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