The Bishop Edward Pevec Peace and Justice Award Aptly Named

by Mary Deborah Carlin, SND on June 24, 2015

in Blogs

“He wore his vestments lightly.”    These are the words Father Gerald J. Bednar who currently serves as the  Vice Rector of the seminary in the diocese of Cleveland, used to describe Bishop Edward Pevec at the 25th Annual Peace and Justice Awards Dinner,  May 30, 2015, held at the Center for Pastoral Leadership in Wickliffe, Ohio.

Father Bednar went on to say, “ Bishop Pevec appreciated his responsibility as bishop,  but refused to make it anyone else’s burden.”

As I sat in the audience listening to Fr. Bednar I thought about how we are all called  to do justice.  Using our education, our status, our positions in the church “lightly” and taking up our responsibility without judgment about another’s lack of effort in this area,  summarizes for me, a model for doing the justice that brings peace.

Father Bednar spoke about how peace can flourish when the person works for  it in a nonviolent, direct and responsible manner.  Peace flourishes with its own power to promote goodness, mercy, and justice when a person strives to live out the gospel call to see their  neighbor as themselves.  Bishop Pevec’s warm and gracious manner, his interest in everyone he met, his steadfast determination to be a peaceful person while ever striving to call persons to their responsibility to work for a more just society,  aptly defined the naming of the award after him.  How  appropriate it is.

Justice is a mysterious concept.  It is so easy to get it wrong.  There is the tendency to project one’s personal vision outward and make demands on others.  Here we can get help from St. Thomas Aquinas:  the ideal is to look inward and be justice in our own lives.  The work is our burden in response to our world.  I pay my bills on time, pay a just wage, reject dishonesty in all its forms.  Thus, peace can flourish with its own power to promote goodness, mercy, and justice.

Bishop Edward Pevec was the embodiment of these ideals and a model for all recipients of the Bishop Edward Pevec Peace and Justice Award.  Living humbly, rejecting discord, acting with mercy, loving without discrimination  are and will continue to be the motivations for celebration in Lake and Geauga Counties.

This year  the Lake and Geauga Commission bestowed the first ever Bishop Pevec award and  celebrated,  posthumously, the life and work of Deirdre Dennick, who spent her life in compassionate  effort to help people caught in addiction.  We also rejoiced in the ongoing ministry of Deacon Willard Payne to the imprisoned in Geauga County Jail.  Two great peacemakers honored to be nominated, greatly honored to receive the Bishop Pevec Award.  What a great opportunity to praise and thank our Good God for his peace and justice shining in the lives of his people!  Such peace and justice can fill the whole world.

Notre Dame Sister Mary Deborah Carlin is retired from many years as a high school teacher and parish Religious Education Director.  She currently is ministering as a volunteer at Bethany Retreat Center in Chardon, OH




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Melannie June 25, 2015 at 9:56 am

Dear Deborah, I loved your emphasis on “wearing lightly” our education and our position in the church. Bishop Pevec was certainly a gentle man who did powerful deeds for God’s people. Thanks for reminding us of him and this great truth. Melannie


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