Thoughts from the Prioress on the Prophet of Peace Award

Thoughts from the Prioress on the Prophet of Peace Award

This is what God requires of you:
Only to do right — to act justly;
to love goodness — to love tenderly;
and to walk humbly with your God. (Micah 6:8)

The reading from the prophet Micah has put before us words that are easy but truth that is profound. From Micah we hear clearly what it is that is required of each and every one of us: act justly, love tenderly, walk humbly with God.

This evening, we are blessed to honor two people who have taken Micah’s message to heart. Al and Peggy Richardson, the recipients of the 2011 Prophet of Peace Award, know what it means to act justly, to love tenderly, to walk humbly with God. They have embraced the social responsibility of justice. They have been involved in many local organizations: the Erie Regional Peace and Justice Center, the ACLU of Erie, CARE, the 9/11 Peace initiative, Sierra Club, and NAACP, to name just a few. In the activities they have pursued through Death Penalty vigils, KEEP and CALL, they have looked injustice in the eye. Their efforts have proclaimed that right can overcome wrong. They have shown that truth can defeat falsehood. They have modeled life as God intended it for all people by living with tender love in a way that gives dignity to others.

In so doing, Al and Peggy have embodied our corporate commitment and its concerns for peace and justice, sustainability, and the needs of women and children. In recognition of this, I now present them with the Prophet of Peace Award.

For Al and Peggy Richardson
– Who have given vision and organization to peace and justice work in Erie by helping to found the Erie Regional Peace and Justice Center
– Who have promoted an ethic of nonviolence through their voice in the Erie Peace Initiative
– Who have worked to establish better relationships among diverse racial communities through the formation of CARE (Citizens Against Racism in Erie)
– Who have promoted the revival of Community Access Television as an affordable forum for underserved citizens to “speak” and be heard
– Who have established and continue to fund a college scholarship program for African American students graduating from the City of Erie Public Schools
– Who have been firm advocates for a public school system that provides quality education and opportunity to all students
– Who have been a voice that has given life to town meetings and public forums to promote needed awareness and change regarding the jury selection process, ongoing concerns of racism, and jobs for minorities
– Who have encouraged many as a result of their commitment to CALL (Congregational Action to Lift Lives)
– Who have remained faithful and active in the Unitarian Universalist Church of Erie
– Who have modeled for all of us an unwavering commitment to the work of peace and justice by their advocacy for the underserved and disadvantaged of Erie
– Who have given and continue to give witness with a discipleship that is unparalleled in its gentleness, resolve, devotion and faith.

We honor you.
We applaud your life’s work.
We pray for the courage to follow your example.

Sister Anne Wambach, OSB, the twenty-first prioress of the Benedictine Sisters of Erie, Pennsylvania is a native of Philadelphia. She moved to Mount St. Benedict Monastery in 1992 to respond to a desire to experience the monastic way of life. Previously a member of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Chestnut Hill, Sister Anne began the formal transfer process to the Erie Benedictines in 1993 and made her monastic profession in 1997.

Sister Anne has served the people of the Diocese of Erie as a teacher at St. Gregory's School in North East, Pa., from 1992-1995, and at the Neighborhood Art House in Erie, beginning as program director in 1995 and as executive director since 2005. She served on the Monastic Council from 2006-2010.