Franciscan Peace Center creates virtual ‘Walk Across the USA’ for peace

For The Catholic Messenger

CLINTON — Dozens of people from across the country have answered the call from the Franciscan Peace Center to participate in a collaborative video project to celebrate peace.

Each September, the Sisters of St. Francis in Clinton celebrate International Day of Peace and Campaign Nonviolence. Traditionally, the visitors gathered at The Canticle, home of the Clinton Franciscans, to pray, sing, attend services and participate in drumming circles, community-wide walks and other activities.

With the coronavirus limiting in-person gatherings, organizers chose to honor these traditions this year by creating a virtual walk across the United States. Committee members recruited individuals from all 50 states to record themselves walking and talking about a wish for peace in their state.

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These individual videos were edited together into a 13-minute project.

“We knew it was an ambitious concept when we came up with it, but thanks to our relationships with family and friends from across the USA it has really come together better than we had even imagined,” said Sister Kathleen Holland, OSF, a member of the committee working on the project. “It is truly moving to see so many people from across the country who all share a common dream for peace.”

“My name is D.J.,” says a young boy as he walks holding hands with his little sister, “and I am from Wisconsin.  My wish for Wisconsin is to have greater equality.”

“Oh, Aloha!” greets a man with a surfboard. “I’m Pastor John, and here in the islands of Hawaii, we paddle for peace!”

Cheryl in New Mexico believes that if “people learn to care for each other and help each other there is no problem on the planet that we cannot solve together.”

Native American flutist William Buchholtz-Allison supplied music for the video. The committee selected him as a way to honor the indigenous people of the land now known as the United States of America.

The video will be released Sept. 21 — the International Day of Peace — and will be accessible at the following places online: www.ClintonFranciscans.com; www.youtube.com/user/ClintonFranciscans; www.facebook.com/SistersOfStFrancisClintonIa; and twitter.com/ClintonSisters.

About International Day of Peace

The International Day of Peace (“Peace Day”) is observed around the world each year on Sept. 21. The Clinton Franciscans have sponsored a local observance of the International Day of Peace at The Canticle every year since 2001.

About Campaign Nonviolence

Campaign Nonviolence is a grassroots movement to mainstream active nonviolence using the vision of Martin Luther King, Jr. that calls everyone to become people of nonviolence and to resolve personal and global conflicts nonviolently.  Every year, Campaign Nonviolence organizes a national week of action across the United States and around the world, built around Sept. 21st, International Day of Peace. 

About The Franciscan Peace Center

The Franciscan Peace Center was established by the Sisters of St. Francis as a means for integrating Franciscan spirituality with the mission of promoting active nonviolence and peacemaking, as well as advocating for social justice issues and care for the Earth. Most recently, the Center has focused on immigration reform, human trafficking, abolition of the death penalty, domestic violence and sexual assault, poverty, environmental concerns, and active nonviolence. More information is available at www.Clinton Franciscans.com.


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