St. Casimir Parish, STVCC to Unveil Peace Pole
St. Casimir Parish and St. Vincent Catholic Charities (STVCC) will unveil a Peace Pole at 11 a.m. Friday, June 23, in the courtyard garden at St. Casimir, 815 Sparrow Ave., Lansing, MI.
“Refugees are one of the most vulnerable groups of people in our community,” said Fr. Bill Lugger, pastor at St. Casimir. “Our parish has done an amazing job welcoming refugees, and we are happy to unveil this Peace Pole as a public display of unity and peace.”
Earlier this year St. Casimir donated a home to be used by a resettled refugee family from STVCC. Fr. Lugger and members of the parish have mentored the family and organized special collections to support them during their resettlement process.
“St. Casimir is a very supportive parish and community partner of St. Vincent Catholic Charities,” STVCC CEO Andrea Seyka said. “This is the first Peace Pole that will be planted at a Catholic parish in the city and will be a symbol to all Christians of the importance of welcoming the stranger.”
What is a Peace Pole?
The Peace Pole represents a spirit of unity for Lansing’s immigrants, refugees and U.S. born community members, featuring the message “May Peace Prevail on Earth” in twelve different languages. It is the sixth Peace Pole in Ingham County, joining locations in downtown East Lansing, the Ingham County Department of Health & Human Services, Hunter Park, Lansing City Hall and Summerplace Townhomes.
The Peace Pole unveiling is one of many events celebrating World Refugee Awareness Week, a city-wide recognition of the rich diversity and benefits that refugees bring.
“Lansing has a rich history of supporting refugees and it’s important that we take time to celebrate our diversity,” said Judi Harris, STVCC refugee services program director. “We have nine events planned throughout this week and look forward to the culminating event at St. Casimir.”
St. Casimir Press Conference
The unveiling will begin at 11 a.m. with a press conference to follow featuring the following speakers:
– Andrea Seyka, STVCC CEO
– Deacon Jim Kasprzak, director of Catholic Charities, Diocese of Lansing
– Father Bill Lugger, pastor at St. Casimir
– Judi Harris, STVCC refugee services director
– Alphonsine Busabusa, STVCC refugee services case manager.
For more information about STVCC refugee services, visit stvcc.org/services/refugeeservices/.