Using prayer's power for peace

Janine Marnien

As news of a possible war with Iraq greets residents on a daily

basis, the Justice and Peace Forum at St. Bede the Venerable

Catholic Church is turning to one of its most powerful weapons in an

effort to prevent violence: prayer.

The group will host an hourlong prayer service Wednesday to pray

for a peaceful ending to the conflict with Iraq. The event is

nonpolitical, said Katy Sadler, a participant in the service. Sadler

is also the assistant principal in charge of student affairs at

Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy.

"I just believe fervently that all avenues should be exhausted

before we result to arms," she said. "I do believe firmly in prayer

moving mountains."

The interfaith service will feature various prayers for peace

originating from various religions. Organizers are also hopeful to

have a representative from each of the faiths read their respective

prayers. Buddhism, Sikh, Jewish and other prayers will be read.

Two members of the Flintridge Sacred Heart dance team will perform

a liturgical dance, and Sadler will give a reflection. There will

also be some readings from Scripture and a candle-lighting ceremony

for peace.

Prayer is a critical element of interacting and interceding with

God, St. Bede Deacon Richard Pomphrey said.

"One can look at individual prayer versus community prayer," he

said. "This is a matter of community coming together and praying


Prayer is something that transcends religions, he added.

"Because our society as a whole has a concern, we felt it was

important to bring together the community regardless of their

religious affiliation," he said.

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