Debbie Ducharme

Debbie Ducharme

October 3, 2011

WINNIPEG — A person who works for peace is a child of God, Archbishop James Weisgerber said at a prayer service to mark the Sept. 21 United Nations International Day of Peace.

"Those who work for peace must have a peaceful heart," he told the gathering of 100 people.

"We are reminded that we are all part of one global human family living together in a world that remains broken and divided," Weisgerber said.

Debbie Ducharme, principal of William Whyte School in the inner city, was one of three people who shared her personal dream of peace at the service.

Summer floods have forced people out of their homes in northern communities and into the city, straining the limited resources of schools, food banks and other social supports, Ducharme noted.

Many of the displaced are single mothers raising two or more children, she said. Many will never return to their homes.

"My dream is that they will find good places to live, a way of life, jobs that will help them move along in their journey so they can provide for their children." Ducharme said.

John Salumu-Kasongo is a Congolese man who escaped war and social strife in his homeland and came to Canada with his wife and child.

He has lost family and friends because of injustice. "My dream is that there will always be people of good heart, who will always be there," he said.

Patricia Mousseau is an inner city school counsellor who works with youth at risk of being recruited into gangs.

"My dream is that they can find a safe place where they can be themselves, where they get a smile, a hello, that they are seen for the potential they have. That they can feel a sense of belonging so that they don't turn to the streets," Mousseau said.

Weisgerber said God also has a dream of peace.

"God made us in many varieties and when we are all brought together, that is when we can see the dream of God," he said.

"But when one of us suffers, we all suffer. There can't be winners and losers. If anybody loses, everybody loses."