Each day we hear about conflicts, acts of terrorism, and violence. The longing for peace is great.
Peace is not only the absence of violence and war. True peace includes life and relationships built on truth, justice, and solidarity among peoples and nations, and with all creation.
We are all called to be peacemakers and ministers of reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:18) through education, action, and prayer. Below we offer educational resources, possible action steps, and a prayer resource to help you in your efforts for peace.
Educational Resources for Peace
- The official Vatican website, the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, messages of Pope Francis for World Day of Peace, the Catholic Catechism, and references to Catholic Social Teaching. (Multiple Languages)
- Caritas (English, Español) shares reports and resources on peace and reconciliation.
- United Nations agencies offer numerous resources in UN languages and links to useful websites: UNICEF’s Life Skills/Violence Prevention and Peace Building , UNESCO.
- The Hague Appeal for Peace is an international network of organizations and individuals dedicated to peace through advocacy and peace education, with resources for teaching about peace and nonviolence.
- The World Peace Prayer Society (English, Deutsch, Japanese) offers a wealth of materials, including the prayer “May Peace Prevail on Earth” in 101 languages and information on the Peace Pal Program and the Peace Pole Project.
- Peace One Day (English, Español) provides a variety of resources including films, music, and teaching materials to mark the International Day of Peace on September 21st.
- The websites of Pathways to Peace with the Culture of Peace Initiative and the International Day of Peace Education Resource Packet offer suggestions for commemorating peace day and tools and practices for building peace.
Blessed are the peacemakers, they shall be called children of God. (Matt. 5:9)
Actions for Peace
- Pray for peace. Suggestions include the prayer below, the September Shalom International Solidarity Reflection (Multiple Languages), and the prayer mantra: “May Peace Prevail on Earth.”
- Observe the World Day of Peace celebrated on January 1; reflect on the Papal Message for the occasion; and take practical steps to create peace.
- Commemorate the UN International Day of Peace on September 21 with the global community.
- Study and teach about peace and nonviolence. Encourage teachers, campus ministers, and youth group leaders to explore ideas and actions for peace and nonviolence.
- Reflect with others on Pope John XXIII’s encyclical Pacem in Terris and consider one’s role and responsibility in building peace.
- Study the Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium; consider how to live the new evangelization to be a peacemaker and credible witness to a reconciled life. (cf. EG, #239).
- Learn about International Cities of Peace and the steps one can take to make your village or town of city of peace.
- Advocate for Nuclear Disarmament and stronger regulation of the arms trade for a more peaceful world.
- Plant a peace tree, peace garden, or a peace pole. If you already have a peace pole, use this occasion to rededicate your community to the work of peace; Peace Pole gives practical steps to make your own Peace Pole.
- Create Pinwheels for Peace, which express hope for peace and “plant” the pinwheels outside homes, schools, museums, and other public places to spread thoughts and feelings about peace throughout the country and the world.
- Join a peace network or movement, such as Catholic Peacebuilding Network, Pax Christi International or one of its partners, to be part of ongoing local and global efforts to build peace.
- Encourage teachers, campus ministers, and youth group leaders to explore the state of peace around the world with the Global Peace Index interactive map and then consider ways to promote greater peace and nonviolence.
Prayer for Peace
Prayer is fundamental to the transformation of persons and the world. It renews our relationship with God and awakens our minds and hearts to transform our relationships with ourselves, others, and all creation.
School Sisters of Notre Dame call for peace and reconciliation through prayer. In communities designated as Shalom Centers of Prayer for Peace, sisters throughout the world pray each day of every month for peace and commit to being actively involved in peace building. Join us as we pray for peace in ourselves, in our homes, and in our world.
O God, you are the source of life and peace. Praised be your name forever. We know it is you who turns our minds to thoughts of peace in this time of war. We pray that enemies begin to speak to one another; that those who are estranged join hands in friendship; that nations seek the way of peace.
Strengthen our resolve to give witness to these truths by the way we live. Give to us: understanding that puts an end to strife; mercy that quenches hatred; and forgiveness that overcomes vengeance. Empower all people to live your law of love. Amen.