One of the country’s most noted peace activists is bringing his convictions to Tompkins County.
Father Emmanuel Charles McCarthy will appear at St. James Church, 17 Whig St., Trumansburg, to lead a Lenten retreat on Christian nonviolence. Sessions will take place Friday, March 6, from 7:30 to 9 p.m. and Saturday, March 7, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. For details, call St. James Church at 607-387-6781. The event is cosponsored by the parish and Catholic Charities of Tompkins/Tioga.
Father McCarthy is an Eastern Rite Melkite priest from Brockton, Mass., who was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1992. A former lawyer and university educator, he was a cofounder of Pax Christi USA and also founded The Program for the Study and Practice of Nonviolent Conflict Resolution at the University of Notre Dame.
He has written and produced many books, articles, videos and CDs through which he denounces all kinds of war and emphasizes the nonviolence that Jesus practiced in word and deed, even toward his enemies. Father McCarthy’s works can be accessed at the Center for Christian Nonviolence Web site (www.centerforchristiannonviolence.org).
Father McCarthy also is closely linked to a Vatican-confirmed miracle that resulted in the 1998 canonization of Sister Edith Stein, a Carmelite nun who died in the Auschwitz concentration camp in 1942. The priest’s daughter, Teresia Benedicta — the same name Edith Stein took upon making her religious vows — became seriously ill in 1987 at age 2 from an accidental overdose of pills and was not expected to live. Father McCarthy and family members invoked the intervention of Sister Stein, and Teresia Benedicta made a complete recovery that could not be explained medically.
Each year Father McCarthy leads a 40-day fast from solid food that ends on Aug. 9. He maintains that the date represents a message from God to practice nonviolence, pointing out that Sister Edith Stein died on Aug. 9; his daughter was born on that anniversary and he was ordained to the priesthood on that date; and the United States dropped a nuclear bomb on Nagasaki on Aug. 9, 1945.