Healing and reconciliation
Dave Eck • Director of Communications
During my years as a reporter for a daily newspaper in Cincinnati, I spent much of my time on the police beat covering the inner-city. It was a busy environment of raw emotion mixed with pure adrenalin. I’d ride with officers as they responded to robberies, assaults and even murders. We encountered people at some of the worst moments of their lives, be they victims or suspects. There was fear, sadness, anger and pain on all sides.
Later, I would follow these cases through the system. Trials would run their courses and often plea deals would be cut. Otherwise good people were sent to jail for years or life. Twice I watched as an offender was sentenced to death. Cases were closed, justice was served and the emotions remained.
What always struck me, though, was a lack of opportunity for healing. Justice doesn’t heal nor does the system. There can’t be closure without it.
That’s where the Precious Blood Ministry of Reconciliation comes in. Sisters Donna Liette and Carolyn Hoying, along with Missionaries of the Precious Blood Fathers Dave Kelly and Denny Kindermann, utilize healing circles and outreach to high-risk youth in a tough south Chicago neighborhood. Their work can be heart-breaking, but so life-changing.
In this issue of Sharing & Caring, we meet some of the youth who visit the reconciliation center and share their stories. We see how a young offender and victim form a relationship during the circle process, giving the offender hope for a brighter future. We detail the positive impact the center is making on the youth it serves in the heart of a fractured neighborhood.
We see the healing that the system ignores.
This issue also celebrates the work of Sister Rose Wildenhaus, as she and her co-worker, Dick McBride, retire from St. Mary Development, the non-profit they established nearly 25 years ago. They left a beautiful legacy of more than 1,000 housing units for the poor and a thriving development company.
Finally, we are introduced to Mary Ann Lee, a 1944 graduate of San Luis Rey Academy. For decades she has wanted to visit the Sisters of the Precious Blood central house, but never had the chance. She finally fulfilled her wish with a tour, reminiscing and plenty of smiles.