Peace Tree 2022
Each year as darkness shortens daylight hours, the Sisters of St. Agnes light a Peace Tree at their Motherhouse to display during the Advent and Christmas seasons.
The Peace Tree is a 31-year-old CSA tradition, initiated by Sister Marie Scott, during the Gulf War known as Desert Storm. The war lasted from August 1990–February 1991. Unfortunately, since that time war has continued almost unabated, often with United States involvement. Our ongoing commitment to peace in our world is needed now as much as ever.
Advent brings us closer to Christ who is with us. We are reminded that no one is beyond the reach of God’s love. We are called to reach out with love to our sisters and brothers in need, sharing our hope for a world transformed.
CSA's Commitment to Peace and Non-Violence
During the civil war in Nicaragua in the 1990s, three members of the Congregation of St. Agnes were killed. These tragedies, together with the 9-11 terrorist attacks on USA soil, heightened the Sisters’ consciousness of violence both at home and abroad. Instead of retaliation, they expressed their belief in nonviolence and committed to become peacemakers (like Jesus and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.).
The congregation released its Stance on Peace and Non-violence on January 20, 2002 to coincide with the feast of their patroness, St. Agnes, and the national holiday honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and his commitment to nonviolence. They committed to living the gospel values of love and forgiveness, to be peacemakers, and to promote justice.
In addition to living out these values in their own community and personal relationships, sisters and associates have participated in peaceful demonstrations, vigils, and some in non-violent civil disobedience.
More information on peace and nonviolence can be found at the following websites.
Pax Christi USA — Catholic Peace and Justice Movement
Fellowship of Reconciliation — An interfaith organization
Friends Committee on National Legislation — A Quaker social justice group
Pace e Bene — an independent, non-denominational organization
Washington Peace Center — organizing group for economic and social justice
Peace Pulpit: Bishop Thomas Gumbleton — blogs regularly for the National Catholic Reporter