Pause for Peace 2008

Dear friends,

We write to invite you to join us in a renewed “Pause for Peace.” Initiated in 2004, the Pause for Peace asked people to take one minute each day, if possible at noon, to recommit themselves to peacemaking and hope; in 2006, we paused to pray in solidarity with the children in Northern Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. This year we ask you to focus once again on peacemaking with a special emphasis on Africa.

Peacemaking remains one of the most pressing tasks for us. People are being traumatized by violence of every kind – political, physical, economic, social, military, emotional, sexual, etc. – threatening them in their very survival while robbing them of their dignity as partners in creation. Africa in particular is bleeding more than ever before – in Darfur, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Northern Uganda, Kenya, Somalia, Zimbabwe ... Where is the cloak whose hem the Africans can touch? (Mark 5, 25-34)

We invite you to take each day a deliberate pause for peace by praying the following mantra – in silence or aloud, alone or with others – for our earth and our world, adapting it according to the cries you hear in your heart:

Breathe anew your spirit into … and it shall be recreated.

We also offer for your use the attached Prayer for Africa, written by a Religious of the Sacred Heart (rscj) from Africa. Feel free to use this prayer in the way you feel is appropriate.

Please disseminate this invitation and prayer as widely as possible through your own networks so it reaches our families, friends and neighbors; our churches and other faith communities; our schools; our co-workers and colleagues, and beyond.

Thank you for participating in this peace initiative.

Caritas Internationalis; Christian Life Community; The Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd; Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace, UN-NGO Office; Congregations of St. Joseph, UN-NGO Office; The Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, UN-NGO Office; Dominican Leadership Conference; Elizabeth Seton Federation; The Grail; Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary, UN-NGO Office; International Presentation Association of the Sisters of the Presentation; Loretto Community, NGO Office; Medical Mission Sisters, UN-NGO Office; Mercy International Association, representing the Sisters of Mercy; Passionists International, UN-NGO Office; Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary, UN-NGO Office; Salesians of Don Bosco, UN-NGO Office; Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, NGO Office at the UN; Society of the Sacred Heart, UN-NGO Office; Temple of Understanding; UNANIMA International; VIVAT International.