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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 8, 2016, Detroit, Michigan – People of all faiths and cultures are invited to a prayer service to observe the International Day of Prayer for Peace. The service begins at 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, September 20, 2016, at the Capuchins’ St. Bonaventure Monastery Chapel, 1780 Mount Elliott, Detroit. Security and lighted parking will be available.
Sponsored by the Capuchin ministries – including the Capuchin Soup Kitchen and the Solanus Casey Center – the event focuses on the theme, “Let Peace Begin with Me.” Capuchin Friar Ray Stadmeyer, pastor of St. Charles Church in Detroit and director of the Capuchins’ On the Rise Bakery, will be the featured speaker. The Capuchin Soup Kitchen Choir and the Dearing Dancers will perform at the program, which includes international prayers for peace.
“We gather to speak of peace and so much more,” Brother Ray explained. “We gather hoping our hearts can change and surrender to a force greater than our need to control, judge, hate, fight, and exclude. We come together, begging the God of all creation to allow us to see in one another and in all creation the spark of the Divine.”
All participants will be invited to make a commitment to work for peace in some way during the coming three months.