The Middle East Peace Education Coalition invites you:

Boycott – the film that “exposes attacks on freedom

of speech” in state legislatures across the US.


Monday May 15, 7 P

NW Community Center

5110 Franklin Ave, DM


The Story

When a news publisher in Arkansas, an attorney in Arizona, and a speech therapist in Texas are told they must choose between their jobs and their political beliefs, they launch legal battles that expose an attack on freedom of speech across 34 states in America.

Boycott traces the impact of state legislation designed to penalize individuals and companies that choose to boycott Israel due to its human rights record. A legal thriller with “accidental plaintiffs” at the center of the story, Boycott is a bracing look at the far-reaching implications of anti-boycott legislation and an inspiring tale of everyday Americans standing up to protect our rights in an age of shifting politics and threats to freedom of speech. – https://justvision.org/boycott

Such Anti-boycott legislation, has passed in 34 states (including Iowa) since 2015. Since that time efforts to pass copycat legislation to restrict gun control and environmental advocacy campaigns have spread across the US.  (The US Supreme Court affirmed boycotts as protected free speech in 1982)

Co-Sponsored by: Catholic Peace Ministry, Iowa Peace Network, Women’s
International League for Peace & Freedom

Follow up from the Dingman Peace Award Celebration


On March 4th we finally gathered, after 3 years, to celebrate peace and those whom, for peace’s sake, devote their lives. The evening began with a joyful reuniting of friends from all over Iowa, and beyond. Represented were folks from Pax Christi, CFUM, Catholic Worker, CPM, DMARC, and many other friends, whom had not seen each other, in person, for several years.

This year’s award recipient, Carla Dawson, spoke passionately, and with deep heart about the importance of supporting family, equal education, steadfast faith, and creating environments for social Justice. You can watch a recording of her speech here: https://youtu.be/ISewsSMFBhg

Our keynote speaker, Johnny Zokovichm of Pax Christi USA inspired us with his lively energy and

passion for peace and Justice. He invited us to boldly reimagine the world and systems of injustice. To be vulnerable and humble, as peace workers who are white, to fully examine our privilege and the extreme pervasiveness of white supremacy that shapes our global conciousness. A video of his address can be found here. https://youtu.be/ScLB1Hu3EE8

Annual Bishop Dingman Dinner and Peace Award Celebration. Saturday, March 4, 2023.


Bishop Maurice J Dingman

After 3 years of covid – forced abstention we are thrilled now to invite our friends, allies, partners, you, to this special 25th Dingman Awards Ceremony.

Date: Saturday, March 4, 2023, Social Hour with hors d’oeuvres and desserts starts at 6pm, the Award Program starts at 7:30pm

Location: Holy Trinity Catholic Church 2926 Beaver Ave Des Moines, IA 50310 United States.


Carla Dawson 2023 Award Recipient


This year’s awardee is Carla Dawson, a long-time peace and justice activist, Catholic Worker, teacher and mentor from Des Moines. Carla’s love for the community has many different areas. She was the Legal Aid Society Vice President, community rep, War Resister National Board Member, Past President of Iowa CURE.




Our Speaker is Johnny Zokovich, the Executive Director of Pax Christi USA,

the national Catholic peace and justice movement. Previously, Johnny worked in Brussels with Pax Christi International as the Senior Communications Officer. For nearly 15 years, he lived at and co-directed the Gainesville (FL) Catholic Worker House, an intentional community serving and

living with people who are homeless, addicted, impoverished, and mentally ill. He holds an MA in Theology with a concentration in biblical studies from the University of Notre Dame. His writing has been featured in National Catholic Reporter, US Catholic, Belief.Net, The Encyclopedia of Race and                                                                                           Racism, and elsewhere.













“…Herod…was furious and he gave orders to kill all the boys two years and younger…” –Matthew 2: 16 

“We remember the slaughter of the innocents in Herod’s time, and raise our prayers to stop violence against innocent  children caused by wars, (poverty, abuse, racism,) and conflict around the world today. We continue to insist that “War  is not the answer.” Waging peace is the only real answer.” 

Ukrainian Children, seeking refuge



“The service will emphasize deeply that all children need peace with justice. The purposes of the service are to  remember the slaughter of the holy innocents of Bethlehem, ask for God’s mercy upon innocent victims everywhere,  call upon God’s great might to frustrate the designs of evil, and pray for the coming of justice, love and peace on earth.  We will pray to strengthen our resolve to act against war.” 

Central American children stuck at the US-Mexico border. Photo credit: LIRS

This is an annual event organized by the Des Moines Faith Committee for Peace, of which CPM is a founding member. Wed. Dec. 28, 6:30 pm; First United Methodist Church; 1001 Pleasant St. Des Moines 

Children sleeping on the floor in CBP detention facility. Photo credit: Associated Press





“I will not tire of declaring that if we want
an effective end to violence
we must remove the violence
that lies at the root of all violence:
structural violence, social injustice,
exclusion of citizens
from the management of the country,
All this is what constitutes the primal cause,
from which the rest flows naturally.”

—Oscar Romero


DM Faith Committee for Peace sponsored Int’l Day of Peace Observance at the Peace Garden


The International Day of Peace: End racism. Build peace 

The Des Moines Faith Committee for Peace, of which CPM is a founding member, held the 2022 observance of the UN International Day of Peace at the Des Moines Peace Garden with a crowd of over 100 people attending. 

Recognizing that peace is not possible in the absence of justice, the UN declared the 2022 International Day of Peace theme to be End racism. Build peace. In stating this theme Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary- General stated, “Racism continues to poison institutions, social structures, and everyday life in every society. It continues to be a driver of persistent inequality. And it continues to deny people their fundamental human rights.

 It destabilizes societies, undermines democracies, erodes the legitimacy of governments…and the linkages between racism and gender inequality are unmistakable.” All of these factors increase the level of violence and conflict around the world and in our own communities.

Kesho Scott, Associate Professor Grinnell College, “I began

              to see these voices across racial, religious, and linguistic 

             differences, and that inspired me.

Bringing the issues home to us, the keynote speaker, *Kesho Scott, an internationally recognized Diversity Trainer, shared some stories of her experience growing up African-American in the United States. 


    • “I think that my first memory of ever experiencing an injustice was watching television and seeing African Americans hosed down by the police in the south because they sought to register to vote. I remember talking to my parents about it while living in Detroit, Michigan, and feeling secure up in the north. I couldn’t imagine that human beings would act like that…”


    • “I think what captured it for me is – if I wasn’t going to have my voice, who would speak for me? I saw…many women having something to say, and being willing to say it together, (it) gave me a lot of courage. I was born when America was legally racially segregated, and I grew up and came of age when America ended (legally sanctioned) racial segregation. So

The DM Faith Committee for Peace and Kesho Scott are as one in asserting the importance of the individual role in issues of peace, justice, and human rights…


 “Peace is our responsibility, and I believe we must be accountable to someone to maintain peace. We can’t just have it as a feeling. What does it look like in your life? I think what will keep people motivated is for them to see that Peace begins with ME…”  -Kesho Scott, Sept. 21, 2022


*Scott, an award-winning writer and Associate Professor at Grinnell College, is also an internationally recognized Trainer and Consultant on Diversity.

Some of the information for this article is taken from the Iowa Conference of United Methodist Church website. For more information see:  https://www.iaumc.org/newsdetail/peace-in-the-world-is-our-responsibility-17039229.


CPM Partnering With Drake Class

I am delighted to announce that CPM has welcomed a Drake University student into our office as a writing intern for this semester. I met Maria McCright at a student-community partnership meeting on the first day of their new semester. I was immediately impressed with Maria and her interest in people and the world beyond the United States.


I feel honored that Maria chose the Catholic Peace Ministry for her writing internship.  You’ll be getting to know Maria in the weeks ahead as she writes articles for CPM Updates.


I will leave it now to Maria to introduce herself and share some of her interests, passions, and goals for her time with CPM

A bit about me: I am an Economics and International Business student at  Drake University. This semester, I am excited to get to participate in this internship with CPM. Not only will I learn about the work that CPM does, but I will also gain practical writing experience. Additionally, working with not-for-profits is something that has always drawn me. I have always been interested in advocacy, climate change, and changing our lives for the better. At one point in my high school career, becoming a lawyer to protect the rights of others and advocate for those who may not be able to advocate for themselves, was my main goal. This internship opportunity will allow me to see this type of work’s inner

workings and explore other options I have after graduation. 

While I am not working for CPM, or my other part-time job, my time is filled by getting involved in student organizations. Moreover, I enjoy hanging out with my friends and traveling. I have traveled worldwide and enjoy learning about other cultures and different ways of doing things. This past summer, I spent about eight weeks in the Netherlands learning about Dutch culture                                                                                             and sustainability in business. I am so grateful to get to work here this semester. Moreover, I am excited to see everything we do over the next three months! 




Sailing For a Nuclear-Free World

Catholic Peace Ministry is hosting events in Central Iowa to support the work of the Veterans for Peace Golden Rule project. These events include a program in Ames on October 11 and Des Moines on Oct. 12. See the attached flyer for details.

The Golden Rule is sailing the waters of the US to build support for the abolition of nuclear weapons. Particular focus is on the following points:

      • US Ratification of the Treaty to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons (TPNW)
      • Commitment  to No First Strike 
      • Taking weapons off “hair-trigger” alert
      • Transferring the nuclear weapons cost into human needs

The Catholic Peace Ministry shares these goals and will be working to build public support throughout Iowa in the months/years following the tour. We hope you will join us in this effort.

For more information about the VFP Golden Rule Project: http://www.vfpgoldenruleproject.org/


“Nuclear peace is possible, and bravery and tenacity can overcome militarism,”

                                                                                                                                     -Veterans for Peace website




                    Hiroshima & Nagasaki – Never Again

                           Ringing the Japanese Bell in  Remembrance (photo by Jon Krieg, AFSC )

  Let Us Be Midwives!

By Sadako Kurihara -Read by Rev. Carmen Lampe-Zeitler

   Night in the basement of a concrete structure now in
Victims of the atomic bomb
jammed the room;
it was dark—not even a single candle.
The smell of fresh blood, the stench of death,
the closeness of sweaty people, the moans.
From out of all that, lo and behold, a voice:
“The baby’s coming!”
In that hellish basement, at that very moment,
a young woman had gone into labor.
In the dark, without a single match, what to do?
People forgot their own pains, worried about her.
And then: “I’m a midwife. I’ll help with the birth.”
The speaker, seriously injured herself,
had been moaning only moments before.
And so new life was born in the dark of that pit of hell.
And so the midwife died before dawn, still bathed in
Let us be midwives!
Let us be midwives!
Even if we lay down our own lives to do so.

Laid at the bell in remembrance & grief.

About the poet:
Sadako Kurihara (coor-ree-HA-ra) was a Japanese poet. When the atomic bomb fell on Hiroshima she was in her home less than three miles north of the epicenter. After she experienced the bomb in Hiroshima Kurihara made the transformation from shopkeeper to one of Japan’s most controversial poets. Along with her husband Tadaichi Kurihara, she became a dedicated anti-war activist. Kurihara’s poetry does not turn away from the chaos and violence of the world.

  Beyond Remembrance To Commitment

                                                                                                                               (photo by Jon Krieg, AFSC)

Over 50 people gathered at the site of the Japanese Bell on Aug. 8th in observance of the US bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on Aug. 6 and 9, 1945. People in central Iowa have been gathering at this site for over 40 years to remember, to mourn, and to commit to the work of abolishing nuclear weapons from our world.

In prayer, statements, poetry, and songs- words of lament, and grief, and hope were offered to those gathered.

Brief excerpts follow:

Mayor Frank Cownie, a vice president of Mayors for Peace welcomed those assembled and promised to continue his steadfast work to rid the world of all nuclear weapons. Cownie has noted in the past that “those who think nuclear weapons should not be a concern for city mayors should ask the mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki how they feel about that.”

Christine Sheller, of Iowa Peace Network read part of the statement of Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui delivered on Aug. 6, 2022: “To accept the status quo and abandon the ideal of peace maintained without military force is to threaten the very survival of the human race. We must stop repeating these mistakes. Above all, entrusting a nuclear button to any world leader is to sanction continued nuclear threats to humanity and potential re-creation of the hellscape of August 6, 1945. We must immediately render all nuclear buttons meaningless. “

Bishop William Joensen (DM RC Diocese) sent a letter read by Father David Polich in which he bemoaned, “In a world where millions of children and families live in inhumane conditions, the money that is squandered and the fortunes that are made through the manufacture, upgrading, maintenance and sale of ever more destructive weapons, are an affront crying out to heaven.

Speaking for the Catholic Peace Ministry, Kathleen McQuillen noted the continuing challenges: “For even as we say “Never Again” we understand President Biden’s military budget for FY 2022 is a staggering, record breaking $753 billion dollars; of which over $44 billion dollars is designated for upgrading nuclear weapons. This windfall for the weapons industry is devastating for people and the planet…Nuclear weapons are a tragedy whether they are ever used again or not. They wreak havoc on the Earth, and they rob our treasury.”              

More photos: https://photos.afsc.org/?c=3375&k=128f61c1b2



 Mission Statement

Catholic Peace Ministry seeks to help people answer God’s call to be his instruments of peace. It is an independent organization that uses prayer, dialogue and action to pursue peace. Catholic Peace Ministry offers educational workshops, advocates for a nonviolent foreign policy and engages with the citizenry.