The Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Committee of the Sisters of St. Joseph and Associates of Buffalo, dedicated a new Peace Pole at the Sisters property in Clarence. Sister of St. Joseph Associate Audrey Mang's welcome set the tone for the dedication of a Peace Pole by saying, "Today we celebrate diversity - the gift of our country. Diversity - all of us - is what makes our country great."
A Peace Pole carries on a long tradition. It began in Japan as a grassroots community project in 1975 and spread around the world. Western New York has a number of these messengers of peace.
Sally Tower, also an associate, led the 125 sisters, associates and guests in blessing the eight-sided pole with "May peace prevail on earth" written in Seneca, French, Spanish, English, Burmese, Arabic, Nepali and Swahili. A native speaker of each language proclaimed the important message. It is also present in Braille and Sign Language.
Vivian Waltz, executive director of the SSJ Sister Karen Klimczak Center for Nonviolence, related Sister Karen's legacy of respect for all people to the importance of diversity, foundational in every faith and given to make a unified whole.
"We need every language to hear the richness of God's word to us. We need all nations; there can be no outsiders. Everyone in the world must be included in order for peace to prevail on earth," Wantz said.
A short reflection by Sister Judith Justinger, SSJ, closed the dedication.