Fr. Tom Smith OFM Conv. participated in a peace vigil in Mesilla Park, New Mexico, on Monday, September 9, 2019. The vigil was held next to the new Chapel at Holy Cross Retreat Center, where Fr. Tom is the Director. He said, "The music reminded me of peace vigils from the 60s and 70s, yet the theme and need are very current."
One thousand paper cranes were donated to the City of Las Cruces during the vigil.
In Japanese culture, it is believed that if someone folds 1,000 paper cranes their wish will come true. These origami cranes are a symbol of hope and healing.
In addition to the Franciscan presence, there were representatives from many other faiths, including Judaism and Buddhism, as well as groups representing Asian Americans, the disabled, the Latino Community, the American Indian Student Center, and others.
The non-political event included representatives from the community speaking on the universal values of Love, Tolerance, Freedom, and Dignity.