Throughout the month of November, participants will listen to Fr. Emmanuel McCarthy's Behold the Lamb, and will be invited to seriously ponder and consider, maybe for the first time, Jesus's Way of Nonviolent Love of friends and enemies. Fr. McCarthy will be present for the first and final meetings of the month-long retreat.

Students, young and old, will walk away with a better understanding of the perennial problem of violence in human society; the ability to see it in the context of Church history, teaching, and tradition, and most importantly in the eternal light of the Gospels.
"... life-changing..."

"...eye-opening and informative...
disturbing and provocative..."

Behold the Lamb

Behold the Lamb is a professionally recorded retreat on the Nonviolent Jesus of the Gospels and His Way of Nonviolent Love of friends and enemies that was given by Emmanuel Charles McCarthy at Our Lady of Knock Shrine in Knock, Ireland, in March 1995. It consists of sixteen presentations, which collectively contain what is considered to be the most comprehensive and spiritually profound proclamation of Jesus’ vital Gospel message of Nonviolent Love. He takes as his central theme the Nonviolent Lamb of God and focuses on this biblical symbol and reality as the true icon and transcendental model for encountering God as revealed by Jesus, and for understanding and following the Way of God as taught by Jesus. Every Christian, every Christian Church, indeed all humanity, should ponder whether what is said here about God and God’s Way as made visible by Jesus, the Lamb of God, is THE GOOD NEWS for which each human being, consciously or subconsciously, ceaselessly yearns, whether what is said here genuinely fulfills the hopes and quenches the fears that universally reside at the deepest recesses of each human soul.

Fr. Emmanuel Charles McCarthy

Fr. Emmanuel Charles McCarthy, born October 9, 1940, is a priest of one of the Eastern Catholic Churches, Byzantine-Melkite, in communion with the Bishop of Rome, the Pope. He has been a Catholic priest for over forty years, ordained on August 9, 1981, in Damascus, Syria. He received his Bachelor of Arts Degree with majors in philosophy and English from the University of Notre Dame in 1962. He received his Masters Degrees in English and in Theology from the same University. He earned his Doctorate in Jurisprudence from Boston College Law School in 1967 and was soon after admitted to the Massachusetts Bar for the practice of law. The cure of his daughter was the official miracle for the canonization of St. Teresia Benedicta a Cruce, St. Edith Stein, who was killed at Auschwitz.


“Fr. McCarthy’s retreat [Behold the Lamb] is a remarkable contribution to furthering the understanding of Christian Nonviolence—so urgent a need for Christians today. Clergy and laity owe it to themselves, to the Church, to the world and to God to take time to prayerfully ponder what is said here."

-Mairead Corrigan Maguire, Nobel Peace Prize Laurette from Northern Ireland

Retreat Host

Ellen Finnigan is author of the Behold the Lamb Study Guide, and the creator of this online retreat. She has been teaching classical literature and creative writing online for the past ten years. In 2019 she started the Catholics Against Militarism podcast, on which Fr. McCarthy has been a frequent guest. In 2022, she founded Teach to the Text to promote contemplative learning.

Materials & Schedule

The online course will:

  • email students four lectures each week;
  • include visual aids to foster contemplation;
  • allow participants to interact via discussion boards;
  • provide access to recordings for.

The Study Guide will help you:

  • check for understanding
  • reflect on the material
  • prepare for discussions.

We'll meet online at 5:00 p.m. PST, 8:00 p.m. EST

on the following Thursdays:

  • Nov. 2 - introductory talk delivered by Fr. McCarthy
  • Nov. 9 - meditation and discussion led by Ellen Finnigan
  • Nov. 16 - discussion and Q&A led by Ellen Finnigan
  • Nov. 30 - final Q&A with Fr. McCarthy

“Fr. McCarthy’s retreat was the turning point in my conversion to Christian Nonviolence."
-Fr. George Zabelka,
Catholic Chaplain to the Hiroshima-Nagasaki bomb crews

Photograph: George Zabelka, 1945


“Of those who have challenged military service from a Christian perspective, the most emphatic to my knowledge are Leo Tolstoy and Father Emmanuel Charles McCarthy.”

-Bishop Lowell O. Erdahl of the Lutheran Saint Paul Area Synod in Minnesota

* * *

“Fr. McCarthy is the most powerful voice for nonviolence in the world today.”

-Walter Wink, author and Professor of Biblical Interpretation at Auburn

1-minute video

Meet Fr. McCarthy in this one-minute trailer made for the 2023 documentary "The Meaning of Trinity."

(You can watch the complete documentary here. You can also start listening to Behold the Lamb here.)

"This was a great opportunity for me to meditate on the teachings of Jesus [and] consider a perspective on non-violence from outside my own tradition. "

- Adult student in live class, summer 2023

* * *

"...The 'Behold the Lamb' lectures are a disturbing and provocative way in seeing the Gospel in a new light. I do not mean in a bad way, but in a very different and challenging way--frankly it bothered me (again, in a good way). Hopefully, I will be a better Christian for listening to these lectures."

- Dan Tracey, Age 60