Peace Center launches podcast


For The Catholic Messenger

The Franciscan Peace Center recently launched a new podcast, The “Center.” The semimonthly podcast, published on the second and fourth Thursdays each month, focuses on the Clinton Franciscans’ mission to promote peace and active nonviolence within local, national and global communities.


Host Marsha Thrall speaks with guests in each episode to explore how active nonviolence and peacemaking are necessary and transformative practices within everyday life. “Active nonviolence is the most effective method of creating systemic change and bringing us all into right relationship with each other and with the Earth,” Thrall said. “There are so many topics we look forward to learning about and sharing in the coming weeks.”

The first two episodes focused on the experiences and motivations that planted the seeds for The “Center.” This metaphorical “place” sprouted from the experiences of Sisters Jan Cebula, LaVern Olberding and Maria Zeimen after their participation in the Desert Experience Faith and Resistance retreat in 1991 in Nevada. While the retreat focused on nuclear disarmament, the sisters discovered that the social violence that incubated nuclear weapons and warfare was at the root of most forms of social violence.


February’s two-part episode of The “Center” features representatives from the Social Justice Committee of St. Ann Catholic Church, a predominantly African American congregation in the East Baltimore Midway neighborhood. St. Ann is leading the call for the canonization of six African American Catholics. The guests discuss the need for representation in the Church as well as how the candidates for canonization served the Church and society. Part 1 was published Feb. 9 and part 2 will be published Feb. 23.

Future podcast topics include an introduction to the Franciscan Peace Center staff, exploring the work of Sister Janet Ryan and Olivia Hurst at Precious Blood Ministry of Reconciliation in Chicago, and an interview with Joanne Marie Terrell of the Chicago Theological Seminary. She will talk about the late James Cone and his advocacy of Black theology and Black liberation theology, as well as her work with art as nonviolent resistance.

You can stream episodes of The “Center” on major podcast platforms including Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Google Podcasts as well as the Sisters of St. Francis website at

Anne Marie Amacher
Access The Franciscan Peace Center’s new podcast, The “Center,” via web browser or your favorite podcasting app. Email Thrall at

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