Item 1653 - Henri Nouwen: a call to peacemaking

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CA ON00389 1-9-1-1653

Title

Henri Nouwen: a call to peacemaking

Date(s)

  • [between July 27 - September 15, 1983] (Creation)

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5 p. of textual records

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(1932-1996)

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This item is a 5 page article, an adaptation of a talk, by Henri Nouwen entitled, A Call To Peacemaking, prepared by World Peacemakers Inc, founded in The Church of the Savior, Washington, D.C., summer 1983. Nouwen begins by stating that his returning from Nicaragua to the United States to give this and other talks resulted from an unintended month-long stop in Nicaragua on his way to Peru. Nouwen states that his visit made him aware of the turmoil and potential possibility of war in Central America and he felt he needed to return to the United States in order to ‘say, loudly and clearly, let us work together to prevent war’. He goes on to state that he has, for some time, seen that the ‘spiritual destiny of North America is somehow intimately connected with the spiritual destiny of Latin America’. Nouwen states then, that he wishes to speak as honestly as he can of what he experienced in Nicaragua. He describes his desire to listen to as many voices as he could from government, church and people. From his discussion with government people he identifies several points: 1) ‘I learned…that the revolution …has given the people a new sense of dignity 2) ‘From my observations …the revolution is a deeply Christian event. Nouwen felt the leaders have been ‘formed in a deep way’ by the word of God and their own suffering, 3)’What you see and hear is that the revolution is for the people, for the poor’. From his experience of the church in Nicaragua, which he describes as ‘divided’, ‘polarized. ‘I suddenly realized the enormous pain and agony of the church.’ It was when Nouwen spoke with ‘the people’ that he finally felt he understood what his task was; why he was there. From the people he discovered that there was still much suffering in their lives in spite of the revolution although to some extent it was recognized that this was caused by outside forces such as the American economic blockade. However in spite of this suffering he felt a measure of hope but also a certainty that the United States must not interfere any longer. Nouwen concludes by stating he has a whole new awareness of the words of the Mass: ‘Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again’.

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Access copy available in Access Copies - Published Works, Articles by Nouwen, Box 1.

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Published by World Peacemakers Inc., [between July 27, 1983 and September 15, 1983]. World Peacemakers Inc., is a foundation of The Church of the Savior, Washington, D.C.
Much of the material in this item appears in, Nouwen, Henri, The Road to Peace, ed. John Dear, Orbis Books, Maryknoll, N.Y.,1998.

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Accession Number

2000 01

Location

Box 295

Previous Item Number

22-93

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