Last updated: August 25. 2013 7:09AM - 282 Views

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Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Ottawa and St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Glandorf plan to connect in a very special way on Saturday, May 18. The two parishes will each be laying a one-mile penny chain from the door of their church to connect at the O-G Soccer field on O-G Road.

The two parishes have teamed up to promote peace.

The idea for the Pennies for Peace began several months ago when various members of the parish were in Columbus and saw a group working to beat the Guinness Book of Records on making a chain. The churches don’t want to set any record. They just wanted to make a difference and promote peace in the community and in the world.

“We all agreed it was important to do something,” said Teresa Lanwehr, who joined others Wednesday night to speak to the students.

Last Wednesday night students from both parishes gathered at SS Peter and Paul Elementary to make Peace Rosaries and learn more about the project. Committee members from both churches explained different parts of the project during the program.

As they made their peace rosaries the students were encouraged to continue to pray for peace.

A video featuring Matthew Joseph Thaddeus Stepanek, known to his friends as “Mattie,” was shown to the students. Mattie began writing poetry and short stories at the age of three. Some of his works explore the uncensored reality of living with a rare form of Muscular dystrophy and with the grief associated with the loss of his three siblings to the same life-threatening condition. Most of his work proclaims the innocent hope, profound wisdom and delightful humor of childhood. His books including “Heartsongs” are a collection of earlier poems and artwork of this gifted, courageous, award-winning poet.

Students were encouraged to collect pennies for the event including collecting pennies from relatives and friends from around the world to be used in the chain. A map on the wall will feature pins marking the locations from where pennies are sent.

Once the penny drive is complete the pennies will go to support numerous missions including Catholic Charities, Heartbeat of Lima, St. Jude’s, Relay for Life, Thrift Store, and Precious Blood Missions. The pennies will also be used for other local needs.

“We need lots of pennies and lots of tarps,” Lanwehr said. She said anyone who can loan them tarps should call either parish.

One of the eighth grade students preparing for Confirmation decided to use money he earned from babysitting to donate to Pennies for Peace on Wednesday. At the gathering he brought a container with 3,000 pennies in it.

It will take approximately 85,000 pennies to form the chain for each mile. The penny chain building will begin at 9:15 a.m. and will conclude with a Eucharistic procession from both churches.

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