American Meeting for Peace

Peace is Always Possible!

The 5th Annual American Meeting for Peace

Co-sponsored by the Community of Sant’Egidio,  the University of Notre Dame, the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend’s Office of Ecumenism 


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“More prayer and more dialogue are needed: they’re necessary. 

The world suffocates without dialogue…”

-Pope Francis, Address during visit to the Community of Sant’Egidio, 15 June 2014

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For nearly 50 years, members of the Community of Sant’Egidio have responded to the needs of their cities and the world through prayer, friendship with the poor, and the promotion of peace through dialogue. This 6th -13th September 2015, the Community of Sant’Egidio and the University of Notre Dame invite you to join them for two moments of prayer and dialogue, as they seek to cultivate mercy in the heart of the city of South Bend and let friendship grow in place of animosity and indifference.

Plenary Sessions

  • Wednesday September 9th at 7:00 pm

“Peace Is Always Possible: Reflections from Proven Peacemakers”

Interfaith Dialogue Panel at McKenna Hall, University of Notre Dame

  • Thursday September 10th at 7:30 pm

“Ecumenical Prayer for Peace in all Lands”

Candlelight Procession, and Signing of the Appeal for Peace at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, University of Notre Dame

The Interfaith Dialogue Panel on Wednesday will feature both renown scholars and practitioners, including Archbishop John Baptist Odama of Gulu Uganda, who has been a mediator between the Ugandan Government and the Lord’s Resistance Army in hopes of ending the violence in the region; Miko Peled, who is the son of an Israeli General but became a peace activist and researcher challenging the Zionist narrative; Bassem al-Tamimi, who is a Palestinian activist and organizer of non-violent protests; and Laurie Johnston, a representative of the Community of Sant’Egidio, which mediated the end of a 16-year civil war in Mozambique in 1992, and since has been engaged in over 20 peace and reconciliation processes from the Ivory Coast to Burundi, from Guatemala to the Balkans, and currently in Syria and the Central African Republic. The Ecumenical Prayer and Ceremony will be led by Archbishop Odama, and music provided by the Notre Dame Folk Choir and Celebration Choir.

While pre-registration is NOT required to participate, the organizers do encourage you to sign-up by clicking this link or filling out the embedded form below. Thank you.

History of the Meetings for Peace

This meeting coincides with the annual International Meeting for Peace, which Sant’Egidio began organizing in 1986 in collaboration with Pope John Paul II, and which annually gathers hundreds of world religious, political, and cultural leaders for prayer and dialogue. But along this path of prayer and dialogue, Sant’Egidio has understood that peace is a matter too serious to be left to just a few politicians or specialists.  This great ideal must go beyond them, to touch each of us and promote it with our personal lives. So for the past five years, the Community of Sant’Egidio USA has organized local meetings at different American universities, to engage and invite students to open their horizons to the vision of peace and coexistence. Recently this movement has spread to many countries in Africa, Central America, and Asia fostering a large network of culture of peace throughout the world. The Meetings of Peace offer the space in which not only is war openly rejected, but where participants are encouraged to become peacemakers and to change the reality of the poor in their cities.

This year the International Meeting of Peace will take place in Tirana, AlbaniaWhy Albania? Because the construction of peace must start at the outskirts. This little country, which has the largest Muslim population on the continent, has today become a model of co-existence between religions and cultures, an interesting laboratory where topics regarding peace will be discussed for three days, as well as topics like sustainable development, environmental emergencies (which regard the entire planet as well as the livability of areas surrounding the metropolises of the world) and social inequality.


The collaborators and sponsors at the University of Notre Dame include the Kroc Institute for International Studies, Center for Social Concerns, Catholic Social Tradition Minor, Campus Ministry’s Folk Choir and Celebration Choir, the Institute for Church Life, and the Center of Human and Civil Rights. Other partners and collaborators include the Community of Sant’Egidio, the Office of Ecumenism of the Diocese of South Bend/Fort Wayne, the BOSCO Uganda Project, the Catholic Peacebuilding Network, and Catholic Peace Fellowship.

Schedule of Events (updated 8/26/15)

During this week, there will also be several opportunities of dialogue, prayer, and service (see schedule below for details).

September 6, Sunday 

  • 11:45am, Opening Mass,  “Promoting Prayer, Peace, and the Poor” (at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart)

September 7, Monday 

  • 12-1pm, Lunch Roundtable, Geddes Hall Coffee House: Youth of Peace Kick-Off: Cultivating Mercy in the Heart of Our Cities

September 8, Tuesday

  • 12-1pm, Lunch Roundtable, Geddes Hall Coffee House: Pope Francis and the Culture of Waste (from the Environment to the Poor)
  • 7:00pm, Prayer for those on Death Row, Holy Cross College’s Chapel (54515 State Road 933 N, Notre Dame IN 46556)
  • 7:30pm, Evening Roundtable, Friendship in Unusual Places, Holy Cross College’s Chapel.

September 9, Wednesday

  • 12-1pm, Lunch Roundtable, Geddes Hall Coffee House: International Solidarity, Friendship across Boarders
  • 7:00 pm Interfaith Plenary Panel, McKenna Conference Hall Auditorium: Peace is Always Possible, Stories of Proven Peacemakers, panelists:
      1. Dan Philpott, Professor of Political Science and Peace Studies (Moderator)
      2. Archbishop John Baptist Odama, Archdiocese of Gulu Uganda
      3. Laurie Johnston, Community of Sant’Egidio
      4. Miko Peled, Israeli Peace Activist,
      5. Bassem al-Tamimi, Palestinian Peace Activist

September 10, Thursday

  • 12-1pm, Lunch Roundtable, Geddes Hall Coffee House: Abolishing the Death Penalty Worldwide and in Indiana
  • 7:30 pm Ecumenical Prayer for Peace in all Lands, Basilica of the Sacred Heart
  • 8:15pm, Silent Candlelight Procession and Final Ceremony

September 11, Friday

  • 11:30am, Memorial Mass for Victims of Violence and Terror, Basilica of the Sacred Heart

September 12, Saturday

  •  10am, Prayer for the Poor with Community of Sant’Egidio at St. Matthew Cathedral (1701 Miami Street, South Bend)

September 13, Sunday

  • 3:00pm Mass with the Elderly and the Community of Sant’Egidio, Cardinal Nursing Home (1121 E Lasalle Ave, South Bend, IN 46617)
  • 4:00pm  Preparing for the Holy Year of Mercy with the Community of Sant’Egidio, Cardinal Nursing Home

Registration Form

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