CRANFORD, NJ – Last month, Cranford High School freshman Rachael Durant planted and dedicated a peace pole outside of St. Michael’s Church as part of her Girl Scout Silver Award Project.
The pole, located on the side of St. Michael’s Church facing Miln Street, was planted by Durant to serve as a reminder to visualize and pray for world peace.
“I got the idea for this project when visiting the Katherine Drexel Shrine, where they had a peace pole,” Durant said. “I decided this was a good idea for my project because of all the recent terror attacks and natural disasters. I wanted to add this into the Cranford community to spread peace and to help my community work towards peace.”
The peace pole shares the message “May Peace Prevail on Earth” in eight different languages: English, Spanish, Gaelic, Greek, Hebrew, Russian, Arabic and Latin.
“It really saddens me to see all the bad going on in the world today, and I wanted to make a difference as much as I could,” Durant said.
Durant’s peace pole was dedicated in a service on September 24 by parishioners of St. Michael’s and members of the community, including Mayor Thomas Hannen Jr. The prayer service included prayers for peace throughout the world and a blessing of the peace pole by Monsignor Shugrue.
Shugrue encouraged people to use the peace pole as a visual reminder to pray for peace as they pass by it walking into or out of church or just driving by. The prayer service and blessing concluded with fellowship for all who attended.
“The peace pole is a reminder for us all to pray and work for peace in our community and throughout our world and a reminder to stay hopeful during difficult times,” Durant said.
Next week, the peace pole will be the location for an interfaith vigil in remembrance of the lives lost in the Las Vegas shooting and those suffering because of the tragedy. The vigil will be held by Commissioner Mary O’Connor and the interfaith community of Cranford on Monday, Oct. 9 at 5 p.m. by the peace pole. Members of the Cranford Clergy Council will be present to lead a community reflection.
The vigil is one of many happening in Union County.