Four faiths share peace prayers at Motherhouse

September 20, 2009 by

In the closing interfaith prayer, all of Sundays speakers join together and are led by Sister Regina Ann Brummel, left, and Father Jack Schlaf, center.

In the closing interfaith prayer, all of Sunday's speakers join together and are led by Sister Regina Ann Brummel, left, and Father Jack Schlaf, center.


A globe symbolizes faiths from around the world coming together for Sundays ceremony.

A globe symbolizes faiths from around the world coming together for Sunday's ceremony.

Catholics, Protestants, Buddhists and Muslims came together Sunday to share prayers in a commemoration of the International Day of Peace.


Yet one of the most powerful statements may have been in the impromptu question-and-answer period, when Mohamed Fall, a Muslim from the African nation of Senegal and a student at Cloud County Community College, was asked by an audience member, what people can do to dispel fears about his faith.


“All we need is days like this,” he said, gesturing to the more than 75 people who had gathered in the Motherhouse Auditorium. “We need to talk about peace and try to understand each other.”

Dr. Suphol Saleengarm reads an essay titled Why is there no peace? during Sundays ceremony.

Dr. Suphol Saleengarm reads an essay titled 'Why is there no peace?' during Sunday's ceremony.

That was the same message given by the Rev. Sandra Moore, pastor of the Concordia First United Methodist Church, four members of the Buddhist Temple of Kansas in Salina, and by Father Jack Schlaf in the Mass at the Motherhouse earlier Sunday.

In their presentation, the four saffron-robed Buddhists delivered a paper that explained their view of nonviolence and tolerance.

“Today the followers of the most compassionate Buddha have a special duty to work for the establishment of peace in the world,” read Dr. Suphol Saleengarm, one of the four Thai monks who took part in the ceremony. “Buddhism has never persecuted or maltreated those whose beliefs are different.”

Dr. Saleengarm also addressed the current worldwide proliferation of weapons: “If we do nothing about it, the next war will be the end of the world where there will be neither victors nor victims — only dead bodies.”

Focusing on nonviolence, he added, “Many people say that the Buddha’s advice to return good for evil is impracticable. Actually, it is the only correct method to solve any problem.”

Pastor Moore made the point that hers is a military family — “I am the mother of a soldier, I am the mother-in-law of a soldier, I am the wife of a soldier” — but, she added, “No one understands the value of peace more than we do.”

She urged other Christians to join in the conversation, to learn about “neighbors” so everyone can work for peace.

Sister Regina Ann Brummel, who with Sister Esther Pineda organized Sunday’s event, cited a quote by the late President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who was the Supreme Allied Commander during World War II: “I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity.”

Sister Regina Ann also helped Mohamed Fall with his presentation. She explained the Five Pillars that make up the basic beliefs of the Islam faith: A profession of faith, daily prayer, giving alms, fasting during the month of Ramadan and making a pilgrimage to Mecca.

Sunday’s ceremony closed with an interfaith prayer by Sister Regina Ann and Father Jack Schlaf, and then everyone joined in the singing of the Peace Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi.

The United Nations’ International Day of Peace — marked each year on Sept. 21 — is a global holiday when individuals, communities, nations and governments highlight efforts to end conflict and promote peace.

Established by U.N. resolution in 1982, “Peace Day” has grown to include millions of people around the world who participate in all kinds of events, large and small. The Motherhouse event on Sunday was presented by the Sisters of St. Joseph Justice and Peace Center in Salina.

Sister Esther Pineda of the Sisters of St. Josephs Justice and Peace Center in Salina was one of two organizers of Sundays event at the Motherhouse.

Sister Esther Pineda of the Sisters of St. Joseph's Justice and Peace Center in Salina was one of two organizers of Sunday's event at the Motherhouse.


Mohamed Fall, a native of the African nation of Senegal and a freshman at Cloud County Community College, answers questions about his Muslim faith.

Mohamed Fall, a native of the African nation of Senegal and a freshman at Cloud County Community College, answers questions about his Muslim faith.


The Rev. Sandra Moore of Concordias First United Methodist Church talked about the importance of peace to her military family.

The Rev. Sandra Moore of Concordia's First United Methodist Church talked about the importance of peace to her military family.


Sister Regina Ann Brummel, one of two organizers of Sundays event, explained the origins of the International Day of Peace, which was established by the United Nations in 1981.

Sister Regina Ann Brummel, one of two organizers of Sunday's event, explained the origins of the International Day of Peace, which was established by the United Nations in 1981.


The four monks from the Buddhist Temple of Kansas in Salina chant a special peace prayer during their part of Sundays ceremony.

The four monks from the Buddhist Temple of Kansas in Salina chant a special peace prayer during their part of Sunday's ceremony.

Comments

9 Responses to “Four faiths share peace prayers at Motherhouse”

  1. Sylvia Winterscheidt on September 22nd, 2009 4:14 pm

    Sarah, thanks for capturing the spirit of the day. Regina Ann and Esther, thanks for initiating and organizing this powerful event for us here in Concordia. It makes me proud to belong to this CSJ community steeped in the love of God and neighbor. I felt the unity within the auditorium. Blessings on all!

  2. Christine Doman,CSJ on September 21st, 2009 12:26 pm

    What an inspiring day of prayer for peace in the world that begins in the hearts of peacemakers. Thanks to Regina Ann, Esther and all the community members who joined in the day of peace! Understanding how we are more alike than different in recognizing God in all and goodness of people who long to continue the search for peace are the gift of the Spirit and continuation of our sacred planet. I would have loved to have been present for this most blest occasion.
    Christine Doman,CSJ

  3. Jeanette Wasinger on September 21st, 2009 8:43 am

    I am touched by the lovely account of the Sunday celebration of International Peace Day. Thank you, Regina Ann and Esther for organizing the day. I was there in spirit, and I rejoice with those who could be there personally. What a gift God has given us to be so hospitable to ALL and to pray for peace together.
    Jeanette

  4. Bette Moslander on September 21st, 2009 8:34 am

    Esther and Regina Ann, thanks for all you have done to arrange this past Sunday’s celebration of International Peace Day.
    The good will and mutual respect of four different faith traditions was moving. God’s love excludes no one and our own love must be open to all that God loves.

  5. Helen Mick on September 21st, 2009 8:12 am

    What a beautiful service! Thank you all so much for planning it and then for letting us all see and read about your experience. So moving.

  6. Jodi Creten, CSJ on September 21st, 2009 7:19 am

    Thanks, Ann and Esther, for all of your efforts at bringing all of us together (near and far) to experience this moment when we meet one another face to face and see neighbor and not enemy. We are all blessed by this and the many more experiences we have to be peace and to live peace.

  7. Mary Fran Simons on September 20th, 2009 9:51 pm

    .I am so grateful to belong to a Community who would sponsor such a wonderful event. How true the comment was that it is by days like this in which we all share that peace will come. Congratulations to all who worked on this and to all who had the privilage to participate.

  8. Missy Ljungdahl on September 20th, 2009 6:25 pm

    Wow, what a moving experience..even from this distance. Thanks for all who organized and participated.

  9. Loretta Jasper, csj on September 20th, 2009 6:22 pm

    Concordia is blessed; Nazareth Motherhouse and the Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia are blessed to join faiths and nations together. What a gift!

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