There is a place that I know of on the south side of Chicago, in the Back of the Yards neighborhood, an area plagued with poverty, gangs and violence. This place sits on the grounds where a Catholic church once stood and provided nourishment for those who came through its doors. Out of the ruins of this church, a living, vibrant oasis has emerged that brings the Gospel to life. Precious Blood Ministry of Reconciliation, PBMR, provides exactly what the Gospel calls us to. PBMR is a place where peace, healing and hope are pedaled every moment of every day.
There is a spot on the property, maybe close to its geographical center, where a beautiful garden blooms a rainbow of hope. There are tables and benches here, where people can gather or just take a breather. Near this garden stands a fountain. Atop a cascade of refreshing water sits the image of the broken body of Christ resting in the arms of his broken-hearted mother. The “Pieta!”
Last Thursday, violence breached these sacred grounds in South Chicago. A young man, shot by a drive by shooter was being comforted, told to hang on, help is on the way. He lay in the arms of Sister Donna.
The good news, like Christ, this young man lives. PBMR, shocked, heartbroken, but like Christ’ message, PBMR will continue to be an oasis where peace, healing and hope live on.
– Blog entry by Sister Patty Kremer; photo by Sister Bela Mis