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 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 (Em.) Marc Stenger (France)
Bishop Marc Stenger was elected co-president of Pax Christi International in 2019. He was the Bishop of Troyes, France since 1999 until his retirement at the end of 2020. 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.
Bishop Stenger focuses on the promotion of a culture of nonviolence and peace, contributes actively to the debate and provides 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, for the respect of the human rights situation in Colombia and other countries in Latin America, and is outspoken on issues related to the environmental crisis facing the planet.
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.
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 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 November 2022 he was re-elected 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.
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)
Photo from Maryknoll website
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).
Dr Jasmin Nario-Galace (Philippines)
Jasmin Nario-Galace is Vice-President for Academic Affairs at Miriam College, Quezon City, Philippines. She is an Associate at the Center for Peace Education and Professor at the Department of International Studies and College of Education, also at Miriam College.
She is with the Board of the Global Network of Women Peacebuilders, the International Advisory Council of the International Action Network on Small Arms, and the Facilitation Team of Pax Christi-Asia Pacific. She also supports the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) through her work at the Center for Peace Education as well as the Catholic Nonviolence Initiative through her work in its SubCommittee on Education. Jasmin co-led the formulation, adoption, and implementation of the first Philippine National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security and was the first Coordinator of the Women Engaged in Action on 1325, a national network of women engaged in conflict prevention and peacebuilding. She is co-convener of Women Peacekeepers-Pilipinas (WePeace), a national network of women peacebuilders that trains women in communities affected by conflict on peacekeeping, conflict resolution and peacebuilding.
Jasmin is in the Multisectoral Governance Coalition of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in the Philippines. DSWD is the executive department of the Philippine government responsible for the Filipinos’ social welfare and development. She is also with the National Higher Education Commission of the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines and the Technical Working Group formulating standards of excellence for Catholic Higher Education (CEAP PCSS). She is also in the Board of the University Mobility in Asia and the Pacific (UMAP) under the Commission on Higher Education (CHED). CHED is a Philippine government agency that ensures quality and relevance of higher education institutions and their programs.
She finished her AB in International Studies in Maryknoll College, her MA in Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, U.S. A., and her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology at the University of the Philippines, Quezon City.
Martin Pilgram (Germany)
Martin Pilgram is chairman of Pax Christi in the diocese of Munich and Freising and has been a member of the German Pax Christi section for over 40 years. He found his way to the movement through his conscientious objection. As a mathematician, he worked in the space industry until his retirement. His main topics within Pax Christi have been arms exports, militarization and disarmament, nuclear weapons, drones and autonomous weapons, active nonviolence. As a member of a local Pax Christi group, Martin supports the networking of the different levels within Pax Christi and with international organisations of the peace movement.
Caesar D’Mello (Australia)
Having lived in India, the Philippines, Thailand and Australia, Caesar D’Mello has worked to promote justice, peace and integrity of Creation. He helped re-establish the Federation of the Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC)’s Radio Veritas Asia in the context of the 70s and 80s. As Education Officer at the Australian CCJP he focused on Aboriginal injustice and peace education. He directed Christian World Service, the National Council of Churches in Australia’s international aid and development agency. He was the Columban Mission Centre’s Director of Programmes, and Director of the Ecumenical Coalition on Tourism exposing tourism’s negative impact in the Third World, while supporting ‘Pilgrimage for Transformation’ to the Holy Land. He has links with the WCC, Asia Pacific churches and groups, including ICAN and Religions for Peace. He is a member of Pax Christi Australia, the facilitation team of Pax Christi Asia Pacific, and the Pax Christi International Israel Palestine Working Group.
A Licentiate in Philosophy, a Bachelor’s in Economics and Politics and a Master’s in Communication help his work greatly. Given the state of contemporary geopolitics with a militarising Asia Pacific playing a key role, he is committed to Pax Christi’s Catholic Nonviolence Initiative. He believes special attention must be paid to youth, and to better collaboration, wherever possible, between the Catholic, ecumenical, interfaith worlds and civil society.
Adina Balan (Romania)
Adina Bălan is a member of the Congregation of Jesus (CJ). She did her studies in both Criminal and Civil law in 2006, holds an M.A. in Communications, and she is a PhD student at the University of Bucharest. In 2009 she has founded SOLWODI Romania, an NGO specialised in working with women and children victims of human trafficking or domestic violence. Between 2012-2019 she was a member of the Core Group of RENATE (Religious in Europe Networking against Trafficking and Exploitation) and has been involved in training on leadership, women empowerment, advocacy, networking, and in writing safeguarding and child protection policy statements and procedures.
Adina is currently working in Rome, where she has been assigned in 2020 to a newly created ministry as JPIC coordinator (Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation) at the congregational level, a joint mission in collaboration with the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary and she is a member of the advisory committee for the IBVM-CJ UN Desk, New York.