Celebrating the Fiftieth World Day of Peace

On the Fiftieth World Day of Peace, January 1, 2017, Pope Francis’ message to the world promotes nonviolence as a style of politics for peace. In his message, he spoke of nonviolence as being a difficult response, but the only appropriate one to violent conflicts.

He issued a call for nonviolence to all people saying, “It is a challenge to build up society, communities and businesses by acting as peacemakers. It is to show mercy by refusing to discard people, harm the environment, or seek to win at any cost. To do so requires ‘the willingness to face conflict head on, to resolve it and to make it a link in the chain of a new process’. To act in this way means to choose solidarity as a way of making history and building friendship in society. Active nonviolence is a way of showing that unity is truly more powerful and more fruitful than conflict. Everything in the world is inter-connected. Certainly differences can cause frictions. But let us face them constructively and non-violently, so that ‘tensions and oppositions can achieve a diversified and life-giving unity,’ preserving ‘what is valid and useful on both sides’.”

Francis ended with a reminder that “Everyone can be an artisan of peace.” On this World Day of Peace, let us consider how to be creators of peace in our communities.

Happy World Day of Peace!

Join Pope Francis and Partners to Call for Action Against Human Trafficking

Earlier last month, to mark the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, Pope Francis made history by convening world faith leaders to sign a declaration committing to ending slavery by 2020. This built momentum for the anti-trafficking movement leading up to the World Day of Peace (today!), when Pope Francis is focusing his message around the theme “Slaves No More, but Brothers and Sisters.”  The YouTube video provides more information on the declaration.

To take advantage of these focal moments on the issue of human trafficking, the Coalition of Catholic Organizations Against Human Trafficking (CCOAHT), convened by the USCCB, has crafted a set of “New Years’ Resolutions Against Human Trafficking,” a list of actions related to trafficking for the public to commit to as 2015 New Years’ resolutions. CCOAHT invites you and your campus to commit to the resolutions, share them with your students and colleagues, and use #SlavesNoMore to raise awareness for the issue of human trafficking.

New Handout for World Day of Peace (Jan. 1, 2015)

A handout/bulletin insert is available to help Catholics celebrate the 2015 World Day of Peace on Jan. 1. Pope Francis’ message for this Day is on “Slaves No More, But Brothers and Sisters” and focuses how recognizing the God-given dignity of every person should lead us to end human trafficking, trade in migrants and prostitutes, exploitation, slave labor, and the enslavement of women and children. The handout reflects on the Pope’s message and the root causes of these issues and includes a prayer and ideas for action. Get the handout here.