Continuing a 15 year tradition, Loras College hosted it’s annual “Peace and Justice Week” from September 21-28. This week long event offered a variety of programs aimed at helping faculty, staff, students, and visitors start to think of peacemaking in a comprehensive way and recognize that everyone can play a role in creating peace and justice on individual and communal levels. The week kicked-off with a keynote address from Paul Engler, author of “Non-Violent Alternatives to War.” From Iowa himself, Paul inspired the Loras College and Dubuque communities and helped participants envision a world free from violence. Throughout the week a historic poster exhibit was displayed, commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Other events included a group hike that aimed to raise money for refugees, and a workshop set on instructing how to communicate nonviolently based on Dr. Martin Luther King’s six principles of nonviolence.
One session of “Peace and Justice Week” was concentrated on the man who inspired the creation of the Father Ray Peace and Justice Center at Loras. The center hosts weekly meetings to discuss and raise awareness about local and global social justice issues. Fr. Ray Herman, was a priest in the Archdiocese of Dubuque who engaged in missionary work in Bolivia for thirteen years before being murdered in 1975. Students gathered to watch a short documentary of his life followed by the first person narrative of Fr. William Joensen, Dean of Spiritual Life, in which he recounted his own recent mission to Bolivia.
One Loras College student, Jenna Roskoph, said of the program- “The entire week helped me grow in my understanding of what it means to be an active peacemaker. I especially loved learning more about Fr. Ray Herman and his life of radical simplicity and dedication to the poor and vulnerable.”
To learn more about more about Peace and Justice at Loras click here.