Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Faith and Action

Wednesday greetings from the quiet "home office" of WLP and J.S. Paluch here in Franklin Park, IL.

Well, I decided I needed to do something concrete yesterday after writing my post here. So, I wrote a letter to Chicago's Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Wanted to share it with you. I hope to receive an answer from His Honor and, if I do, I'll share that here as well. I am learning, even at 58, that in order to be a person of faith, I also need to be a person of action. Here you go:


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December 27, 2016
Jerry Galipeau
1038 W Monroe Street
Unit 13D
Chicago, IL 60607
Mayor Rahm Emanuel
121 N LaSalle Street
Chicago City Hall 4th Floor
Chicago, IL 60602

Dear Mayor Emanuel,

I wanted to share a blog post I wrote this morning. I am a Roman Catholic blogger and I write a daily entry on the intersection of faith and life. The blog is GottaSingGottaPray.blogspot.com.

Here is this morning’s entry:

Tuesday greetings to all. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas.

I went to the 8:00 A.M. Mass at my parish, Old Saint Patrick's. There was a small choir, a string quartet and woodwinds. It was lovely. A few very strong male voices around me in the pews added to the wonder of the music.

Fr. Ed Foley preached a moving homily centered on the reality that we cannot celebrate Christmas without knowing the whole story; that, in a sense, we celebrate incarnation in the shadow of the cross.

A few weeks ago, I attended a Christmas party and struck up a conversation with a man I had never met. We got on the topic of politics and eventually started talking about what has been going on here in the city of Chicago this year, specifically the spiraling murder rate. We talked about the fact that when there is a terrorist attack, like the one that occurred in Berlin, where 12 people lost their lives and 48 people were injured, it becomes an international news story that garners the attention of the world. New methods of securing the safety of people are pondered and implemented. But we wondered why the killing here in Chicago has not resulted in any kind of concerted effort by the mayor, city leaders, religious leaders, corporate leaders, the great thinkers in our many colleges and universities to address this spiral of violence and death.

Here is a link to the article in today's on-line version of Time magazine. In short, the article reports that over the Christmas weekend, 53 people were shot in the city of Chicago and of those 53, 11 were killed. Where is the international outrage? Why isn't this the lead story in every on-line news agency, print news publications, international television news stations? I would surmise that one of the reasons is a racial one; most of these killings are occurring in poor neighborhoods on Chicago's south and west sides, where the urban poor, mostly black, reside.

When I was listening to Ed Foley preach on Christmas morning, about the incarnation and the shadow of the cross, I couldn't help but think that I live in a city where the cross casts an enormous shadow, certainly across the lives of my brother and sister Chicagoans who suffer violence and death in their families every single day. But that shadow is cast across City Hall as well and across the hearts of those who just don't care enough to do anything.

As you can tell, I am frustrated. After having spent five weeks on a federal jury, where I listened to former gang members talk about shooting people, I wonder what I need to do to help turn our city around. I'm trying to figure that out. The shadow of the cross impels me to do so.

Sorry for the "downer" post today. I live in hope, but a hope diminished these days here in Chicago.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

I wanted to share this with you to let you know how frustrated I am with the spiraling level of violence and killing in the city I love. And I want to ask you a question: What can an ordinary Chicago citizen do in the face of this violence? Have you thought of forming a task force, perhaps headed by you and Cardinal Cupich? It just seems that these senseless killings just go on and on with no end in sight. I would volunteer to help in whatever way I can.

I know this must be amazingly frustrating for you as our mayor. I would like to join you and others in a proactive way to find solutions that will address the root causes and help bring an end to the violence.

Yours truly,


Jerry Galipeau
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Please, followers of this blog, pray for the City of Chicago in a special way.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

2 comments:

Denise Morency Gannon said...

Jerry,
Your letter was well timed. This article was in the NYTimes this morning.

From The New York Times:

As Chicago Murder Rate Spikes, Many Fear Violence Has Become Normalized

Activists are despairing over the ceaseless bloodshed in Chicago, where more than 750 people were murdered in 2016, a 58 percent increase.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/28/us/chicago-murder-rate-gun-deaths.html?mwrsm=Email

Denise Morency Gannon said...

Jerry,
Your letter was well timed. This article appeared in the New York Times this morning.

From The New York Times:

As Chicago Murder Rate Spikes, Many Fear Violence Has Become Normalized

Activists are despairing over the ceaseless bloodshed in Chicago, where more than 750 people were murdered in 2016, a 58 percent increase.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/28/us/chicago-murder-rate-gun-deaths.html?mwrsm=Email