The Beatitudes Center for the Nonviolent Jesus.

A letter from my priest friend peace activist John Dear.
Dear Friends,   I’m excited to announce that today I’m launching a new non-profit organization called “The Beatitudes Center for the Nonviolent Jesus.”    
As many of you know, I felt called nearly forty years ago while visiting the Chapel of the Beatitudes and the Sea of Galilee to dedicate my life to Jesus’ way of nonviolence and peace. Standing by the Chapel, pondering his teachings on nonviolence in the Beatitudes and the Sermon on the Mount, I saw Israeli warplanes fall from the sky, break the sound barrier and set off sonic booms as they flew off to bomb and kill sisters and brothers in Lebanon. Ever since, I’ve been trying to practice and teach the Beatitudes and the Sermon on the Mount’s lessons on nonviolence. This project makes me feel my life has come full circle.     
Over the decades, and especially during these terrible times, I’ve been distressed that so many Christians continue to support systemic violence, racism, warfare, corporate greed, executions, nationalism, nuclear weapons and environmental destruction, even as Pope Francis issues so many beautiful calls to the contrary.     
I’m 61 now, living in California as part of the Diocese of Monterey, and have always felt my ultimate calling was to tell everyone that Jesus was nonviolent and that all Christians are called to practice nonviolence for the coming of a new culture of nonviolence. So, I’ve decided to step down from the great peace group, Pace e Bene, and focus more specifically on Jesus’ teachings of nonviolence.   
Today, I’m launching a brand new website,, which will offer a wide variety of online zoom programs, classes, workshops and retreats and classes. Starting in 2022, I hope to hold weeklong summer institutes on Gospel nonviolence along the Central Coast of California where I now live.  Here’s the mission as I see it: “To teach and promote the Gospel message that Jesus was totally nonviolent, and that all his followers are called to be totally nonviolent.”     
Here’s our vision: “We strive to help Christians study and live Jesus’ Gospel teachings of nonviolence, especially in the Sermon on the Mount (Mt. 5-7), so that more and more people will practice creative Gospel nonviolence, like Gandhi, Dorothy Day and Dr. King, and work for the abolition of racism, poverty, war, nuclear weapons and environmental destruction, and for the coming of a new culture of justice and nonviolence. We use Pope Francis’ Jan. 1, 2017 World Day of Peace Message, “Nonviolence—A Style of Politics for Peace,” as a guidepost. We offer online and in person workshops, retreats and conferences, podcasts, videos, books, articles and consultation to help fulfill our mission.”     
In December, I’ll offer a three week Advent series on nonviolence, with sessions on Sunday afternoons Dec. 6, 13, and 20; then a New Year’s day workshop on nonviolence; then a Dr. King holiday workshop on his “Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” and later, an Ash Wednesday workshop on the book of Jonah; a Monday evening Lenten series on the nonviolent Jesus, and a workshop on my friend Daniel Berrigan to mark his 100th birthday in May. Eventually, I will ask other friends to lead or co-lead programs.   I’m writing to ask for your help.  
Please pray for God’s blessing on this exciting new Gospel project.  
Please check out the beautiful new website, our programs, podcasts, and blogs and sign up for a few retreats or workshops.  
Please share this email far and wide with friends and groups to help let other people know about it.  
Please go to our new Facebook page, “Beatitudes Center,” and help promote it.  
And please consider making a generous donation to help me launch this project. I’m starting from scratch! (On the Donate page on the website, you can pay with a credit card, or find information about sending a check.)   
Thank you so much for your interest and support of this “Beatitudes Center.” Let me know what you think. You can write to me directly via the website contact page, at Take care, stay safe, and keep on walking the road to peace.   May the God of peace bless us to become Beatitude people, faithful followers the nonviolent Jesus working for a new culture of justice, peace, and nonviolence.   
Fr. John Dear

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