Monday, September 24, 2007

Let All Around Us Be Peace

This Tuesday and Wednesday two back-to-back events remind us that a world of peace is a dream so many of us share, yet at times seems so far off.

On Tuesday a "Reclaim the Site for Nonviolence" prayer service will take place at the site of the recent murder of a local woman. These prayer services take place whenever a homicide occurs in Erie and are scheduled for 5:15 p.m. so that many individuals, groups, neighbors and friends can attend. This one is most poignant as the woman lived at Villa Maria Apartments, the converted Motherhouse of the Sisters of Saint Joseph. The complex also served as the original buildings of Villa Maria College, Villa Maria Academy (boarders and day students), and Villa Elementary School. The community moved to a new location in 1993, after over 100 years at 8th and Liberty Streets.

On Wednesday, Joan Chittister will give a presentation to local peace and justice proponents. Her presentation, "Women, Power and Peace," is part of our community's Heritage of Hope capital campaign events. The Benedictine Sisters of Erie have a 40-year history of active commitment to peace efforts--locally, nationally and internationally. Sr. Joan, herself, through the UN-sponsored Global Peace Initiative of Women, the International Committee for the Peace Council, and the Niwano Peace Award Committee, has traveled the world taking a strong leadership role in peace efforts among all peoples, religions, and cultures.

Pax, shalom, pacem, mir, patz, lape, nyiEe, pau, heiwa, pyonghwa, achukma, pace, friede, rauha, siochain, paix, sipala, amani, paz, heping, isithangami, amaithi, solh, pokoj. However we say it, it is one wish: Peace.