Friends of
Peace Pilgrim

A Non-Profit, Tax-Exempt, All Volunteer Organization
PO Box 2207, Shelton, CT 06484
  tel. (203) 926-1581

Online Newsletter

Summer/Fall 2006
Number 48

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"Overcome evil with good, falsehood with truth, hatred with love" -- Peace Pilgrim

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Earth Trustees - Peace Pilgrim in Print
Letter and Email - Peace Pilgrim in History

Earth Trustees

Many people are familiar with Earth Day, an event that is celebrated on April 22. Perhaps fewer are aware that John McConnell, who celebrated his 91st birthday this year, was the brainchild of the original event that took place on March 21, 1970 in San Francisco. The day also marked John’s 55th birthday. John, who met Peace Pilgrim while she was on her pilgrimage, is still working to help protect the planet. His current project invites us all to become trustees of our beautiful earth.

EARTH TRUSTEES -- The new idea that Earth Day provided:

The nurture and renewal of Earth is our most urgent task. To this end we, individually and with the help of others, seek in our jobs, buying habits, travel, land use and other actions – at home, work and play -- to respect and protect Earth's amazing web of life, its soil, water, air, plants and living creatures, to act as trustees of our portion of our planet.

We believe every individual and family should have an opportunity for a stake in this planet, for a home, education and meaningful work; that in their personal Earth-stake, or area of responsibility, they should act, not as spoilers of Earth, but as stewards.

We invite you to seek with us ways of living that will not hurt the Earth, but instead protect and nurture its beauty and bounty.

Spread the word to others. The more Earth Trustees there are the more we can trust the future and each other. When enough people care for the Earth and trust each other we will have a healthy peaceful planet.

John McConnell, founder of Earth Day

You can learn more about John, Earth Trustees, and his “Star of Hope” project at www.earthsite.org.

Peace  Pilgrim in Print       (top)

"Waking in America: A Brief History," a fine feature article by Stephen Altschuler, appeared in Common Ground Magazine (the Bay Area’s magazine for conscious community, San Anselmo, CA). Walkers from Edward Payson Weston in 1861 to Planet Walker John Francis were covered, "But perhaps the most remarkable story of an American walker was that of Peace Pilgrim," Altschuler writes. He is the author of The Mindful Hiker. Altschuler recommends Cheryl Canfield’s Peace Pilgrim’s Wisdom in a reading list with his article.

Peace: Quotations and Aspirations is a lovely small gift book compiled and edited by Tammy Ruggles this year. Four quotations from Peace Pilgrim are among some 200 thoughts on peace from world figures ranging from Gautama Buddha and Jesus to Albert Schweitzer and Martin Luther King. Peace is available at $9.95 from Clear Light Publishing, 823 Don Diego, Santa Fe, NM 87505. – Richard Polese


Letters and Email

From a friend in Canada:

Hello,
I stumbled upon your web site this evening, while I was searching for some meaningful words on the topic of inner peace. I have been feeling a spiritual and emotional void in my life for some time and despite useless efforts to fill those voids, they only seem to be becoming more prevalent and harder to ignore. I had a few hours to myself this evening, so I thought I would maybe find a few intelligent words to “digest” on the internet. After spending about 2 hours reading about Peace Pilgrim and absorbing excerpts of her truly amazing thoughts and message. I feel as if a higher power has shown me where I should really start searching for this inner peace I am craving.

I don’t know why I am writing so much, just to ask for her book, but somehow I feel I need to.

I am 34 years old, a stay-at-home mother of three young children, happily married and a professional accountant who teaches business courses at a local college a few hours a week. From the outside looking in, I seem to have the ideal life. Three beautiful, healthy, smart children, a loving husband, a large new home, luxury cars, busy social life, a close-knit successful family, etc..-the picture of thirty-something “success”. The reality of it is that I have days where I feel depressed, sad, angry, frustrated and empty. I get angry with myself for even daring to feel this way. I know it is a sin to take so much for granted. I am catholic, but I do not go to church all that regularly. I believe in God, but I have had so many questions regarding my religion, which nobody has been able to answer to my satisfaction, that I have begun to feel skeptical. In turn, I have been feeling guilty for even daring to question.

I have asked those around me for wisdom and a way to a more meaningful existence, but it seems that they are just as lost as I am. I have read several books on spirituality and fulfilling our purpose in life in order to find meaning, but after completing them I forgot their message. Until tonight, nothing has ever struck such a cord in me. I read the excerpts from the newsletters, with tears streaming down my face. After reading the words of Peace Pilgrim, I came to a big realization. Inner peace, a meaningful existence, is not limited to any one religion. It is about so, so much more.

I feel a sense of relief, that I have discovered that such an inspiring soul has walked this earth so recently. I so want to know more about Peace Pilgrim’s message and I would be very grateful if I could receive a copy of her book.

I thank you in advance for providing me with, what I believe, will be life-altering words.

*****

“There is never really anything to be discouraged about, because difficulties are opportunities for inner growth, and the greater the difficulty the greater the opportunity for growth”

Peace Pilgrim    

*****

From Florida:

Dear Friends of Peace Pilgrim,

"Steps Toward Inner Peace" is a truly powerful and inspiring book. I have probably read every saying ever written, and many spiritual, religious, and philosophy books through the years, but none so touching as this simple little book. I plan to keep re-reading it and sharing this little book with everyone I feel could be touched by her message.

P.S. I will be giving away almost all of my other spiritual books.

Kathy

*****

From Missouri:

How closed in and out of touch I feel to never have known about "Peace Pilgrim", until watching PBS presenting Dr. Wayne Dyer's "Inspirational".

I visited this website and was absolutely brought to tears. Maybe it's because I had just watched Dr. Dyers moving presentation. I'm 57 years old and as long as I can remember, because I was sensitive to abuse, pain, desperation, in the world outside mine, I was a crazy "liberal". All my life I have tried to alter my thoughts and behavior to "fit in". What a late in life validation to learn I was really trying to live "in spirit".

I wish I could have met and known the "Peace Pilgrim" earlier in my life or at least been able to read about her.
For those of you who have been moved and touched by what this wonderful woman represents, bless you. Your cause of trying to let everyone else learn and feel this Peace Pilgrim’s message is so wonderful.

I would love to receive a copy of her book. I will forward back to you a donation, as best I can.

Sincerely, Jill

*****

An Email:

I have been walking this earth for 42 years, many of them in great unease and pain, hurting myself and others. Deeply thankful already for the path of inner peace that I am on, Peace Pilgrim's love has found me and somehow we have fallen into perfect step. I am deeply thankful for my life and all things and am every day and in every way experiencing deep fulfillment in giving freely of the joy that fills me. I have no material means with which to support you, Friends of Peace Pilgrim, but the waves of love and peace received from Peace Pilgrim's message have definitely hit my shore and are rolling back to you!

With love, Christina

*****

From Wild Bill’s letter:

I’m writing today in the hopes of obtaining a copy of the Peace Pilgrim book. The wisdom of Peace Pilgrim is something I’ve grown to cherish and would greatly love to once again seek comfort and wisdom in her beautiful words!

...Peace Pilgrim will always be a source of inspiration and an example of how our simple actions carry the overwhelming power of the truth! She walks in grace I can only hope to aspire to! And there could not be a time that we, as a society, need to hear her message of peace more than we do now. Fear, greed, and social insanity have been rampant, and our own destruction as a nation seems at hand, but not from outside forces or terrorists, but instead from within. What better time than now to bring us back to the basic truths of peace and love?

...May the abundant blessing of peace and love be upon you always – keep up the good work!

Sincerely, Wild Bill


Peace Pilgrim Portrait by William "Wild Bill" Bellomy
a prisoner in Texas

*****

From a former Canadian convict:

I came into contact with the Peace Pilgrim's writings in a Canadian Federal Penitentiary. She really gave my spiritual journey a boost and helped me understand a lot of things and helped me tolerate and love some of the more hated convicts in the prison. I used to pass out the little blue booklet to fellow convicts (prisoners). Thanks to you I usually had an extra book or booklet to give away.

As of today I have been out of prison for eleven years and six weeks. I was doing life on the installment plan before - a deuce, a triple, two sixes back to back and many years of pre-trial. My appreciation goes out to people like you, Peace Pilgrim, Bo Lozoff, the Catholic Chaplain Joan Palardy, and most of all, my buddy Greg who introduced me to the Peace Pilgrim by leading me a book already sent to him. I guess I should be thanking The Big Guy the most or whatever Spiritual Power is out there and in here (my heart). Again, keep on keeping on. You are doing something most worthwhile and I wish I could get involved in such a tremendous force for peace, The Peace Pilgrim's message.

Thanks again, D.C.

*****

From Washington State:

Peace Pilgrim has certainly inspired me. In my late teens and early twenties I was a pretty gung ho soldier, serving eight years in the U.S. Marine Corps.

I was never very happy in my role of studying for war. At the age of fifty I began thinking about the effect my life was having on humanity and the planet and decided I had already taken more than my share of the earth’s abundance. I stopped owning automobiles and gave away my possessions. I began carrying a peace sign on my shoulder, replacing the rifle that had once been there. I am now living a life of voluntary simplicity. I have never been happier and it keeps getting better.

Peace, Love, and Joy, John

*****

An Email From Michigan:

I have just spent the last hour reading the insights on receiving INNER PEACE by the Peace Pilgrim. They were the most beautiful passages I have read. Lately, I have been feeling that I need to find my purpose, so I have been in the process of finding out what it is. I was amazed to find that I had already started some of the steps that she mentioned. My desire for PEACE gets greater everyday. I have committed myself to be LOVING and sharing LOVE with everyone I come in contact with. Sometimes on my road to inner PEACE I do stumble, and the bad feelings are so overwhelming that I pick myself up and start all over again.

All I think about is doing GOOD, I want to help others, but many days I fall into the trap of my old habits. Thank you so very much for this website!! I am sending you this e-mail with tears in my eyes, because GOD has directed me to you!! Our paths cross because this is truly the journey I must be on. In closing, could you please send me a copy of the book by the PEACE PILGRIM, I am going to use it to help guide me on my daily journey to PEACE!!

Peace Pilgrim in History        (top)
25 years ago - July 8, 1981

Woman known as
Peace Pilgrim killed in car crash

By MARY KRAMER – Post-Tribune Correspondent

KNOX – The blue eyes never will make contact with another individual again. The voice which carried across a room so clearly, reaching her listeners with an unwavering conviction in the power of love and truth, is stilled.
     Peace Pilgrim, who wandered the North American continent as a witness to peace for more than 27 years and had spoken in Valparaiso Sunday, was killed in an automobile accident Tuesday afternoon east of Knox.
     She was a passenger in a car driven by Euwell Ward of Bass Lake, who had offered her a ride to her next speaking engagement in Elkhart. Peace Pilgrim, 72, died at the scene. Ward died a few hours later at Memorial Hospital in Knox.
     Peace Pilgrim spoke at three services at United Methodist Church in Valparaiso Sunday. The Rev. John Wolf, pastor of Valparaiso United Methodist Church, had known Peace Pilgrim since the late 1950s. He found after her death her “contact point” in Cologne, N.J., which was her mailing address while she wandered the country, was in fact her younger sister, Mrs. Eugene Young.
     Peace Pilgrim’s real name was Mildred Norman. She was born July 18, 1908, in an area near Cologne, according to her birth certificate, which she carried among letters in her pockets.
     Memorial services aren’t planned locally but it is expected people across the nation will observe her wishes for anonymity with personal services of their choice.



“Death is a beautiful liberation into a freer life. The limiting clay garment, the body, is put aside. The self-centered nature goes with you to learn and grow on the disembodied side of life, and then returns here into a suitable clay garment and suitable circum-stances to learn the lessons we need to learn. Could we but see a bit deeper into life, we would grieve at birth and rejoice at death. If we but knew how short is the earth life in comparison with the whole, we would be less troubled with the difficulties of the earth life than we are troubled now with the difficulties of one of our days.”

Peace Pilgrim: Her Life and Works in Her Own Words - Pg.84

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Friends of Peace Pilgrim Home || Newsletter Index

Friends of Peace Pilgrim
PO Box 2207
Shelton, Connecticut 06484

tel. (203) 926-1581

revised August 18, 2006