Longtime peace activist dies at 85.
WASHINGTON * Nuclear weapons posed such a grave danger to all life on Earth in the eyes of Sacred Heart Sr. Anne Montgomery that she devoted more than 30 years of her life to protest their stockpiling by the world's governments.
A longtime Catholic peace activist, Montgomery died of cancer Aug. 27 at Oakwood, the Society of the Sacred Heart's elder care center in Atherton, Calif., at 85. She led and participated in six Plowshares actions to protest nuclear weapons between 1980 and 2009. In her last protest in 2009, she even served two months in federal prison.
Montgomery's last Plowshares action--the Disatin Now Plowshares took place on All Saints' Day in 2009 at the U.S. Navy's Strategic Weapons Facility Pacific in Bangor, Wash 1 where more than 2,300 nuclear warheads are believed to be stored.
"I have been involved since 1980 in Plowshares movements, which are really saying we as human beings, as Christians, as citizens of a country which is supposed to be governed by its citizens, we are responsible to eliminate these weapons," she said.
Montgomery joined the Society of the Sacred Heart in Albany, N.Y., in 1948, professing final vows in 1956.She taught at several Sacred Heartrun schools, which led to working with school dropouts in East Harlem and the Catholic Worker in New York. By 1980, moved into full-time ministry as a peace advocate, protesting against nuclear weapons.
Art Laffin, who co-edited with Montgomery the book Swords Into Plowshares: Nonviolent Direct Action for Disarmament, was arrested twice with Montgomery for Plowshares actions in the Northeast. Laffin said Montgomery offered "a great deal of courage and hope" to the U.S. church. "She knew about the cross and what the cross meant. She lived in the hope of the resurrection. Hers was a living faith in the Gospel of Jesus."
Laffin said Montgomery will be remembered for her peace witness, for serving the poor and for going fearlessly into war zones to be with people under occupation. "She was a doer of the Word," Laffin said.
One week before her death, Montgomery received the 2012 Courage of Conscience Award from the Peace Abbey in Sherborn, Mass., for her life-time commitment to peacemaking.
--Catholic News Service and Patrick O'Neill
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|Title Annotation:||IN THE BEGINNING; Anne Montgomery|
|Publication:||National Catholic Reporter|
|Date:||Sep 14, 2012|
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