Learning to Live Gospel Nonviolence by Juliet Onufrak
“Many of us feel desensitized and disconnected from one another. We experience this feeling in political polarization, depression, and an epidemic of domestic and youth violence.”
Center of Concern (Center) is a non-profit organization that researches, educates, and advocates from Catholic social tradition to create a world where economic, political, and cultural systems promote sustainable flourishing of the global community. The Center executes their mission by engaging with influential people and organizations that promote a similar mission of building a global and sustainable community. In April 2018, Education for Justice (EFJ), a project of the Center, asked LFFP’s Co-Directors MJ and Jerry Park to write an article for EFJ detailing their own mission, and how they advocate for peace and teach communities and individuals new practices and skills in order to promote peace at individual, community, and global levels.
The Center recognized that LFFP’s mission and vision are effective, scalable, and sustainable as means of creating global social justice. MJ and Jerry’s article captures the founding of their life work as well as the many successes they have had over the years. Various case studies are detailed in the article that provide evidence of the psychological and spiritual changes that MJ and Jerry’s work creates in individuals. The article also thoroughly reviews the structure of MJ and Jerry’s process of teaching peace, and provides the reader with some of MJ and Jerry’s tools of nonviolence, including: “The Wellness Wheel”, “The Peace Circle”, “The Body, Heart, Mind Practice”, “The Stop, Think, Act Practice,” “The Peace Table,” and finally the “The Restorative Circle.”
MJ and Jerry’s practices have been present in our society for 35 years. In 2018, violence has become normalized within our everyday lives. 78% of children from low income families in Washington, D.C., are exposed to violence before the age of 4. The desensitization and depression that has become a reality for so much of our country is because we have all been neglecting to take care of one another. As MJ and Jerry’s article highlights, the only way to fix the anxieties and pain that we all feel is to come together as a community and help one another learn the skills necessary to find individual and global peace.
To read MJ and Jerry’s article, please go to the Education for Justice website by clicking here: https://educationforjustice.org/resources/learning-live-gospel-nonviolence.