Bishop Luis Henrique, of Rio de Janeiro with Brazilian chaplain, receives Icon copy from Barbara Kentish
Hundreds gathered at St George's Cathedral, in South London on Sunday for the closing Mass to celebrate the success of the 100 Days of Peace Legacy, a joint project of the Dioceses of Brentwood, Southwark and Westminster with Pax Christi, CAFOD and others. Among the congregation were five London mayors and the Brazillian ambassador. During his homily, Mgr John Armitage spoke of the strong human desire for peace whether it be among the people of Aleppo or parents of children murdered on our streets in London. "We want to make sense of these experiences and find ways of creating good from tragedy. Jesus calls us to a life of peacemaking, to create a culture of life, to hunger and thirst for what is right and just," he said.
The Pax Christi ICON of peace was displayed, having visited 17 parishes and two Cathedrals throughout the 100 days. This time has been an inspiration and source of nourishment to peacemaking and reconciliation.
At the end of Mass, which was concelebrated by Southwark's Archbishop Peter Smith, Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster, Mgr Armitage representing Brentwood Diocese, Bishop Luis Henrique, of Rio de Janeiro and priests from the Brazilian Chaplaincy and parishes in London, the Peace Legacy was passed on to the Church in Brazil as it now prepares for the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics. Two symbols were passed to Bishop Henrique by way of encouragement and challenge to keep the peace flame alive: a copy of the Pax Christi ICON of Peace and a wooded Olympic cross used in the Joshua Youth Camp in London.
Other fruits of the 100 Days Peace Legacy were on display in the Cathedral - work undertaken by schools in London. Many schools took part in the Release Peace Project producing poems, images, speeches on the theme of peace and the Olympics.
A reception was held after in the Mass when John Williams, Secondary Schools Adviser in Westminster Diocese presented the prize winners of the Release Peace speech contest. They were from St Augustine's School and Cardinal Wiseman School, Westminster Diocese.