The Community Peace Garden at St. Anthony of Padua Church was dedicated Sept. 11, 2005.
The ceremony included prayers for peace, as well as a candlelight procession as the gates of the sacred garden, were opened to the community. A combined choir led the assembled in songs of peace.
Eleven Peace Poles create a dramatic entrance into the sacred space. Christian and Muslim faith communities, as well as public and private schools, participated in the creation of the unique poles. The Peace Poles are crafted of various media and incorporate into their design symbols of peace from many different cultures.
As one continues further into the garden along the stone pathway, tall trees frame a quiet, reflective space for prayer and meditation. Teak benches are carefully placed amidst shrubbery and perennials in order to provide visitors a sense of privacy for reflection. One bench, donated by the TKF Foundation that funded a major part of the cost of building the garden, includes a journal for those who wish to write about their experience and share their thoughts with others.
The focal point of the garden is a Peace Fountain. Accentuating the desire for peace and reconciliation of nations and diverse cultures, a glass plate across the top of the fountain has the word “PEACE” etched into it in 80 different languages. Water flows from the center of the fountain over the words of peace until it finds its way down the rough-cut stones of the good sides into a pool of glass beads. The design symbolizes the fact that when peace is flowing into and out of our hearts it can overcome any obstacle. “Peace is Possible.”
The Community Peace Garden has been created as a resource for the whole community. It is available to individuals of all faiths for prayer and reflection. It is also available to businesses and groups in the area who wish to use it for remembering a colleague or loved one who has died.
Text adopted and reworded from an article by the Catholic Herald (09/08/2005)