On Good Friday the Archbishop of Chicago, Blase Cardinal Cupich, held a march for peace in Chicago’s Southside and called for “all people of good will” to join him. More than 1,500 people attended the march, which started at St. Benedict the African Parish and followed a four-mile route through the neighborhood.
The diverse crowd included residents of the neighborhood as well as people from all over the city and surrounding area. A large number of Chicago priests joined their cardinal on the march, and religious leaders from other Christian churches walked alongside their congregations. Residents waved from apartment windows and front porches as the crowd marched down their streets.
The Catholic Church is good at celebrating. After the seemingly-endless forty days of Lent, there comes a parade of feasts; we pack more holidays into twenty-four hours than greeting-card companies can invent arbitrarily. There’s a lot going on this time of year. Here’s an example: all at once, it can be the Friday of the Octave of Easter and St. Anselm’s feast day and the eighth day of the Divine Mercy novena…take a breath when you can!
But it’s that last event I’d like to focus on—the Divine Mercy novena. Sunday, April 23, marks the conclusion of this annual prayer. Beginning on Easter, participants recite a Divine Mercy chaplet once a day, offering each devotion to a different group of people. The first day, for example, is dedicated “to all mankind,” while subsequent days are focused on more specific groups like priests, unbelievers, and the souls in Purgatory. These devotions (along with the chaplet prayer itself) were given by Christ to St. Faustina Kowalska in a series of visions. You can read about them in her personal diaries.