Italy 12 November: Palermo

Friends and Faiths

Our day starts with a cup of coffee in a quaint restaurant by the sea.

Patricia from Salzburg leads the team to our first appointment at IC Sferracavallo-Onorato school.

The children are waiting for us along the corridors.

Everyone assembles in the main hall to see our Peace Run film.

The children offered performances. These children recited a poem with such confidence.

This young girl, Chiara, had written her own poem which was so moving.

These children performed John Lennon's 'Imagine' - they had excellent voices.

These children and their teachers performed a little play.

The school choir sings jubilantly.

A moment of Peace.

We all sang the Beatles song "All You Need Is Love" together.

Everyone has a chance to hold the torch.

The office staff hold the torch.

The School Director (in blue) was so pleased with the visit. We were at the school for two and half hours. It was such a warm reception.

Back to the seaside restaurant for lunch.

Our next appointment is at a Juvenile Detention Centre.

The staff at the Centre are delighted to receive us.

We offer the Detention Centre a Jharna Kala painting titled 'Happiness' by the founder of the Peace Run, Sri Chinmoy. Inside the Centre the detainees, who range from 16 to 25 years of age, relayed the torch through the corridors to a meeting room. In the meeting room we presented the Peace Run, passed the torch and sang two songs by Sri Chinmoy, 'A New World of Peace' and the Peace Run song. The young men asked us questions about the Peace Run, recited some of Sri Chinmoy's poems on Happiness which they had selected and presented us with a large painting they had prepared for us. The staff invited us to guide all the young men in a meditation exercise to invoke Peace. For security reasons we were not allowed to take photos inside the meeting. The staff took photos and will send a selection to us soon. It was a very special experience, and we offer our heartfelt gratitude to everyone there.

In the evening we are invited to a special Interfaith event at a Mosque in the centre of Palermo. The Archbishop is there to greet us.

The proceedings begin with the torch being brought into the Mosque.

The torch is passed to all the Faith representatives.

Heading home on a rainy night after a long and fruitful day.