Marie Dennis


Marie Dennis

2015 Public Peace Prize Finalist
in the Internationally-reputed Peacemaker category

Marie Dennis is a woman who weaves peace and reconciliation all around her and beyond, from the grassroots level to a global level where important decisions affecting all of our lives are being made. She is gentle and soft-spoken, but a strong leader who exudes confidence and clarity of purpose in whatever mission she undertakes. She believes in, and works on inter-religious and inter-cultural dialogue, and is an advocate of active non-violence or seeking peace by peaceful means. She is a “voice for peace”- highly sought after to give keynote talks at conferences and universities, for retreats, for media work, and more.

Professionally, Marie has played various roles: in Washington, DC, for example, she was on the White House Task Force on Global Poverty and Development. She is now co-President of Pax Christi International, since 2007, and was director of the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns from 1989 to 2012. She has helped raise awareness in the US and other world bodies about the impact of various government policies in northern countries on the poorer countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America, in an attempt to bring justice and peace to a world torn apart by economic injustice which threatens global peace.

Marie is a mother of six and holds a Master’s degree in Moral Theology from Washington Theological Union as well as honorary doctorates from Trinity Washington University and Alvernia University. She is author or co-author of seven books, including Oscar Romero: Reflections on His Life and Writings, St. Francis and the Foolishness of God and Diversity of Vocations. Simply put, Marie Dennis has shown and continues build on a lifetime commitment to worldwide peace. She exemplifies what it means to be a “citizen of the world”.

Marie now serves on the national board of JustFaith Ministries; the steering committee of the Catholic Peacebuilding Network; and as a contributing editor to Sojourners magazine. She has previously served on the White House Task Force on Global Poverty and Development; the advisory committee of Orbis Books; and the boards of the Washington Office on Latin America, the Latin America Working Group, the International Resource Center, the Washington Office on Africa and the Jubilee USA Network.


“The amazing thing is that she is able to do her work with vigor and activism, but at the same time she maintains her respect for everyone concerned. She is gentle and at the same time possesses positively-oriented dynamism. She exudes inner peace and at the same time strongly works for social peace. She ‘walks her talk’ as they say.”

“Citoyenne américaine, Marie Dennis n’a pas peur de prendre position et d’interpeller les autorités de son pays, chaque fois qu’elle le juge nécessaire. Car le cœur de Marie Dennis n’admet pas de frontière. Marie Dennis travaille sans relâche pour faciliter le dialogue et la réconciliation dans des pays et régions du globe aussi différents que le Soudan, l’Irak, la Colombie, Israël et la Palestine… ”

“In 2009, Marie Dennis led a delegation of Pax Christi International to Iraq, a land torn by war and violence. Due to her qualities and her skills, and thanks to her kindness and depth, she has always been able to bring hope where hate rules; she has always been able to encourage that new steps for peace be taken where war seems to be the only option. ”

“Marie Dennis brings spirituality to her approach to peace work that helps to connect people around the world – seeking to find common approaches to active nonviolence and peacemaking and to celebrate these.  She has great intellectual depth and applies this to her global experiences which help provide a thorough analysis of many situations of violence and conflict.

“Marie has been a light for many; devoting her time to strategically support others, through her humble lifestyle and talent for coordinating with others, whether they are other national/international organizations, other faith based organizations, communities at a grassroots level, and in particular defending human rights and promoting peace in the world.”

“The breadth of people she knows, collaborates with, and inspires includes religious leaders from many faiths (from the Vatican to the local level); circles at the United Nations working on disarmament, human rights and development; national policy makers; and hosts of non-governmental organizations and civil society movements. She is a ‘walking global coalition’. ”

“Marie Dennis has worked in the area of protecting human rights and especially women’s rights. When the three Maryknoll nuns were raped and murdered by security forces during the dictatorship in El Salvador, she worked relentlessly to bring this issue to the consciousness of and request action by the US government. She was also active in getting the US bishops to issue a statement against nuclear weapons. In short she has been a proponent of disarmament and has carried this advocacy in her leadership role in Pax Christi.”

“Many years ago, I stayed in the community of which Marie is part in Washington DC and saw how well she immerses herself in a sharing lifestyle. I know that she has lived and worked among the oppressed and suffering as well as advocated for them in the seats of power and that she has the capacity to be respected and admired in both places. To all that she does, she brings a demeanour which speaks of her underlying love for humanity wherever it is found. ”

“Over the years Marie Dennis has been a powerful example to others and mentored them in developing a more effective approach to peacemaking. In her contacts with decision-makers in the United States and internationally, including the United Nations and international financial institutions, she has spoken clearly and courageously for a new approach that is respectful of the rights of the weak, the poor and the vulnerable. She has cautioned against policies that recklessly pursue the use of force, when other wiser and more humane approaches are at hand for the peaceful settlement of conflicts. Marie Dennis is an inspiring ambassador for peace.” on nuclear disarmament



13 thoughts on “Marie Dennis

  1. Marie Dennis is a real ‘peace promotor’, so she deserves this Prize. Persistently but gently she fosters reconciliation, peace building and conflict transformation through active non-violence. All the quotes, published above, speak of her appreciated capacities: no doubt she is a worthy candidate!

  2. In her personal and professional life Marie is a true peacemaker…She brings great thought and clarity to her peacemaking projects and shows great empathy and compassion to all those she works with. Marie believes in the ability of ordinary people and grass-roots movements to make a difference in our world and supports this work at an international level. Please support Marie – her witness and her story should be shared and acknowledged more widely

  3. Marie Dennis deserves this recognition. She is a true inspiration; she is gentle and humble, yet she has this inner and outer dynamism that truly inspires others to be dedicated peacemakers! Her love and care for humanity and our Earth home can be seen in all aspects of her life!

  4. Marie is an amazing woman and an unstoppable force for peace. I have been honored to know her to work with her briefly.

  5. Marie richly deserves this nomination. She IS what she believes and speaks of in all aspects of her life. Her example as a true peacemaker is an inspiration and encouragement to all who come into contact with her.

  6. Marie Dennis would be a really deserving winner of this award – her life has been dedicated to promoting just peace and reconciliation throughout the world. Inspired by the Christian Gospel with its message of non-violence, she not only writes and speaks widely, she has also visited some of the world’s worst conflict areas as a member of several peace delegations. We have only met her once, when she spoke locally about the peace witness of Archbishop Oscar Romero, but she is clearly a woman in whom contemplation and action bear rich fruit.

  7. Pingback: ON THE LINE: December 2014 edition highlights members and groups across the nation | PAX CHRISTI USA

  8. Pingback: Marie Dennis Nominated for Public Peace Prize | Entering the Transforming Future:

  9. She is a great person, Good speaker and has worked for peace and justice for a very long time, She is very deserving to be a winner of this award. Even if she does not get it, she is a winner to all the people whom she has touched in her journey throughout this world of ours. She is a living word!

  10. I have known Marie Dennis for thirty years and can vouch that she is a woman of great integrity, wisdom and courage. Marie’s voice is gentle but her words are clear and strong, based on knowledge, conviction and her faith values. She is Peacemaker par excellence in word and action.

  11. I appreciate the work of Marie Dennis especially in her efforts for peace. She is most deserving of this prize.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s