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Religious leaders unite in prayer to end violence

Peace was the word of the day at the Sacred Heart chapel in Brentwood Sunday, as religious leaders of different faiths prayed side by side for nonviolence in the world.

The interfaith service was part of Long Island's lead-up to the World March for Peace and Nonviolence, a three-month international event sponsored by the Humanist Movement that is coming to New York on Nov. 30.

"We believe very firmly what Gandhi said: We must become the change we want to see," said Sister Nancy Fackner of the Sisters of St. Joseph, which sponsored the service at its chapel. "That's what's guiding us."

The roughly hourlong prayer event featured readings by Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist and Christian clergy, music, choirs and liturgical dance, and attracted several hundred people.

Sister Jeanne Clark, coordinator for Pax Christi Long Island, another sponsor of the event, said she hoped Sunday's event would send the message that war is not a path to peace.

"Without this march, I don't know where my spirit would be. All we talk about is war and increasing war and sending more troops," Clark said. But, she said, "many people believe it is possible to have a world without war."

Sarah Deak, 23, a Dominican order volunteer serving in Amityville, said she read about the service in her church bulletin and decided to attend with a fellow volunteer.

"I thought, why not? Any way I can become involved in making peace happen in the world," she said. "It was inspiring."

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