Finding Our Prophetic Voice: A Lenten Retreat

Brayton and Suzanne will be offering a virtual weekend Lenten retreat with friends and extended community, for Pax Christi Ambassadors of Peace, Jim and Shelley Douglass, whom many of you may know in various peace contexts, including Jim’s authorship of the celebrated book, JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and What it Means.  Jim and Shelley have been in Birmingham, AL for over 20 years, as co-founders of the Catholic Worker, Mary’s House.

In these days of corona virus we hear more and more about the effects of human encroachment on the natural world and the necessity to live more simply, share more, and respect the integrity of nature.  Suzanne Belote and Brayton Shanley have spent years learning to live in radical nonviolence, environmental sustainability, simplicity, beauty, and companionship.  They confront racism, militarism, and consumerism with a simple Gospel clarity.

Gather with us (virtually) this Lent for an interfaith retreat to explore nonviolence as a way of life – more necessary than ever in this time of widespread economic disaster, covid, racism, ecocide, and political divisiveness.  Suzanne and Brayton have spent 40 years living an alternative vision at Agape, a lay community in Ware, MA.  They will share their insights and challenge us with their questions. How do we make peace with ourselves, with “the other” and with the earth?  How then shall we live?

This retreat will be our second to be held on Zoom.  There will be one session on Friday evening the 19th  at 7 pm Eastern Time, several sessions on Saturday the 20th, and one on Sunday morning the 21st.  All session will meet on Eastern time so adjust according to your time zone.

Fee: $30, which includes a copy of Suzanne’s and Brayton’s  book, Loving Life on the Margins: the Story of the Agape Community. The book will be mailed to you upon registration.  Scholarships are available!

To register:  email     [email protected].  Your email is essential so that we can send you the link for the zoom calls. To pay: send checks for $30 made out to Mary’s House to Mary’s House, 2107 Ave. G, Birmingham AL 35218.   


What you need to do: 

  • email Agape to register for the zoom– [email protected]

  • send a small donation of $30 to Mary’s House

  • Shelley Douglass Mary’s House 2107 Ave. G, Birmingham, AL 35218

  • Jim and Shelley will then send a copy of Agape’s book, Loving Life on the Margins: The Story of the Agape Community, which will be used during the weekend retreat. 


The weekend retreat, which will consist of:

Two hours on Friday, March 19th, from 7-9 pm

Saturday, March 20th, from 9 am until 12 NOON, with lunch break. 

Afternoon—2 pm- 4 pm

Break: 4-7 pm

Evening program:  7-9 pm:   includes a panel, with various presenters including Frida Berrigan, Edgar Hayes of Freedom Farm, Jim Robinson, and other Agape Community members.


This retreat and lent during Covid and Climate Change and the despair of the world, offer us a chance to strengthen the ties among us in the Beloved Community.  We look forward to seeing you on the Lenten Retreat, where we can recommit to our nonviolent Jesus.