9/11 Prayers for Peace

I received the following from Jennifer about what her class did on 9/11 to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the tragedy and to pray for peace. Great job, Jennifer!

Joe, I thought you might appreciate what my 8th grade CCD class did on September 11. I’ve copied the email sent to their parents. I’m so proud of them. Thanks, too, for The Catechist’s Toolbox and recent webinar on teaching jr. high classes which have been great instructional tools!

Sunday was a very memorable day for our country and very meaningful for me as your child’s CCD teacher. After discussing our spiritual family, making a Communion of Saints prayer chain, and  reviewing the principles of Catholic Social Teachings (p. 250 in the text if you need a reference), the class formed into four groups to write prayers for peace.

I challenged the students to think about their vision for world peace, how they could become peacemakers, and by incorporating  the principles of our Catholic Social Teachings, write a prayer for peace.  The groups brainstormed amongst themselves and their prayers are printed below.  We shared our prayers in an extraordinary way to commemorate Patriot Day by taping the prayer card to a patriotic balloon.  Our four balloons represented a “memorial” for each of the four sites targeted on 9/11.  We gathered in a circle on the field, and a representative read their group’s prayer.  After praying the “Our Father” together, we let the balloons soar (thank you, Deacon Dan). We are hopeful that someone will eventually find the balloon and appreciate one of the following prayers for peace:

1. “Lord, please help the families that have been affected by 9/11.  Help the people in Heaven that were killed on 9/11.  Keep the Golden Rule in our hearts and help end the war in Afghanistan.”
2.  “Lord, God, please, wherever this card lands, please let it recognize the victims of 9/11.  Please help all children, especially those with special needs.  Please bless all people with cancer and all our American soldiers.”
3.  “Lord, please let us understand one another to create world peace.  Let us come together in Your love.  Let us treat others the way we want to be treated.  Give us the gift of understanding and forgiveness.  Amen.”
4.  “Our heavenly Father, we pray for peace and justice all around the world.  Please help to end all wars, hunger, and poverty.  Please help all of the people dying from sickness.  Please help all the victims of terrorism and war, and help them get to a safer place.  Please lead all people to you in heaven and to an everlasting life.”

I hope you will embrace the students’ prayers and their desires for a more peaceful world. Thank you.

About Joe Paprocki 2773 Articles
Joe Paprocki, DMin, is National Consultant for Faith Formation at Loyola Press, where, in addition to his traveling/speaking responsibilities, he works on the development team for faith formation curriculum resources including Finding God: Our Response to God’s Gifts and God’s Gift: Reconciliation and Eucharist. Joe has more than 35 years of experience in ministry and has presented keynotes, presentations, and workshops in more than 100 dioceses in North America. Joe is a frequent presenter at national conferences including the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, the Mid-Atlantic Congress, and the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership. He is the author of numerous books, including the best seller The Catechist’s Toolbox, A Church on the Move, Under the Influence of Jesus, and Called to Be Catholic—a bilingual, foundational supplemental program that helps young people know their faith and grow in their relationship with God. Joe is also the series editor for the Effective Catechetical Leader and blogs about his experiences in faith formation at www.catechistsjourney.com.

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