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Born in Erie, Pennsylvania in 1951, Loesch attended (see Antioch College, Yellow Springs, Ohio, where, as an anti-war advocate, she pursued an education in non-violent social change. Within 3 months she was in Delano, California working for Cesar Chavez of the United Farm Workers (UFW). She later worked in organizing grape and lettuce boycotts in Detroit and Cleveland in support of agricultural labor strikes in California. In 1972 Loesch became one of the founding members of the Pax (Peace) Center in Erie, Pennsylvania, joining Sr. Mary Lou Kownacki, OSB, in forming a Catholic feminist peace community. This group, comprising Benedictine Sisters and lay associates, was organized more or less on the Catholic Worker model, combining activism with the Works of Mercy (soup kitchen, homeless shelter work. etc.) The Pax Center, together with other Catholic antiwar activist groups, soon morphed into Pax Christi USA, the American affiliate of Pax Christi, an international Catholic peace movement.
In the late 1970s, Loesch became an activist associated with the "Mobilization for Survival", a coalition which opposed nuclear weapons. She became convinced that abortion and the nuclear arms race were moral equivalents, and advocated partnership between the peace and pro-life movements. In 1979, she founded the "bridge" organization Prolifers for Survival, which operated until 1987. She has written extensively on these and related subjects. The larger Consistent Life Ethic movement grew partly out of her writing and activism. Her articles or essays (many searchable via "Juli Loesch" or "Juli Loesch Wiley") have appeared in, among other publications, the New Oxford Review, the National Catholic Reporter, the National Catholic Register, Consistent Life, Commonweal, Sojourners, Caelum et Terra, and Touchstone.