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Building Peace, One Bead at a Time

[caption id="attachment_3660" align="alignright" width="200"] Blog by Sr. June Fitzgerald, OP[/caption] “Build PEACE . . . “ A simple phrase. A powerful phrase. A lifetime commitment . . . We are making rosary bracelets to promote peace.  Our Sister Mai-Dung Nguyen had the idea to create these rosaries to share with the people we will meet at the Marian Days Festival in Carthage, Missouri next week.  We will use them also in our ongoing vocation outreach ministry. Each rosary contains a message in 10 letters – just the right number to create a one decade rosary bracelet.  The messages are; Build Peace, Live 4 Peace, I Love Peace. etc and are spelled out with small white letter beads.  The bracelets include a Cross and a medal of the Blessed Mother. Many people (sisters, associates, volunteers) have helped create more than 600 of these rosaries. A group of our retired sisters spent several hours inserting them into small bags with a card that suggests how to pray for peace.  We don’t know how many hands have touched these bracelets already nor how many more will be touched by them.  What we do know is that they have already had an impact on those who’ve touched them. [caption id="attachment_6675" align="alignleft" width="186"] Sr. Catherine Malya, OP puts Peace Rosary Bracelet in bag with the card insert.[/caption] When helping to make these rosaries, I discovered that it was a contemplative experience – albeit, I must admit that, at first, I was more frustrated (with my clumsy fingers) than contemplative.  However, as I strung the beads and reflected on the message, I realized that to build peace doesn’t always involve grand gestures or actions. Peace is more often built one bead, one prayer, one smile and one invitation at a time. Last week, as six or seven of us Sisters were gathered around a small table in the dormitory, where we were staying for the Assembly, we laughed as much as we prayed while assembling the rosaries, correcting misspellings, and putting the finishing touches on each one.  It was an experience of the living communion of saints here on earth.  No, we are not all Saints – but we are all on “the narrow way” as one of our Sisters likes to remind us.  We spoke about how we build peace and of how we are challenged by those who are more intent to build division and un-peace. [caption id="attachment_6676" align="alignright" width="187"] Prayer Card Insert[/caption] Today as I wear my rosary bracelet, I have been approached by several people asking about my “pretty bracelet.”  When I shared the story of this Peace Rosary and the significance of it to me, I realized that in the simple act of wearing it, I was building peace. How will you build peace today? Learn how God is calling you to build peace with your life by attending our next Come and See Discernment Retreat in September.  For more information about this retreat or to speak to one of our vocation ministers, click here.      

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