We are all Peace Makers

The annual CJSR schools day (organised by the Commission for Justice & Social Responsibility) took place today at St Bonaventure’s School in Forest Gate. Ten schools from around the Diocese sent representatives from Yr 9 to come together for a day of peace and justice.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

We were delighted that Margaret and Barry Mizen accepted our invitation to speak about the tragic loss of their son, Jimmy and their work with Release the Peace. Everyone found their testimony to be extremely moving.

To know that even though Jimmy died in such a violent way, his parents still have faith in God, and rooting for peace in the world. student feedback

The idea to hold on to faith and to never let go of God because he’ll never let go of you. student feedback

To help our community to be a community of peace. This could be at home, at church, at school or any other area. It starts with me. student feedback

The CAFOD workshop shared Margaret and Barry’s visit to CAFOD projects in Kibera and Korogocho, Kenya where they met other parents who had lost children and family members to violence. Margaret and Barry also visited projects helping young people who have turned their backs on violence to rebuild their lives. One of the stories shared with the group was about visiting a school where the Head said “these are not our students, they are our peace makers”.

Margaret then invited the schools attending the CJSR day to all be peace makers in their own communities.

The story of when the two parents went to Kenya and shared the pain and laughter with other Kenyans inspired me to make a difference. student feedback

The trip to Kenya inspired me because of how far they went to create peace. student feedback

A short film of their visit was played, and at the end young people in Kenya who had been affected by violence had a message for the young people in the UK: “We would give anything to have the opportunities you have. Please don’t waste them!”

Tomorrow I am going to keep peace at home by helping without being asked. I will also keep peace in school by avoiding fights and spreading the same inspiration I received today to all my friends. student commitment

Pray to God to give me the courage to make the difference and to show others how to love others and have peace. student commitment

Instead of being annoyed at having to attend school, I can think of the benefits and the amount of people that would love to have the opportunity to get free education. student commitment

The day came to a close with a liturgy where students were asked to hang personal commitments onto a peace tree that has been planted in St Bonaventure’s grounds.

Schools attending included St Angela’s, Forest Gate; St Benedict’s, Colchester; St Bonaventure’s, Forest Gate; Grays Convent, Grays; Palmer Catholic Academy, Seven Kings; St John Payne, Chelmsford; St Mark’s, Harlow; St Thomas More, Westcliff; The Ursuline High School, Brentwood; and Trinity School, Woodford Green.

An inspiring and moving day.

One thought on “We are all Peace Makers

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s