We invite all Pace e Bene graduates – participants in one or more of our trainings, workshops, study groups or classes – to share your feedback with us.
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Here are some reflections from Pace e Bene graduates:
During the first half of our three-day program I sat there angry and stony-faced and saw everything through the eyes of the cynic. Yet, somewhere in the middle of the second day things began to change. The anger began to leave my heart; and I began to see the issues of violence in our world with new eyes. And it was not just the obvious issues of war and physical violence that caused this change. The broad impact of physical, emotional, verbal, institutional, structural and spiritual violence on our communities and on our nation became overwhelmingly apparent; and I decided that I just had to join the fight for a nonviolent future.
This training helped me see and recognize the piece of truth that we all possess.
Ernesto Zamora Gallardo:
I lead groups of high school students and teachers to the impoverished and violent reality of the people of Tijuana, Mexico at the international border with United States. Although a well rounded program of social analysis, prayer, community outreach work, and community developing, I found it was missing an important piece. I discovered the missing component for my immersion program in Pace e Bene’s From Violence to Wholeness program. Preparation for the Tijuana experience is now taking a whole set of exercises from the From Violence to Wholeness program that lead towards the awareness of violence within our human condition.
From Violence To Wholeness is more than a text book of good ideas … it has become a practicable way of life for me.
The reason the process works is threefold. First, it is inclusive. Because it is multi-disciplined, it recognizes that people learn in different ways. In this way, the curriculum has a way to reach everyone. Second, it provides a safe environment where relationships can be discovered. In safety, people are accepted and therefore are more willing to accept the differences between themselves and others. Third, the From Violence To Wholeness Program asks that participants move from the philosophical to the practical, providing both tools and experiences that participants can use outside of the classroom environment. This means that participants leave the learning environment with something to think about and something to practice.
Rev. John Auer:
In my years of trying to do this work of nonviolent change as a local church pastor, the materials I have found to understand and address these challenges most effectively come from Pace e Bene.
William H. Ruth:
When I first saw the book From Violence to Wholeness, I was convinced that this was the material I was praying for. I began a study group of 25-30 people. The group consisted of Spanish-speaking as well as English-speaking people. The group included members of the church as well as other members from the larger community. Pace e Bene supplied From Violence to Wholeness workbooks in Spanish. We had lively discussions. The exercises brought out some moving personal testimonies about how lives were changing. The last two chapters were especially helpful. These chapters helped us to evolve from a study group to an action group. We have formed a peace center, Hogar de paz y esperanza, Home of Peace and Hope. Our group is involved in family counseling to prevent domestic abuse, training junior high school pupils to be peer helpers in conflict resolution, write letters to Congress people to control violence, especially among the youth. But the most amazing thing is, my life has changed.
The From Violence To Wholeness process has had a great influence on me. I use what I learned on the weekend everyday, at work, in my family, with myself.
From Violence to Wholeness has become integrated into my life and has helped me deepen my practice and being of who I am.