Michael Tyson Receives Peace Award

Ronald Pecci, OFM Friar News

WILMINGTON, Del. — At the 14th annual reunion of the Club of the 70s — amid spirited African drumming, stirring preaching and testimonies and a dance tribute — Michael Tyson, OFM, of St. Paul Church here was awarded the “Ida Mae Stallings Award” for his promotion of non-violence.

He was also honored for helping to found the Wilmington Peace Keepers, a group of men that walks the streets of Wilmington’s highest crime neighborhoods for one hour a week, witnessing to peace and non-violence. The Peace Keepers motto is: “Better to spend one hour doing something than 24 hours doing nothing.”

The ceremony was held at the packed Greater St. John Baptist Church in Wilmington.

The Club of the 70s is an organization of African-American former gang members who, after changing their lives, volunteer in the community to keep young people from following the paths they did as young people.

Michael, a New York native, has served since 2008 as parochial vicar of St. Paul Church. Photos of many parish events can be found on the church’s Picasa site and on the Facebook page of pastor Todd Carpenter, OFM.

The award is named for a long-time deceased Wilmington civil rights worker and community activist.

— Fr. Ron is guardian of St. Paul Friary in Wilmington and HNP’s director of novices.