Senator McCain—magnificent clip

John McCain showed his magnificent  ability to not only deal with his brain cancer diagnosis but shows his attitudes of gratitude and joy in living such a fulfilling life.

I just loved the segment.

60 minutes also featured what 14 people said about their allegiance or non-allegiance  to Trump.

sr. Paulette




Service Tonight—Wed. Vigil of Intern.Peace Day by 9/11 Memorial, Tiffin.

cropped-footprints.jpgTonight, Wed. 7:00 PM We will have a short ritual vigil service trying to give hope and greater clarity —how do we reach out in these tough times with our world?  In light of the Mexico earthquake, Irma, Harvey and now Maria, what can we each do to be engaged and a “part of the solution” towards greater peace in our country, in our city, in our family, etc.

Please just come and if you wish to have a sign, I’ll have an ipad and will put it on facebook afterwards.  Thank you for your love and care.

sr. Paulette


Seneca County Fair Pulled Us Together

by sr. Paulette Schroeder….published to give tribute to Elie Wiesel, to speak of the possibilities of communities pulling together…to speak of the Nonviolent Cities Campaign…….

Eliezer “Elie” Wiesel, a Romanian-born American Jewish writer, professor, political activist, Nobel Laureate and Holocaust survivor, wrote 57 books  including  Night, a work based on his experiences as a prisoner in the Auschwitz and Buchenwald concentration camps.  Because I heard Wiesel speak in person at Central Catholic High School in Toledo in the 70’s, I wanted to read NIGHT and again experience to a small extent how human beings can lose sight of the dignity of each human being as happened in the concentration camps.

Even after his horrid experiences in the camp, Elie said: “We must not see any person as an abstraction.  Instead we must see in every person a universe with its own secrets, with its own treasure.”

I have experienced the truth that when such a conviction becomes the mindset of individuals, violence virtually ceases.  That hope and dream alive in our society and our world stays with me as I continue to reflect on my most recent moments of huge crowds assembled at the Seneca County Fair!  The 1100+ people who visited Project Peace and Pax Christi’s booth “Nonviolent Cities Campaign” were no doubt aware of the thick cultural darkness surrounding us here in the United States.

However, in countering the darkness,  I wish I could bundle up all the energy, all the goodness of the fair goers I met as they supported their children trying to master skills in booth games, in agriculture, animal husbandry, housekeeping, and in sewing. Numerous times, I saw people greeting each other and stopping to chat with friends and neighbors.  At the end of the Fair Week it seemed to me that we’d all want to say: “Let’s continue this kind of kindness and compassion, this neighborliness.  Let’s make it the rule of our town and county.”

I think the annual Fair is truly a gift to Tiffin and to Seneca County.  This year’s 175th. celebration did, I think, what the founders of the first Fair must have dreamed of doing—i.e. bring people together to know each other, to celebrate all the good things happening in our towns and county.

I think, too, that the Fair is an example of the hopes of the newly founded “Tiffin Nonviolent Cities Campaign.” This campaign is going on in 50 cities across the United States, and it is our hope that Tiffin will be the 51st. city to be an intentional city of hospitality and peace. We hope that Tiffin becomes that beacon of light on the hill for all people—a town where residents and visitors will experience peace as the core of who we are and what we do as we offer hospitality to all. In time, it is our hope that there will be efforts made by the various entities of Tiffin, i.e. industry, schools and universities, the town’s merchants, police, firemen, people in recovery, the Sisters of St. Francis, social services, people with mental and/or physical challenges, and people having economic difficulties to work toward deeper, stronger relationships with each other. Everyone will be in a real sense on a level plane raising one’s voice, coming to know each other, and sharing life together.

So much good can be envisioned when the goal for our town is appreciating each other mutually—growing in respectful relationship, looking out for each other so that no one falls “through the cracks.”

Project Peace and the Nonviolent Cities Campaign

Sr. Paulette Schroeder                                                                                                                            For more information, 419.447.0435 ext. 136


20 Lessons from the 20th Century on How to Survive in Trump’s America

A history professor looks to the past to remind us to do what we can in the face of the unthinkable.


“Believe in truth. To abandon facts is to abandon freedom. If nothing is true, then no one can criticize power because there is no basis upon which to do so. If nothing is true, then all is spectacle.”

This article first appeared as a post on the author’s Facebook page.

Americans are no wiser than the Europeans who saw democracy yield to fascism, Nazism or communism. Our one advantage is that we might learn from their experience. Now is a good time to do so. Here are 20 lessons from across the fearful 20th century, adapted to the circumstances of today.

1. Do not obey in advance. Much of the power of authoritarianism is freely given. In times like these, individuals think ahead about what a more repressive government will want, and then start to do it without being asked. You’ve already done this, haven’t you? Stop. Anticipatory obedience teaches authorities what is possible and accelerates unfreedom.

2. Defend an institution. Follow the courts or the media, or a court or a newspaper. Do not speak of “our institutions” unless you are making them yours by acting on their behalf.  Institutions don’t protect themselves. They go down like dominoes unless each is defended from the beginning.

3. Recall professional ethics. When the leaders of state set a negative example, professional commitments to just practice become much more important. It is hard to break a rule-of-law state without lawyers, and it is hard to have show trials without judges.

4. When listening to politicians, distinguish certain words. Look out for the expansive use of “terrorism” and “extremism.” Be alive to the fatal notions of “exception” and “emergency.” Be angry about the treacherous use of patriotic vocabulary.

5. Be calm when the unthinkable arrives. When the terrorist attack comes, remember that all authoritarians at all times either await or plan such events in order to consolidate power. Think of the Reichstag fire. The sudden disaster that requires the end of the balance of power, the end of opposition parties, and so on, is the oldest trick in the Hitlerian book. Don’t fall for it.

6. Be kind to our language. Avoid pronouncing the phrases everyone else does. Think up your own way of speaking, even if only to convey that thing you think everyone is saying. (Don’t use the Internet before bed. Charge your gadgets away from your bedroom, and read.) What to read? Perhaps The Power of the Powerless by Václav Havel, 1984 by George Orwell, The Captive Mind by Czesław Milosz, The Rebel by Albert Camus, The Origins of Totalitarianism by Hannah Arendt, or Nothing is True and Everything is Possible by Peter Pomerantsev.

7. Stand out. Someone has to. It is easy, in words and deeds, to follow along. It can feel strange to do or say something different. But without that unease, there is no freedom. And the moment you set an example, the spell of the status quo is broken, and others will follow.

8. Believe in truth. To abandon facts is to abandon freedom. If nothing is true, then no one can criticize power because there is no basis upon which to do so. If nothing is true, then all is spectacle. The biggest wallet pays for the most blinding lights.

9. Investigate. Figure things out for yourself. Spend more time with long articles. Subsidize investigative journalism by subscribing to print media. Realize that some of what is on your screen is there to harm you. Learn about sites that investigate foreign propaganda pushes.

10. Practice corporeal politics. Power wants your body softening in your chair and your emotions dissipating on the screen. Get outside. Put your body in unfamiliar places with unfamiliar people. Make new friends and march with them.

11. Make eye contact and small talk. This is not just polite. It is a way to stay in touch with your surroundings, break down unnecessary social barriers, and come to understand whom you should and should not trust. If we enter a culture of denunciation, you will want to know the psychological landscape of your daily life.

12. Take responsibility for the face of the world. Notice the swastikas and the other signs of hate. Do not look away and do not get used to them. Remove them yourself and set an example for others to do so.

13. Hinder the one-party state. The parties that took over states were once something else. They exploited a historical moment to make political life impossible for their rivals. Vote in local and state elections while you can.

14. Give regularly to good causes, if you can. Pick a charity and set up autopay. Then you will know that you have made a free choice that is supporting civil society helping others doing something good.

15. Establish a private life. Nastier rulers will use what they know about you to push you around. Scrub your computer of malware. Remember that email is skywriting.  Consider using alternative forms of the Internet, or simply using it less. Have personal exchanges in person. For the same reason, resolve any legal trouble.   Authoritarianism works as a blackmail state, looking for the hook on which to hang you. Try not to have too many hooks.

16. Learn from others in other countries. Keep up your friendships abroad, or make new friends abroad. The present difficulties here are an element of a general trend.  And no country is going to find a solution by itself. Make sure you and your family have passports.

17. Watch out for the paramilitaries. When the men with guns who have always claimed to be against the system start wearing uniforms and marching around with torches and pictures of a Leader, the end is nigh. When the pro-Leader paramilitary and the official police and military intermingle, the game is over.

18. Be reflective if you must be armed. If you carry a weapon in public service, God bless you and keep you. But know that evils of the past involved policemen and soldiers finding themselves, one day, doing irregular things. Be ready to say no. (If you do not know what this means, contact the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and ask about training in professional ethics.)

19. Be as courageous as you can. If none of us is prepared to die for freedom, then all of us will die in unfreedom.

20. Be a patriot. The incoming president is not. Set a good example of what America means for the generations to come. They will need it.

Come to the corner to express yourself

No one can adequately express the horror erupting so visibly in our
country with racisim and white supremacy going crazy in places like
Charlottesville.  We as citizens must speak out of our deep conviction
and moral necessity.  Racisim is objectively, morally, humanly—WRONG.  We must call it for what it is.

Please come to the Tiffin corner (the courthouse corner) on Friday Aug.
18, 4:00-5:00 (or any part of that hour) to express your outrage and
conviction.  I’m almost positive we’ll get lots and lots of honks.

I will have some signs.  Make your own if you wish. sr. Paulette

Seneca County Fair Project Peace booth in full swing!

This week at the Seneca County fair has been amazing with about 800 people coming to our Project Peace and Pax Christi booth.  I love meeting the people including policemen, Bill Reineke, some professors, people from out of town and lots of locals learning about our efforts to help Tiffin become more and more nonviolent, strong in its relationships.

little boy, peace
a little fellow receiving a tattoo
clady family
family Marsha busy with the Clady family

Tonight, Saturday, I’ll show you how full the peace circle has become………….how I’d love the whole town of tiffin to see it.   much peace to each of you. sr. Paulette

Preparing now for Seneca County Fair

firecracker 2Yeah for robust and excited gatherings as will be gathering tomorrow night at Hedges and which will also gather at Seneca County Fairgrounds from July 24-30.  Every year that Project Peace and Pax Christi have had a booth there in the same space, it has been really fun to deal with all the kids and folks who stop to try to understand the way we are presenting the possibilities of a nonviolent life to them.  I LOVE IT!  Last year there were over 1100 people who somehow learned from our booth.

This year our theme will be “Light a Candle for Peace” in honor of Lindsay Kagy who recently passed away from cancer.  Lindsay supported the work of Project Peace so beautifully.  She was on our second last delegation to Palestine also.  She will be with us at the Fair I’m sure.

Please plan to stop on over at the Old Merchant Building…we’re about 100 feet in on the right aisle.  I’d love to be introduced to you.

Also if you’d like to volunteer a shift at the booth (3-4 hours) one day, that would be most helpful.  There are tips given to each volunteer to help the person know how to present what the display is to visitors.

much peace ALWAYS.

sr. Paulette Schroeder

Our Journey to Palestine 2017

Livia (from Caritas Hospital in Bethlehem), Jeff Abood, Josie Setzler, Ashley Jackson, Susan Dicken, (front) sr. Paulette, Eissa (from the Hospital), Pam Braden, Annette Braden, and Tess Laubacher—-all say thank you for this amazing journey.  (Livia and Eissa not in delegation.)



e Pope Francis by the WALL in Bethlehem
>> Hi everyone!
>> Today through the scads and scads of people passing through the street of the Old City of Jerusalem, we just inched along, bunched together so tightly our footing was most precarious!  But we made it!
>> Then off to view the city from the different hills of the city and see how the Wall has strangled so many of the Palestinian villages so they can’t travel any distance without being stopped by the Wall.  It’s horrible how they have so many restrictions on any movement of theirs.  We here just wouldn’t stand for it.  Here the Israelis have all the say what is to be and not to be.  This sense of power disparity in its most extreme form was then explained further by the UN agency who showed us just how desperate the Gazan people are becoming. If things don’t change the land will become uninhabitable by 2020.
>> Then respite! when we visited the Bethlehem University where we met the Brothers and three of the students who were so delightful–one studying to be a doctor, one wanting to be a teacher, one wanting to work with the youth to give hope. They admit the reality of the situation there and all the troubles they go through to get to the University each day but they’re full of energy–like the 15 or so high school students who performed the Dabka dance for us in the refugee camp in Bethlehem.  What young promising young men and women and for them not to be able to go forward with no promise of jobs,etc and few opportunities to really explore life like our young people–I choked up a number of times seeing their promise and goodness and sensing the difficulties of a promising future….
>> Later we visited Caritas Hospital where again this Sister-sponsored hospital excludes no one from service.  They have 80 beds for little children and babies who come. To them.  Some of them go into intensive care, but it is really a Modern hospital that treats all with dignity. I saw one such tiny skinny baby…I don’ know about that baby, but then I saw others who probably needed help with breathing…Here again, the care was so exemplary.  Here the mother stays with the child if possible overnight…such a beautiful aspect to educate the mother, to  overcome her transportation challenges too.
>> Then we went to our overnight hosts and had a delicious supper of hummus and falafel and pita bread, etc. For breakfast we’ll have American pancakes.  Sound yummy?
>> Now it’s bedtime–time to go to bed!  Keep praying that all goes well each day will you? We’re learning a lot.  Thanks for all.
>> My love, Paulette

It is morning and with a good hot cup of Arabic coffee and home baked bread we’ll be off to Hebron from this little village of courageous resistance Bi’lin. We’ve been entertained by a little guy Muljadine. He’s such a cutie full of life. 
Yesterday we met the Quaker community in Ramallah who gather to pray once a week and do not believe in any violence at all. We met just one young woman, but we had time to sing a couple peace songs together and pray a little in silence.
We also got to go to Arafat’s tomb and hear something of his story…It’s amazing to me to see how little we have understood about the struggles in this part of the world; yet their struggles are as real as any of ours to gain their rights and freedom.
Then we spent some time with a representative of Addameer, an agency which works to defend the rights of Palestinians who have become prisoners. Having seen so many young men whisked away in their homes in the middle of the night especially in Hebron and taken off to jail and having heard the stories of many families, I know the prisoners’ rights here get very little international attention. Even the big  hunger strike right before Ramadam didn’t get shared through the media like so many other things.
Today we begin our last stint here in Palestine with our travels to Hebron…hopefully it shall  be very good for all on this journey. 
The first picture is our little. Friend here in Bi’lin ….then behind Arafat’s tomb and then the ovens which still gather the lambs and foods to be served at the end of the Ramadam fast of the day.

DAY 6  

OH my, where do I start on this memorable day?  It was full of so much goodness and adventure.  
First of all I am so humbled–it feels so good to be here, but I know I belong in the U.S. Because  the real cause for so much of this oppression is our country back home. There have been some incredible bonds built up. Yesterday I had little Achmad with me so much of the day, but today we first met with Hamed who works so independently to bring education to the Palestinian girls. We went a long distance, through a checkpoint, past lots of country and finally arrived. Since the Palestinians are not allowed to build, they have moved caravans in and connected them to construct a school. Hamed’s persistence is just so remarkable–he will not stop working  for the sake of the children. Hamed agreed that the big picture is just toooooooo big so he’s decided that through education he will change the small picture. Hamed bunji  jumps, runs marathons, EVEN swims with the Sharks to raise money for his schools.  He says his motto is not to just “bla,bla, bla, but to do,do, do.”
Next we went to a group of young people who take it seriously about working to derail the Israeli settlements which are the root of so many problems. Mahanan the young man was full of energy even though he feels that the Palestinians are zooming downwards.  He is so wise in his youth.  …and so courageous to stand by his convictions…  Mahanan said that when Sharon came to visit back when Clinton was president, Clinton was very happy because he had put Sharon in a big hotel    Later the local people said that it was good he did because otherwise Camp David would have  become another settlement for Sharon!
Finally we visited a family I know very well. Hani and his wife Reema and their children Jamil, Jadawid, Yara, ShuSu, and little Zeid entertained us so thoroughly.
I had so much joy today with some messages of hope. I’m leaving Palestine this time just really resolved to work with all my heart for the sake of the people.
My love for this day…do stay most beautifully human.
Love, Paulette

DAY 7     Here we are into our 8th. day in Hebron now and this is a picture of Jeff–the co-leader and me on the Hill of Tel Rumeida.  This is the famous area of Hebron where Abraham once pointed out where he wanted  his wife Sarah to be buried.  David had his reign here for 7 years also.  Now the settlers have colonized onto this land and the Palestinians are not in peace anymore with the harassment of the settlers.  They’re being squeezed into smaller and smaller areas of Palestine.

Day 8

We are back in Jerusalem, and I just woke from an afternoon nap”……ah it felt so good after our last moments in Hebron. The morning was kind of difficult for me, seeing Atta and going to maybe 10 shopkeepers to say goodbye to them. Yesterday we had spent most of the day outside of Hebron far out in the country south of Hebron to feel a bit the critical need for education which our friend Hamed is working on.  Today when Atta was visiting us, I thought of his children who have to walk across the hills to get to heir school. They are truly children of their determined parents who have had to go through two demolitions of their home and have yet decided to persist in not only staying in Palestine but also in working for human rights for the people.
The group has been so open to information and to all the people lined up for us to meet:  Sami Yousif working with the Catholic Near East Association, 2) Rabbi Arik Ascherman working for justice for the Palestinians and also to inspire his fellow Jews to be true to their faith’s requirements. 3) a UN agency OCHA to help us understand the whole picture 4) Mohammed Barakat our guide who then took us to some high points to see the “facts on the ground” around East Jerusalem to understand the strategy of Israel in cutting off and dividing the Palestinians villages and services therefore without going through checkpoints 5) some students at the University of Bethlehem 6) EECP environmental school near Bethlehem, 6) Caritas Hospital, the hospital for children in the West Bank—how beautiful Livia Leykauf was in all her explanations! 7) the Palestinian Christian family Clare and Johnny Anastas who have gone through hell and back in trying to manage with their house surrounded on 3 sides by the huge wall,8) Bishop Michael Fitzgerald who met us to have evening meal with us.  He works for good relationships between Christians and Muslims.
9) Arij  where we met a seasoned professor digging into deeper layers of the effects of the Occupation upon the Palestinians.  10) Qumsiyeh a magnificent professor, author, activist, who has set up a natural museum in order to show all the priceless wonders of Palestinian hillsides, etc. 11) Aida refugee camp  and the national dance of the Palestinians called the Dabka– quite a few young people put a great show of the dance on for us 12) the Nativity Church and the part it played in the Intifada of 2000. 13) the Nassar family at the Tent of Nations who are Chrisitian and who are trying to hold onto their land. I just love their simple way of life and their “refusal to be enemies.” 14) Ardi Geldman, a settler originally from New York who welcomed us graciously but was definitely assured that he was right in his assessments of the situation and we were all terribly misinformed 15) a Bedouin attorney living far south in the Negev desert who showed us the clever adaptations  they have to live with when very restricted by the Israeli government.  They are citizens after all of Israel. 16) the “Friends” or  known also as Quakers  in Ramallah—we did not get quite the satisfaction I was hoping for there. The leader was not there. 17) Addameer, the organization monitoring and advocating for prisoners who were imprisoned under unjust conditions. 18) Iyad Burnat and family in Bi’lin, a village struggling to take back the land confiscated from them by the wall Israel built. 19) Zleikha Mutaseb, my friend in Hebron who works vigorously to educate children. 20) Hamed Qawasmeh, a genuinely compassionate genius who is creatively working to bring educational opportunities to children in Palestine 21) Muhanan, a member of the Youth against the Settlements, who’s bright, creative, feisty, really believes in the rights of the Palestinians and the need to keep working for them, 22) Hani Abuhakel and family who live in possibly the most contentious area of Hebron and are harassed by settlers very frequently. 23) Atta Jaber, a farmer who persists and persists no matter if they tear down his house and take away his land and tear up his water pipes for irrigation.
Folks, what a lineup of courageous and wonderful people who continue to teach me and who have important messages for our world. With all the oppression upon them, they continue to offer generous hospitality and real friendship.  There are hundreds more People I wish I could have meet you and introduce to you….thanks God for sharing them with us.

Much peace to each of you from this land that yearns for peace.
sr. Paulette

Day 9

The journey has taken us FINALLY to Tel Aviv airport, and to once again head toward our homes in Canton, Toledo, Cleveland, Fremont ,Perrysburg, and Tiffin.
What an incredible journey. The 7 other people in the group have been for me an ideal group–so flexible, patient, thoughtful,observant.  I have been blessed tremendously.
So I include an airport picture in this last blog.  Many thanks to all of you for reading the blogs and for your support along the way.  Every year–if there is still not peace and justice here in Palestine, I will be coming back with another delegation. It shall probably be in mid May again. If you have any interest in going, would you contact me by just replying to this article mail? It puts no responsibility on you at this time if you show an interest in possibly going on the next delegation.
Blessings always.   sr. Paulette……..with great thanks to each of you for all your prayer support for us.  I am humbled and so thankful.