September 2, 2016, Adrian, Michigan – Fall is traditionally the season when people in the United States transition from more informal and relaxed activities of the summer to the routine of school and business. This Fall, the Adrian Dominican Sisters – through the Office of Global Mission, Justice, and Peace – will continue the serious work of advocating for justice and peace with a series of special events and campaigns from September through December.
Sister Kathleen Nolan, OP, Director of the office, worked with the Congregation’s Justice Promoters to develop this campaign. “We recognize the overwhelming task ahead of us in a world full of turmoil, with many people and Earth suffering beyond our comprehension,” she said. “Our hope is to focus our energies and efforts where we can make an impact.”
The series of campaigns began on September 1, declared by Pope Francis as the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation. Resources and prayer services for this special day are available through many sources, such as the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
September 1 also kicked off the Season of Creation, which continues through Tuesday, October 4, the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi. The season is an extension of the original World Day of Prayer for Creation.
The Pace e Bene (Peace and All Good) Campaign Nonviolence is set for Sunday, September 18 through Sunday, September 25. The purpose of the campaign is to build a culture of peace and non-violence globally and locally.
A special Peace Prayer at 4:45 p.m. Tuesday, September 20, 2016, in Holy Rosary Chapel, will focus on International Day of Peace, observed globally on Wednesday, September 21. The Peace Prayer, in collaboration with Siena Heights University, will incorporate the themes of the International Day of Peace and Hispanic Heritage Month, Sunday, September 25, through Saturday, October 15.
A group of Adrian Dominican Sisters will participate in a special School of the Americas (SOA) gathering, from Friday, October 7, through Monday, October 10, at the U.S.-Mexico border in Nogales, Arizona. The SOA Watch movement was organized to put an end to the U.S. School of the Americas, which has trained military leaders from throughout Latin America. Those who have gone through the training have, in turn, used torture and violence against their own people. Traditionally held in November in Fort Benning, Georgia – site of the School of the Americas – the 2016 convergence will be held for the first time at the border in October to raise awareness of the militarization of U.S. borders.
Finally, the Adrian Dominican Sisters and Associates will participate in the December Sabbath, a project organized by Faiths United calling for the prevention of gun violence. Representatives of a variety of faiths – from Christianity, Judaism, and Islam to Sikh, Buddhism, and Hinduism – offer resources and prayers for the campaign, which runs from Wednesday to Sunday, December 14-18.
September 29, 2015, Detroit, Michigan -- The Capuchin Soup Kitchen sponsored a special prayer service in honor of International Day of Peace, September 21. The evening at the St. Bonaventure chapel in Detroit brought together a cross section of people from various faiths, cultures and environments.
Sister Nancyann Turner, OP, welcomed the congregation with a reminder that so many places need love and community. “The call to Peace is urgent,” she said. “Our families, our neighborhoods, our cities, and the whole world are such need of healing and love and community. We must work for peace -- as well as pray for peace.”
The Capuchin Soup Kitchen Choir and the St. Charles Praise Dancers used song and dance to honor peace and invite people to various modalities of praying for peace.
Two speakers, Lila Cabbil and Rasha Almulaiki, spoke of how important parents and families are in imparting either acceptance or prejudice to their children. Lila Cabbil reminded participants that a love of peace must expand to work for justice. Rasha Almulaiki spoke of what it feels like to be labeled different, a problem, or a terrorist when she was simply a student at Wayne State University.
Following the presentations, members of the assembly took part in a beautiful anointing ritual. As a sign that each person can be a healer, participants received a peace blessing with holy oil. Closing music and blessings challenged each person to be a source of light and peace throughout the family, the neighborhood and the city.
During the reception afterwards, people continued to share stories about peace for another hour. So many people expressed gratitude for the service. “Thank you so much for the beautiful prayer service,” Sister Barbara Cervenka, OP, said. “It was a wonderful way to pray for peace and to celebrate the richness of all the people of this city and world. I was so proud to be part of it.”
Sister Theresa said she was “touched by every aspect of the service: the interfaith experience, the words of Lila and Rasha, the amazing young dancers, the beautiful spirited singing — right down to those huge cookies for refreshments. I was so glad I was able to come.”
Other Adrian Dominicans participating in the prayer service included Associate Carol Hofer and Sisters Rosalie Esquerra, Pat Johnson, Noreen O’Connell, and Suzanne Schreiber. Many other Adrian Dominicans sent word that they were praying with the group from other locations.
And so, may all of us continue to pray for peace and work for peace.
- Article submitted by the Capuchin Soup Kitchen