New Jersey Coalition Against War on Iraq



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Catholic Letter
Page last updated July 27, 2004

PO Box 1214, Belle Mead, NJ 08502 (908) 281-7873
A member organization of the NJ Coalition Against War on Iraq *

Dear Reverend,

"From the cave of Bethlehem there rises today an urgent appeal to the world not to yield to mistrust, suspicion and discouragement, even though the tragic reality of terrorism feeds uncertainties and fears. . . . May humanity accept the Christmas message of peace. . . . It is God himself who comes to visit us, to guide our feet in the way of peace." 
-Pope John Paul II, Excerpted from the Pope's "urbi et orbi" Christmas delivery

Pope John Paul II's Christmas message urges the world to avoid igniting new and avoidable wars in the wake of global terrorism. Pope John Paul II joins a growing chorus of Vatican officials who have warned against preventative war." You can read their statements at the following URL of the Catholic News Service:  .

In all likelihood, the United States will initiate a war against Iraq in early 2003. It is just such a war that the Pope and the Vatican are calling upon the world to prevent.

I am writing today to let you know about peace efforts here in New Jersey. Our organization, SPEAK OUT AGAINST US WAR ON IRAQ!, is coordinating weekly vigils opposing the planned invasion of Iraq. Each Saturday, from 1 - 2 pm, a group of area residents will gather at the SE corner of Amwell and Route 206 in Hillsborough to bear witness and demonstrate our opposition to the war on Iraq.   (We are likely skipping January 18 because many of us will be joining thousands of others in a march on Washington DC.)  Additionally, we are organizing a film showing and discussion, probably to occur in the multi-purpose room at the Municipal Complex in Hillsborough after the vigil on Saturday, January 25, at 2:30 pm.  The idea of a rally in the front of the Somerset County Building in Somerville is being considered for the evening of Tuesday, January 28 as well.

We would appreciate an opportunity to meet and / or talk with you or the social concerns committee of your Church. Our hope is to encourage as many new voices as possible to join with that of the Pope and that of ours in the quest for a peaceful resolution of the current crisis.

It is an incredibly dangerous time for this nation. All of us - community leaders, individual activists, and religious leaders - must raise our collective voices and lead our communities to peace. As a Church leader, t
here are many ways that you can help with this urgent cause. We invite you to:

         Participate with us and urge your parish members to join our weekly peace vigils

         List the vigil in your weekly church bulletins

         Participate in and/or lead discussions about the war - speakers are available upon request

 There are no doubt many other avenues you can also pursue to oppose the war  on Iraq. We would be happy to meet with you or converse by phone to discuss such ideas. We hope to follow up this mailing with a telephone call. In the meantime, you can feel free to call me at (908) 281-7873.



                                                                                                Bob Witanek