On Sept 24, 2017 at St. Maurice, Resurrection Catholic Church, Pax Christi Broward participated at both Masses with a powerful homily by its leader Art Kane and rededication of their Peace Pole. In photo above Mary Kelly, DeAnne Connolly Graham, Monsignor Jean Pierre, Art Kane and Bob Stein.
NON-VIOLENCE SUNDAY – Sept.24, 2017
News reports from around the world of political turmoil, persecutions and human tragedies remind us daily that we are living in a time of national and international unrest: numerous acts of violence in our cities, the refugee crisis of people forced from their homelands in Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and, closer to home, from Central America., the unending war in the middle east, and the worldwide strife between different religious groups and, also critical, between the haves and have-nots, a worldwide inequity that is obvious to all of us, witness the homeless on our streets. Perhaps these events may seem somewhere out there, far from us or our concern. Allow me to suggest that as we are all members of the human family, these issues concern everyone.
That is why for the second time we are celebrating Nonviolence and Peace Sunday here at St. Maurice as participants in the National Campaign Nonviolence week in which over 1600 other churches and organizations in all 50 states and 15 countries are likewise participating. The annual campaign is organized by Pace e Bene.
This past Thursday was International Peace Day. The Campaign Nonviolence began in 2014 as a way to celebrate this day of peace, but also to encourage everyone to come together to consider how we as communities and as individual Christians can participle in finding solutions for some of the most important issues of our day: ending war, poverty, environmental destruction, confronting racism in ourselves and in others, while promoting nonviolence as the method for achieving these goals.
Dorothy Day once said: “Peace begins when the hungry are fed.” And nonviolence as a tactic and lifestyle can be the glue that brings each of these critical issues together.
In the secular, money-focused world we often hear the phrase “the bottom line is…”
which generally points us to the conclusion or decisive point of the information that we have been given. So there is a bottom line here as well. That is that the issues of racism, poverty, religious bigotry, violence of any kind, and are not just the concerns of others, supposedly bigger, or more influential persons. Not at all.
Whether we are young or old, whether busy with work and family, or retired, the command to love our neighbor calls on all of us to do our part, to become active with those working to end the wars and poverty, in casting our votes for the peace seekers and those working to end poverty, and no less than by praying for a change of heart in those directly causing the tragic events we are seeing daily.
Pope Francis recently said: “Everyone can be an artisan (a worker) for peace.”
Pax Christi USA said on the International Peace Day: “Everyone can celebrate Peace even if by simply lighting a candle”.
Here at St. Maurice we are participating in Nonviolence Peace Day by rededicating
our Peace Pole which we have brought from its original setting at our church on Stirling Rd.
The Peace Pole is an internationally recognized symbol of the hopes and dreams of the entire human family, standing vigil in silent prayer for peace on earth. Each Peace Pole carries the message “May Peace Prevail on Earth” in four languages. Participants in Peace Pole dedications include the Dalai Lama, Mother Teresa, President Jimmy Carter, John Denver and many civic leaders and groups.
There are Peace Poles on the Allenby Bridge between Israel and Jordan, at the War Museum in Vietnam, outside the South Africa prison that held Nelson Mandela, at the Pyramids in Egypt, at the site of the baptism of Jesus at Bethany Beyond the Jordan and at churches, synagogues, mosques and temples across the U.S and around the world.
We will eventually plant the Pole in the garden when it is redesigned. In the meantime it will be placed in front of the church where we can be regularly reminded of its message: May Peace Prevail on Earth.