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.
July 11, 2016, Detroit, Michigan – All are invited to a special celebration of St. Mary of Magdala, Apostle to the Apostles and Patron of the Order of Preachers, the Dominicans. The special event will take place from 3:00 to 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, July 24, 2016, at St. Suzanne Our Lady Gate of Heaven Church, 9357 Westwood, Detroit.
The formal celebration will be followed by a strolling reception among displays of Dominican ministries and the Dominican family. All are invited to bring a finger food to pass.
This year’s celebration coincides with the 800th Jubilee of the Founding of the Dominicans. St. Dominic organized the order of Friars in 1216 – years after he had founded convents of contemplative women. The Order was part of a broad reform movement which saw traces of God in the simple message of the Gospel and in the everyday lives of men and women. St. Mary of Magdala was named the official patron of the Dominicans early in the Order’s history, in 1297.
This year’s celebration – sponsored by the Dominican Center for Religious Development – will include song, prayer, and the presentation of a short, original play, “The Women Came First,” giving voice to the first women of the Dominican family. Featured in the play will be Deb Carter, Adrian Dominican Associate and Dean Emerita of the College for Professional Studies, Siena Heights University, Adrian; Trudy McSorley, Adrian Dominican Associate and retired Dean for Students at Siena Heights; and Adrian Dominican Sister Anneliese Sinnott, OP, recently retired Professor of Systematic Theology and former Dean at Ecumenical Theological Seminary in Detroit.
The playwright, Adrian Dominican Sister Cheryl Liske, OP, is a community organizer in the Gamaliel national network. For years, she has also been involved in researching the stories of the first Dominican women, whose lives have been largely unknown in history.