Thirty years ago, on October 2, 1988, a great event took place on the Our Lady of the Sacred Heart campus. The Felician Sisters dedication their grounds as an official Peace Site. A plaque at the foot of the base of the St. Francis Statue outdoors marked the Sisters commitment to work for peace.
Prior to the event there were art and essay contests on the theme: What peace Means to Me, held in various schools where the Felician Sisters taught. A panel of sisters selected the winners who were honored on Oct. 2.
A Prayer Service marking the dedication of the Peace Site took place in the OLSH auditorium and outdoors near at the St. Francis statue on a bright, sunny afternoon. Priests and ministers involved in the West Hills Ministerium, state and local officials, the Felician Sisters and people from the greater Coraopolis/Moon Township and Pittsburgh areas all joined in the celebration. Songs, Scripture, prayers, intercessions, acknowledgments from officials, an outdoor procession and a public prayer of commitment to work for peace were part of the celebration. Refreshments and fellowship followed.
The dedication of Peace Sites originated in the early 1980’s as a dream of Louis Kousin in New Jersey. He made note of the numerous military sites throughout the world, and it occurred to him that a natural antonym for military sites are peace sites – places where visually and physically the positive message of peace could be consolidated and expanded. He shared his idea with the board of the SANE Educational Development Fund (now the N.J. Peace Action Education Fund) and the board approved the idea in June 1981. By 1987 there were 270 peace sites around the world, including schools, churches, synagogues, YWCAs, veterans’ memorials, gardens, etc.
Today – Oct. 2 – thirty years later - Stop and enjoy the grounds - pray for peace – act in a peaceful way – live out the core value of Justice and peace.
Join in prayer today as we pray the World Peace Prayer:
Lead me from DEATH to LIFE, from FALSEHOOD to TRUTH.
Lead me from HATE TO love, from WAR to PEACE.
Let Peace fill our HEARTS, our WORLD, our UNIVERSE.
-By Sr. M. Faith Balawejder, CSSF
Sr. Faith is the Pastoral Associate at St. Louise de Marillac parish, she works with the Felician Associates, and is a former OLSH Board Member.