Pope Francis has called for Ash Wednesday to serve as a day of prayer and fasting for peace in Ukraine, and students at St. Michael School in Brattleboro are commemorating the day with a variety of art projects.

Among those projects, students worked together in art class to paint a giant Ukrainian flag, and eighth graders taped off a window to paint a stained-glass cross. Students worked on their own creations in art class; student artwork will be hung in school windows during Lent as a reminder to pray for world peace.

Art teacher Lucija Duchaney is originally from Latvia, and she talked to the children the day before Ash Wednesday about the global call for world peace. “Rather than focusing discussions on Russia vs. Ukraine and all the emotional and political complexities there, she shared with the children that the world is coming together in the next 40 days to pray for peace,” explained Lindsay O’Neil, who works in admissions and development at the school. “They looked at photographs of people all around the world gathered together in prayer and found the famous cities on the globe. They then found our location here in Brattleboro and were able to feel connected to an amazing movement that is happening worldwide right now as we enter into Lent.”