In a break with tradition, Pax Christi USA has presented its 2005 book award on Maryknoll's publishing arm, Orbis Books.
Each year Pax Christi USA honours one book that serves the cause of peace and justice. This year, in a departure from past practice, the group recognized a publisher, Orbis Books itself for its continued commitment to publishing progressive books that focus on a wide range of spiritual and moral issues.
Eight of the 21 books submitted for the 2005 book award were published by Orbis, including a posthumously published work by Thomas Merton on
nuclear war, a collection of writings by Jesuit Daniel Berrigan and a biography of Maryknoll Father Roy Bourgeois, founder of SOA Watch.
The past six consecutive winners of the Pax Christi USA Book Award were published by Orbis books. Though this is their seventh Pax Christi Award, it is the first to recognize the staff that made these books possible.
This year's book award was presented on August 5 at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, in conjunction with the Nevada Desert Experience to mark the 60th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima.
In accepting the award, Orbis Editor-in-Chief Robert Ellsberg drew a parallel between the written word and deeds.
"Many of these great peacemakers have been writers as well as activists. But there is no distinction between 'writing' and doing' ," said Ellsberg.
"As Dorothy Day put it, 'Each is an act, both can be part of a person's ...ethical response to the world."
Orbis books was founded thirty-five years ago with the mission of amplifying the voice of the voiceless and all who share their longing for a more just and peaceful world.
Pax Christi USA is a non-profit, non-governmental Catholic peace movement working on a global scale on a wide variety of issues in the fields of human rights, security and disarmament, economic justice and ecology.
Maryknoll, the US-based Catholic missionary movement, includes the Maryknoll Society (Fathers and Brothers), the Maryknoll Congregation Sisters), the Maryknoll Lay Missioners, and the Maryknoll Affiliates. Maryknollers have been representing US Catholics in overseas mission since 1911 and currently serve in 39 countries worldwide. For more information see: www.maryknoll.org.