turkson and Jim Hightower. We also got an hour with the Cardinal and eight OWFP leaders in an informal conversation about corporate agriculture. A big thank you to Bishop Pates, who moved heaven and earth to find time for OWFP people and the Cardinal to spend together.
In the end, we had a hand in bringing our anti corporate agriculture message into the public discourse surrounding the Word Food Prize and we had input with our message with the largest corporation in the world, the Roman Catholic Church, through the Pope’s main peace and justice man, a Cardinal from Africa, Cardinal Peter Turkson, a guy who sounds a lot like Bishop Dingman! Amazing …
As for me, this year’s effort was a labor of love for Bishop Dingman, my second father and friend whom I loved dearly.
What follows are excerpts from the three speeches that Bishop Dingman made during the 1980s Farm Crisis. Ron Rossman said that these speeches “are the most important documents on farming and social justice in America since the Great Depression” at our October 15, 2013 OWFP Bishop Dingman Panel.
Occupy the World Food Prize: a Catholic Worker Perspective by Mike Miles
Mike Miles and his wife Barb have been CW farmers for over 25 years, raising their children at the Anathoth Catholic Worker in Luck, WI: anathothcommunityfarm.org.
Last year, when Frank Cordaro invited us Catholic Workers to come to Des Moines to protest the World Food Prize, I had absolutely no idea what he was talking about. Why would we want to protest a prize? The language he was using didn’t make any sense to me. Being Frank, he was pretty insistent about the importance of this event that was being organized but it wasn’t until this year that I finally got it.
What took me so long to understand was the nature of the demonic forces at work in our world. When one comes to grips with the notion that, almost without fail, Satan disguises himself (or masquerades) as an angel of light (II Corinthians 11:14) one can begin to grasp that things that appear obvious most often are not.
What: 35th Annual Feast of the Holy Innocents Retreat & Witness at STRATCOM Headquarters & US Military Space Command Date: Thursday, December 26 to Saturday, December 28, 2013 Site: Basement of St. John’s Church, Creighton University, Omaha, NE
Using the Gospel of St. Matthew’s Infant Narrative, we will examine the links between King Herod, his killing of the innocent children in Bethlehem and the murderous deeds of US-backed modern-day Herods. It’s a wonderful opportunity to get your head and heart cleared of the USA Christmas spirit of glut and over-consumption by taking a two day retreat to examine the deeper meaning and spirit of the birth of Jesus and how the political powers of his day received his birth. It will be evident that little has changed in the last 2000 years.
Starting time: Thursday, Dec. 26 - 7 p.m. Gather at St John’s Church basement on Creighton University campus, 2500 California Plaza, Omaha, NE
For more info contact:
Frank Cordaro and the Phil Berrigan CW House firstname.lastname@example.org / (515) 282-4781
2014 Bishop Dingman Peace Award Ceremony
Jeremy Scahill – Keynote Speaker
Rita Hohenshell (posthumously) & IA Chapters of Veterans for Peace – award recipients
Date: Saturday, April 5, 2014
Time: 6:30 p.m. Social – Hors d’oeuvres and wine / 7:30 p.m. Program
Site: Holy Trinity Church, 2926 Beaver Ave., Des Moines, IA
Cost: $40 - (Don’t let $$$ be a reason not to attend. Low-income folks pay what you can. We need to know ahead of time for food prep.)
Holy Trinity Catholic Church on 2926 Beaver Avenue will be the location for the 19th annual Bishop Maurice J. Dingman Peace Award event.
The event will feature a keynote address from award-winning investigative journalist and scholar Jeremy Scahill, whose books have appeared on the New York Times Best Seller list and who recently received an award at the Sundance Film Festival.
The event will begin at 6:30 p.m. with wine, cheese and hors d’oeuvres. At 7:30, Scahill will speak and the peace award will be given to the Iowa Veterans for Peace, its three Iowa chapters, and to Rita Hohenshell (posthumously).
Jeremy Scahill is a Puffin Foundation Writing Fellow at The Nation Institute, an award-winning investigative journalist, and the author of the bestselling Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army (Nation Books, 2008). His latest book is Dirty Wars: the World is a Battlefield (Nation Books, 2013), which debuted at #5 on the New York Times Best Seller list. Scahill is also a producer, writer, and lead character of the film version of Dirty Wars, which won the Cinematography Award for a US Documentary at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. As National Security Correspondent for The Nation, he has reported from Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Yemen, the former Yugoslavia, and elsewhere across the globe.
The Catholic Peace Ministry each year delivers a Dingman Peace Award to those deserving of following in the footsteps of the late Bishop Maurice J. Dingman. Recipients in the past few years include the late Joshua Casteel and the keynote address last year was delivered by Sister Simone Campbell.
- Jim Hightower, who came to Des Moines for no more than his travel expenses. - Simpson College, for paying Jim’s expenses in exchange for his talking on campus while in Des Moines. - The Methodist Federation for Social Action and the First United Methodist Church for free use of their church. - Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement for printing flyers, taking photos and a video recording of the Dingman Panel. - Rodger Routh, our Des Moines area Peace and Justice videographer for his great videos and editing work.
Profile of the Berrigans in the New Yorker, March 14, 1970
Tommy Schmitz of the DMCW found this issue of the New Yorker dedicated to the Berrigans and the Catonsville action. It’s a fun read for 1970s Catholic Left aficionados and Berrigan groupies … Thank you Tommy … Enjoy, Frank Cordaro
The Rev. Bob Cook will walk 2,980 miles across America with a thousand people next March. He is 70. This is his idea of retirement.
The Des Moines pastor’s life work has been for the poor, but he doesn’t view the Great March for Climate Action as a departure.
The poor are affected most by climate change, as they are from most troubling world events, Cook said.
Frank Cordaro, his longtime activist friend, figures if Cook makes it, he will add 10 years to his life and at the same time help the global community, “following a God of creation, not empire.”
Cordaro put Cook up in a room at the Catholic Worker http://dmcatholicworker.org community recently because he needed a place to stay, and that’s where Cook will hold a hog roast today to help raise the $7,000 he needs for the march.
Sixteen is the total number of people who made it out to the STRATCOM gate to be part of the annual 3 1/2 day “shake and bake” vigil of remembrance of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Nine is the highest number reached during the 3 1/2 day effort. It came Tuesday morning, Aug 6th when a contingent from Nebraskans for Peace joined us. Mark Welsh, Tim Rinne and Paul Olson brought with them Nobuko Tsukui. Nobuko is a Japanese scholar of the literature of the atomic bombings, who was a guest speaker at the Lincoln NFP chapter’s annual Hiroshima/Nagasaki Lantern Float three years ago. Since then, she has made it a point to be with us on the line at Offutt during these days of remembrance. Seven is the number of people who closed our vigil on Friday, August 9. We gathered at STRATCOM’s main entrance. We read St Mark’s account of the Transfiguration and Tomas Merton’s “Original Child Bomb.” We then took a position on the drive, facing Offutt security people. Offutt security read a short statement, we prayed the Our Father, and then went home.
A couple of notes:
On the weather: it was excellent for vigiling, the coolest 3 1/2 day vigil on record. We managed to avoid getting wet on Tuesday, August 7 when a thunderstorm just missed us to the north. The rest of the vigil we barely broke a sweat. On being pathetic: I was more aware of our pathetic efforts than most years. It’s not just the numbers game. We could show up with hundreds of people and it would be no less pathetic in “REAL” terms. The U.S. War Machine keeps grinding on … Then a retired Air Force guys stopped by to talk to us for close to an hour. He said he has seen us doing this witness since the late 1970s and decided this year to pull over and find out why we keep showing up. He wanted to know our reasoning. It was a wonderful discussion. Not sure if any minds were changed. Yet, from the way he received us and listened to us, it was clear to me that his heart was touched, as were ours. And then I reminded myself that we Catholic Workers are personalists. Like the Gospel of Luke, we believe the world will be saved one heart at a time. And then I reminded myself what “REAL” change is all about, and that from the perspective of our thriving/grinding USA Empire, our efforts seem pathetic. They always will from an Empire’s perspective.
"Kingdom Work is Women’s Work" by Frank Cordaro
This is an 18 min. recording of DMCW Frank Cordaro reading the Gospel then giving a sermon as a ‘fill-in preacher’ at the Union Park Presbyterian Church in Des Moines, IA. The text: 2 Sam 12:7-10, 13 / Lk 7:36—8:3, from the Lectionary readings for the 11th Sun Ord. Time Cycle C. Given June 16, 2013.
NCR story on July 13 - KC Nuke Plant demo / 2 Flickr Photo Links KC gathering / followup note from FC
Note from Frank Cordaro: I am out and got home last night. On Tuesday July 16 I was back in court in KC. I was suppose to appear before Judge Franko of fond memory. (Link to July 2011 report ”Judge Franco reveals her liberal heart….” https://groups.google.com/forum/?hl=en#!search/Judge$20franko/iowa-peace-list/bkCYJtsDOV8/9RipMk3x3q8J) Judge Franko was not in court. I appeared before another judge to address the warrant and contempt of court charges. With the help of Henry Stoever, we requested that these matters be rescheduled and heard before Judge Franko, who’s court the charges were make on Sept 4th. The same day Ed Bloomer and I have as our court date from Saturday’s action in Judge Franko’s court!. Our request was accepted. So stay tune … more to come…3rd act of the FC and Judge Franko 'throw down'!
Kansas City, Mo.— Twenty-three people, including the new U.S. provincial supervisor of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, were arrested Saturday after crossing the property line of a new nuclear weapons complex.
The group was participating in a PeaceWorks protest at the National Security Campus, also known as the Kansas City Plant, a five-building facility where 85 percent of the non-nuclear parts for U.S. nuclear weapons will be made or procured.
The award drew immediate condemnation from opponents of corporate farming. “We could not ask for a better poster child for what’s wrong with the prize than the recipients of this year’s World Food Prize,” said Frank Cordaro, who organized an Occupy World Food Prize protest last year. “It’s all part of the very same system of the corporate elite. The problem is not with the recipients, the problem is with the system that gives the 1 percent all the power and corporate agriculture is built on that system.” … Some organic farmers warn that widespread planting of genetically modified crops could contaminate organic and traditional crops, destroying their value. Others are concerned about the uncharted long-term impact for those who eat products such as milk and beef from animals raised on genetically modified plants. “GMO crops have led to the loss of food security worldwide and for small farmers, they have led to the development of factory farms and have destroyed biodiversity in food we do produce and consume,” said David Goodner, a community organizer for Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, an environmental and human rights activist group that opposes corporate farming. “The World Food Prize by selecting these people to honor shows that it cares more about corporate profits than it cares about truly feeding the world with healthy food.”
Make sure to clear the date and plan on joining us in DM in Oct and help “take a bite out of Corporate Ag” and its bought, owned and scripted World Food Prize http://www.worldfoodprize.org/
An autonomous sister house with the Des Moines Catholic Worker, the Phil Berrigan House hosts a Peace and Justice Library and provides meeting space.
We currently host a weekly Lectionary Bible Study each Monday from 7-8pm, an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting on Fridays at 4pm, and we host the monthly meeting of the Des Moines chapter of Veterans for Peace. We will continue to be open to hosting other related peace and justice events and organizational meetings.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.” (Matt. 5:9) Only through nonviolent action can a personalist revolution come about, one in which one evil will not be replaced simply by another. Thus, we oppose the deliberate taking of human life for any reason, and see every oppression as blasphemy. Jesus taught us to take suffering upon ourselves rather than inflict it upon others, and He calls us to fight against violence with the spiritual weapons of prayer, fasting and noncooperation with evil. Refusal to pay taxes for war, to register for conscription, to comply with any unjust legislation; participation in nonviolent strikes and boycotts, protests or vigils; withdrawal of support for dominant systems, corporate funding or usurious practices are all excellent means to establish peace."
- from the Aims and Means of the Catholic Worker