SASKATOON -- "Together for Peace" is the theme of the 2018 Share Lent campaign, parish representatives heard at workshops recently held in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon.
Materials presented Jan. 21 in Humboldt and Jan. 23 in Saskatoon demonstrated the clear connection between peace and development, and the work of Development and Peace Caritas Canada partners in promoting peace in countries around the world. A third workshop was offered as an online webinar Jan. 30.
At the Jan. 23 meeting held at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Saskatoon, Development and Peace Caritas Canada provincial animator Armella Sonntag provided an overview of the Share Lent campaign, describing the importance of peace-building and dialogue.
Development and Peace has historically supported and continues to support local initiatives that promote dialogue, openness, and understanding of "the other," she described, as well as empowering grassroots partners to accomplish their goals for peace-building initiatives.
She highlighted one of four partner organizations featured in this year's Share Lent materials, focusing in particular on the work of Adyan, an organization in Lebanon striving to build tolerance and understanding, particularly among youth and students of different religious backgrounds.
With support from Development and Peace, Adyan runs programs that include conferences, training for educators, building networks of interfaith leaders, and offering workshops on peace, reconciliation, and coexistence.
"At Adyan, we promote spiritual solidarity, which is not only being in political or social solidarity with another, but also means integrating the other into my thoughts and my prayers. I must integrate the suffering of others, and understand it. I must integrate the other into my religious thoughts and into the way I explain my faith," explains Nayla Tabbara, one of the founders of Adyan.
Other partner organizations working on peace initiatives with support from Development and Peace are the Lagos Marginalized Communities Forum in Nigeria, the Bartolom de Las Casas Institute in Peru, and the Indigenous Community Support organization in Cambodia.
Ideas for sharing the resources in local parishes and highlighting the peace-building side of the Development and Peace mandate were also presented during the workshop.
For more information, see www.devp.org.