Today I went to the third event I knew about relating to International Day of Peace in this area. I described each of them a few days ago, here. It was a joy, not a chore, to go to these events.
This afternoons was a particularly gentle set of songs presented by Ensemble Music as part of a sing-around-the world broadcast by the organization Music Together. As I write, the around the world mini concert continues, with the centerpiece, the song “May All Children”: Song May All Children001
It is not hard to have hope, and be willing to work for it, when I see kids in action, as I did today:
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Yesterday, at Minneapolis’ Loft Literary Center, was an impressive dedication of the Loft as an International Peace Site. Here, singer Larry Long, was the troubadour; 94 year old Lynn Elling did the honors dedicating the peace site, as he has done for years, and Martha Roberts, President of World Citizen described the groups program of peace education. There appeared to be more than 100 in attendance at the event.
Finally, on Saturday, a moving and impressive event at the Landmark Center, the new film, Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard (program booklet here: Hiroshima Schoolyard001), with filmmakers Shizumi Shigato Manale. Producer, and Bryan Reichhardt, Director, and Melvin Carter, Exhibit Collection Curator of some recovered “kid art” drawn at Honkawa Elementary School within sight of ground zero at Hiroshima in 1946.
Very good news for readers who are interested in the film. It will be shown again at Landmark Centers F.K. Weyerhaeuser Auditorium Lobby on Saturday, Sept. 19, 26, Oct 3, 17 and 24 at 2 p.m.
This Saturday, Sep 26, atomic bomb survivor (hibakusha) Ms Michiko Harada, will speak at the same venue at 1 p.m.
This will be an inspiring afternoon. “pencil it in”, then attend!
Of course, Tuesday, Sep 21, Pope Francis arrives in the United States, bringing his message of peace and justice. What he does here, and the previous two days in Cuba, have been and will be broadly reported.
As a Catholic, I see Pope Francis as a transformational figure, much like John XXIII (visionary leader who built Vatican II in the early 1960s). Change in my church is agonizingly slow, but it does happen, and it is happening. (Here is what I wrote about the brand new Pope Francis on March 31, 2013.)
A week ago, on Sep 23, I happened to be at Basilica of St. Mary when it was announced that one of the rear doors would be sealed after the 9:30 Mass, not to be opened till mid-December. (A photo is below).
Sunday I asked what this meant.
There is a long tradition of sealing a door at St. Peter’s in Rome in a similar fashion; new this year, Pope Francis called for all Cathedral rank churches in the world to join the tradition.
It may seem like no big deal, as the designation of the coming year as the Year of Mercy, but I see it, and other attendant actions by this Pope to be a very important shift in tone of the institution that is the Catholic Church, still an immensely large and diverse community in the world.
This week the Pope will speak to Congress, and have lunch with the poor of Washington DC.
This is the kind of leader he is.
Catholic or not, he gives a good example to follow.
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Whatever your creed, think a bit about how you can make the Year of Mercy come alive this year. The Pope’s message Here.
* – Mercy, A Forced Choice: February 8, 2005. Reflections from a Workshop on Sustainable Peace: Mercy001 (See page one, specifically). Written by Dick Bernard Feb 8 and 14, 2005