November 10—World Science Day for Peace and Development

The World Science Day for Peace and Development calls attention to the critical role that science plays in helping us to better understand planet Earth, our common home.  This day also honors science’s role in  creating sustainable development through international cooperation, education and implementation for the common good. 

Unfortunately, the COVID 19 pandemic has demonstrated the devastating human and economic costs of international scientific non-cooperation.  Failure to communicate effectively and in a timely manner about the discovery of a new and deadly corona virus allowed rapid, global spread of the pathogen, over a million deaths so far worldwide, and economic devastation.  As countries tried to slow the spread, political considerations across the world often overruled the scientific data-driven recommendations.    

By sustainable development through science-based innovation, we can seek to irradicate extreme poverty and disease and address basic human needs worldwide.  We recognize that by addressing the common needs of humanity in an equitable way, we can build a future of peace based on justice.  The objectives of World Science Day for Peace and Development are:

  • To strengthen public awareness of and respect for the role of science in building peaceful and sustainable societies
  • To promote national and international solidarity for shared science among countries
  • To renew national and international commitments for the use of science for the benefit of societies
  • To draw attention to the challenges faced by science and to raise support for the scientific endeavor.

Holy One, we pray that scientists will pursue the common good in everything they do.  Help us to use the knowledge we have gained to address the urgent needs of humanity. As we address climate change, confront the COVID 19 pandemic, develop clean energy sources, and seek to clean the air, water and land that we have damaged, guide us and inspire us with your wisdom.

November 20—Universal Children’s Day

Universal Children’s Day was established as a day to celebrate childhood and to discuss and address issues important to the wellbeing of children.  Investing in children is investing in our future.  On November 20, 1959 the United Nations adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child.  Every child has the right to adequate food, basic healthcare, shelter, love and a stable, caring and nurturing environment in which to grow and develop.  Children must be protected from exploitation.  The future of our world depends on all children being able to develop their full potential.  By promoting a sense of personal responsibility for one another, children can shape a future full of hope.

Let us pray for the children of the world, that they be protected from physical and psychological trauma, and provided with safety, food, shelter and education.  Most of all, bless each child on earth with the knowledge that they are loved and cherished.  Inspire all children to work toward creating a future of peace, respect and hope. 

November 25—International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

Worldwide, violence against women affects approximately 1 of every 3 women at some time in her life.  Because women are often viewed as less than fully human, a woman’s right to equality and respect is often not protected.  Most of the violence against women is hidden within families and society, and sometimes even justified by cultural and/or religious norms.  This day is a day to bring violence against women out into the open and to denounce it as the violation of human rights that it is.  It is also a day to identify cultural and religious teachings and practices that are often used to justify such abuse and to demand equality for women in all aspects of life and at all levels of decision-making.   Most of all, this is a day for all women to call for equal protection under the law.  We urge all of us to wear orange on that day to call attention to the global effort to eliminate all forms of violence against women.

Spirit of God, we ask you to strengthen and comfort all women who suffer from sexual, psychological or      physical violence.  Open our hearts and our eyes to see the suffering of so many women and give us the courage to demand and act for justice for all of them.  Help us in our quest for equal protection for women under the law, no matter their economic status, their educational level or their country of residence.  Inspire us to unmask violence against women wherever it exists and to dismantle structures that justify it or allow this violence to persist. 

November 29—International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People

This date of November 29th was chosen because of its meaning and significance to the Palestinian people. On that day in 1947, the General Assembly adopted resolution 181 (II), which came to be known as the Partition Resolution. This resolution called for the partitioning of Palestine into two states—Israel and Palestine.  This International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People is a day to bring international attention to the fact that today, only Israel exists as a state.  The Palestinian territories have still not gained internationally recognized status as a state and continue to be occupied and their borders controlled by Israel.  The question of a homeland state for the Palestinian people still remains unresolved, while Israel continues to build and expand settlements in what is considered Palestinian territory.  Over 3 million Palestinian refugees continue to live in extreme poverty and hopelessness.  Their despair and suffering continue to cause outbreaks of violence towards Israelis, and violent retaliation by Israel against the Palestinians. These conflicts make peace negotiations almost impossible.  Until a just solution is found, peace will remain elusive.  The UN continues its commitment to bring about a just peace in the region that protects and acknowledges the rights of the Palestinian people.

We pray for the Palestinian people who continue to suffer from poverty, foreign occupation and retaliatory violence.  We pray that leaders of both Palestinians and Israelis will courageously put down their weapons and listen to one another with openness.  May they meet and work together to build understanding and trust, after many decades of distrust and violence. May they seek to understand one another’s needs and build bridges of understanding rather than walls of separation. May all parties come to realize that their mutual future security and economic flourishing depend on negotiation, respect and cooperation.  God, bless this Holy Land with true and lasting peace with justice.