Archdiocese of Chicago

Catholic Chicago Blog

Monday, August 16, 2010

Ending Violence in our Hearts, Families, Schools and Streets

By Deacon & Mrs. LeRoy T. Gill, Jr.

Breaking News Center:  At least 40 Shot Across City Over Weekend
Chicago Tribune June 21, 2010

At Least 52 Shot, Seven Dead Over the Weekend.
Huffington Post:  June 21, 2010

Chicago Violence Shows No Sign of Slowing Down in July: More Than 220 Murders Since January
Huffington Post August 13, 2010

Three police officers have been murdered since May.  Last week, two young girls were gunned down in a drive-by shooting.

Enough!  This is the tip of the iceberg – violent behavior is being cultivated and nurtured in our families, schools, workplace, and is ferociously destroying God’s people.  It affects us all – even those who are not direct victims of violence are victims to the chronic presence of violence in the media, in our homes, and in some neighborhoods, it is a part of daily life.  This trend of violent behavior must stop.  Just as we have a responsibility for saving a child in the womb, we too have the responsibility to respect and protect life from birth through “natural” death.

What are we going to do about it!  We can no longer close our eyes and ears hoping that someone else will take up the cross that we as church have committed to carry.  As hearers and doers of the word, we are called to address this deadly phenomenon proactively.  We passively promote violence by not acting.  It is time to ACT NOW.  On Saturday, AUGUST 21, 2010 from 6:30 am – 8:30 pm, we are asking the entire Church community to attend one of 5 Back to School Sunrise Prayer Services, and receive practical material to help you help yourself and others in reversing this devastating trend of violence that is destroying the future of humanity.  Services shall be held at,

Rainbow Beach
 2873 East 75th Street, (75th at Lake Michigan)
Preaching Peace Sunrise Mass

63rd Street / Jackson Park Beach
 6300 South Lake Shore Drive, (East Hayes Drive at Lake Michigan)
Sunrise Praise and Mass

Oakwood / 41st Street Beach
 4100 South Lake Shore Drive, (41st Street at Lake Michigan)
Praise and Worship Service

31st Street Beach
3100 South Lake Shore Drive, (31st Street at Lake Michigan)
Spanish Language Service
 Misa en Español y Reflexión

12th Street Beach
1200 South Lynn White Drive (12th Street at Lake Michigan)
Sunrise Praise and Mass.

With hopeful joy, we pray that all will commit to the work of eliminating violence in homes, schools, family and our streets.  Decide what your household can do to bring about peace to the people of God.

“I will heal my people and will let them enjoy abundant peace and security”
Jeremiah 33:6


Thursday, August 19, 2010 5:21 PM

We would love to have a service on every beach from North to South but we were limited in our resources and were limited with the "FREE" Permits the Chicago Park District gave us. Yes, violence is everywhere and the power of prayer wherever it may be, knows no boundaries. Hopefully this will not be a one time service and the next one can extend to more beaches. At each prayer service everyone will be told what they can do to help us with this effort. We thank you for your support and are very grateful for the responses we are receiving from the fatihful in our Church.

God bless,

Deacon & Mrs. LeRoy T. Gill, Jr.

Thursday, August 19, 2010 11:23 AM

I know it is late to inquire, but could there be a North Side location for a Mass? Violence reigns everywhere, and we have to pray everywhere. I commend Deacon and Theresa Gill for their work, and pledge to help spread Peace as I can. So please let me know what I can do! I'll be at Mass Saturday morning, petitioning the Lord for help!

Cathy B.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010 7:41 PM

It's time we as Church stand up and speak out. Now is the time for action. I am tired of looking at the news every morning and seeing the death count of our children. They are all our children. A bullet doesn't stop and ask if the victim is Catholic or Protestant. We have to act now. I thank the Black Catholic Deacons for taking a stand. We should all join them and do what we know God intended us to do with the gifts He has given us. If all you can do is PRAY. Then at least do that. We must put an end to the Violence Now.

Mary N.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010 10:20 AM

Sue S.
I wish more people who feel the same way would stand up. This is a start what we are doing. If my Bible memory serves me right the mighty King David killed Lions and Bears before he tackled the big problem called Goliath. Let this Saturday be the start of the "CHURCH" standing for what is right as it has done so many times in the past.

From the womb to the tomb!

Deacon & Mrs. LeRoy T. Gill, Jr.

Monday, August 16, 2010 10:56 PM

How long will we continue to place ballons,teddy bears, flowers and other artifacts on the scene where one of our future has been brutally shot down? When is enough enough? The insult level of us sitting in the pews should be beyond the breaking point. I personally will continue to speak out, to be pro-active, and proclaim to all that the silence in our churches is deafening. That's why on this Saturday August 21 @ Rainbow Beach I will proudly stand up and celebrate the Holy Eucharist with other believers of the Gospel.

Deacon Leonard R.

Monday, August 16, 2010 9:18 PM

The Church must be everywhere people are, on the streets, in their homes and on the beach. The Violence must stop and our faith is needed, I will see you this saturday on the beach. Peace be with you

Deacon C.

Monday, August 16, 2010 5:00 PM

Thank God for people who are willing to stand up and take voice to the violence that has been going on for far too long. It's not an "inner city" problem - it's a human problem - and as Christ' creations it is our responsibility to take action. Within the walls of our Churches is a place to start. But, the people OUTSIDE those walls don't see that - we have to go to where they are. We have PREVENT the problem at it's roots or we will not stop it.

We need the Church to stand strong with us to Prevent Violence. Our children are starting back to school - they need to learn so much more and learn how incredibly valuable they are. To be able to have the self worth they deserve - and not to fall into the arms of gangs. As a human family - we need to say NO MORE - and all come together - and all help. In the cities, and the suburbs. Violence is not stopped by boundaries.

Peace out -

Sue S.

Monday, August 16, 2010 4:20 PM

I pray the Church understands why we are doing this work outside the Church walls. It is important that we all understand where the work is. The work is not in the pews of our churches but in the community. The mission field is out in the streets of the neighborhoods and that is where we need to be. Just trust in the Holy Spirit to lead us and guide us.

God bless,

Deacon & Mrs. LeRoy T. Gill, Jr.

Monday, August 16, 2010 4:18 PM

Kim W.
I agree totally with your thoughts on Government participation and I also believe we have to start right here in Chicago with our City Government and show them the Hope that our children have lost is partially due to lack of employment.

God bless

Deacon & Mrs. LeRoy T. Gill, Jr.

Monday, August 16, 2010 11:50 AM

It is good to show unity against this senseless violence in our communities. I will be proud to participate. After this, if we can get the government to take education more seriously especially K-6 where the foundation of a healthy education is rooted.
Train up a child in the way he/she should go, and when he/she is old he/she will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6

Kim W.

Monday, August 16, 2010 10:21 AM

"NOW is the time of salvation" - as we proclaim Paul's words on Ash Wednesday. Let us act with an urgent compassion, respecting the treasure of each life among us. As persons we open our hearts - as parishes may we open our doors.

Fr. Bruce W.

Monday, August 16, 2010 10:14 AM

I think doing this Masses out of the Church walls truly brings the Church out were it need it more.all this is the work of the the Holy Spirit.

Deacon Pablo P.