September 27, 2016, Detroit, Michigan – The words “May Peace Prevail on Earth” now greet visitors to Hope House, a facility of Voices for Earth Justice (VEJ) in Detroit. Those words are inscribed on a Peace Pole installed at VEJ and dedicated on September 18.
The event – held a few days before International Day of Peace on September 21 – also honored Sister Janet Stankowski, OP, during her 50-year Jubilee Year as an Adrian Dominican Sister. The Peace Pole was purchased by Sister Janet’s family and friends in her honor.
Sister Janet co-founded VEJ with Patricia Gillis, an Adrian Dominican Associate, in 2001 out of a need to bring a faith-based perspective to environmental issues. Sister Janet describes the non-profit organization as a “faith-based network whose mission is to pray, educate, and act on behalf of Earth.”
During the dedication ceremony, Rabbi Syme, Imam Muhammad, and Father Phil Paxton, CP, shared thoughts about peace from their respective traditions. Participants recited the Prayer of St. Francis and were blessed by Doris Thunderfeather Allen in a sage blessing ceremony.
Along with Sister Janet, Adrian Dominican Sisters in attendance included Sisters Jeanine Boivin, OP; Pat Benson, OP; Grace Dennis, OP; Annette Desloover, OP; Arlene Kosmatka, OP; Sheila Delaney, OP; Cheryl Liske, OP; and Anneliese Sinnott, OP. Adrian Dominican Associates who attended included Carol Hofer, Patty Gillis, Geri Pleva, Mercedes Fitzsimmons, and Joyce Fruge.
The prayer, “May peace prevail on Earth,” was written in 1955 by the late Msahisa Goi, a Japanese man who sought to spread the desire for peace in people throughout the world. The prayer is written in English and other languages on the four or six sides of the peace pole. Numbering in the tens of thousands, peace poles can be found in 180 countries and on all continents.
Watch a slide show of the Voices for Earth Justice peace pole dedication.
September 21, 2016, Detroit – Sister Barbara Cervenka, OP, has spent much of the past summer laboring in her ministry of the arts. She was the keynote speaker for her peers at the 19th Annual Gathering of the Dominican Institute for the Arts, giving a presentation on the great Dominican artist, Fra Angelico. Read the full article in a recent issue of DomLife.
During the summer, Sister Barbara was also on hand for the opening of the most recent showing of “Bandits and Heroes, Poets and Saints,” an exhibit of popular art in Brazil, as it continued continuing its national tour at American University’s Katzen Arts Center.
The art exhibit was designed by Sister Barbara Cervenka, OP, and Marion Jackson, co-directors of Con/Vida, a non-profit organization, based in Detroit that collects popular art from Latin America and promotes it in the United States. The tour – which opened in August 2013 at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit – depicts through about 200 pieces of art the history and culture of Northeastern Brazil. Read Menachem Wecker’s full article on the exhibit in the National Catholic Reporter.
For the past year, Sister Barbara has also been busy with a special project, 1,000 Cranes for Iraq. Basing her work on the Japanese tradition of folding 1,000 paper cranes for peace or health, she has continued her own project of creating daily oil paintings of paper cranes. Each painting is given to an individual or group who donates $100 to help the Dominican Sisters of Iraq in their ministry with Christians and other minority groups who fled the onslaught of Isis in Mosul, Iraq, in August 2014. Donations to 1,000 Cranes for Iraq help the Sisters in their school, clinics, and pastoral ministry to other refugees living in northern Iraq. Visit the website to view the latest creations by Sister Barbara and other Adrian Dominican artists and to help support the Iraqi Dominican Sisters in their ministry.