I hereby Pledge myself - my person and body - to the nonviolent movement (this was taken from the actual pledge used during the Civil Rights Movement). Therefore I will keep the following commandments:

  1. Meditate daily on nonviolence and its application to my life today.
  2. Remember always that the nonviolent monument sought justice and reconciliation - not victory
  3. Walk and talk in the manner of love, for only love can see the solution
  4. Give my life in service to truth so that all men might be free
  5. Sacrifice personal agendas in order that all men might be free
  6. Observe with both friend and foe that ordinary rules of courtesy
  7. Seek to perform regular service for others and for the world
  8. Refrain from violence of fist, tongue, or heart
  9. Strive to be in good spiritual and bodily health
  10. Follow the direction of movement and of the captain (principle) during a demonstration

Truce and Reconciliation Chart

Six Principles Of Nonviolence

1. Nonviolence is a way of life for courageous people

Nonviolence is an active force confronting evil. It is aggressive spiritually, mentally and emotionally. It is always persuading the opponent of the righteousness of a just cause. It is only passive in its non-aggression towards its enemy. 

2. Nonviolence seeks to win friendship and understanding

The end of nonviolence is redemption and reconciliation. The purpose of nonviolence is the creation of the Beloved Community. 

3. Nonviolence seeks to defeat injustice not people

Nonviolence recognizes that the enemy is ignorance and illness. The nonviolent resister seeks to defeat evil people.

4. Nonviolence holds that suffering can educate and transform

Nonviolence accepts suffering without retaliation. Nonviolence accepts violence if necessary, but will never inflict it. Nonviolence willingly accepts the consequences of its thoughts, words and deeds. Unearned suffering is redemptive and has tremendous education and transforming power. Suffering has the power to convert the enemy when reason fails.

5. Nonviolence chooses love instead of hate

Nonviolence repudiates violence of the spirit, tongue, and body. Nonviolent love is spontaneous, unmotivated, unselfish and creative. Nonviolent love gives willingly, knowing that the return might be hostility. Nonviolent love is active, not passive. Nonviolent love is unending in its ability to forgive in order to restore brotherhood/sisterhood and community. Nonviolent loves does not sink to the level of hate. Love for the enemy is how we demonstrate love for ourselves. Love restores community and brings justice. Nonviolence recognizes that fact that all life is interrelated.

6. Nonviolence believes that the universe is on the side of justice

The nonviolent activist has deep faith that justice will eventually win. Nonviolence believes that justice is a universal principal. 

The 8 Beatitudes

  1. Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven
  2. Blessed are they who mourn, for they shall be comforted
  3. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth
  4. Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied
  5. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy
  6. Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God
  7. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God
  8. Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven 

      Gospel of St. Matthew 5:3-10


OCTOBER 2, 2017

Mr. Larry Campbell 

Nonviolence Works 

c/o Ss. Peter and Paul Parish 

Chicago, IL 60609-2047 

Dear Mr. Campbell,

Know that I very much appreciate your letter of September 20, 2017 by which you informed me that Nonviolence Works will be starting a pilot program at the juvenile detention center this month and for sending a copy of your letter to Pope Francis. It is good to know that Nonviolence Works is joining in the efforts of many wonderful and helpful programs already in place across the archdiocese.

Please convey my gratitude also to Philip Bradley and Elfriede Wedam for your letter on behalf of Nonviolence Works letting me know about the upcoming trainings you will be conducting in some of our parishes.

For more than 150 years, our parishes and ministries have been very present in areas marked by poverty and violence. Every day I am both proud and humbled by the commitment of those, like you, who are involved in our parishes and work to make lives matter.

As we build this framework for peace. I ask for your continued support and prayers. Assuring you of my best wishes and gratitude for all that you do, I remain.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Cardinal Blase J. Cupich

Archbishop of Chicago 

Position Paper: Nonviolence

Bradley Nonviolence Position Paper (pdf)