FMS Staff, Return Missioners, Missioners in Formation, friends and neighbors gathered on August 28, 2010 to celebrate our annual Peace Pole Planting. The service took place in front of our home site in D.C., Casa San Salvador, amidst a group of reflective and thoughtful individuals who offered up their prayers for peace, prayers for our missioners who have committed their lives to bridging communities and bringing consolation and love to those who have experienced suffering because of war and violence.

The ceremony began with an introduction of what a peace pole represented, followed a prayer during which “May Peace Prevail on Earth” was said in eight different languages including, Thai, Spanish, Russian, Portuguese, Swahili, English, Tagalog, and Arabic. Then we recited the prayer of St. Francis in honor of missioners serving overseas.

Following the ceremony everyone shared conversation and stories on the newly painted porch of Casa San Salvador while enjoying a vegetarian meal with plenty of hor d’oeurves, bean burgers, and desserts.

The peace pole presents the words “May peace prevail on Earth” in languages from all over the world in order to generate thoughts of peace and justice in the minds and hearts of all people and to commemorate those who have dedicated their lives to working for peace.

 

Walking joyfully down the house steps to where the peace pole is planted.

We pray that our daily actions might reflect peace, tolerance, and justice.

Before the ceremony, staff and guests wrote their personal prayer for peace. Sandra Bradford, missioner in formation places her prayer in the garden during the ceremony.

 

One prayer reflects the work of our missioners as they they travel to a foreign community to walk alongside the poor and marginalized.

 

The peace pole receives a blessing from Fr. Joe Nangle, O.F.M., FMS former director.

 

Kelvin Mulembe and Laura Perez led everyone in song.

 

The Peace Pole will remain in front of Casa San Salvador as a reminder for all to keep peace alive in their hearts.