Spreading the power of love in Northeast Ohio is the mission of a unique gathering that took place in Public Square Sunday. During the annual Circle the City with Love event, people hula hooped, danced and joined each other in laughter, and joined hands for 30 minutes for the event’s signature circle of silence. St. Vincent Charity Director of Education Karen Komondor served as the chairperson for the event.
Circle the City with Love came from an idea Sister Rita Petruziello of the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Rocky River had in March 2016 ahead of the Republican National Convention to be hosted in Cleveland, where citizens braced themselves for the predicted discord. Her idea: “Why don’t we circle the city with love?” That day, on the feast of St. Joseph, a movement was born.
A few short months later, 3,000 individuals stood on the Lorain-Carnegie Bridge to gather in the name of love. Hand in hand, strangers-turned-friends formed a circle and stood in silence as witnesses, supporters and bearers of peace. The movement, “spiritual in nature and proven by science” as Sister Rita defines it, serves to “put love into the energy field in the universe.”
Komondor had worked with Sister Rita prior to the movement’s creation. When she learned of her friend’s vision, she decided to participate.
“After the first Circle the City event on the bridge, I decided this was something I really had a pull to get involved,” Komondor said. “At that time, everyone knew that this was a movement that just couldn’t stop on the bridge. There was too much energy.”
She graciously accepted the chairperson role passed on to her from Sister Rita for the 4th Annual Circle the City with Love event that happened October 20. News 5 Cleveland was there for the event. Watch the report here.
“We can have the power to spread love and that the only power that can overcome hate is the power of love,” Komondor said. “So that's what our message is, and that we just have to act in kindness to one another and that's what's really most important."
Since its inception, Circle the City with Love has expanded to 28 states, along with Italy, Australia and Ireland as cities have adopted Sister Rita’s model for their own peaceful demonstrations. This summer, events have been held throughout Northeast Ohio, leading up to the culminating event on October 20. Plans are also being developed to travel to Washington, D.C. in September 2020 before the presidential election.
To learn more about the group, click here.