Archdiocese of Chicago Catholic School Students, Faculty and Staff to Unite on Tuesday, May 23 to Pray for a Peaceful Summer
Chicago, IL (May 22, 2017) – On Tuesday, May 23 at 1:30 p.m., students, faculty and staff across the 217 Archdiocese of Chicago Catholic Schools will unite to pray the “Prayer of St. Francis” for a peaceful summer. This is the second year the Archdiocese has led a unified prayer for peace across its Catholic schools. Archdiocese employees at Quigley and Meyer Pastoral Centers will also join in prayer in support of the effort.
“Pope Francis has told us that we should not only avoid violence but be builders of peace. I am encouraged by this effort to call on all students to work and pray for peace this summer,” said Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, Archbishop of Chicago. “We cannot turn a blind eye to what is happening in our communities. We need unity, prayer and action in order to effect change.”
Dr. Jim Rigg, Superintendent of Catholic Schools, will join students, faculty and staff from Pope John Paul II Catholic School, located in the Brighton Park neighborhood of Chicago at 4325 S. Richmond, in their prayer for peace on Tuesday afternoon.
“We believe having 76,000 students, 7,500 school staff members and more than 500 Archdiocesan Central Office employees praying together makes a strong statement that our schools and our Archdiocese foster peace and understanding,” said Dr. Rigg. “Violence is a tragedy that impacts many families in our region. Our Catholic schools are centers of positive transformation that provide children with a foundation of faith, respect, love and understanding.”
Throughout the summer the Archdiocese’s 217 Catholic Schools will display banners that say “We are Praying for Peaceful Summer. Join Us.” in the hope of further uniting their communities in peace. Banners will also be hung at the Archdiocese’s Quigley Pastoral Center.
In April, the Archdiocese announced the launch of an anti-violence initiative to increase the capacity and reach of current programs that address the root causes of violence and to identify and actively seek collaboration with like-purposed groups and individuals. As part of these efforts, the Archdiocese has created the Instruments of Peace Fund, which will be used to invest in novel anti-violence approaches and expand promising programs.
On Good Friday, Cardinal Cupich led a group of more than 1,500 people of all faiths, ages and backgrounds on a Walk for Peace through Englewood. Walk participants included civic, education and religious leaders, as well as individuals and families directly affected by the violence in Chicago, Archdiocesan parishioners, police officers, health professionals and fire officials. The group traced the Stations of the Cross and paused along the way to read the names of individuals lost to violence in Chicago this year. Pope Francis sent a letter to Cardinal Cupich earlier this spring to express his support and encouragement for the efforts the Archdiocese and other Chicagoans are making to restore peace.
For more information on the Archdiocese’s peace initiatives, visit: archchicago.org.