PEC's 2017 Lifetime Peacemaker Award goes to Joan Tirak
The award, presented to her by friend and fellow peacemaker, Paul Brun del Re, was accompanied by these words of appreciation:
"Joan Tirak has been a “mother” and mentor of many folks in the Lansing Peace Community, especially those from a faith perspective. While director of the Lansing Newman Center associated with the Catholic Diocese of Lansing and Lansing Community College, she facilitated the education of many on the tenets of Christian Non-violence by organizing workshops with Charles “Emmanuel” McCarthy, Lanza del Vasto, and others. As coordinator for Pax Christi Michigan for 29 years, she was instrumental in helping to organize local Pax Christi groups around the state and, with the PCM State Council, brought in nationally renowned speakers on issues of peace and justice for their annual conferences. In her younger years, she put plenty of miles on her car helping to organize protests, prayer services, and witnessing for peace and justice throughout the state, including being arrested for nonviolent civil disobedience.
As a former Benedictine sister and deeply spiritual Christian, she is imbued with the importance of the spiritual and corporal works of mercy. Her life has been one of service to all especially, the poor and downtrodden. This is evidenced by her ongoing commitment to the poor and homeless in the Lansing area through the work of Loaves and Fishes ministries. She is one of the original founders of the Loaves and Fishes shelter and has been a member of the “core community” (board) since the beginning in the early 1980’s. She has given guidance, leadership, and service to that ministry especially in difficult times. Joan, we bless you for your faithful service and witness to this community."
Joan, accepting the well-deserved award
Joan is joined by Peacemaker of the Year recipient, Angela Waters-Austin and Gabrielle Kindig, recipient of the Tom Schneider Peacemaker Award.
Joan with fellow peacemaker Paul Brun del Re