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PLC 2017 to honor Archbishop Raymond Hunthausen

March 5, 2017 - March 7, 2017

The Pacific Life Community (PLC) will hold its annual retreat March 5-7, 2017 at the Pilgrim Firs retreat facility in Port Orchard, WA [ website at  http://pilgrim-firs.org/facilities/ ].

This year’s theme is “The Passion of Resistance” — encompassing both the joy and pain that comes from struggling against the status quo — and will feature a retrospective on the remarkable life work of Raymond G. Hunthausen, archbishop of Seattle from 1975-1981.  A principled peacemaker of profound integrity, Archbishop Hunthausen gained national attention when he became the first US bishop to urge tax resistance as a way to oppose the nuclear weapons buildup.  Archbishop Hunthausen participated in numerous nuclear resistance activities at the Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action in the early eighties, sometimes turning up in ordinary clothing and identifying himself simply as “Ray.”

Raymond G. "Dutch" Hunthausen, GZ co-founder Jim Douglass; Hunthausen's sister Edna; GZ co-founder Shelley Douglass; and brother Jack Hunthausen in Helena, Montana, November 20160

Raymond G. “Dutch” Hunthausen, GZ co-founder Jim Douglass; Hunthausen’s sister Edna; GZ co-founder Shelley Douglass; and brother Jack Hunthausen in Helena, Montana, November 20160

Sisters Chauncey Boyle and Kathleen Pruitt, of the Seattle Archdiocese — both of whom were longtime associates of Archbishop Hunthausen — will co-deliver the keynote address on Archbishop Hunthausen’s remarkable contributions to his community and to a peaceful, nuclear-free world.  An interactive discussion will follow with the aim of helping activists and peacemakers draw important lessons from the life example set by Archbishop Hunthausen.

In preparation for the discussion PLC attendees are asked to read “A Still and Quiet Conscience:  The Archbishop who Challenged a Pope, a President, and a Church” by John A. McCoy, available either at libraries or for purchase online.  Archbishop Hunthausen, who currently lives at a retirement home in Helena, Montana, will not be able to join us, but there will be an opportunity to send him a message of greetings and gratitude.

An action and Mass/vigil is planned at the Bangor Naval Base – home to eight Trident nuclear submarines – during the retreat weekend.  Further details including a full agenda will be provided upon receipt of an RSVP (please send to both Sue Ablao at sablao1@yahoo.com and Elizabeth Murray at emurray404@aol.com).

The per-person fee is $135, which includes 2 nights’ lodging at Pilgrim Firs and all meals starting with dinner on Sunday, March 5th, through breakfast on Tuesday, March 7th.  Checks should be made out to retreat co-organizer Sue Ablao and mailed to her at:  4040 Dyes Inlet NW  Bremerton, WA  98312.  Any further inquiries may be directed to Sue at sablao1@yahoo.com or Elizabeth at emurray404@aol.com.


Pilgirm Firs is a 120-acre camp/conference center nestled amid old-growth pines with hiking trails, a lake, cozy cabins, and an in-house kitchen staff that accommodates vegetarians and omnivores alike.  Please check the website for more information:  http://pilgrim-firs.org/facilities/

Travel planning:  Please plan to arrive at Pilgrim Firs sometime between 2PM and 4PM on Sunday, March 5th (Dinner will be served at 6 PM that evening).  We are required to be checked out of the Pilgrim Firs facility by noon on Tuesday, March 7th.  For those planning on flying in to SeaTac, one option is to take the Kitsap-Bremerton airport shuttle to Port Orchard ($22 one-way; takes about an hour from the airport – no advance reservation needed).  The Port Orchard shuttle stop is only about a mile from the Pilgrim Firs facility.  We expect to have volunteer drivers for those needing a ride to & from the retreat facility.  More information on the shuttle service here:  https://www.kitsapairporter.com/index.php/Reservations/KitsapSeaTac#


Sunday, March 5 – We will gather Sunday afternoon with registration from 2 to 4 followed by dinner, introductions, and an icebreaker.  The informal evening ends with music/singing featuring local musician Peter Gallagher, who hails from Portland by way of Tacoma.

Monday, March 6 – Monday is a full day! After breakfast, we’ll hear regional reports from our PLC Community members (please be prepared to offer a brief [3-5 min] rundown on highlights from the past year from your organization).  

For the keynote address, Seattle Archdiocese Sisters Kathleen Pruitt and Chauncey Boyle will present an interactive retrospective on the life and work of Archbishop Raymond Hunthausen.  Archbishop Hunthausen played an important role in the early days of Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action during the struggle to halt the arrival of nuclear weapons and materials at the Kitsap-Bangor Trident submarine base, which he famously called “the Auschwitz of Puget Sound.”  While Archbishop Hunthausen will not be able to join us personally for this event, we will have the opportunity to send him our greetings and love.

In the afternoon, there will be an interactive panel discussing the discernment process, experience and consequences of nonviolent direct action against nuclear weapons with peacemakers Dennis Apel, Susan Crane and Steve Kelly.  Later we’ll have updates from our members who have been to Jeju, Standing Rock, Peace Walks and the recent anti-nuclear conference in Astana, Kazakhstan.

For those wishing to take part in the Tuesday morning action at Bangor Naval Base, we’ll discuss a plan of nonviolent direct action, putting into practice what we learn from Dennis, Susan and Steve earlier in the day.  There will be time set aside for letter-writing, poster- and banner-making.

To cap off Monday evening, musician James Morgan will lead us in songs of resistance and the evening will wrap up with an important new documentary by the Australian filmmaker journalist John Pilger, “The Coming War on China” — a free film event that is open to the public.   See the trailer for the documentary here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G3hbtM_NJ0s

Tuesday, March 7 – Tuesday morning after breakfast, we’ll head to the Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action in Poulsbo (approx. 30 minutes’ drive north) and gather to recite the Pledge of Nonviolence before marching (weather permitting) to the Kitsap-Bangor Naval Base for a vigil, holy Mass and action.  Then we’ll regroup at the Ground Zero Center to learn about its history; we may want to tie peace some cranes to the border fence as a symbolic reminder that peace is always possible as an alternative to nuclear war.  We’ll enjoy a light lunch before a closing prayer and say goodbye.

A more detailed, hour-by-hour agenda will be available in your welcome packet at check-in on Sunday afternoon (2-3 pm). See below:

2:00pm – 4:00pm – Registration

4:00pm – 6:00pm – Welcome Opening prayer -Short introductions – Reception

6:00pm – 7:00pm – Dinner

7:00pm – 9:00pm – Tree of Hope
– Updates from around the world and the country – Jeju, Standing Rock, International Peace Walks, Palestine, other
– Music – James Morgan

7:15am – Prayer

8:00am – 9:00am – Breakfast

9:00am – 10:00am – Regional reports

10:00am -Noon – Sisters Kathleen Pruitt and Chauncey Boyle
present an interactive presentation on
“Retrospective on the Life and Work of Archbishop Raymond Hunthausen”

Noon to 1:00PM – Lunch

1:00pm – 2:15pm – “Discernment, Experience and Consequences of Direct Action” –
Panel: Dennis Apel, Steve Kelly, Susan Crane and others

2:15pm – 2:30pm – Break

2:30pm – 3:00pm – Trident Update by David Hall

3:00pm – 4:00pm – Formulating an action plan for Tuesday morning

4:00pm – 6:00pm – Further Action Planning – Letter writing, poster, banner and sign making.

6:00pm – 7:00pm – Dinner

7:00pm – 9:30pm – Music
– “The Coming War on China” a film by John Pilger


7:15am – Prayer

7:30am – Pack up and make lunch

8:00am – 9:00am – Breakfast

9:00am – 9:30am -Travel by carpool to Ground Zero

10:00am -10:30am – Gather at GZ for Pledge of Nonviolence

10:30am – Noon – Leave for action at Base

Noon – Gather back at GZ for sack lunch, debriefing, 2018 PLC and goodbyes.

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March 5, 2017
March 7, 2017
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Pacific Life Community