Most Blessed Trinity Parish and the Waukegan Police Department will hold a gun buyback event at the parish on April 29. Cardinal Cupich announced the event in an April 6 statement, which also said that the cardinal and Auxiliary Bishop Jeffrey Grob, vicar of Vicariate I, will donate enough money from their own personal resources to buy back 100 guns. Catholics are called to work to end gun violence, and this is one way to attempt to reduce the deadly toll guns take, according to the statement. “In 2020, gun violence surpassed car accidents as the leading cause of death among U.S. children,” the cardinal’s statement said. “The following year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about one in five childhood deaths were caused by firearms. We, in the Archdiocese of Chicago, know all too well how guns can ravage our communities, whether the daily violence plaguing city neighborhoods or the still-healing scars of last July’s mass shooting in Highland Park. “When some states continue to enact laws allowing people to purchase deadly weapons without so much as a permit, as was the case in the horrific slaughter of children and adults in Nashville, how can we help parents rest easily when they send their kids to school every morning? How do we reduce the number of guns in our homes and vehicles and eliminate the means of turning a mental health crisis into a mass casualty event, a moment of anger into lifetime of mourning? And how can we reduce the presence of firearms in our communities when some elected officials respond to mass shootings by replacing their American flag lapel pins with those featuring assault rifles? “Rather than allow ourselves to despair in the face of this mounting death toll, we must do as Pope Francis has asked and continue the work of eliminating gun violence by building a culture of peace.” Similar buyback events held by parishes in Chicago have taken thousands of guns off the streets, the statement continued, and Cardinal Cupich said he is “heartened” that such efforts are being extended to Lake County. For such events to be successful, they need people to donate money to buy the guns back, as Cardinal Cupich and Bishop Grob have committed to do, the cardinal explained. He invited elected officials, faith communities, businesses and individuals to donate as well. Donations should be directed to the Waukegan Police Department at bit.ly/waukeganstrong. The event is expected to run from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 29 at the Youth Center of Most Blessed Trinity Parish, Holy Family Church, 450 Keller Ave., Waukegan.