Kathy Kelly
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Activist Kathy Kelly: We are all Part of One Another

Kathy Kelly

“We have to become literate in the stories of war.”

– Kathy Kelly

Season 3, Episode 6 of Messy Jesus Business, hosted by Sister Julia Walsh.


In this episode of Messy Jesus Business, Sister Julia Walsh talks with author and activist Kathy Kelly about her journey to becoming a peace activist, and how the evils of militarism and war don’t offer true security.

“It’s almost as though the dominant religion in the United States has become militarism and militarization,” Kelly reflects.

Sister Julia and Kathy Kelly also discuss the importance of being literate on the stories of war, and the importance of realizing the scope of our individual responsibility when overwhelmed by the battle for peace and justice.

“When we get to the point where opening up the computer feels like ‘incoming,’ we really do have to be mindful of the fact that in this ocean of humanity, I am one drop,” Kelly explains. “I am responsible for my one drop’s worth, but not necessarily more than what one drop in the ocean could commit.”


Kathy Kelly is an award-winning nonviolent peace activist and the author of Other Lands Have Dreams: From Baghdad to Pekin Prison. After graduating from Loyola University in Chicago in 1974, Kathy Kelly taught religion long enough to realize she needed to learn much more about the Gospels and social justice. She studied within schools offering master’s degrees in religious education in the Hyde Park area of Chicago earning an M.A. in 1979, but believes her most important schooling happened after she moved to Chicago’s Uptown area. There, Catholic Worker and Jesuit Volunteer Corps activists welcomed her as part of a diverse and highly energetic community, living in accordance with their deepest beliefs.

Kelly’s refusal to cooperate with wars has led her to prisons, peace team efforts in war zones, and a constant challenge to learn and grow. Her belief in the Eucharist, the mystical body of Jesus, and resurrection began to make sense when beholding communities dedicated to becoming Christ for others and refusing to be intimidated even by the threat of death.

Kelly is teaching an online course, “Lay Down My Sword and Shield” at the School for Social and Cultural Change. You can also get involved in advocating for peace at BanKillerDrones.org.


Our Contemplative Moment in this episode of Messy Jesus Business is from Matthew 14:22-32.

MESSY JESUS BUSINESS is produced and hosted by Sister Julia Walsh and edited by Charish Badzinski.

Email us at messyjesusbusiness@gmail.com




Twitter: @messyjesusbiz




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