Peace advocate Ken Butigan is featured as the next Benedictine Institute lecturer at Saint Martin’s University

January 24, 2014

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The Benedictine Institute will welcome recognized peace advocate, author and educator Ken Butigan, Ph.D., HS’72, as the spring 2014 distinguished speaker for the next Benedictine Institute Lecture on Saturday, Feb. 8, at Saint Martin’s University, 5000 Abbey Way SE. This new lecture series provides a forum for the discussion of faith-related issues.

Butigan’s presentation,“Blessed Are the Peacemakers: Deepening the Faithful Journey of Gospel Nonviolence in Our Lives and Our World,” will begin at 2 p.m. in the University’s Cebula Hall. The event is free and open to the public.

Butigan, who once directed the Spiritual Life Institute at Saint Martin’s, is the executive director of Pace e Bene Nonviolence Service, a non-profit organization founded in 1989 by the Franciscan Friars of California.

“Pace e Bene” (meaning “peace and all good”) is a phrase St. Francis of Assisi used as a greeting in his time. In this spirit, Pace e Bene Nonviolence Service’s mission is to foster peace, justice and dignity for all by building the capacity of individuals, religious communities, organizations and social movements to cultivate nonviolent change through nonviolence education, resources and action. Over the past two decades, Pace e Bene has led 700 nonviolence workshops, trainings, study groups and courses for 30,000 people in the United States and around the world.

As part of his work with Pace e Bene, Butigan helped found “Catholics for Nonviolence” and “Blessed Are the Peacemakers,” programs at the Archdiocese of Chicago designed to spread the power of spiritually grounded nonviolence.

In January 2006, Butigan initiated the Declaration of Peace, a nationwide grassroots campaign endorsed by 800 organizations across the country calling for a concrete, comprehensive plan for peace in Iraq. He is currently a key organizer for Campaign Nonviolence, a movement to mainstream active nonviolence and support the long-term process of abolishing war, ending poverty, and healing the planet.

“Dr. Butigan truly exemplifies and champions the nonviolence movement, which is not the same thing as pacifism, and can be seen in the legacies of such people as civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Ghandi,” says Father Marion Nguyen, O.S.B., assistant director of the Benedictine Institute. The Institute organized the lecture series and aims to lead the University in upholding and promoting its Benedictine heritage.

Father Kilian Malvey, O.S.B., executive director of the Institute, says of Butigan: “Ken Butigan is one of those rare, thoroughly genuine human beings who manifests not only the Gospel values in his everyday life, but also the love and compassion that Christ calls each of us to live. He is a man of peace, a man of grace, thoroughly committed to peacemaking here in our own country and in the international arena.”

Since the early 1980s, Butigan has led or participated in numerous movements for social transformation, including movements for a nuclear-free future, an end to homelessness, and freedom for East Timor. From 1987 to 1990, he was the national coordinator of the Pledge of Resistance, a network of 100,000 people in 400 local groups that organized coordinated nonviolent action for peace in Central America.

Butigan has taught at the Franciscan School of Theology in Berkeley, Loyola University Chicago’s Institute of Pastoral Studies, and Barat College of DePaul University.

Butigan has written or edited six books, including Pilgrimage through a Burning World: Spiritual Practice and Nonviolent Protest at the Nevada Test Site (Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 2003). He also writes a column for Waging Nonviolence.

Saint Martin’s University is an independent four-year, coeducational university located on a wooded campus of more than 300 acres in Lacey, Washington. Established in 1895 by the Catholic Order of Saint Benedict, the University is one of 14 Benedictine colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and the only one west of the Rocky Mountains. Saint Martin’s University prepares students for successful lives through its 23 majors and seven graduate programs spanning the liberal arts, business, education, nursing and engineering. Saint Martin’s welcomes more than 1,100 undergraduate students and 400 graduate students from many ethnic and religious backgrounds to its Lacey campus, and 300 more undergraduate students to its extension campuses located at Joint Base Lewis-McChord and Centralia College. Visit the Saint Martin’s University website at

For additional information:

Father Marion Nguyen, O.S.B.
Assistant Director, Benedictine Institute

Meg Nugent Dwyer
Media relations manager