(Photographs by James Plumlee)
John Dear is an internationally known voice for peace and nonviolence. A Jesuit priest, pastor, peacemaker, organizer, lecturer, and retreat leader, he is the author/editor of 30 books, including his autobiography, “A Persistent Peace.” In 2008, John was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
From 1998 until December 2000, he served as the executive director of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, the largest interfaith peace organization in the United States.
After the September 11th, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center, John served as a Red Cross Chaplain, and became one of the coordinators of the chaplain program at the Family Assistance Center. He worked with some 1,500 family members who lost loved ones, as well as hundreds of firefighters and police officers, while at the same time, he spoke out against the U.S. bombing of Afghanistan.
From 2002-2004, he served as pastor of several parishes in northeastern New Mexico. He co-founded Pax Christi New Mexico and works on a nonviolent campaign to disarm Los Alamos. These days, he lectures to tens of thousands of people each year in churches and schools across the country and the world. He also writes a weekly column for the “National Catholic Reporter” at www.ncrcafe.org.
A longtime practitioner and teacher of nonviolence, John has written hundreds of articles and given thousands of talks on nonviolence. His many books include: Lazarus, Come Forth!; Living Peace; Put Down Your Sword; Transfiguration; The Questions of Jesus; Mary of Nazareth, Prophet of Peace; Jesus the Rebel; Mohandas Gandhi; Peace Behind Bars: A Journal from Jail; The God of Peace: Toward a Theology of Nonviolence; You Will Be My Witnesses; Disarming the Heart: Toward a Vow of Nonviolence; The Sound of Listening; The Sacrament of Civil Disobedience; Seeds of Nonviolence; Our God Is Nonviolent; and Oscar Romero and the Nonviolent Struggle for Justice. He has edited: The Road to Peace: Writings on Peace and Justice by Henri Nouwen; And the Risen Bread: The Selected Poems of Daniel Berrigan, 1957-1997; and The Vision of Peace: Faith and Hope in Northern Ireland: The Writings of Nobel Laureate Mairead Maguire.
John’s peacework has taken him to El Salvador, where he lived and worked in a refugee camp in 1985; to Guatemala, Nicaragua, Haiti, the Middle East, Colombia, and the Philipines; to Northern Ireland where he lived and worked at a human rights center for a year; and to Iraq, where he led a delegation of Nobel Peace Prize winners to witness the effects of the deadly sanctions on Iraqi children. He has run a shelter for the homeless in Washington, DC; taught theology at Fordham University; and served as Executive Director of the Sacred Heart Center, a community center for disenfranchized women and children in Richmond, Virginia.
A native of North Carolina, John was arrested on December 7, 1993 at the Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in Goldsboro, North Carolina for hammering on an F15 nuclear fighter bomber in an effort to "beat swords in plowshares," according to the biblical vision of the prophet Isaiah. Along with activist Philip Berrigan, he spent eight months in North Carolina county jails. John has been arrested over seventy-five times in acts of nonviolent civil disobedience for peace, and has organized hundreds of demonstrations against war and nuclear weapons at military bases across the country, as well as worked with Mother Teresa and others to stop the death penalty.
John has two masters degrees in theology from the Graduate Theological Union in California.
John Dear's Resume