Welcome to The Peace Abbey Foundation website!
The mission of the Peace Abbey Foundation is to create and install public works of art that promote peace and nonviolence; and to administer and care for Abbey Interfaith Peace Chaplaincy, The Pacifist Memorial, The Animal Rights Memorial, Cremation Cemetery for Conscientious Objectors and the National Registry for Conscientious Objection. Throughout the year, the Foundation presents the Int’l Courage of Conscience Award at conferences and peace ceremonies and extends the impact of the Peace Seeds interfaith prayers for peace through their dissemination worldwide.
The Foundation supports grassroots efforts to link the many dimensions of the peace movement with a committed emphasis on human rights and animal rights. Central to our universalist approach is the premise that nonviolence is the most effective and long-term strategy in addressing the multitude of challenges that now threaten our increasingly imperiled planet.
- To Educate: We conduct and sponsor programs and projects that promote a deeper understanding of the importance of service as a way of life. We exemplify this commitment to altruism through our decades-long affiliation with The Life Experience School for young adults with disabilities.
- To link: We conduct and sponsor public events that promote understanding and mutual respect between people of different faith traditions and non-believers. We celebrate examples of artistic expression that elevate the ideals of compassion, cooperation, fairness and peace.
- To Beautify: We commission and install works of art that express the sacredness of life and the power of pacifism and nonviolence. Accordingly, we support efforts that employ the arts in fostering social justice and peace.
- To Participate: We conduct and support programs and projects that further an understanding of the many applications of Gandhian nonviolence and civil disobedience. Accordingly, we initiate, support and participate in peace and justice demonstrations and protests.
Sad day in the history of conscientious objection to war as the world lost Muhammad Ali on Friday. Ali received the Peace Abbey Courage of Conscience Award in 1994 following the unveiling of the Memorial Stone for Unknown Civilians Killed in War on the grounds of the Abbey. He led a generation of pacifists to refuse induction into the armed forces and demonstrated that the toughest times in life may be when you are the most gentle, as when he said no to being part of the US War on the Vietnamese people and losing his Heavy Weight Boxing Title.
He lost the most coveted, career title in boxing but gained the title that was most important to him in life, Conscientious Objector. He received the Award in 1994 from peace activist and founding editor of AFSC Peacework Magazine, Pat Farren. Farren years later would be honored with the Award as well. Muhammad Ali, as far as I am concerned, was the Patron Saint of Conscientious Objection and was a role model for my generation when it came to issues of war and peace. Ali’s example shaped my thinking about participation in the military which led to my discharge as a CO. My alternative service as a conscientious objector was creating The Life Experience School in 1972 which in 1988 established the Peace Abbey which later led to the creation of the cemetery for conscientious objectors. His spirit lives on whenever people say no to war. Lewis
Jean Vanier We are delighted to announce that Jean Vanier will be receiving the 2016 Courage of Conscience Award this fall in a private ceremony with members of his community in the first L’Arche home in Trosly-Breuil, France. Jean has been an inspiration to people throughout the world that have dedicated themselves to the service of individuals whose disabilities require not only special programs but more importantly understanding, acceptance, and love. His example of loving service has blessed the lives of thousands.
Jean Vanier’s writings greatly influenced Lewis Randa who later went on to establish the Life Experience School in Sherborn, MA.