Friday the 5th of March

...to the ends of the earth

“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

Marchers carry crosses through Chicago in memory of murder victims

Shara Funches’ eyes scanned the rows of crosses set up on the sidewalk just north of the Chicago River on Michigan Avenue, a main thoroughfare through downtown.

Funches was looking for the cross bearing the name of her godson, Devon Almon, 23, who was gunned down on the Eisenhower Expressway on 29th September.

“I had to be here for him. But also for all the kids who died. It just has to stop. It’s just sad. All the mothers, all the fathers, robbed,” Funches said.

She was one of hundreds of people who joined a 31st December march on Michigan Avenue organised by Fr Michael Pfleger, parish priest of St Sabina on the city’s South Side, to remember those who died by gun violence in 2016.

The Chicago Police Department recorded 762 murders in 2016. Fr Pfleger told the marchers there were nearly 800 crosses for them to carry.

The name of a victim, along with their age and date of death, was written on each 24-inch wooden cross built by Greg Zanis of Aurora, Illinois. Family members and loved ones of victims were joined by strangers who came to bear witness to the toll of the violence that has shaken the community.

Picture: People carry a banner and crosses with names of victims of gun violence during a 31st December march in downtown Chicago. Hundreds of people joined the march organised by Fr Michael Pfleger, parish priest of St Sabina on the city’s South Side, to remember those who died by gun violence in 2016. (CNS photo/Karen Callaway, Catholic New World).