Pax Christi International offers gratitude for leadership of outgoing co-presidents, Marie Dennis and Bishop Kevin Dowling
3/7/19 - The recent Annual General Meeting of Pax Christi International coincided with the conclusion of the terms of long-time co-presidents Marie Dennis (USA) and Bishop Kevin Dowling (South Africa) and gave members of the movement opportunity to celebrate their achievements and thank them for their leadership.
Ms. Dennis and Bishop Dowling led Pax Christi International as co-presidents for 9 years, with Ms. Dennis's term as co-president including 3 additional years prior to their joint term. Pax Christi International's leadership is based on a shared, collaborative model between a man and a woman, invoking the movement's origins when Bishop Pierre Théas and Madame Marthe Dortel-Claudot served as the first bishop-president and first secretary general.
Ms. Dennis and Bishop Dowling were celebrated at a closing dinner by members of the Annual General Meeting, International Secretariat and International Board. Treasurer Jan Peters, who has served as a member of the International Board alongside them, eloquently spoke of the gifts that they have brought to Pax Christi International, expanding the visibility of the movement and increasing our status among the institutions with whom we work. He addressed how transformative their leadership has been and the generosity of spirit that they exhibited in their own commitments to nonviolence, justice, reconciliation and peace.
The two were presented with gifts to mark the occasion: framed photographs of them together at the Peace Prize ceremony in Sarajevo in 2014 with the inscription, "With gratitude for your service and commitment", as well as the traditional box of Belgian chocolates.
Both Ms. Dennis and Bishop Dowling gave thanks for their partnership, commenting on how personally satisfying the experience was to co-lead with the other and acknowledging their gratitude for the opportunity to serve. Additionally, they have also issued short statements of support for their successors, new co-presidents Bishop Marc Stenger of France and Sr. Wamuyu Wachira of Kenya.
"Pax Christi International is truly blessed by our new leadership," stated Ms. Dennis. "As co-presidents, Sister Wamuyu Wachira and Bishop Marc Stenger bring to our movement excellent experience and a deep commitment to just peace. I am delighted!"
"I am delighted and honoured to welcome Monsignor Marc Stenger and Sister Teresia Wamuyu Wachira IBVM as the new Co-Presidents of Pax Christi International. Both of them are highly gifted and have shown great commitment to the cause of peace, nonviolence, and justice around the world," wrote Bishop Dowling. "They have also demonstrated in different contexts the insights and spirit of discernment which they both possess and which will enable them in the coming years to guide this worldwide Peace Movement so that the efforts of so many of our people in communities around the world can bear even greater fruit.
"I am sure that both of them will receive great support and encouragement from the Pax Christi International Board and from all the staff at the International Secretariat who work so hard to support all the initiatives and programs of Pax Christi. Likewise, I am sure that their visits to Pax Christi Sections and Partner Organisations will be an inspiration to everyone to continue striving for a world where the poor, the refugees, the downtrodden, and the victims of all forms of violence will experience a new hope and a new sense of personal dignity.
"In conclusion, I sincerely thank my Co-President, Ms. Marie Dennis, for the privilege of working so closely with her for the past 9 years. I will always treasure the opportunity to have served Pax Christi International with her. In turn, I pray that Monsignor Marc and Sister Wamuyu will be blessed with peace and love by the God of Peace and Justice."
All of us at Pax Christi International express and extend our sincere thanks to Bishop Downling and Ms. Dennis!