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World Day of Peace

Pope Benedict XVI recently released his annual World Day of Peace message. Read excerpts here.

Catholic students in Dili, East Timor, pray at the kickoff march for a 3½-month-long campaign

Catholic students in Dili, East Timor, pray at the kickoff march for a 3½-month-long campaign—led by CRS and the local Church—for peaceful national elections. Photo by Darren Hercyk/CRS

Since your partnership with Catholic Relief Services is what makes our work possible, we thought you might like to know more about the peace you've helped us sow over the years.

The peacebuilding efforts you support through CRS have helped usher peace into places that, for many long years, might have despaired of ever seeing a ceasefire, much less true peace.

Sometimes your peacebuilding work draws world attention, such as when South Sudan defied all odds with a peaceful transition to independence as the world's newest country. Your quiet and persistent support of the Church in South Sudan remains a vital, if less heralded, ray of hope for this nation.

With less fanfare, a long-running civil war ended in East Timor, and CRS continues to support survivors as they work to heal deep social wounds. Your compassion helps maintain and strengthen peace in this island nation. You've helped inspire gratitude and hope among the East Timorese, as one of our friends there relates in this story.

Impossible as it is for some to believe, peacebuilding efforts following a genocidal rampage in Rwanda back in 1994 have brought remarkable—even miraculous— forgiveness and reconciliation. Stories like this one, in which a woman forgives a neighbor who killed her two sons, are breathtaking. They bear witness to the power and spirit of love.

Much of the work you support through CRS involves peacebuilding. Only with peace can emergency response or long-term development work mend shattered lives or lift people from poverty in a sustainable way.

For more information on peacebuilding, please see these publications and this resource page.

Thank you for living the message and helping to sow peace around the world.

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