Sunday, January 12, 2003

Good News

Writer promoting prayer to stop violence

Nancy Sonneman takes breaks from writing her book, Patches of Sunshine, to watch the news. And when she does, she gets disgusted.

Her worries increase each time she reads or hears about another killing in Cincinnati.

"Whether it is black on black, white on white or any other combination, this has got to stop," said the 45-year-old Kenwood woman.

"I am calling for a Cincinnati-wide prayer chain, asking for an end for the violence and killings in Cincinnati. I would like for the priests and pastors to start announcing a prayer chain from their pulpits."

Ms. Sonneman's suggestion joins that of inner-city leaders and ministers who are calling for an end to the violence, particularly the black-on-black crime that is sweeping some Cincinnati neighborhoods.

Although Ms. Sonneman is watching and listening from her quiet street in Kenwood, where she lives with her mother and a parakeet, she is worried about future generations.

"The youths of today will be our leaders of tomorrow, if they all don't get killed off. We as adults have to get them involved in praying. We are at the point where we have to save the next generation," she said.

The kind of prayer chain she is calling for can be done individually.

She wants everyone to take a few minutes a day to pray, especially a prayer to stop the violence.

"No matter what race you are, you can join this prayer chain," she said.

Ms. Sonneman grew up in outlying suburban communities Deer Park, Silverton and Kenwood at a time when they were predominantly white. She said she cannot imagine living in what she sees as a virtual war zone, such as Over-the-Rhine or other inner-city communities.

She is a member of Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Montgomery where she is active in Bible study and serves on the evangelization and the special events committees.

Ms. Sonneman suffers from fibromyalgia, a disease that attacks the immune system. She is a graduate of the now defunct Regina High School in Norwood and has worked as a data entry specialist.

"I had to quit two years ago," she said.

Her book, Patches of Sunshine, is about fibromyalgia and is written for people who suffer from the disease.

People may call her at 891-8813 about the prayer chain, she said.

Students in the Peace Makers Project at St. Columban Elementary School in Loveland got the entire school involved in donating canned goods, hats, scarves, gloves, personal hygiene products, school supplies and other items.

The group donated the collected items during the holidays to the Loveland Care Center, Loveland Lodge, Clermont Senior Center, Washington Park Elementary School in Over-the-Rhine, the Sycamore Senior Center in Blue Ash, InterParish Ministries and to orphanages in Bolivia.

"It is a great project for the children, and it really benefited our older adults," said Jan Venn of the Sycamore Senior Center. "The canned goods donated helped with our Meals on Wheels program in serving 20 surrounding communities."

Allen Howard's "Some Good News" column runs Sunday-Friday. If you have suggestions about outstanding achievements, or people who are uplifting to the Tristate, let him know at 768-8362, at or by fax at 768-8340.

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