Sr. Teresia Wamuyu Wachira (Kenya)
Teresia Wamuyu Wachira was elected co-president of Pax Christi International in 2019. She is a member of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary (IBVM), commonly known as the Loreto Sisters. She did her M.A. in Applied Theology, Peace and Justice Studies, and her Ph.D. on experiences of violence in schools in Kenya. She has been a teacher and principal in Loreto schools in Kenya, specialising in the education of young women and training them for peacemaking and reconciliation work.
Wamuyu is currently a Lecturer and Programme Leader in Peace and Conflict Studies at St. Paul’s University in Nairobi. Wamuyu was a participant in the conference on nonviolence and just peace jointly held by Pax Christi International and the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace Conference in Rome in April 2016. Wamuyu is a member of the advisory committee for the IBVM-UN Desk, New York. She is coordinator of the Justice, Peace, Integrity of Creation (JPIC) Eastern Africa Province and a member of the Board for Abundant Life Centre, started with the aim to train and advocate against Female Genital Mutilation in Kenya.
Bishop Marc Stenger (France)
Bishop Marc Stenger was elected co-president of Pax Christi International in 2019. He has been the Bishop of Troyes, France since 1999 and is the president of Pax Christi France. He is a former member of the Commission for the Universal Mission of the Church and served on the Commission for Pastoral Workers in the French Church.
As president of Pax Christi France, Msgr. Stenger welcomed the resolution of the United Nations (UN) proclaiming 2001-2010 International Decade for the promotion a culture of nonviolence and peace for the benefit of the children of the world and published a paper on it to contribute to the debate and provide some guidance on the path required to move from a culture of violence to a culture of peace. He has spoken out for the situation of Christians in Iraq, and, after a delegation to Colombia in 2002, reflected on how respect for human rights underlined the establishment of peace in that country. He has been outspoken on isues related to the environmental crisis facing the planet and has hosted a working group on ecology and the environment in France.
Archbishop Anthony Ledesma (Philippines)
Archbishop Ledesma has been the Bishop-President of Pax Christi-Philippines for many years. Many consider him to be the country’s “peace bishop”, active in matters that promote peace within the country. He is active in the Philippine Ecumenical Platform for Peace which works to find peaceful solutions to the conflict between the government and the National Democratic Front. He is also co-convener of the Bishops-Ulama Conference (BUC) which promotes interreligious understanding. The BUC popularised the commemoration of the Mindanao Week of Peace which raises awareness on the plight of the Bangsamoro minorities in Mindanao; aims at challenging biases between two peoples of differing faith and culture; and aims at correcting historical injustices committed against the Bangsamoro.
Archbishop Ledesma is also a member of the the National Peace Council which supports the peace process in Mindanao. He is a favorite adviser of peace advocates in the country and a primary resource person on Catholic peacebulding.
Sr. Elena Balatti (South Sudan)
Sr. Elena Balatti is the Justice & Peace Coordinator for the Comboni Sisters based in South Sudan. She holds an MA in Peace Studies from the Upeace University of the United Nations and is active in peacebuilding and trauma healing at the grassroots level.
Sr. Elena has an extensive background in communications. She served as the head of the Communication Department for the Archdiocese of Khartoum, Acting Coordinator of the Sudan Catholic Radio Network (SCRN), of the Sudan Catholic Bishops’ Conference, and Director of Radio Saut al-Mahabba on the Catholic Radio Network Malakal of the Diocese of Malakal, South Sudan. She is featured in the 2018 book, Trying to Build Peace in a Time of War – The Messages of the South Sudan Council of Churches.
Elena Vilenskaia (Russian Federation)
Elena Vilenskaia is co-founder of the NGO Soldiers’ Mothers of Saint-Petersburg, begun in 1991, and co-founder of the House of Peace and Non-violence, started in 2002. Both organisations are members of Pax Christi International. Elena is a convinced believer of nonviolent methods, has extensive experience in defending the human rights of conscripted soldiers and officers in Russia, and advocates for peace education for Russian school children and young people.
Elena has coordinated seven projects in Russia, led by Pax Christi Flanders and financed by the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Including participants or partners from Chechnya and the North Caucasus has been a major preoccupation; she has made multiple efforts to initiate processes of dialogue and reconciliation with people from Chechnya. Besides her skills in human rights, peace education and non-violence, she is has expertise in networking and a deep knowledge of the political structures in Russia.
Fr. Godefroid Mombula Alekiabo (Democratic Republic of Congo)
Fr. Godefroid Mombula Alekiabo is a priest of the Congregation of the Missionaries of Scheut, CICM. He is a leader in CIAM-Africa, a member organisation of Pax Christi International, and was the host for Pax Christi International’s training of trainers for the “Empowering new generations in active nonviolence and entrepreneurship” project of the Great Lakes region of Africa. He has organised several conferences on human rights and social justice in Kinshasa and was influential in the creation in Kinshasa of the Lay Committee on Coordination (CLC).
He is a university professor and holds a Doctor in Philosophy degree, among many others. He is the author of Human Community and Dialectic in the Thought of Bernard Lonergan and co-author with John Raymaker of Bringing Bernard Lonergan Down to Earth and Into our Hearts and Communities.
Fr. Jan Peters (The Netherlands) – Treasurer
Fr. Jan Peters s.j. is vice-president of Pax Christi Netherlands, president curator of the Netherlands Institute for the Middle East in Leiden and in Istanbul, as well as member of the Board of Trustees of the Islamic University in Rotterdam. Jan has also served as Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Amsterdam School of Catholic Theology.
He participates in committees for dialogue with Islam and dialogue with Eastern churches. For six years, he served as president of the International Federation of Catholic Universities. In 2010, he was elected to the Pax Christi International Board because of his extraordinary long term involvement with Pax Christi and his experience of and dedication to human rights. In June 2013 he was re-elected for a second mandate as Pax Christi International Treasurer.
Mary Yelenick (USA)
Mary Yelenick represents Pax Christi International as the Main Representative at the United Nations in New York City. As the Main Representative she works closely with other peace and justice groups at the UN, networks with Missions, organises interfaith work, and is a member of the NGO Working Group on the Security Council.
She has served as chair of the Board of NETWORK: A Catholic social justice lobby and is active in the national and NY State Poor People’s Campaign in the US. She is a member of the Pax Christi USA Anti-Racism Team, co-authored the 2019 PCUSA Lenten reflection booklet, and was a Pax Christi Metro NY 2019 Peacemaker award honoree. She has a law degree from Georgetown University and is a recently retired attorney.
Norbert Richter (Germany)
Norbert Richter is currently the chairman of Pax Christi Germany. He has previously served as a member of Pax Christi Germany’s Executive Board and has been a member of the Board of Pax Christi in the Diocese of Essen since 2002. He is a certified mediator and educated in nonviolent communication, and he is interested in ways to communicate and impart active nonviolence in church and society.
Norbert holds a graduate degree in business management and is a Service and Compliance Manager with Pioneer, a Japanese electronics corporation. His peace work includes raising awareness of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict through trips to the region.
Nora Carmi (Palestine)
Born in Jerusalem in 1947, Nora Arsenian Carmi, is a Palestinian Christian who became a refugee in her own city, divided after the establishment of the Israeli State. Educated in Catholic schools and Protestant universities, Nora has been actively involved in Palestinian society as a community builder through voluntary work and professional services to empower women and the community, not only through practical skills, but also spiritually striving for justice with compassion. She has worked with the YWCA, Sabeel, Liberation Theology Center and Kairos Palestine, and spoken extensively throughout the world to speak at conferences, most recently in France and Sweden about the urgency of ending the injustice in Palestine and Israel. She served for a period on the Palestinian Islamic Christian Commission and continues to be a board member of the National Association for the Visually Handicapped. She is a member of the Executive Committee of World Day of Prayer International.
Involved with the National Coalition of Church-related Organisations (NCCOP) and a member of the PIEF, (Palestine Israel Ecumenical Forum-World Council of Churches), Nora helps in organising the annual World Week for Peace for Palestine and Israel (WPPI). In 2009, she was chosen to address Pope Benedict XVI during his visit to the Holy Land and has also met with Pope Francis in Bethlehem in 2014.
Sr. Patricia Ryan (Peru)
Sister Patricia Ryan is a Maryknoll Sister originally from the United States who was missioned to Peru in 1971. Sister Patricia has been living and working since then in Puno with Aymara and Quechua indigenous peoples. She served as Coordinator of the Rural Institute of Education (1972-1982) offering adult education in social and agricultural technical material to members of Aymara rural communities, as a member of the Pastoral Team of Mocachi (1982-1991) living and sharing life in the Aymara Community of Camacani, and as Vicar of the Vicaría of Solidarity of the Juli Prelature (1988-1997), the human rights office of the Catholic church, promoting and defending the life of the indigenous communities and creating nonviolent alternatives to the situation of political violence in Peru. From 1997-2003, Sister Patricia served as Vice-President on the Leadership Team of the Maryknoll Sisters Congregation.
In 2007 the Vicaría became an NGO now known as Human Rights and Environment (DHUMA) of which Sister Patricia is the founder and president. As part of DHUMa’s team, she offers education and legal defense to Aymara and Quechua rural communities and their grassroots organisations in the context of the extractive industry of mining and the contamination of Lake Titicaca and its tributaries.
Fr. Paul Lansu (Belgium)
Paul Jozef Marie Lansu is currently a Roman Catholic Priest of the Diocese of Antwerp, Belgium. He has a Masters Degree of Arts in Peace Studies from the University of Bradford, United Kingdom. From 1982 to 1989, Fr. Paul served as a Political Secretary for Pax Christi Flanders in Belgium. Since 1990, Fr. Paul Lansu has been a staff member at the International Secretariat of Pax Christi in Brussels, Belgium. He most recently served as a Senior Policy Advisor for Advocacy on Security and Human Rights.
Paul has organised and participated in different (fact-finding) visits to the Middle East, former Yugoslavia, Philippines, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Colombia, Central America, Haiti, Jamaica, Northern Ireland, Algeria, South Africa, Egypt and Ethiopia. He coordinated the different representations of Pax Christi International at the international level, especially with the United Nations. He has written several papers and articles on topics related to the work of Pax Christi International which have been published worldwide. In 2006, Paul has been elected member of the Board of the International Peace Bureau, IPB, and elected Vice President of IPB for the period of 2013 – 2016. In October 2016 he has been nominated as a Consultant for three years with the International Peace Bureau. From 2007 till 2016, Fr. Paul has been a member of the Core Group of the World Council of Churches for the Palestine Israel Ecumenical Forum (PIEF). Paul is in his second mandate as a Board member of Pax Christi Flanders.