Peacemaking was centre stage at the seventh National Catholic Worker hui as Adi Leason of the Waihopai Ploughshares group reflected on their action with the more than 70 adults and 40 children.
The hui was at Southern Star Abbey, Kopua, Hawke’s Bay, and the adjacent Nurturing Soul farm on the weekend of 29 August to 1 September.
Adi facilitated a session on nonviolent direct action on the Saturday and shared some of the secrets of the Ploughshares group’s success in their 2008 protest against the Waihopai spy base.
This followed a plenary session on Friday afternoon which Marist Fr Peter Healy led on ecology and spirituality, called ‘The Great Turning’. He set the scene with the writings of such creation-centred theologians as Thomas Berry and Brian Swimme.
Marissa Dowling and Becky Land facilitated a Friday evening session on hospitality and ‘interiority’.
Kathleen Gallagher led a session on CW principles on Saturday afternoon and, through excerpts from her films, highlighted the wonders of creation and what it is we are trying to enhance and protect.
Late afternoon we gathered together in prayer and thanksgiving for the CW Mass and liturgy. Following another wonderful dinner, the CW All Comers Band led by Jack Leason and the young Turks from the north supplied music for a barn dance.
The hui had started on Friday with an ‘Around the Traps’ session where each group reported on their lives and activities since the previous gathering. We had reports from Christchurch, Palmerston North and the Manawatu, Opononi and Whirinaki.
Every morning and evening Br John Petit led a meditation session each morning and evening, which was much appreciated and well attended. He also introduced a session on CW spirituality and the links with Thomas Merton.
The event wound up on Sunday with the Christchurch people leaving early while the remainder attended Sunday Mass. The poroporoaki and cleanup ended a memorable event.