PASTOR of peace Father John Dear has been spreading his message in Sunderland.
The world-famous Jesuit priest, who travels the world with his teachings, stopped off in the city on a tour of the UK.
An internationally-renowned retreat leader and author, he has dedicated his life to spreading the “non-violent message of Jesus”.
As part of a new tour of the UK, the Nobel Peace Prize nominee spoke to about 100 people at St Joseph’s Church, in Millfield, Sunderland.
Father Michael McCoy, who helped organise the event, said: “It went incredibly well. He held people captivated and what he had to say was very challenging.
“He was challenging people to look at their own ideas towards people.”
After the September 11 terrorist attacks in 2001, Fr Dear was a Red Cross coordinator of chaplains at the Family Assistance Centre in New York, counselling thousands of relatives and rescue workers.
He has travelled to the war zones of the world, led Nobel Peace prize winners to Iraq, given thousands of lectures on peace across America and served as a pastor of several churches in the high desert of New Mexico.
In 2008, Archbishop Desmond Tutu nominated Fr Dear for the Nobel Peace Prize.
“The key to changing the world and pursuing justice and disarmament is to allow the God of peace to disarm our hearts, make us instruments of peace, and lead us together on the road to peace,” said Fr Dear.
The visit marked the launch for a series of nationwide initiatives and courses based on the non-violent teachings of Jesus that will be taking place in the future.
The Diocese that St Joseph’s is part of holds at Justice and Peace group, with the next meeeting there on October 20, from 10am-3pm.