In this feature article Daniel Fleming explores the concept of peacemaker in our Catholic tradition. Peacemaking is not avoiding conflict and involves being a prophetic voice in the pursuit of peace. Peacemaking is a responsibility of all people.
Blessed are the Peacemakers
Peace is a gift from God. While we all want peace, it can be a challenge to let go of the barriers that prevent peace: being right, materialism, power. This issue explores the Catholic understanding of peace and the Christian mission to be peacemakers.
Reviews & Resources
Jan Grajczonek reviews The Perfect Percival Priggs by Julie-Anne Graham, Stories for Simon by Lisa Miranda Sarzin, and The Soldier’s Gift by Tony Palmer.
Resources for Religious Education
Melanie Dooner reviews Praying in Color: Drawing a New Path to God and Praying in Color: Kids Edition both by Sybil MacBeth and Into the Deep: Rich Teaching Strategies for the Religious Education Classroom by Dan White, Kate O’Brien and Steve Todd.
Liturgies & Activities
Blessed are the Peacemakers
Anne Victor uses the story of Stone Soup to help students think about the qualities needed for peace. Students are encouraged to create their own recipe for peace.
Blessed are the Peacmakers:
YES, You and Me!
In this ritual by Jennifer Callanan, students spend time reflecting on the ways they have been peacemakers during the course of the day. The ritual reminds us that peacemakers help build the kingdom of God.
Create a Recipe for Peace
In this activity Beth Nolen challenges students to become undercover agents and investigate peace. What does it take to be a person of peace?
Peace: What Would the Catholic Church Know About It?
Beth Nolen designs an activity encouraging students to explore the principles of Catholic Social Teachings. By doing so, they piece together the Church’s teachings about peace.
Writing a Prayer for Peace
Anne Victor focuses peace and prayer. This activity offers a structure that will help students write prayers about peace.
A God of Peace in the Scriptures?
Stuart Moran looks at the problem of violence in the Scriptures. Do the Scriptures, and God, promote violence? Moran affirms the God of both Testaments as one of peace, who transforms violence into new life.
Jesus: Model of Peace
Tony Densley reflects on qualities for peace; qualities of truth, justice, charity and liberty. Modelling our lives on the life of Jesus, we are called to be people of prayer and action in promoting peace in our world.
Useful Resources for Liturgy
Denise Braddon outlines some of the important resources needed for those organising liturgies for their class and school communities.
Peacemaking Isn't Necessarily a Stroll in the Park
Peter Arndt explores the challenges of being a peacemaker. He looks at the commitment of William Bischel and those campaigning at Jeju Island as an example of peacemaking. Students are encouraged to research Catholic peace activists.
For the Catechist
An Instrument of Peace
Pina Ford reflects on peace using the well-known prayer An Instrument of Peace and the life of St Francis of Assisi, particularly the story of Francis and the wolf of Gubbio.
Ten Peace Blessings for the Classroom
Michele Purcell has a collection of blessings to use in the classroom. These range from blessings that can be used daily to particular blessings for Christmas and Easter.
Can We Sing the Prayer of the Faithful?
Music can add solemnity to liturgical celebrations. Peter Olley looks at the benefits of singing the Prayer of the Faithful in the liturgy.
Being a Peacemaker:
Enacting Jesus' Commandment to Love One Another
Jan Grajczonek uses the command to love one another as a way of teaching about peace. Peace involves love and reconciliation as well as other important qualities.