Making a habit of peace
As a young girl growing up on a farm in Putnam County, Sister Paulette Schroeder was a hard worker and didn’t have much time to get into trouble.
Schroeder was one of 13 children. Her mother always wanted one her girls or boys to give their lives to God. For 51 years, Paulette has served as a Franciscan nun and a teacher.
“I knew at a young age that I wanted to spread out further and be available to everyone, to be a sister to everyone,” Schroeder said.
Schroeder said her home was positioned at a dangerous intersection. Her mother would always help those who had been involved in accidents, no matter how horrible the scene was.
“I was closer to my mother,” Schroeder said. “She would make and send clothes to other countries and she gave a strong support to those in convents and seminaries.”
Schroeder went to College of St. Francis in Illinois and earned a degree in English.
Schroeder said she wanted to give her life to service in some way. She spent her time walking the streets in Toledo and meeting many individuals.
“I met many different people, the homeless and prostitutes,” she said. “My time on the streets allowed me to break down barriers and stereotypes that I had in my mind.”
A lot of her education has been on the streets, she said.
“Every person is a book. There is so much that the system (college) can’t teach you,” Schroeder said.
In addition to working the streets of Toledo, she also spent time on the streets in Indianapolis, three years in Palestine and visiting inmates at Grafton Prison.
“I feel that everyone should adopt someone in prison,” Schroeder said.
She said that she would visit with the inmates and host a Bible study.
Schroeder said her main mission is to help people feel that they are
good, and to let them know they are loveable.
“I want to change the violent culture that we live in and make it more peaceful,” Schroeder said. “I want others to grow up safe and happy like I did.”
Schroeder dedicates her life to educating others about the tragedies and violence in Palestine.
Schroeder said she believes that if the Middle East could reach peace, then other Arab countries would also be at peace, resulting in the world being at peace.
To reach others, she spends her time writing about her experiences in Palestine and at home. She also writes a newsletter each month for www.toledofavs.com.
“The whole world is equal. God is in human life,” Schroeder said. “What we do to each other, we do to him.”
Schroeder is working with Project Peace to help eliminate the violence. She begins with little things, such as going into schools to discuss bullying. She is to teach three middle school classes at Tiffin Middle School and Calvert Catholic School.
Sept. 28, the second Peace Fair and parade is to take place on Courthouse Square. There are to be 33 booths of entertainment for all ages. That evening at 7, there is to be a presentation by Toledo attorney Terry Lodge and music by Cecilia St. King.
Schroeder said at Mayor Aaron Montz, at the most recent Tiffin City Council meeting, proclaimed Sept. 21 to be International Day of Peace.