Thomas Merton Center friend, supporter, and recent TMC guest speaker passed away in California in early December. Tom came to Pittsburgh to study spirituality at Duquesne University in the 1980’s. He was active with the Tri-State Conference on the Impact of Steel during the years of decline of the mills in the Pittsburgh region. He lived at Amos House, a community house in Garfield at the time, sharing life with the progressive, faith-based, activist community of Pittsburgh and worked for a short time at the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. He returned to California, where he was a Catholic High School teacher, served as a lay pastoral associate and a non-profit administrator. The last five years Tom spent at the Oakland Catholic Worker. Active with a local chapter of Pax Christi, he served on the national council of Pax Christi, USA.
When in Pittsburgh in 2019, Tom gave a presentation for the Merton Center on the situation in Honduras and the impact of current US policy there, providing ways for us to advocate for justice in that country. He had served on three delegations to Honduras over the past few years.
One of the last project’s Tom worked on was the production and dissemination of the following Prayer for Disarmament for Pax Christi Northern California. We print it here in his memory and in gratitude for his life.
Prayer for Disarmament
Breath of All that Is,
Preserve us from our own madness.
Direct us away from dealing destruction to others,
A path which leads to the ruin
Of our selves and our world.
Protect us. Help us to hear You.
Jesus Christ, Beloved,
Show us your precious face in all others,
You in us, and we in each other, from all places.
Teach us how to lower our defenses,
Feed us Love which transcends fear.
Heal us. Help us to let go of all fear.
You Call us, in our minds, in our world,
And through each other. Speak to us. Speak through us.
When we worship power, control, money,
When we cannot forgive, or shove pain onto others,
Call us. Light the fire of Love.
We will not be afraid.
We will not be afraid.
Love transcends all fear.
You Are with us Always.
(Prayer by Kim Vanderheiden)
A memorial service is being planned in Pittsburgh. Please contact Fr. Dorsey for details at 412-980-3937.
NewPeople Newspaper VOL. 50 No. 1. February, 2020. All rights reserved.