///The Peace Abbey Multi-Faith Retreat Center, Sherborn, MA

The Peace Abbey Multi-Faith Retreat Center, Sherborn, MA

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The Peace Abbey was created following an inspiring visit by Mother Teresa to The Life Experience School in 1988. Since then, The Peace Abbey has become a favorite place for regular visitors and retreatants from all over the world. Please visit the Abbey and walk the grounds.

Our Mission

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

The main Peace Abbey building houses the Chapel and Guesthouse. The Multi-Faith Chapel offers a sacred environment, which holds the symbols, icons, sculptures, and prayers from the twelve major faith traditions. The Guesthouse, offers beautiful, quiet village center accomodations in the tradition of a New England Retreat Center.

The front building is the Peace Museum & Conference Center where weddings and special services are held as well as training in nonviolent civil disobedience. At the center of the main room is The Peacemakers Table, around which have congregated many dedicated peace activists, including Mother Teresa, Maya Angelou, Munhammad Ali, Daniel Berrigan to name a few. You can read some of the gracious comments made by some of these visitors here.

SHORT VIDEO ON GANDHI

This building also, houses The Pacifist Living History Museum, containing relics, personal affects, manuscripts and documents placed at the Abbey by members of the Peace Movement, friends and supporters. Each Sunday morning from 10 to 11 AM, we hold a prayer and meditation service in the Quaker room on the first floor of the Conference Center. Members, friends, supporters and visitors to The Peace Abbey are invited to share one hour of meditation and praye. It is a time for those who have been involved in the work of peace and social justice to renew, connect and share the sense of peace that comes through gathered silence.

Also the Conference Center houses the Greater Boston Vegetarian Resource Center, including a vast vegan and vegetarian social and culinary library of books and materials. While on the subject of reading materials, the Conference Center also contains a section of The Peace and Social Justice Library, a comprehensive resource of books and videos.

In the lower floor of the Conference Center is the Peace Abbey Coffeehouse, a unique venue for performances, recitals, gatherings, and musical concerts. Among the regular performers in the Coffeehouse are Magical Strings and “house-band” Woodwork.

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 provides men and women of all ages with an opportunity to register their objection to personal, national, and international violence.

Visitors to the Peace Abbey take refreshment at the Greenhouse Cafe, a cyber cafe with a conscience. A delicious range of soups, snacks and beverages are also available in this self-serve, honor system cafe.

Dozens of visitors daily walk the walls of the Pacifist Memorial , reading the quotes from men and women who lived their lives as pacifists and activists. Some names will be familiar such as Albert Einstein, Margaret Mead, Dr. King and Jesus, while others will be less familiar and offer an opportunity for visitors to learn more about nonviolence and the rich American tradition of pacifism. Part of the Pacifist Memorial is a simple stone, engraved with the words “Unknown Civilians Killed in War” which commemorates those whose lives were lost, unrecorded, the collateral damage of military action. By this stone we honor the civilian men, women and children who perished in wars both remembered and forgotten.

Follow the path from the Pacifist Memorial, and visitors come face to face with a life-size bronze sculture of Emily the Cow, erected over the burial site of Emily, and surrounded by inspirational quotes for animal rights. This is The Sacred Cow Animal Rights Memorial . Emily passed away March 2003. She was a friend and teacher to many who sought her companionship and is dearly missed by everyone at the Abbey and many of our visitors.

Cast your gaze away from the bronze statue of Emily, and you will see the Conscientious Objectors Hill of Remembrance and the newly erected memorial stone. The Peace Abbey provides a cemetery for the cremation remains of conscientious objectors. Many of their ashes have been scattered or buried here.

Children and adults love to visit the animal in the Veganpeace Animal Sanctuary.

Dotted all over the Peace Abbey building are numerous photographs of our honored guests and the many who have been awarded the Courage of Conscience Award.

About five miles away in the town of Millis, MA is The Life Experience School, an alternative high school for students with life challenges. Across form the school is Lavender House, a shared community living facility for adults with disabilities.

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Our History

The Peace Abbey traces its roots to Lewis Randa‘s attendance at the Day of Prayer for World Peace which took place in Assisi, Italy during the UN International Year of Peace, 1986. For the first time in history, the leaders of the twelve major religions gathered to pray for Peace on Earth.

The event took place on sacred ground at the Basilica of Saint Francis, and was the occasion for the handing down of the prayers for peace. The Sacred Office of Peace, which these prayers comprise, is the text around which we established and maintain our fellowship as well as pursue our global peacemaking.

Our calling, as a community of able-bodied and challenged peacemakers, is to respond anew to the inspired calling St. Francis received as he prayed at the dilapidated church of San Damiano in the twelfth century. “Rebuild my church which is falling into disrepair” was the message Francis heard and around which he established his order. With time, however, Francis and his followers realized that Christ’s message to “rebuild my church,” concerned not only the physical (outer) structure, but more importantly, the spiritual (inner) structure. Materials of construction (stone, wood and mortar) were soon replaced by materials of grace (prayer, fasting and service). The church, Christ’s vehicle of grace, no longer served its divine mission and desperately needed to be rebuilt. It was Francis, the little poor man of Assisi and his humble followers who began the unending task of rebuilding the spirit of the church.

In light of the interfaith nature of the historic event in Assisi, the community of peacemakers at The Peace Abbey is given to interpret the occasion as an edict to “rebuild,” not only “my church,” but also “my temple, my synagogue, my mosque, my shrine, my meetinghouse” and wherever worship of God takes place.

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Contact Information

DIRECTIONS TO ABBEY

The Peace Abbey
2 North Main Street, Sherborn, MA 01770 [map]
Abbey Office: (508) 655-2143
Fax: (508) 376-6246
[email protected]

Visiting Hours:
Monday through Friday – 9:00am to 5:00pm
Saturday and Sunday – 10:00am to 6:00pm.
Office Telephone: (508) 655-2143

Group visits must be scheduled.

For questions, comments or more information about The Peace Abbey or The Life Experience Day Program, please contact us by email or call (508) 655-2143.

Directions

From Boston
Mass Turnpike 90 West to Route 95 South.
Exit on Route 16 West. Follow 16 to Sherborn.
At T intersection, turn left onto Route 27 South (still 16 West).
The Peace Abbey is 1/4 mile down on 27 on the left before fork in road.

From New York
Interstate 95 North to 495 North.
Exit at 109 East.
Take 109 to 27 North in Medfield, MA.
Take left on 27 and continue over Charles River into Sherborn.
Take right into driveway just beyond first stop sign.
Pacifist Memorial and Gandhi statue are visible at stop sign.

Abbey Staff – Door Keepers

Lewis Randa – Founding Director
Meg Randa – SPED Coordinator, Teacher
Dot Walsh – Abbey Program Coordinator
Ruthanne Grundfast – Special Peace Corps
Nancy Galiardi – Yoga and Fitness
Ted Powers – Music

University Internships

BRANDEIS UNIVERSITY
Jennifer Krueger – 2007
CLARK UNIVERSITY
Emma Cassidy – 2006
WELLESLEY COLLEGE
Karen Andrews – 2005
Justine Parker – 2005
REGIS COLLEGE
Sara Bernardo – 2005
HARVARD UNIVERSITY
ANDOVER NEWTON THEOLOGICAL SCHOOL
Loren McGrail – 2003-2004
BOSTON UNIVERSITY
Mary Margaret Earl – 2000-2001
HARVARD UNIVERSITY
Carole Bull – 2003-2004
STONEWALK USA, IRELAND, ENGLAND
Simon Augustine – 1998-2001
Kari Nicewander – 1999-2000

Volunteers

Madeline Champagne
Brian Cron
Dan Dick, Leah and Jonah Sakala – Coffeehouse, Web Site, General Care
Dan Everett – Project Consultant
Margaurite Hasbrook – Liaison, Wellesley Friends Meeting
Joan Hill – Designer and Visualization
Gayle Kelly
Joe Mastrangelo – Film Instructor

A petition is circulating through the Muslim community to bring Yusuf Islam to the Peace Abbey to receive the Courage of Conscience Award. We look forward to the day when we can honor him for his extraordinary efforts to promote peace, social justice and nonviolence throughout the world.

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2009-07-12T05:47:45+00:00 July 12th, 2009|Imagine All The People|