The 10th Anniversary Kateri
Tekakwitha Peace Conference


Nurturing Peace

National Kateri Tekakwitha Shrine
Rt. 5, Fonda, NY

August 15-16, 2008






About Our Speakers

        Bishop Thomas Gumbleton

          Fr. Roy Bourgeois, M.M.

          Colonel (ret.) Ann Wright


Conference Schedule
        Friday, August 15, 2008

         Saturday, August 16, 2008


Workshops, Saturday, August 16

Morning Workshops 10:30 - 11:30 AM

            1. Organizing Youth, by Saif Rahman

            2. The I-90 Peace Collective: Actions and Issues, by Trudy Quaif and Joe Lombardo
3. SEEDS OF PEACE: Building a Contemplative Foundation for Peacemaking, by Walt Chura

            4. The Middle East: A Closer look at Hamas and Hezbollah, by John Amidon

         Afternoon Workshops 1:30 - 2:30 PM

            1. True Hopefulness: Making the Impossible Possible, by Carl N. McDaniel

            2. Nurturing and Educating: The Iraqi Student Project, by Gabe Huck and Theresa Kubasak

            3. Mediation: What, Why, and How, by Linda and Gary Van Slyke

            4. Israel and Palestine: Up Close and Personal, by Paul Rehm


Tickets, Prices, Questions





About Our Conference

Supporting Organizations


We have simply titled our 10th anniversary Kateri Tekakwitha Peace Conference, “Nurturing Peace“. The work and lives of our keynote speakers, Bishop Thomas Gumbleton, Fr. Roy Bourgeois and Col. (ret.) Ann Wright both reflect and model this deep commitment to peace.

Our conference has grown over the years and we have been honored to host many notable peace makers including Kathy Kelly, Bill Quigley, Fr. Louie Vitale, Jim Jennings, Blasé Bonpane, the St. Patrick’s Four, Cynthia Bannas, Charlie Liteky, Colleen Kelly, Ed Kinane and Ann Tiffany to name but a few.

We have remained interfaith in nature with a deep respect for the transcendent while focusing on the concerns of the day in a practical and empirical manner. We have worked hard to keep the quality of presentation high and the cost low. None have ever been turned away for lack of money. It has been a labor of service and love working for a peaceful world.

Please join us on Friday, August 15 and Saturday August 16, 2008 for the 10th anniversary Kateri Tekakwitha Peace conference, “Nurturing Peace”.

Featured Speakers: Bishop Thomas Gumbleton, Father Roy Bourgeios, M.M. and Colonel (ret.) Ann Wright


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About Our Speakers

Bishop Thomas Gumbleton

Amongst U.S. peacemakers Bishop Thomas Gumbleton is revered and legendary.
A short and fairly complete biography can be found on wikipedia at .

Simply by googling his name a wealth of information can be obtained attesting to our our deeply held respect for Bishop Gumbleton. Of course he has his critic’s also but you won’t find them here. We are absolutely delighted to welcome back Bishop Gumbleton to help us celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Kateri Tekakwitha Peace Conference

Fr. Roy Bourgeois, M.M.

Fr. Roy Bourgeois is credited and rightly so as being the father of the Close the U.S. Army School of the Americas movement. He has worked tirelessly for peace and justice, developing and implementing innovative and creative strategies to close the S.O.A. He too has a page on Wikipedia at and extensive information can be found by simply goggling his name.

The Kateri Tekakwitha Peace Conference is rooted in the movement to Close the U.S. Army School of the Americas with the first two years dedicated to this work as pilgrimages from the National Kateri Tekakwitha Shrine to Albany and the Federal Building and the Capitol. We are very pleased he is joining us on this very special occasion.

Colonel (ret.) Ann Wright

Ann Wright’s journey from a U.S. Army Colonel to a U.S. State Department diplomat and then to a peace activist and member of Veterans For Peace is quite extraordinary. Reading her letter of resignation from U.S. State Department to Secretary of State Collin Powel will give remarkable insight into her unexpected career trajectory. Her letter of resignation may be found at: . Her Wikipedia page is at .

The services Ann is now rendering to our country as a peace activist are her most important work and deeply appreciated. Her down to earth approach about what is important, the core values of American democracy and the U.S. Constitution along with what is important about life offer exceptional insight and wisdom into our quest for peace.

To learn more about Ann Wright's new book, Dissent: Voices of Conscience and her speaking tour please see

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Conference Schedule

Friday, August 15, 2008
6:00 - 7:00 PM Pot Luck Supper

7:00 - 7:15 PM
Music by 

7:15 - 8:45 PM Nurturing Peace -Panel Discussion - Q&A Bishop Thomas Gumbleton, Fr. Roy Bourgeoius, Colonel (ret.) Ann Wright and John Amidon.

Saturday, August 16, 2008
8:30 - 9:15 AM Registration & Coffee

9:15 - 9:30 AM Music by

Opening remarks: John Amidon & Maureen Aumand

9:30 - 10:30 The School of the America's Watch Movement by Fr. Roy Bourgeois

10:30 - 11:30 Workshops- for workshop descriptions and presenter's biographies visit "Workshops & Presenters".

11:30 - 12:30 A Journey to Truth by Col. (ret) Ann Wright

12:30 - 1:30 Lunch

1:30 - 2:30 Workshops - for workshop descriptions and presenter's biographies visit "Workshops & Presenters".

2:30 - 3:30 Nurturing the American Soul by Bishop Thomas Gumbleton

3:30 Closing Remarks


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Nurturing Peace Workshops
Saturday, August 16th, 2008

Morning Session 10:30 - 11:30 AM


1. Organizing Youth
by Saif Rahman

How can the peace movement work effectively with our young? Can the tremendous energy and enthusiam of our youth be focused in creating a more peaceful, life affirming world? Can our  young successfully navigate the corporate snares and distractions  of the entertainment culture  focusing  on the vital issues of war and peace and the enviornment' so vitally important  for their immediate future?   Saif Rahman will suggest various ways of working effectively with our youth bringing  this vital and necessary energy to the peace movements collective energy.

Saif Rahman
is the Peace and Student Movements Coordinator for IPS and FPIF. His role includes using and translating IPS' research and writing to help make the progressive movement more efficient, more diverse and more organized. He sits on the Steering Committee for United for Peace and Justice, and is also part of the Generation FAIR network and the University Coalitions for Global Health Resource Group. Saif graduated from Wheaton College with degrees in Political Science and Philosophy. He came to IPS from Global Justice where he was a National Coordinator for the Student Campaign for Child Survival. He helped start the University Coalitions for Global Health and he also represented SCCS in the Global Action for Children coalition


2. The I-90 Peace Collective: Actions and Issues

By Trudy Quaif and Joe Lombardo

Following Interstate 90 from Albany, Syracuse, Rochester and beyond, in fact as far as Buffalo and Western Massachusetts, in this workshop upstate New York and Western Mass. activists and organizers will gather to discuss issues and possible action concerning Fort Drum, bringing the NYS Guard home, participation at the NYS State Fair, an October Peace Conference in Western Mass and other issues and actions which concern us all, including (but probably not limited to): Iraq, Iran and the Middle East, Latin American, the loss of civil liberties, torture and other criminal activities conducted by our government.


It will be an open and free spirited brain storming, planning, networking discussion and fun gathering with the hope of strengthening our efforts for peace and plans for a future action in this fall.

Trudy Quaif
Trudy is a Capital Region peace activist and a member of Bethlehem Neighbors for Peace.

Joe Lombardo

Joe Lomardo is a member of the coordinating committee of Bethlehem Neighbors for Peace. He helped organize the historic Syracuse demonstration last September that was called by the IVAW chapter from Fort Drum. During the Vietnam War, Joe worked as a full-time staff person for the National Peace Action Coalition, one of the 2 national anti-war coalitions of the time. Recently, Joe served on the national coordinating committee of the National Assembly which organized the recent national unity conference for the anti-war movement in Cleveland.


Building a Contemplative Foundation for Peacemaking
by Walt Chura

Location Upstairs Chapel

Based on the writings of Thomas Merton, this session will explore the hazards of "active-ism," that is, the frenzied actions that we can throw ourselves into in the desperate desire to create a world of peace and justice. A look at the implications of Merton's experiments in contemplation for movement toward "a harvest of justice [which] is sown in peace by those who cultivate peace."

Walt Chura
, sfo, is a lay Franciscan, a member of the extended community of Emmaus House: the Albany Catholic Worker and coordinator of the Thomas Merton Society of the Capital District. He will direct the 13th annual Merton in the Mountains retreat at Pyramid Life Center in Paradox NY Sept. 5-7. He can be reached at 518-456-3201 0r


4. The Middle East:
A Closer look at Hamas and Hezbollah
by John Amidon

Location: Museum Auditorium

From May 14- 27, 2008, John was part of the U.S. Academics For Peace Delegation which visited, Amman, Jordan, Damascus, Syria and Beirut, Lebanon meeting with academics, religious leaders and representatives of both Hezbollah and Hamas. Getting past the rhetoric and misinformation in the American press will help us understand and give an expanded insight into the Midldle East and the roles played by Hezbollah and Hamas. A slide presentation will accompany this session along with questions and answers.

John Amidon
is a member of Veterans For Peace and has worked dilgently to close the School of the Americas, keep JROTC out of Albany Public Schools, to oppose torture and for impeachment of the criminal regime in Washington, D.C. In September of 2005, John traveled with Academics For Peace to Iran and Syria meeting with former Iranian President Mohammad Khatami and Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad. This winter (2008) John spent as interim coordinator for the Nevada Desert Experience working to abolish nuclear weapons and for environmental justice. In May of 2008 , John returned to the Middle East as a member of U.S. Acadmeics For Peace Delegation meeting with academics, religious leaders and representatives of Hezbollah and Hamas. He has served on the National Board of Directors of Veterans For Peace and on the Board of the Interfaith Alliance of NYS. John is also the founder of the Kateri Tekakwitha Peace Conference.

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Nurturing Peace Workshops
Saturday, August 16th, 2008

Afternoon Session 1:30 - 2:30 PM


1. True Hopefulness: Making the Impossible Possible
by Carl N. McDaniel

As individuals and groups, humans have evolved the capacity to believe anything and die for it. This part of our human nature has enabled some truly amazing things (as well as many that are far from being worthy). Essentially all important environmental trends are negative in terms of creating a durable future. The survival story of Shackleton's 1914-17 South Pole expedition provides a notable example of hopefulness that, if emulated, might just permit global civilization to persist through the 21st century and beyond.

Carl N. McDaniel
, now retired, was a Professor of Biology at RPI. Carl has written extensively with over 60 published articles and several books including "Wisdom for a Livable Planet (Trinity University Press, 2005)

Please see for more information about Carl.

2. Nurturing and Educating: The Iraqi Student Project
By Gabe Huck and Theresa Kubasak

There are millions of Iraqi refugees in Iraq and beyond, most of them in Syria. The ISP began a year ago and this year has 16 qualified Iraqi undergraduates (unable because of violence to continue college in Baghdad and unable to afford college in Syria or Jordan) coming to the US to study. They have tuition waivers from US universities and they have wonderful support groups in each community. This is one small piece of reconciliation and restitution. A host of other efforts are needed.

Gabe and Theresa
have lived in Damascus for three years. Theresa was an elementary school teacher and a teacher of teachers for 30 years. Gabe was director of Liturgy Training Publications for 25 years. They began to be involved with Iraq as part of Voices in the Wilderness and visited Iraq four times between 1999 and 2003


3. Mediation: What, Why, and How

By Linda and Gary Van Slyke

Location: Upstairs Chapel

Mediation has ancient roots and many modern branches.We will explore these branches and their commonalities. We will then focus upon the cultivation of mediation practice in our everyday lives. Informational packets will also be distributed.

Linda Van Slyke has served as the lead minister at the First
Congregational United Church of Christ, Gloversville, NY for the past 2 1/2 years. She is a graduate of The New Seminary, the oldest interfaith seminary in the world. Linda has an extensive backgroundin teaching, program development, mediation, and counseling.

Gary Van Slyke is best known for his delightful blend of music
and human-service. He travels the Capital District, lightening
many lives along the way. He's been doing one version of this
or another for the past 45 years.


4. Israel and Palestine: Up Close and Personal

by Paul Rehm

Greene County resident Paul Rehm, witnessed dramatic events this spring in the town of Hebron, in the occupied Palestinian territories, where he was a member of Christian Peacemaker Team. He will describe his experiences and his analysis of the situation.


Paul Rehm has been a member of Christian Peacemaker Teams since the summer of 2005 and has worked with the Team in Palestine/Israel each Spring for the past three years. An alumnus of Siena College and SUNYA, he was Director of Purchasing for Stiefel Laboratories, Inc. before joining CPT. Paul and his wife, Katja, reside in Greenville, New York, attend Albany Friends Meeting, serve on the steering committee of Upper Hudson Peace Action and are members of the Atlantic Life Community.


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Tickets, Prices, Questions

Friday Evening, August 15th, 2008
Free Will Offering

Saturday, August 16th, 2008
Students and Seniors $10.00

Adults - $15.00 through $40.00
High School students free


For tickets and information please call:
John Amidon @ 518.312.6442 or email John @
Maureen Aumand @ 518.869.6674
Cathy Callan @ Java Jazz - 518.439.1727

Scholarhsips available if needed and no one is turned away for lack of money.

Lunch is included.

Advance ticket purchase is not required however it is very helpful to know you are coming, particularly for the preparation of lunch.

Please let us know and purchase advance tickets if possible. Thank you!

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Directions: Take the NYS Thruway to exit 28, Fonda/Fultonville. Turn left after exiting, then right over the bridge.
Turn left on Route 5. Proceed approximately 1 ½ miles (through Fonda) to the National Kateri Tekakwitha Shrine on the right.


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We wish to express our deep appreciation to the National Kateri
Tekakwitha Shrine and the Franciscan Friars of Fonda for hosting
the 10th Annual Kateri Tekakwitha Peace Conference!

About Our Conference

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About Our Conference

The Kateri Tekakwitha Peace Conference began in 1998 with the Prisoners of Conscience Interfaith Pilgrimage to close the U.S. Army School of the Americas. The first two years were actually Pilgrimages to close the now infamous U.S. Army School of the Americas at Ft. Benning, Georgia. The pilgrimages began at the National Kateri Tekakwitha Shrine in Fonda, New York and walked to the Capital in Albany. In 1999 a large rally was held at the Capital with many notable speakers including Bishop Howard Hubbard, Chief Jake Swamp and others.

The early conference history was not archived and some of it has been lost although we still are in hopes of recovering most of it.

A partial listing of our conference titles and speakers is as follows:


Preparing Fertile Fields: An Indigenous Rights Conference and Concert

Featuring: Chief Jake Swamp*, Luis Yat and Strong Turtle Drum*

Ethics, Truth and Terrorism: A Closer Look at America’s Role
Featuring: Laura MacDonald, Cynthia Banas and Connie Houde


Creating Peace In A World At War
Featuring: Bishop Thomas Gumbleton and Kathy Kelly

Some people think there will always be war, that war is inevitable, an outcome of our flawed human nature. Others say things will never change, become resigned and give up. To the first group, we offer this challenge. The outcome of your experience is the product of your beliefs and actions. We have the ability to choose. We have the ability to discern. We live in a cause- and -effect universe. Subsequentlyly we determine the quality of our lives and the quality of the world we live in. Finally the only change we need to make is subjective. It is within our hearts and minds, so very close to home. It is possible! We can make these changes!

To the second group, we say that to be resigned and give up is to acknowledge evil as your master. Clearly that is a poor choice and clearly there are positive, life affirming alternatives. Our keynote speakers are wonderful expamples of what can be accomplished when the heart and mind are unified, when actions taken are for the common good, when the individuals dare to be compassionate, are willing to listen and to act with humility and empathy.


A Call to Conscience: Finding Our Way in A Troubled Time
Featuring Colleen Kelly, Blase Bonpane and Bill Quigley


The Convergence of Hope and History: Sustainable Solutions For A Peaceful World
Featuring Jim Merkel and Jim Jennings


Hope & Resistance: Transforming the Course of History
Featuring Stephen Eric Bronner and Fr. Louis Vitale OFM


Nurturing Peace: The 10th Anniversary Kateri Tekakwitha Peace Conference
Featuring: Bishop Thomas Gumbleton, Fr. Roy Bourgeois and Colonel (ret.) Ann Wright


Supporting Organizations


We wish to both acknowledge and thank our supporters who help make the Kateri Tekakwitha Peace Conference possible each year. We wish to thank all those who have chosen to remain unacknowledged also. We are adding names daily and hope soon to provide links to our supporters websites. Again thank you for your patience.


Supporting Organizations (in alphabetical order)

Bethlehem Neighbors For Peace -

The Commission On Peace & Justice (Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany)

Interfaith Alliance of NYS

Java Jazz Cafe and Bakery
318 Delaware Ave
Delmar, NY 518 439-1727

Rock Hill Bakehouse Cafe
19 Exchange Street
Glens Falls, NY 12801
(518) 793-0075

Veterans For Peace - Adirondack Chapter # 147

Veterans For Peace - The Tom Paine Chapter # 10 Albany, NY

Women Against War


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