St. Vincent De Paul's new paper crane display hangs over the entryway of the parish. (Emily Benson photos)
St. Vincent De Paul's new paper crane display hangs over the entryway of the parish. (Emily Benson photos)
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It’s paper cranes galore at St. Vincent De Paul in Albany.

The entryway to the parish is the new home of their “1,000 Peace Cranes” project. Since Labor Day, parishioners have been helping craft the colorful paper cranes that now number 1,200 to hang on display in the church. Spearheaded by the social-justice committee, the parish used approximately 100 strands of wire to hang the cranes from 14 cables stretched across the loft space above the parish’s front doors.

“It represents peace,” said Angela Warner, head of the social-justice committee and St. Vincent De Paul’s food pantry. “And our focus is to welcome all people.”

The committee chose the project for the crane’s ties to peace. In Japan, the legend of “senbazuru” promises that anyone who folds a thousand origami cranes will be granted happiness and luck. The tale was popularized by Sadako Sasaki, a Japanese girl exposed to radiation during the bombing of Hiroshima in World War II. She soon developed leukemia and spent her days making paper cranes in the hospital, hoping to reach 1,000. Her story has inspired others to make paper cranes in hopes of bringing about peace.

Origami kits were available in the gathering space and videos on how to make the cranes were available on the parish’s website. Parishioner Diana Bangert Drowns held in-person crafting nights at the church so parishioners could practice their paper folding together.

“When we were threading them all together, all of it was unbelievable,” Warner said. “I think people liked the idea of participating in something.”