The mission of the Peace Abbey Foundation is to administer and care for:

images-18Abbey Interfaith Peace Chaplaincy, Pacifist Memorial,  Sacred Cow Animal Rights Memorial, CO Hill Cremation Cemetery for Conscientious Objectors, the National Registry for Conscientious Objection.  Throughout the year the Foundation presents the Courage of Conscience Award at concerts and peace ceremonies and extends the impact of the Peace Seeds interfaith prayers for peace through their dissemination worldwide.

We conduct and support programs that bring together – and promote the cooperation of – people of different faith traditions – and nontheist as well.  We do this in the spirit of the 1986 International Day of Prayer for World Peace, as celebrated that year by religious leaders from around the globe in Assisi, Italy.

The Foundation supports grassroots efforts to link the many dimensions of the peace movement with a committed emphasis on human rights and animal rights. We recognize these two dimensions of intrinsic rights as inextricably interconnected, just as social and economic justice require environmental sustainability and a deep respect for the biosphere.

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.




Like the seeds of a dandelion, may the many gifts bestowed by The Peace Abbey carry blessings and wishes for peace in their new locations; and may they embody the energy and spirit of the wonderful people that made the Abbey such an extraordinary place for over a quarter-of-a-century.   – Lewis Randa

Ever wondered where the seeds of peace activism of the Peace Abbey and Life Experience School took root around the world, blossoming for generations to come?   See below.

Music photo clips of the former Peace Abbey campus by Joan Hill.

Peace memorials and museums are a relatively new idea.  War, on the other hand, has enjoyed glorification through monuments, literature, art, and war memorials and museums for centuries.   The motivation for creating statuary and monuments to peace and non-violence is the faith that making people aware of the cost of war is tantamount to educating them for peace.

The second wave of peace memorials and museums sprung up after the destructive years of World War II.  Appropriately, the majority of these memorials were established in Japan, where a keen understanding of the fatal consequences of nuclear warfare was realized.  The cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were centers of staunch opposition to nuclear warfare that spread throughout the world.

Today, peace memorials can be found in every continent.  Though war still lingers, there is hope to be found in the growth of the peace memorial and museum movement.  Efforts aimed at furthering the cause of peace are truly an incremental enterprise.  The greater the presence of peace memorials and museums, the more palpable the message of peace is for the general public.

 Tehran Peace Museum



 Friends (Quaker) Meeting at Cambridge

Honoring Conscientious Objectors. Stone honoring Conscientious Objectors created by the Peace Abbey was gifted to Cambridge Friends Meeting and is located in the side garden to the left of the Administrative Offices. It was pulled by Stonewalkers from the Abbey to Friends Meeting Cambridge. This is the first of many stones to be created by the Life Experience School.


Occupy Boston


With the uprising of discontent in America over what was perceived to be unbridled corporate greed and disregard for human needs, the Wall Street Occupy Movement spread to Boston on September 30, 2011. 1% of the world’s wealth is owned and controlled by 80 people.


Rachel and Ian at Gandhi statue at Occupy Boston.


Chris Randa and other activists move Gandhi statue hours before Occupy Boston ended. Boston Globe Photo of the Year 2011 Occupy Boston Within days, a nine foot statue of Mahatma Gandhi was brought to the Occupy Boston encampment as a symbol of peaceful, nonviolent civil disobedience by the Peace Abbey of Sherborn, MA. The ten week long citizen’s occupation to protest economic injustice ended on December 10, 2011. It was the longest continual Occupy demonstration in the country. Dewey Square is the proposed location of the bronze statue of Gandhi as a gift to the City of Boston.

The Closing of the American Mind:  Occupy Boston


That Strange Brown Man, Gandhi    Gandhi is standing in the bustle of Occupy Boston. The wry smile, the flapping ears, and the walking stick in hand. A sign flags near his knees, “The world holds enough for everyone’s NEED, but not enough for everyone’s GREED.” People rush past him, walking on the wooden planks that work as the walkways between tents in Dewey Square. These people are temporary heroes, the people who have walked away from their ordinary lives to seek shelter together in the public square. Some of these people are happy, pleased to be together and to model a different social life. Others are already cold, already a bit dispirited. The days have begun to drag on. The novelty will wear off. It is precisely to ward off a drop in morale that Gandhi warned his fellow activists, “If patience is worth anything, it must endure to the end of time. And a living faith will last in the midst of the blackest storm” (Young India, June 17, 1926).

Quakers from the Peace Abbey in Sherborn, Massachusetts, brought the statue to the site. They had made it as a gift to Goldman Sachs. On October 28, 2010, the Abbey workers and children from the Life Experience School came down to the Goldman office on High Street, not far from Dewey Square. They wanted to install their statue of Gandhi as a beacon against Greed. Goldman’s people declined the offer, so Gandhi was then chained to the doors of the building. He didn’t last long, went back to the Abbey, and then, when Occupy Boston started, came to his place amongst the protestors.

University of Massachusetts at Boston

Prayer altar in Peace Abbey Chapel.

Prayer altar in Peace Abbey Chapel.


Peace Abbey prayer altar donated to the Chapel at the University of Massachusetts at Boston. Presented to Reverend Adrienne Berry-Burton by the students at the Life Experience School.

Multi-Faith Prayer Altar

Commissioned altar with the words: Always Pray – Pray all Ways with Earth design and the names of the 12 major religions carved into each of the 12 sides of the base of the altar.  Designed by Lewis Randa.  A replica was created by Wellesley College, Multi-faith Chapel.
The Peacemakers Table at the Peace Abbey / Life Experience School where the students met each morning for forty years before gifting it to UMASS Boston for its new peace room.

PEACEMAKERS TABLE AT UMASS BOSTON   Re-dedication of the Peacemakers Table at the University of Massachusetts at Boston.  Among the noted peacemakers that met at the Abbey Peacemakers Table are: Mother Teresa, Muhammad Ali, Maya Angelou, Howard Zinn, Arun Gandhi, Camila Sadat, Raul Julia, Thich Nhat Hanh, Daniel Berrigan, Richie Havens, Ram Das, Helen Caldicott, Ramsey Clark, Barry Crimmins, Michael Klaper, Harry Wu, Ralph DiGia, Dave Dellinger, Patch Adams, Hugh Thompson Jr., Stanley Kunitz, Ngawang Choephel, Betsy Sawyer, Elise Boulding, Michael True, Roy Bourgeois, Paul Rusesabagina, Camilo Mejia, Cindy Sheehan, Francis Crowe, Gene Sharp, Will Tuttle, Tommie Smith, John Dear, Mother Anonia Brenner and numerous other extraordinary peacemakers. The Peacemakers Table was dedicated to the late Quaker scholar and peace activist, Elise Boulding

The Peacemakers Table at UMASS Boston


Peace Pilgrim born Mildred Lisette Norman, was an American non-denominational spiritual teacher, mystic, pacifist, vegetarian and peace activist.

 Peace Pilgrim


From 1953 to 1981 a silver haired woman calling herself only “Peace Pilgrim” walked more than 25,000 miles on a personal pilgrimage for peace. She vowed to “remain a wanderer until mankind has learned the way of peace, walking until given shelter and fasting until given food.” In the course of her 28 year pilgrimage she touched the hearts, minds, and lives of thousands of individuals all across North America. Her message was both simple and profound. It continues to inspire people all over the world.

Expressing her ideas about peace, Peace Pilgrim referred to herself only as “Peace Pilgrim.” Peace Pilgrim’s only possessions were the clothes on her back and the few items she carried in the pockets of her blue tunic which read “Peace Pilgrim” on the front and “25,000 Miles on foot for peace” on the back. She had no organizational backing, carried no money, and would not even ask for food or shelter. When she began her pilgrimage she had taken a vow to “remain a wanderer until mankind has learned the way of peace, walking until given shelter and fasting until given food.”


On July 7, 1981, while being driven from the Chicago area to a speaking engagement near Knox, Indiana, Peace Pilgrim was killed in an automobile accident. At the time of her death, she was crossing the United States for the seventh time. After her death, her body was cremated, and her ashes were interred in a family plot near Egg Harbor City, New Jersey.


Peace Pilgrim‘s tunic and shoes were gifted to the permanent Peace Abbey Collection at the University of Massachusetts at Boston.  They were presented to the Peace Abbey by Quaker activists, John and Ann Rush who founded the Peace Pilgrim Center.  Both individuals passed away in their 90’s and are buried on the grounds of the Peace Abbey on CO Hill in Sherborn, MA.



Blessed Mother and Child statue, which was in the circular drive in front of the Peace Abbey for 25 years, was gifted and re-dedicated on Mothers Day 2013 at Holy Family Church in Duxbury, MA. The sculpture was originally given to the Peace Abbey / Life Experience School by the Sister Disciples of the Divine Master. The original statue was sculpted by world renowned artist, Sr. Angelica in Rome, Italy.




The original statue of Mother Teresa, commissioned for the Peace Abbey. was the centerpiece in the Joseph Campbell living room in the Guesthouse. It was given to St. Mary’s Church when the Abbey closed its Sherborn campus.

Mother Teresa statue placed between Church and Rectory at St. Mary’s Church. Mother Teresa statue commissioned following

 Mother Teresa statue commissioned following Mother Teresa’s visit to the Life Experience School in 1988 was re-dedicated on May 9. 2014 at St. Mary’s Church in Dedham, MA.  The presentation was led by Mary O’Connor and Fr. William Kelly.




Mother Antonia at the Mother House of the Eudist Servants of the Eleventh Hour which she founded as part of her prison work.

A statue of Mother Teresa was presented to Courage of Conscience Award recipient Mother Antonia outside of La Masa Prison in Tijuana, Mexico.  (Underwritten by Edward Coppola.)




Statue of Mother Teresa at Norte Dame University.

Norte Dame University

Bronze statue of Mother Teresa at shrine on the campus of Notre Dame University. (Underwritten by Edward Coppola.)



 Two North Main Street, Sherborn, Massachusetts

Gandhi Statue at the Pacifist Memorial in Sherborn, MA. Gandhi statue was unveiled at the Pacifist Memorial on October 2, 1994, the 125 birth anniversary of Mohandas K. Gandhi. Listed on the plaque below are the individuals that participated in the dedication ceremonies. (Included are Muhammad Ali, Maya Angelou, Daniel Berrigan, Dave Dellinger, Arun Gandhi and other significant peacemakers.)


Dedication plaque of the Pacifist Memorial.


The Pacifist Memorial in Sherborn, MA. Bronze Gandhi statue at the Pacifist Memorial in Sherborn, MA where over 65 pacifists throughout history are acknowledged through a quotations on bronze plaques. The Pacifist Memorial is an Open-Air Peace Chapel of the World’s Major Religions.



The National Registry for Conscientious Objection was created at The Peace Abbey following the war in the Persian Gulf in early 1991.


The National Registry is a national campaign to promote peacemaking as a practical ideal: a way of living in the present that represents our best hope for the future. It seeks to inspire peace and justice in society by inviting peacemakers everywhere to “register” their conscientious objection to violence, and in so doing, to share with others their commitment to a peaceful world. The intent of The National Registry for Conscientious Objection is to emphasize one’s absolute dedication to peaceful living and to peaceful resolution of conflict. It is only by striving for total nonviolence that we approach a nonviolent life-style. Likewise, it is only by committing ourselves absolutely to peaceful living that peace will, in fact, prevail – in our lives and on the planet.


Sand blasting engraving of additional names on the CO Hill Memorial Stone for Conscientious Objectors.


CO stone installed by Dan, Leah, Jonah and Lewis. Granite Memorial Stone for Conscientious Objectors. Buried here are the ashes of over a dozen pacifists who devoted their lives to social change through the power of nonviolence. The names engraved on the Memorial Stone include Pat Farren, David Dellinger, Wally Nelson & Chuck Matthei, Lynda Bock Weitz, Paramal Das, Ralph DiGia, Ann & John Rush, Patricia Watson, Zell Draz, Norman Nylund, Tom Lewis, Sheila DeSalvo and Howard Willard, Jr.


The memorial stone on the grounds of the Peace Abbey. Memorial Stone for Unknown Civilians Killed in War on the grounds of the Pacifist Memorial next to the statue of Mahatma Gandhi in Sherborn, MA. Located where Routes 27 & 16 fork in Sherborn, MA.


Victim of Violence Stone was dedicated by Fr. Daniel Berrigan on May 4, 1994 during the unveiling of the Gandhi statue. It was created to honor all victims of violence, whether domestic or state sponsored through the death penalty or the waging of armed conflict.


Emily in her barn at the Peace Abbey Veganpeace Animal Sanctuary.

Emily in her barn at the Peace Abbey Veganpeace Animal Sanctuary.

Emily the Cow with the Randa family in her new barn. (Barn construction underwritten by Ellen and Rob Little.)

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Emily lying in state in the barn during memorial service attended by members of the community that loved her and paid their respects.


Jain Path from front parking lot to Emily’s grave.


Gandhi Path from Pacifist Memorial to Animal Rights Memorial at Emily the Cow’s grave.

Bronze statue of Emily the Cow was dedicated on Earth Day 2005 behind the statue of Gandhi.

Dedication plaque at Emily’s grave.


Statue of Emily the Cow was sculpted by Lado and Shake Goudjabidze.

Order your copy of The Story of Emily the Cow.
All proceeds go for the care of Emily’s grave and the Animal Rights Memorial.



Gandhi and earth image on the Peace Seeds medallion. The Peace Seeds represent the twelve prayers for peace prayed in Assisi, Italy on the Day of Prayer for World Peace during the United Nations International Year of Peace, 1986. The Prayers were brought to the United States and entrusted to the care of the children at The Life Experience School. Peace Seeds can be acquired from the Peace Abbey for a small donation.


Peace beads are strung together to form the Peace Seeds Rosary by Roy and Dorothy who devote themselves to prayerful service to others.

Prayers for Peace 




Gandhi Bust presented to the United Nations by sculptor Lado Goudjabidze.

Bust of Gandhi at United Nations, “Sanction for Nonviolence”  New York, NY




PEACEABLE KINGDOM OF THE BRANCH by Edward Hicks, gifted to East Sandwich Friends Meeting.  This framed print from the Archives collection at Swarthmore College hung over the fireplace in the Quaker Room at the Peace Abbey Conference Center for 25 years.  Its “vegetarian implications” were central to the teachings at the Peace Abbey as it operated Veganpeace Animal Sanctuary where food production animals were cared for following their escape from the local slaughterhouse in Hopkinton, MA.

Quaker Artist Edward Hicks revisited the subject of the peaceable kingdom sixty-two times between 1820 and his death in 1849. These paintings are characterized by the depiction of the Natural Bridge in Virginia and the presence of the “branch” or grapevine. The painted frame with lettering also distinguishes these early works.

The Peaceable Kingdom of the Branch was painted during the mid-1820s when the Quaker church was experiencing an internal clash that ultimately resulted in the creation of two sects. In this image, a young rosy-cheeked boy in the left mid-ground leads a group of animals, both predatory and domestic, towards a rushing river. The scene is biblical in nature, but clearly takes place on American soil. The most notable signifier of location is the natural land bridge that was a popular tourist attraction for American and European travelers of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. In this tiny scene, Hicks has depicted the famous Quaker, William Penn offering his treaty of peace to a group of Native Americans. Each of these elements works in tandem to reinforce Hicks’s message of unity and peace during a period when the Society of Friends was in a state of crisis.




Hand-carved statue that was in the Peace Abbey Chapel for 25 years now serves as the focal point of healing and gratitude in Des Moines, Iowa.

Peace Abbey Crucifix

Room established to welcome those who are being treated for life-threatening illness or wish to give thanks for the state of their health.  (Under the stewardship and care of Gary and Connie Randa.)

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The Peace Abbey Prayer Book, which holds the prayers of thousands of people from all walks of life, is held under the care and stewardship of Gary and Connie Randa.

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The prayers were written at the foot of the crucifix in the Abbey Chapel in Sherborn, Massachusetts over a period of 25 years. It continues to offer pages for people to enter their deepest wishes, expressions of gratitude and prayers for healing in the Prayer Room in Des Moines, Iowa.

The Peace Abbey Prayer Book


The above description was written by a graduate student from the Divinity School at Harvard University as part of her internship at The Peace Abbey.


When the candle stand was brought to the Peace Abbey Chapel in 1988, Bobby, a special needs student at the Life Experience School assumed responsibility for replacing the candles each morning and removing the used metal wick holders. Out of respect for the importance of each prayer or wish that accompanied the lighting of each candle, the metal wick holders were put aside in a special container and never discarded. They are now held in the newly created Prayer Room in Des Moines, Iowa. There are over 19,000 discs in the copper box (photographed above) which are held prayerfully in perpetuity.






Stonewalk is a project started in 1999 to honor civilian casualties in war and is never ending.


The 33-day, 500-mile inaugural walk of pulling a two-thousand pound granite memorial stone engraved with the words UNKNOWN CIVILIANS KILLED IN WAR to Washington, DC was in the hope of seeing it placed permanently in Arlington National Cemetery. The dream lives on.



Stonewalk(US, Ireland, England, Japan, Korea)

 The Coventry blitz from the German word Blitzkrieg meaning “lightning war” was a series of bombing raids that took place on the English city of Coventry.
The city was bombed many times during the Second World War by the German Air Force (Luftwaffe). The most devastating of these attacks occurred on the evening of 14 November 1940.

Stone at St. Michael’s Cathedral in Coventry, England.

Memorial Stone for Unknown Civilians Killed in War placed at St. Michael’s Cathedral in Coventry, England in 2001.  Pulled by Stonewalkers from Liverpool to Coventry where it was placed in perpetuity during a special ceremony at St. Michael’s Cathedral which was bombed during the WW II.



Following the dropping of the Atomic Bomb on the city.

Stone at the Cathedral in Hiroshima.

Memorial Stone pulled from Nagasaki to Hiroshima, Japan by Stonewalkers and placed in perpetuity at the Hiroshima World Peace Memorial Cathedral on August 6, 2005, the 60th anniversary of the atomic bombing.




The Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) is a region on the Korean peninsula that demarcates North Korea from South Korea. Roughly following the 38th parallel, the 150-mile-long DMZ incorporates territory on both sides of the cease-fire line as it existed at the end of the Korean War (1950–53).


Stone at the DMZ.

Memorial Stone for Unknown Civilians Killed in War created and pulled by Japanese Stonewalkers from the Southern coast of South Korea to the DMZ in 2007.  The Stone is placed in perpetuity at the Korean demilitarized zone.




Archbishop Oscar Romero is the Patron Saint of the Peace Abbey and inspires our nonviolent efforts to address social injustice.
Romero was assassinated on March 24, 1980 while saying Mass at the Cancer Hospital Chapel at the Hospital of the Divine Providence where he lived in San Salvador.  Archbishop Oscar Romero was assassinated on March 24, 1980.

Abbey created bronze busts of Oscar Romero are at Peace Centers and Chapels throughout Central America.

Bronze bust of Oscar Romero at the Romero Museum.

Bust of Oscar Romero presented to the Romero Museum in San Salvador and is placed at the front entrance.

Cottage where Romero lived with Romero bust at the front entrance.

Romero Bust in front of the Cottage where he lived on the grounds of the Hospital of the Divine Providence, San Salvador.
Presentation of Romero molds at the Romero Museum in San Salvador.

Presentation of Romero molds at the Romero Museum in San Salvador.

University of Iowa faculty participating in presentation of molds at the Romero Museum in San Salvador.


Molds designed by Lewis Randa and artist Lado Goudjabidze.

The Romero Project was started to help generate funds for humanitarian efforts in El Salvador through the creation and circulation of 12” rubber medallion molds of Monsignor Oscar Romero.   These molds, sculpted by Lado Goudjabidze, are given free of charge to schools, hospitals, churches and community centers in villages in El Salvador.  Provided with instructions on how to mix and pour inexpensive plaster into the molds to create a beautiful wall hanging, the Romero Project seeks to place in the hands of those who loved the late Archbishop the means to generate additional income for their families, groups or organizations.



In December 1982 Samantha Smith, a 10-year-old girl from Manchester, Me., wrote to Soviet leader Yuri Andropov to ask if he was going to wage a nuclear war against the U.S.

Samantha Smith bust commissioned following her tragic death with her father Arthur on a small plane returning to Maine.

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Journey to the Soviet Union was reprinted by the Peace Abbey through a generous contribution by Abbey Chaplain Dot Walsh in honor of her grandchildren.  This simple effort of writing a letter by a young American brought about a shift in US – Soviet relations and nurtured expressions of peace throughout the world. The bust of Samantha Smith was presented to the Moscow Samantha Smith Peace Foundation at a special ceremony at the Life Experience School in 1988. The Samantha Smith Project continues to share her story with the world.



(Commissioned Works of Art by Lewis Randa through the artistry of Lado & Shake Goudjabidze.)  


Mohandas K. Gandhi Statue

The Pacifist Memorial, Sherborn, MA

Healey Library, University of Massachusetts Boston, MA

(Proposed location at Dewey Square, Boston, MA)

Mohandas K. Gandhi Bust 

 United Nations Headquarters, NYC

Healey Library, University of Massachusetts

Emily the Cow Statue

Sacred Cow Animal Rights Memorial, Sherborn, MA

Mother Teresa  Statue 

Blessed Mother Teresa Church, Dorchester, MA

Women’s Correctional Facility, Framingham, MA

Mother Antonia, Tijuana Correctional Facility, Mexico

Archdiocese of Des Moines, IA St. 

Anthony’s Church, Des Moines, IA  

Mercy Hospital, Des Moines, IA

Healey Library, University of Massachusetts Boston, MA

St. Mary’s Church Dedham, MA

Monsignor Oscar Romero Bust

The Metropolitan Cathedral of the Holy Savior, El Salvador, CA

Monsignor Romero and Martyrs Center, El Salvador, CA

Hospital of the Divine Providence, (Romero Cottage) El Salvador, CA

The National Oscar Romero Museum, El Salvador, CA

Healey Library, University of Massachusetts Boston

John F. Kennedy Bust 

JFK Presidential Library and Museum, Boston

Healey Library, University of Massachusetts Boston 

Robert F. Kennedy Bust

JFK Presidential Library and Museum, Boston

Healey Library, University of Massachusetts Boston

Samantha Smith Bust

Samantha Smith Peace Center, Moscow, Russia

Pine Hill Elementary School, Sherborn, MA

Healey Library, University of Massachusetts Boston

Courage of Conscience Award   

Healey Library, University of Massachusetts Boston

158 Recipients throughout the World

Barack Obama and Grandmother Bust

Healey Library, University of Massachusetts Boston

Conscientious Objector Memorial Stone 

Cambridge Friends Meeting, (Quakers) Cambridge, MA

Victim of Violence Memorial Stone 

Pacifist Memorial, Sherborn, MA

Memorial Stone for Conscientious Objectors on CO Hill 

Pacifist Memorial, Sherborn, MA

Unknown Civilians Killed in War

Pacifist Memorial, Sherborn, MA

St. Michael’s Cathedral, Coventry, England

Hiroshima, Japan

DMZ Korea (Gift from Hibakusha)

Multi-faith Altar

University of Massachusetts Boston Chapel


Chapel hand-carved wooden crucifix

Walcott Avenue, Des Moines, IA

Madonna and Child

Holy Family Church, Duxbury, MA

Giant Red Wood Tree

Fiske Memorial Library, Wrentham


University of Massachusetts Boston   (Political, Social Justice, Pacifism, Conscientious Objection, Animal Rights)

Boston University School of Theology, Harvard Divinity School, Bethany Prison Ministries  (Multi-faith, religious, spirituality)

The above listed gifts were made by The Life Experience School and The Peace Abbey.


When the time has come, retire the whisk broom.

To make an appointment to visit the Peace Abbey Collection, contact UMB Archives at: 617.287.5469  library.archives@umb.edu

Peace and Justice display at Healey Library.

Peace and Justice display at Healey Library.

The Peace Abbey permanent exhibit is under construction so call before visiting.

The pendulum of the Grandfather clock that recipients of the Courage of Conscience Award wound continues to swing in the new Peace Room at the Healey Library, University of Massachusetts Boston.

Students and faculty sit at the Peacemakers Table for classes and to study throughout the day.

The replica of the bronze statue of Mahatma Gandhi stands as a symbol of nonviolence and peacemaking in the new Peace Room.



What do you get when you incorporate the Peace Abbey history and holdings into the University of Massachusetts Boston? You get an expression of its long journey for Peace, Social Action, Public Policy and the Arts!   So what exactly are we gifting the Healey Library at UMB?

For over a quarter of a century, The Peace Abbey has been a major center for the promotion of peace and social justice for metropolitan Boston and entire New England area and is recognized internationally for its work. Like its parent organization the Life Experience School, it was inspired by the life and times of Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr, so it is most fitting that it now finds its new home next to the Kennedy Presidential Library and the soon to be completed Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate. It was Ted Kennedy’s congressional inquiry into my case as a conscientious objector while a member of the 114th Medical battalion of the Massachusetts Army National Guard in 1971 that led to my discharge. And the Life Experience School and later the Peace Abbey would become, not simply alternative service, but “a lifelong alternative service”.   So these gifts that we bestow on the University of Massachusetts Boston today are much more than they appear for they are the outward and physical representation of a journey of empowering people to say no to violence and to war and all that is deemed unacceptable by conscience.

Thus, the Peace Abbey served as the Founding headquarters for the National Registry for Conscientious Objection, stored archival material from the Vietnam War to the present wars in the Middle East, sought to demonstrate opposition to militarism through numerous, high profile peaceful acts of civil disobedience to prevent, then end armed conflict; endeavored to influence public policy through the recognition of unknown civilian casualties of war at Arlington National Cemetery through STONEWALK, USA which became a global requiem pilgrimage through the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, England, Japan and South Korea which ended at the DMZ. The Abbey and the Life Experience School helped draw attention to the need to change the name of the state department here in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts that provides services to developmentally disabled individuals. We helped get the R word removed from the agency name, once and for all. The Peace Abbey commissioned great works of peace art through a collaboration with Georgian Artists, Lado and Shake Goudjabidze which included acclaimed sculptures of Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Oscar Romero of El Salvador, Samantha Smith, President Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, Emily the Cow and the peace dove in out reached hands which is the Courage of Conscience Award which has been presented to extraordinary practitioners of nonviolent social change throughout the world. In the course of these twenty-five years, the Peace Abbey sought to reduce misunderstanding and its consequential violence by bringing religions, one of the major causes of war, hatred and societal dysfunction, together under one roof in the Abbey Chapel of Change.

So today, July 9, 2012, we are formally gifting to the University of Massachusetts Boston, the Peacemakers Table, around which Mother Teresa, Muhammad Ali, Maya Angelou and many other peacemakers sat, the Abbey Grandfather Clock, which was donated by my father in honor of my mother Helen Randa, its display cases with artifacts of this extraordinary journey of peacemaking that the Life Experience School began in 1972, and gifting replicas of the original bronze statues belonging to the Life Experience School and the Peace Abbey along with the entire peace, social justice, pacifism and animal rights library. May the new Center and Archives for Peace, Social Action, Public Policy and the Arts put them to good use in educating students, faculty and the general public in the ways of peacemaking and the power and moral authority of nonviolence.

Today we sign the Deed of Gift to the University of Massachusetts Boston as a form of friendship, with every hope for the future and a desire that the Life Experience School and Peace Abbey’s mission, which is to make the world more compassionate and understanding, less harsh & more loving, finds expression here in this newly created Center & Archives for Peace, Social Justice, Public Policy & the Arts.

Lewis M. Randa, Founder
The Life Experience School / Peace Abbey

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The Peace Abbey is dedicated to creating innovative models for society that empower individuals on the paths of nonviolence, peacemaking, and cruelty-free living. We offer a variety of programs and resources that teach, inspire and encourage one to speak out and act on issues of peace and social justice. Faith in action is the cornerstone of our fellowship and activist pacifism is our creed. The Peace Abbey serves as a model for religious organizations, communities, and individuals seeking non-violent, pacifist pathways to peace and social justice.

Our Work

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