Sr. Mary Frances embraces two Neighborhood Night of Peace Collaborators
by Sr. Mary Frances Reis, VHM
“There are so many wonderful initiatives in this community that never get media coverage; that’s OK, but we want the world to know that the north side is comprised of so many beautiful people who can teach us all a lot about the value of relationship.” — Sr. Mary Frances
Neighborhood Night of Peace is an event the Sisters initiated some 20 years ago. It grew out of National Night Out (a block by block event) and became a community wide celebration of peace and community. In recent years this summertime gathering has drawn between 450 and 600 neighbors to Ascension Church’s parking lot where there is free food, games and prizes for the children, door prizes for the family, and free school supplies for the first 200 children to arrive. Community friends Eddie Brown and Tommy Williams MC’d the event, as they have done for the past several years.
The most gratifying aspect of the Neighborhood Night of Peace is the partnerships it has generated. ASCENSION CHURCH, VISITATION MONASTERY, MASJID ANUR, TURNING POINT, KEMPS, ASCESNION PLACE, BASILICA OF SAINT MARY, NEIGHBORS & FRIENDS FROM AROUND THE METRO come together to provide a spectacular evening!
This event could not have happened without the generous participation and support of the Our Lady of the Lakes Mission Group of 30 youth and adults from Spicer, Minnesota. They arrived at 11:00 am on a huge bus, packed with door prizes, & kiddy games and prizes. After a bus tour of the North side conducted by Don Samuels, they spent the entire day (in 90 degree temps) tirelessly setting up and preparing for the evening which began at 5:30. This group served food, ran games, etc., until they boarded the bus at 7:30 to return to Spicer. It is our prayer that this bridging experience planted a few seeds, especially in the young people, of the satisfaction of serving. Like us Sisters, we hope that they received as much and more than they gave!
The NNOP was a great success! There are so many wonderful initiatives in this community that never get media coverage; that’s OK, but we want the world to know that the north side is comprised of so many beautiful people who can teach us all a lot about the value of relationship.