This Friday, September 21, 2018, Holy Cross High School will celebrate the International Day of Peace. Holy Cross's celebration of peace will continue long after the 21st. The school's Peer Ministers have planned other events throughout the year that are dedicated to the formation and cultivation of peace in the hearts of individuals in the Greater Waterbury community.
"This is a day where we can all come together and respect each other," said Galvin Brayton '19. "It is a day that celebrates how we should treat each other every day."
The International Day of Peace was established in spirit by the United Nations in 1982 to coincide with the Opening Assembly of the United Nations. In 2001, the UN voting members designated September 21st to be the fixed and dedicated International Day of Peace.On this day, nations across the globe would stop fighting and practice peace. Ironically, Secretary General Kofi Annan scheduled the proclamation ceremony for the morning of September 11th.
"Our hope is that we continue to foster discussion and provide young people the necessary tools to establish a lasting peace in their lives and communities," said Kyle Piatak, Director of Campus Ministry. "In the wake of the Peace One Day Movement, the challenge is for young people to be the ones to establish peace."
"It really is important to raise awareness and spread positivity in our school community," said Carly DeFoe '19.
"This isn't a one day thing," said D'Asia Hargrove. "We are looking forward to expanding this throughout the year for our school and local community. Every day should be about giving back and spreading peace."
On Tuesday, November 6th, Holy Cross will host its 5th Annual Middle School Leadership Conference. Working in partnership with area schools, Holy Cross students will work with middle school students to build stronger leadership skills and to increase community participation. Mr. Piatak explains that, "By working together, by listening and understanding and forgiving, by developing connections and acknowledging differences, young people will be able to encounter the innate dignity of every person and place persons at the center of their decisions."
In January, student leaders will honor the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his message of peace through active non-violence and intercultural dialogue. Students will look to participate with community leaders to grow in their understandings of our nation's history and what actions are taking place within our own neighborhoods and cities to fully realize Dr. King's dream.
Students will close out their year-long Peace Plan by hosting an interreligious prayer service. "As a Catholic school, with a diverse student body, it is important that our students are given an opportunity to participate in the Church's intentional desire for ecumenical and interreligious dialogue," said Mr. Piatak.