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Jean Vanier: Change the world one person at a time

As we face the war on terror, the terror of war, and hatred among religions and races, now more than ever we must heed God’s call to peace. But how do we accomplish such a monumental feat? For answers, I visited Jean Vanier, a hero of faith, humanitarian service, and a champion of peace building. Jean Vanier shared his personal outlook, which has held true for him for more than fifty years: Change the world one person at a time.

After Nice, Prayers for Peace

Last night, when I heard about the attack in Nice, France, I immediately thought of my friend from France, Valérie Baron. She shared these thoughts today, which are so important as we grieve, and reflect on how to bring peace to a very hurting world.

I was thinking about my home country again today.  I was there during the November attacks and I wasn't far away. I am thinking of the  atrocity and fear that comes along with it. It is not pleasant, to say the least. I don't think I will ever get over the Paris, and now Nice, attacks.

Advent Peace

It's advent - the season of year when Christians await the coming of Jesus anew in our hearts, in remembrance of his birth over 2,000 years ago. To celebrate, we light a candle each Sunday - one for hope, one for peace, one for joy, and one for love. This Sunday, my church asked me to light the candle of peace. As someone called to be a peacemaker, I was grateful for the chance to share some of the stories and journies of peace I have made over the years. Let me share the highlights with you.

Peace is God's gift, but we must open our hearts

It was 10:50 PM when I returned to the monastery on my first night in Rome. Tired after over 36 hours of flights, buses, and a leisurely evening out, yet energised by the adrenalin of starting a month-long adventure, I shared the highlights of my evening with Sister Leopoldina, the elderly nun serving at the desk until 11PM. Diminutive in stature, but gigantic in spirit, we picked up the threads of our earlier conversation.

I'm in Rome!

I’m in Rome! I was so eager to settle in and see the sights that every delay sorting out transportation downtown required double patience. Finally, I found the non-descript door on the non-descript street of the non-descript monastery. The welcome, however, was wonderful! Sister Leopoldina, a native Spanish speaker, and I, a native English speaker, found a common language, French, in Italy. We shared an amicable conversation about my mission, her origins (Columbia), and the lay of the neighbourhood.

September Peace Quest - On My Way

I’m on my way to Rome, the first stop on my September peace quest. I’ll spend the night in a monastery, then the next two nights in Assisi, to centre myself for the rest of the trip.

Walls are the metaphor for this trip. I’ve been fascinated by walls since my trip to Israel and Palestine last November. The separation wall made a big impact on me, and I’ve been dreaming of ways to digitally erase it, scale it, write on it, and project it - symbols of a united future, plus creative advocacy to get there. After my sojourn in Assisi, I’ll go to Geneva to seek partners to make these dreams a reality.

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