International Day of Peace

Posted: 22nd September 2017

During Monday’s assembly, Mrs Macallister talked to the girls about the history of the Nobel Peace Prize and, in the lead up to Peace Day on Thursday 21st September, asked them to think about their awareness of those living in conflict, about being thankful, and about being active in promoting peace in their own lives.

Mrs McDermott marked the International Day of Peace in her Form III and Lower VI lessons on Thursday. Form III discussed peace in their own lives; how they get along with siblings, how they behave in their own homes (Mrs McDermott hopes parents had a noticeably peaceful Thursday evening!) and how they might raise awareness of The International Day of Peace.  They watched a video from the founder of Peace One Day, Jeremy Gilley, about how he pushed his idea of an annual day of global unity and used grit and determination to reach his target. He founded Peace One Day in 1999, and in 2001 the organisation’s efforts were rewarded when the member states of the United Nations adopted the first ever annual day of global ceasefire and non-violence, 21st September. In 2014 a report found that over one billion people had been exposed to Peace Day messages. The girls reflected on the fact that no matter how huge and distant the goal may seem, it will never be impossible if you keep reaching.

Each Lower VI girl filled out a peace pledge on their RE lesson on Thursday, making promises to promote Peace Day and to think about what peace means to them. They discussed the following quote from António Guterres, United Nations Secretary-General, “In times of insecurity, communities that look different become convenient scapegoats. We must resist cynical efforts to divide communities and portray neighbours as ‘the other’. Discrimination diminishes us all. It prevents people — and societies — from achieving their full potential. Together, let us stand up against bigotry and for human rights. Together, let us build bridges. Together, let us transform fear into hope”. The theme of this year’s Peace Day was ‘Peace, harmony and dignity for all’ with a focus on highlighting solidarity with migrants and refugees.  Mrs McDermott noted that many of the ideas around Peace Day have strong links to Catholicism. “Ultimately, it will be about bringing people together and reminding them of their common humanity”, said Guterres.

Prayer for Peace

Lord, we pray for the power to be gentle; the strength to be forgiving; the patience to be understanding; and the endurance to accept the consequences of holding to what we believe to be right.
May we put our trust in the power of good to overcome evil and the power of love to overcome hatred.
We pray for the vision to see and the faith to believe in a world emancipated from violence, a new world where fear shall no longer lead men to commit injustice, nor selfishness make them bring suffering to others.
Help us to devote our whole life and thought and energy to the task of making peace, praying always for the inspiration and the power to fulfil the destiny for which we and all men were created.

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