Have you ever wondered about that wooden pole with the strange writing that’s planted outside of Clare Hall?  It’s called a Peace Pole, and it has been on campus since 2005, replacing another that had been on campus some years prior.  It gives the message, “May peace prevail on Earth” in 8 languages.

There are tens of thousands of Peace Poles in 180 countries all over the world. They exist to encourage prayer for peace and draw attention to it.

The languages on our pole were picked for very specific reasons.  They represent all continents and the four corners of the globe, especially areas of struggle:

Arabic – Language of the Middle East, a land with currently much strife

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Cherokee – Native American language from North Carolina.

May peace prevail on earth

English – The most common language in the United States

Bari salama ta kasance a duniya

Hausa – an African language

Japanese – the only people who ever had nuclear weapons used against them

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Ja jab’ sbatxilal chi kowa’ne sat txotx ti

Mayan dialect – a reminder of our Sister Parish

Sign Language – represents handicapped folks

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Que la paz prevalezca en la tierra

Spanish – the fastest growing segment of the American population

How It Started

Memories are foggy, but sometime around fall of 2007, the Justice and Peace Ministry facilitated a 10-week course on peacemaking. One of the outcomes of that class was a commitment to hold a prayer at the Peace pole every 3rd Sunday after the 9:30 Mass. That started in May of 2008 and continues to this day. A group of faithful parishioners have gathered there, rain or shine, to pray aloud for a peaceful world and for specific global concerns.

Long-time leaders of this ministry have been Paul and Marianne Williams.  They are leaving soon to spend 1 year abroad in China to teach English as a Second Language, one of their longtime passions.

We are now looking for leaders to take a turn at the helm coordinating prayer at the Peace Pole. Different folks have put together various prayer services that last under 10 minutes.

“We’d love to see the gentle ministry continue,” says Marianne.

This is a great ministry not just for individuals—ministry groups could take a turn leading a prayer for peace.

“Social ministry not genuinely rooted in prayer can easily burn itself out,” says the USCCB document Communities of Salt and Light:  Reflections on the Social Ministry of the Parish.  It goes on to say, “in prayer, we find the reasons, the strength, and the call to follow Jesus in the ways of charity, justice and peace.”

Paul and Marianne Williams