Ss. Robert & William School Dedicates Peace Pole

On Thursday, September 21, 2017, the International World Day of Peace, Ss. Robert & William Catholic School dedicated its very own Peace Pole. The Peace Pole reminds us of the importance of peace and of our commitment to it. A smattering of these poles dot the landscape in the City of Euclid, and there are over 200,000 Peace Poles worldwide. SRW’s pole is unique, as it was made by Facilities Director, Pat Fink, and designed by SRW Art Teacher, Jennifer Boehner.

Fr. John D. Betters, Pastor provided a heartfelt introduction to the students, staff, parishioners and the community reminding all that “Jesus always greeted those he encountered with these words, ‘Peace be with you.’

Mayor Kirsten Holzheimer Gail was in attendance with members of her administration and Euclid Safety Forces. “The Ss. Robert and William Parish continues to live their faith through action. The Peace Pole project is a visible reminder that we should work towards peace every day in every interaction. I am grateful for the leadership, commitment and community spirit demonstrated by the SRW Parish and School,” she said.

During the celebration, SRW graduates and present VASJ students A’Diva Warren and Adrian Fellows shared thoughts about peace from their perspective. They were accompanied by VASJ President, Bill Cervenik, who had this to say:  “It was encouraging to join the SRW community today for the blessing of the Peace Pole. It was evident that even at their young age, the students fully understand the importance of respect and kindness and the role they play in keeping their community a peaceful one.” Echoing his sentiments were SRW seventh grade students Dylan and Ryleah who described the pole as, “ a great tool to spread peace around the world” and saying, “it serves as a reminder to have peace every day.”

Kacie Armstrong, Director of the Euclid Public Library and a host of volunteers presented a short African puppet skit which was well received by the students. It taught a lesson related to bullying and the gift of sharing.

Patrice Garuckas is the SRW Upper School religion teacher and No Place for Hate moderator. Recently, and with her guidance, SRW earned the honor of becoming a nationally recognized No Place for Hate School, sponsored by the Anti-Defamation League. Garuckas led representatives of each grade in a procession to the pole with a poster and all recited a peace pledge. She states, “The SRW Peace Pole ceremony was a wonderful event which unified the school, parish and community. Students were able to see that the No Place for Hate policies of our school are also applicable in the community of Euclid and in the world. Having the mayor, area principals, administrators, and emergency responders present at the service showed our students that creating peace is the responsibility of each individual from every generation and background.”

At the end of the ceremony, Fr. Scott Goodfellow, Parochial Vicar, blessed the Peace Pole. Fr. Betters concluded with these words: “Our commitment to peace will continue with our next project. We will be installing four ‘Buddy Benches’ on site.  These benches will be used as a simple tool for our youth to eliminate loneliness and an opportunity to foster friendship.”

On a day that had been declared a day to focus on peace and friendship, the SRW Community and guests including Sue Pohly, Associate Superintendent of Schools at the Diocese of Cleveland, Mark Crowley, President of Lake Catholic High School, and David Csank, Principal of VASJ, committed to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples.

Ellen Ivory

Director of Development & Discipleship, Ss. Robert & William Parish

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Volume 8, Issue 10, Posted 3:26 PM, 10.08.2017