January Peace Circle Reflection
Sunday, February 5, 2017
By Jackie Ingram
St. Agatha Church hosted Monthly Gathering on Tuesday, January 24 for the North Lawndale Kinship Initiative. People assembled from the North Lawndale neighborhood and Old St. Pat’s Church including the entire Old St. Pat’s RCIA group. The evening was filled with refreshments, new relationship building and open, honest and sometimes tense dialog on race and faith in America today. The heartfelt approach made the gathering something that was long overdue.
Eight peace circles consisting of 10 – 16 people discussed questions about race and prejudice in our lives. The groups were diverse in age, religion, nationality, gender and neighborhood bringing stranger together in faith to find ways to express reasonings and fears about these sensitive subjects. The conversations were not easy for some, but a start has been made to address this taboo issue. The dialogue opened up deeper understanding, and those assembled became vessels of hope for answers. The gathering ended up on an overall optimistic note and it was the perfect format for such dialog to take place in these politically and racially tense times in our country.
On a personal note, I understand the power of faith in a community that is in dire straits. But, Edmund Burke once said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” That evening I saw a lot of good men and women who were ready and willing to do something. Together we ended up with greater resolve to change the evils of racism and live out our Christian faith so we may all have a productive future. Thank you Old St. Pat’s, St. Agatha and all other Kinship Initiative friends that joined us for the gathering. We did something very important together as one.
Jackie Ingram is a community activist that believes in social justice. She has worked with a Chicago West Side Mental Health Campaign and she is a parishioner of North Lawndale’s St. Agatha Catholic Church. Jackie proudly proclaims, “We are stronger together in faith and hope.”