Thursday, November 10, 2016

Pete Mahoney, A Gentle And Just Peacemonger

A blessing: "Be anxious about nothing, but with prayers and entreaties, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God."                                   - The apostle Paul, to Jesus followers at Philippi, a colony of the Roman empire
Breakfast at Alice Springston's home (Chris Edwards photo)

To be sane in a mad time
is bad for the brain, worse 
for the heart. The world
is a holy vision,
had we clarity to see it..."
- Wendell Berry

Some twenty friends met for a farewell breakfast at Alice Springston's home this morning in honor of longtime local activist Pete Mahoney.

A member of the Xavier Catholic order, Pete came to Harrisonburg in the early eighties to serve as unit leader at Emmaus House, a home for post-college young adult community volunteers. It was here that he also hosted regular meetings of Choose Life, an anti-nuclear group that later became a local chapter of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, a group that still meets on the second Thursday of each month.

In the nineties Pete served as a part time staff member of Common Ground, a coalition of local groups involved in peace, justice and environmental issues, and more recently gave two years of his life in relief and development work in Haiti.

"Wherever there was a community event focusing on some good cause, Pete was always there," said one of his friends at the breakfast. Many others affirmed his gentle but persistent good work in helping to make Harrisonburg a more caring and welcoming community.

"Time and time again, I have been nudged out of my comfort zone in ways that have contributed to my growth," Pete told us, and reported that his moving to a retirement home for members of his order in Louisville next week was another example of such a step.

Pete, we will miss you. Our community is a better place because of you, and will never be the same without you.

The following piece by Wendell Berry was read at the end of this mornings gathering:

All our days are arrows; now at the turn
of life, half-fledged and knowledgeable, I face
the coming of the rest, their grief and pain
made accurate by their joy. So I will learn
the world. Full feathered, I must fly to an unknown

Pete's new address will be 1607 Poplar Level Road, Louisville, KY 40217.

P.S. The December 8 meeting of FOR will be at noon at the Trinity Presbyterian Church and will focus on how we can partner with the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy in expanding healthcare in Virginia.
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