May 26, 2022

Reflection on Nuclear Disarmament by JoAnn Snodgrass

Many years ago, I heard a presenter of a seminar I attended state, “Until we stop doing violence to the earth, we will never stop doing violence to one another.” 


Growing up on a farm, I always felt a respect and closeness to the earth. As an adult, I sought to grow spiritually and to deepen my relationship with God. Becoming acquainted with the Clinton Franciscans and learning more about Franciscan spirituality, I knew that creation spirituality was central to my relationship with God and my spiritual life. I am humbled to have been told that I bring a peaceful presence to others. Indeed, living in peace is my daily challenge and goal.


My deep sorrow and regret that our country unleashed the evil of atomic warfare has led me to promote the abolition of nuclear weapons. Pope Francis has made clear that nuclear weapons are not a deterrent, and their use could never be justified.


As we consider the 7 goals of the Laudato Si’ platform, working for the end of nuclear warfare certainly falls in the areas of Response to the Cry of the Earth (Their use creates environmental destruction that is incomprehensible.) and Response to the Cry of the Poor (It is the poor and innocent who suffer the most in both the production of such weapons as well as the use.). 


Indeed, as Pope Francis has made clear (and as St. Francis of Assisi knew) integral ecology emphasizes the connection of all things and actions. Working for the abolition of nuclear weapons really touches all of the 7 goals in some manner. It is all part of a whole to care for all God’s people and our common home, preserving it for future generations.


JoAnn and her husband, Bob, live in Morrison, IL.  They have three daughters, six grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.  After finishing her degree at Mount St. Clare College in 1994 and attending Clinical Pastoral Education at St. Luke's Hospital in Davenport, JoAnn served as the chaplain at the Alverno Health Care Facility for 21 years, retiring in 2015.  JoAnn has been a Franciscan Associate for many years.  She says that Franciscan spirituality has enriched her relationship with God and is a driving force in her commitment to care for creation and God's people.