On the Death of Jonylah Watkins

March 12, 2013

On Monday, March 11, 2013, 6 month old Jonylah Watkins was wounded from multiple gun shots while sitting in a car with her father at 65th and Maryland, she died Tuesday, March 12. This is pure evil and unacceptable.

In prison, a child killer is an outcast, we cannot have a stronger value system in the prison system than in our communities.

The solution to the senseless violence is complex, but one missing ingredient is our community drawing the line and saying enough is enough, we will not allow shooters and killers of our children to hide in our communities.

I am asking every church to ask their members this weekend to start a wave of concern and consciousness that pushes us to call police, churches, and community organizations with information to break the code of silence and turn in perpetrators of violence, whenever violence takes place this must become the new norm and not the exception. We must become the blue lights of our neighborhoods. We must empower our members to be the voices of their communities to wake up, to stand up, and speak up in order to eradicate this violence.

In the Pursuit of Justice...

Rev. Michael L. Pfleger

Prayer Weekend for Victims of Violence

February 7, 2013

Dear Religious Leader,

On Friday, February 15, 2013 through Sunday, February 17, 2013, please join us in prayer for the victims of gun violence and their families.

We are asking all religious institutions to offer special prayers during their services on that weekend to remember the many lives lost due to senseless acts of violence and to remember their families whose pain never ends. As religious leaders we are concerned by the extraordinary gun violence that has permeated our communities, our schools and even our houses of worship.

Gun violence is an issue that not only affects us here in Chicago, but also across the nation. The profound grief and suffering caused by gun violence is a most terrifying condition. The effects of gun violence are difficult to overcome, since it rips through our moral fabric and it takes away that which makes us human. So we ask that you with join us in prayer in Chicago next weekend to end this senseless violence and to call our congregations to become the active PeaceMakers to restore hope and peace to our communities.

In the Pursuit of Justice...

Rev. Michael L. Pfleger

Lighting Up the City for Peace

An Initiative that Honors Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
January 13 – 21, 2013

The buildings in downtown Chicago often light up various colors to show support for and represent different issues and seasons.  This has been successful in raising consciousness.  Beginning January 13 through January 21, the Building Owners and Managers of Chicago (BOMA/Chicago) members have agreed to encourage buildings to light their buildings blue for peace in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday.  Blue is the color the United Nations has chosen to symbolize peace and commonly referred to as a symbol of peace.

Dr. King was certainly a prophetic voice for peace and non-violence.  As we are reminded visually by the blue lights during this time let’s, as Chicagoans, pledge ourselves to work for peace in our schools, places of worship, blocks, neighborhoods, cities and world.  With all the violence seen in our country and in our city, we have never more needed the gift of PEACE and the call to be PeaceMakers.

Rev. Michael L. Pfleger
Archdiocesan Representative
For Anti-Violence Initiatives