News Story

Peace Days Event Demonstrates Desire for Peace

Since 2016, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have joined with members of the Manitoba Multifaith Council (MMC) and other interfaith friends to celebrate the United Nations International Day of Peace.

This year’s event, entitled “Together in Silence for Peace — Meditation and Ceremony,” took place at the Saint Boniface Cathedral in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and was hosted by the MMC and the Saint Boniface Roman Catholic Archdiocese. The event included a shared time of meditation and a “Mixing of the Waters for Peace” ceremony, led by Belle Jarniewski of the MMC. The 15 minutes of meditation was led by Todd Koga, who played a traditional gong.


The “Mixing of the Waters for Peace” ceremony symbolized the common destiny and desire to work together for peace. In this ceremony, members of cultural and religious communities, including Latter-day Saints, offered a prayer for peace prior to adding a cup of water to a single bowl.

Christine Baronins, public affairs director for the Church in Manitoba, was invited to participate in the “Mixing of the Waters for Peace” ceremony. She shared, “This event highlights the commonalities rather than the differences of those not of our faith. The collective strength and solidarity of faith communities working together to promote and advocate for greater peace in the world strengthens my personal faith and resolve.”

The annual event is typically held in the ruins of the old Saint Boniface Cathedral (which was damaged by fire in 1968), providing a moving and dramatic backdrop. This year, inclement weather forced the event to be held indoors. Considering the weather conditions and the fact that the event coincided with a provincial election day, organizers were pleased with a 30 per cent increase in attendance from last year.

Belle Jarniewski, co-organizer and MMC president, expressed, “At a time when we see much of the world overwhelmed by expressions of intolerance and even hate, the importance of coming together to pray for peace cannot be underestimated. I am grateful to live in a city, and in a country, where such an event is not only possible but is greatly appreciated.”

The multi-faith event was part of the Rotary Club of Winnipeg’s Peace Days, a program emphasizing interconnectedness, compassion and understanding through “peace literacy” educational programming over a 10-day period. Events included concerts, ceremonies and activities to provoke thought and raise the value of peace throughout the city.

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