St. Pius V Parish was well represented at the May Day march and rally yesterday. The traditional May Day event focuses on labor issues, and that was the case this year as well, with a focus on immigrant laborers. About 50 parishioners and staff walked from the church at 19th and S. Ashland to Union Park, where they swelled a gathering of hundreds who marched into the Loop, chanting “Up up, education, down, down deportation” and dancing in the streets.
Trolley wheels drum across Pilsen’s crumbled pavement, a pale pink casket riding on top, with six silent Latino youths attending as pallbearers. It’s snowing lightly and the wind is bitter. None of us is dressed properly. The boys’ hoodies are stretched over their heads, obscuring their faces, while their gloveless hands are chapped by the wind. They are respectful of their role. One of them wears a small knapsack over his bulky frame. It’s a freebie from the park district, blue, with happy white lettering that chirps incongruously, “Come Out and Play.” Later, I realize what’s in the backpack, and why. At this moment, however, it simply stands in contrast to the somber mission of the volunteer pallbearers and the 100 of us who follow them.
Students from our school's upper grades enjoyed a presentation last week from a Nobel laureate! Jody Williams of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines was visiting Chicago and came to our church to share her story with our children. She talked about witnessing injustices as a child and how that motivated her for a life of activism. Her work earned her and the ICBL the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997.
St. Pius V Parish domestic violence program is again in the national spotlight for its innovative approach to addressing this prevalent issue. This week's edition of Religion & Ethics News Weekly, produced by WNET in New York and broadcast nationwide, includes a 12-minute segment about the church's pastoral response to victims and perpetrators of domestic violence. It features Father Chuck Dahm's recent outreach to the community at St. John Berchmans parish in Logan Square and an interview with a couple from St. Pius V who've thrived after participation in the St. Pius V domestic violence program, Hope at St. Pius V.
April 1, 2013 -- St. Pius V hosted the news conference today at which Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle announced that a $25 per-gun tax goes into effect in the county today.All guns purchased in the county will have the tax added.
As she introduced him at the news conference, President Preckwinkle thanked St. Pius V pastor Father Brendan Curran, OP, for his commitment to end gun violence.
“A week ago today, I had the funeral for a 15-year-old boy who was killed in Little Village on his way home from school,” Father Brendan said, "The gun tax is one of the remedies that we need to employ to stop the bleeding on our streets." He thanked the county government for having the courage to pass this legislation and other efforts designed to support the county’s efforts to control guns and deter those who use guns to commit crime.
The tax is expected to raise more than $600,000 annually to cover the cost of treating gunshot victims at John H. Stroger County Hospital. More than twenty faith-based and community organizations were present at the news conference, which took place in the chapel at St. Pius V.
Last Sunday Father Brendan Curran, OP, rolled out the Cherry Red 2013 Ford Mustang Convertible that some lucky person will drive away from the Kermes June 9. Raffle tickets are now being sold at the parish office, after Sunday Masses, and by many parishioners.
Purchase of the $5.00 tickets assures that St. Pius V Parish can continue to welcome the stranger, feed the hungry, and counsel the frightened through its many social service programs.
In addition to the grand prize car winner, there will be a $1,000.00 winner and two $500.00 winners. Five hundred dollars will also go to the person who sells the winning ticket.
“Spring must be coming, because the raffle is here,” Father Brendan joked. “I am grateful to our many sponsors whose generosity will help us positively impact the lives of so many people we serve at St. Pius V.”
Father Brendan Curran's 2012 class of Leadership Greater Chicago just left the building. They spent the morning learning about food insecurity, then serving the guests who came to St. Pius V soup kitchen for a hot meal.
Our guests got a well-rounded picture of the nutrition needs in Chicago from:
Billy Lawless, supporter of St. Pius V Parish and chairman of Chicago Celts for Immigration Reform, gave this witness in suport of comprehensive immigration reform at a news conference in mid-February. Billy is also the owner of The Gage and Henri restaraunts in the Chicago Loop, and is a relative of Father Brendan Curran, OP. The text of his testimony is below.