Florida, Uruguay: report by Elena Becú
Our SOPP ceremony in Florida, Uruguay, was held on May 24th outside San Antonio Chapel. The street was blocked off to allow for the setup of a huge tent, loaned to us by the Ministry of Social Welfare. More than 120 people attended, including many children.
The event was organized by the Franciscans of the chapel, in connection with the loan of two religious icons, of Saint Francis and Saint Clara of Assisi. The ceremony included a presentation of the two icons, gratitude for Mother Earth, prayers from different faiths, and a flag ceremony to pray for peace in each country and region.
We tried to involve the participants in every part of the event. During the ceremony of gratitude to Mother Earth, participants were asked to write their intentions, phrases of gratitude, or requests, and came forward to drop them in a tray in the center. Several guests read aloud the prayers of each religion, and we all joined in repeating the prayers. And during the flag ceremony, everybody got up and carried the flags with dignity and faith. We ended with songs, and some words from the organizers.
Many participants said that they were moved by the ceremony and felt a deep sense that peace is possible, understanding that our prayers are so important to create world peace. I would like to express my gratitude to the Franciscan nuns of San Antonio Chapel for their wonderful work and their understanding of ‘unity within diversity’.