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Prayer for Senator Padilla rE: Gaza 

Updated: Jul 4

Lorin Peters

Lorin Peters, a member of our Gandhi Team, has been advocating, educating, and promoting peace for over 50 years, as seen here vigiling against nuclear weapons. He has been active in promoting peace in Gaza ever since the war started. Recently, he participated in a public pray-in in front of the San Francisco office of Senator Alex Padilla. He offered these remarks and prayer at the start of the public action.

Prayer for Senator Padilla re: Gaza                                                      

2024 May 31

I am Lorin Peters. 

Just before Vietnam, I joined the Peace Corps, went to Thailand,

fell in love and married a Thai Catholic. 

But I eventually encountered a serious death threat. 

By the grace of God, and my Mennonite heritage,

I was given a dream of a nonviolent response,

which very likely saved my life.    


We, my wife and I, have practiced as Catholics for almost 60 years. 

During Vietnam, I was hired to teach physics in a Catholic high school in Oakland. 

Because of the Vietnam draft, I was then asked to create and teach

a course on alternatives to war and violence, which I did for 36 years. 

Then the school asked me to teach Christian Scripture. 

After I retired, our parish priest asked me to be a catechist.   

I accepted, with the understanding that I would primarily challenge war,

and promote nonviolence, the tragic contradiction in almost all churches.


I also spent seven summers in Hebron, Palestine, with Christian Peacemaker Teams, so this war in Gaza is very personal for me, and I have been vigilling, solo, at BART stations, engaging people who want to talk 10 to 20 hours a week since December


Senator Padilla, and all our other leaders, I would like to offer a prayer for peace:


Lord, we are followers of the prophet who said, “Blessed are the meek, blessed are the merciful, blessed are the peacemakers.

We are followers of the prophet who said, “Love your enemies”.


Lord, help us to listen, and to keep listening. 

Help us to build relationships, which free us to trust,

and thus to understand, our enemies.   


Lord, help us to understand the trauma of the Holocaust,

and to build a culture so redemptive it heals that trauma. 


Lord, give us courage strong enough to win the respect of our enemies. 

Give us love so strong, so disciplined, it wins their trust and heals their fear. 

I would like to conclude with the prayer written in the spirit of St Francis of Assisi:

“Lord, make us instruments of thy peace

Where there is hatred, let us sow love

Where there is injury, pardon


Where there is doubt, trust

Where there is despair, hope

Where there is darkness, light


O Divine Master, grant that we may not so much seek

to be consoled, as to console

to be understood, as to understand

to be loved, as to love


For it is in giving, that we receive

It is in pardoning, that we are pardoned

It is in dying to self, that we are born to eternal life


Note that it is in the “dying to self,” that we are re-born.

Amen, and thank you. 

For more about Lorin's protests for peace, see an article about him in the San Leandro Times.

Lorin w poster at SL BART
Download PDF • 15.96MB


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