Father Paul Mayer
>Paul Mayer's more than half century of service to the earth has included eighteen years as a Benedictine monk, involvement with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the civil rights movement in the South, work in the barrios of Central America, participation in the effort to end the war in Vietnam as well as co-founding peace and environmental organizations.
Mayer's childhood experience as a Jewish refugee from Nazi Germany inspired him to co-found Children of War, a youth leadership organization that helped transform the lives of teenage survivors of international and domestic wars. As a monk, he traveled to Selma, Alabama, during the 1965 voting rights campaign led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., an experience that set a new direction for his life. In his last years as a monk, he worked in Panama applying the tenets of liberation theology to parish and community work.
Mayer served as coordinator of the Catonsville Nine Defense Committee in support of religious non-violent actions during the Vietnam War by the Fathers Daniel and Phillip Berrigan and others. In 1978 he founded the Religious Task Force, a national network to convene the various faith communities to work together on issues of peace and social justice.
His peace and justice ministry has taken him to Japan to work with atom bomb survivors. He traveled to Cuba with Pastors for Peace to challenge the US blockade by bringing humanitarian aid to the churches and to the Middle East for reconciliation work in the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians.
He was a founder of the New Jersey Sea Alliance calling for the joint abolition of nuclear weapons and power after the Harrisburg nuclear accident. In the 1970s he was the founder of a spiritual peace community in inner-city East Orange, NJ, where he still resides.
His work for peace and with indigenous people has taken him to the United Nations Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 and to Johannesburg, South Africa in 2002 as well as to the San Francisco 1984 Democratic Convention where he addressed the convention on nuclear disarmament. Paul has been involved recently with United for Peace and Justice and the New York City Forum of Concerned Religious Leaders in work for peace and justice in Iraq and the Gulf region.
Mayer is the cofounder of the Climate Crisis Coalition, started in 2003 to convey a sense of urgency around the climate crisis and to broaden the constituency of this overarching issue beyond the traditional environmental organizations. Most recently he was a co-founder of the
Interfaith Moral Action on Climate Change ( IMAC).
Mayer's commitment to global peace, social justice, ecology, non-violent social change explores the link between spirituality and activism. He is a Yoga practitioner and teacher. He has an active wedding ministry as a non-canonical, formerly married priest.
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