May 9th, 2011
Fr. Bruno Cardore OP, Master General of the Dominican Order created a history in Pakistan when he planted a Peace Pole at Peace Center in Lahore on 9th of May, 2011 during his official visitation to Pakistan. This beautiful ceremony took place in the presence of more than 40 Dominican friars, Sisters and lay people. Prayers for peace in our country and around the world were offered, peace hymns sung, messages and speeches delivered. During the ceremony each person was holding a flag of one country of the world. It was a great manifestation of expressing our longing for peace in the world.
Fr. James Channan welcomed and thanked Fr. Bruno Cadore, Master General of the Dominican Order along with his Socius for Asia Pacific Fr Vincente Lu OP. He said that the Peace Pole which is planted today will set a landmark, as such–“The people of Pakistan do indeed love peace and they want to see peace all around the world.” The present war-like situation of Pakistan poses a great challenge for all of us to work for promoting peace, with more zeal and dedication for this noble task when we are confronted with so much hatred, violence and terrorism around us. He highly admired the courage of the Master of the Order for coming to Pakistan in this very dangerous situation and also to accept the invitation to plant this Peace Pole on which it’s written in 4 languages the Universal Message and Prayer “May Peace Prevail On Earth.” He also gave a brief history of the Peace Pole and that it was the dream and vision of Masahisa Goi from Japan, Founder of The World Peace Prayer Society. Peace was the very first word which Jesus Christ said after his resurrection when he appeared to the women and apostles. The very first word he said was “Peace be with you.” Therefore we are called to start our talks and end our talks and day with “peace.” When we talk about peace we open our heart to witness this peace. My wish is that as family of preachers – brothers and sisters – we begin our day and end our day with “peace.”
A special message from Mrs. Masami Saionji from Japan, Chairperson of The World Peace Prayer Society sent to us for this special occasion was read by Fr. Iftikhar Moon OP. In her message she said,
I am deeply honored to have this opportunity of offering my congratulations on the dedication of a Peace Pole at the Peace Center of the Dominican Order in Lahore, Pakistan, planted by the Most Reverend Fr. Bruno Cadoré OP, Master General of the Dominican Order.
How fitting it is that, at this key moment in history, the Master General has traveled to Pakistan to encourage inter-religious dialogue, reconciliation and harmony, and has graciously agreed to officiate at this Peace Pole planting.
At this time, we at The World Peace Prayer Society join with all of you in praying for the spirit of love, hope, and forgiveness to spread throughout Pakistan and the world from this Peace Center.
We at The World Peace Prayer Society consider the Peace Center to be the cornerstone of peace in Pakistan, and a powerful influence for harmony throughout the world…. It is my earnest desire that this Peace Pole may stand forever at this worthy place, serving as a symbol of the spirit of divine oneness and mercy that are to prevail throughout Pakistan and the world.
Along with many peace-loving colleagues in Japan, I pray for the safe completion of Fr. Bruno Cadore, the Master of the Order’s, meaningful journey, and I look forward with happy anticipation to the day when I may visit the illustrious site of today’s Peace Pole planting.”
Rev. Pascal Paulus OP, former Vice Provincial of the Dominicans in Pakistan said that is a great honor that we are promoting peace and congratulated Fr. James Channan for organizing this ceremony. Fr. James has also received a Gold Medal on 7th of May in recognition of his tremendous services in promoting peace and interfaith dialogue.
After these speeches Fr. Bruno along with Fr. James Channan and Fr. Pascal Paulus planted the Peace Pole in the beautiful lawn of Peace Center. The Peace Pole will always remind the historic visit of the Master of the Order and his love for the people of Pakistan and his dream of seeing peace among all nations and countries.
Fr James Channan OP
Peace Center, Lahore
11 May, 2011