Chicagoland

On Corpus Christi, parish takes Jesus to neighborhood streets

By Joyce Duriga | Editor
June 6, 2018

On Corpus Christi, parish takes Jesus to neighborhood streets

After a recent fatal shooting in the neighborhood and increasing incidents of crime, parishioners from Resurrection Parish, 3043 N. Francisco Ave., took to the streets on Corpus Christi Sunday, June 3, to pray for peace and to bless the neighborhood.
Parishioners of Resurrection Parish, 3043 N. Francisco Ave., took to the streets in a eucharistic procession on Corpus Christi Sunday, June 3, 2018, to pray for peace and to bless the neighborhood after a recent fatal shooting and increasing incidents of crime. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)
Father Paul Kalchik, pastor of Resurrection Parish, 3043 N. Francisco Ave., carries the Eucharist during the Corpus Christi procession on June 3, 2018. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)
Parishioners of Resurrection Parish, 3043 N. Francisco Ave., took to the streets in a eucharistic procession on Corpus Christi Sunday, June 3, 2018, to pray for peace and to bless the neighborhood after a recent fatal shooting and increasing incidents of crime. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)
Parishioners of Resurrection Parish, 3043 N. Francisco Ave., took to the streets in a eucharistic procession on Corpus Christi Sunday, June 3, 2018, to pray for peace and to bless the neighborhood after a recent fatal shooting and increasing incidents of crime. Participants included Phil Andrew, director of the archdiocese’s violence-prevention initiatives, and students from Chicago and Evanston. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)
Altar servers carry incense in a eucharistic procession on Corpus Christi Sunday, June 3, 2018, to pray for peace and to bless the neighborhood of Parishioners of Resurrection Parish, 3043 N. Francisco Ave., after a recent fatal shooting and increasing incidents of crime. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)
Phil Andrew, director of the archdiocese’s violence-prevention initiatives, (far left) and students from Chicago and Evanston pray at the end of a Corpus Christi procession on June 3, 2018, to pray for peace in the neighborhood surrounding Resurrection Parish, 3043 N. Francisco Ave. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)

After a recent fatal shooting in the neighborhood and increasing incidents of crime, parishioners from Resurrection Parish, 3043 N. Francisco Ave., took to the streets on Corpus Christi Sunday, June 3, to pray for peace and to bless the neighborhood. 

Omar Campuzano, 25, a parishioner, was fatally shot after a fight broke out at a gas station at Belmont and Sacramento avenues on the morning of May 22. 

“The violence is rampant in this city right now. Until we’ve decided we’ve had enough and bring an end to it, it will go on,” said Father Paul Kalchik. “The gang activity of a child or a family always ends badly. One of the big issues is there is not enough work for young people and they get caught up easily into the whole drugs-for-cash routine, despite the protestations of their family members.” 

Just a few weeks before the shooting, Kalchik and a maintenance staff person chased away a man attempting to steal parts from a car in the parking lot of the charter school next door to the parish. This took place during school hours. 

The increase in these incidents led Kalchik and parishioners to plan their first Corpus Christi procession around the neighborhood. 

“It’s bringing awareness and in a physical, visible way it’s bringing Christ outside the church walls into the very neighborhood of the parish,” Kalchik said. “People will take note that the faithful are still praying, that the celebration of the sacraments is still going on despite the vagaries and troubles of the greater community we live in, the church is still strong here.”

Phil Andrew, archdiocesan director of violence prevention initiatives, attended the procession as a sign of solidarity with the parish community and neighborhood. 

“This is very much what the Holy Father is calling us to do, to get close. Proximity is important in solving the issue of gun violence,” Andrew said. “To me this is very simple. The closer we get to the problem the more we are going to learn about the solutions, the more effective these solutions are going to be and the more we are going to be able to build a community that can solve these problems.” 

Andrew invited young people from Evanston and the city’s Brighton Park neighborhood to join the procession. His goal was to connect young people from around the city who want to work for peace. 

Diego Garcia, 16, attends Immaculate Conception Parish in Brighton Park, and said the issue of gun violence goes beyond the borders of his neighborhood, which has also seen its share of gun violence. 

He attended the procession to show his support to another neighborhood suffering.

“I feel like this gun violence issue has been normalized by a lot of people and it’s not just my community going through it but it’s communities all across the country. We have to stand and support each other.”

He is part of a group of Catholic teens and young people that includes those from St. Sabina Parish in the Auburn-Gresham neighborhood, who have come together following the Parkland, Florida, school shooting and the March for Our Lives in Washington, D.C., to work for peace.

Mollie Hartenstein, 16, also attended at Andrew’s suggestion and said it is important to her that she use her time to support people who, in the face of gun violence, show that there is more to their communities than that. She is part of a group of young people Evanston organizing around violence prevention initiatives. 

“I’ve been changed just by talking to the kids from St. Sabina’s BRAVE (“Bold Resistance Against Violence Everywhere”) and talking to people like Diego, seeing other people who are just like myself in every way except for where they live or the color of their skin. I’ve realized how real the issue of gun violence is and how I can actually make a difference by bringing this conversation to my community.”

Topics:

  • eucharist
  • corpus christi
  • nonviolence

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