Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

The theme of this year’s Share Lent campaign is Together for Peace.  How much the world indeed needs us to be together for peace! 

The day before he died, Christ himself prayed for peace. Through profound prayer, he expressed his mission of bringing peace to our world, reconciling us to the Father and to one another. As disciples of Christ, we are to become peace-makers in our homes, parishes, and communities. We are also invited to help other nations to build peace and reconciliation amongst their people.

Development and Peace’s materials can help us to do this by deepening our understanding of peace-building through dialogue and reconciliation. The continuum of dialogue to reconciliation and peace can require courage; especially when there is a power imbalance.  This is often the case for people in the Global South who seek justice in a peaceful manner.  The Share Lent materials feature four partner organizations who have taken up this challenge with integrity and faith.

We are introduced to initiatives in Peru, Cambodia and Nigeria where people are learning about their legal rights regarding the environment, housing and ancestral lands.  Empowered with truth, community and a desire for justice and peace, they enter into dialogue with forces seemingly much bigger than them.

In Lebanon, Development and Peace supports an organization called Adyan (meaning ‘religions’).  Adyan brings together young people of diverse backgrounds. Often, it is the first time they are meeting people from a different religious community.  Through these encounters, they learn about the escalation of violence due to fanaticism.  By dialoguing with one another, they come to see how their religions are to be sources of peace-building and working for the common good of their country.  Nayla Tabbara (co-founder of Adyan) emphasizes the need for spiritual solidarity, where we “carry the other within.”

This Lent, how can we “carry the other within,” holding in our hearts and prayers people that we don’t know well enough? What practices can we live that carry on throughout the year?  We know too well the challenges of peace-building within our families and neighbourhoods; between people of different races, cultures and religions. Can we seek out those who are different from us?  Through dialogue, can we achieve understanding and reconciliation?  We can be examples of peace-building for our families and communities.

In two weeks’ time, on March 17th and 18th, our annual Share Lent collection will be taken up.  I ask you to please be generous in donating to Development and Peace so that people’s courage is strengthened by our solidarity with them.  In our sharing we are joining ‘together for peace’ with our sisters and brothers around the world.

 

Grace and peace,

✠Donald J. Bolen
Archbishop of Regina

Page URL: http://archregina.sk.ca/news/2018/02/27/together-peace