Respect Life: When violence claims a child

Respect Life: When violence claims a child

At the Precious Blood Ministry of Reconciliation in Chicago, Precious Blood Sr. Donna Liette sits in “Listening Circles” with women who have lost a loved one to the violence of Chicago streets.

Sr. Donna listens to mothers tell stories about the pain of losing a child and the impact on their families. They tell of their experiences of feeling paralyzed, traumatized and living in fear in a community suffering from racism, poverty and lack of resources.

Sr. Donna reports that while these women, these mothers, are surrounded by death, and spilled blood, they still look for life, for hope, for God. Together they lament, share their stories and support one another.

Sr. Donna will introduce two women who have been through this cycle of loss. lamentation and mutual support to us Oct. 9, during the Renewal Center’s second session in our monthlong Respect Life series.

Inspired by Pope John Paull II’s 1995 encyclical Evangelium Vitae (“The Gospel of Life”), on the dignity and sacredness of all human life, and encouraged by Pope Francis to deepen our understanding of “Respect Life,” the Renewal Center is hosting a five-week series focused on life issues that beg for our attention and our action.

The Oct. 9 panel discussion, facilitated by Fr. Ron Will CPPS, will give us an opportunity to learn about women that the Gospel calls us to reach out to, to hear of their resilience, their forgiveness, their transformation. It will be an opportunity in many ways to be near to persons different from yourself, to perhaps, as Bryan Stevenson says in his book, Just Mercy, begin to change narratives and walk in another’s shoes.

Read more about our respect life series and watch recordings of the programs here.

It can be an opportunity to reflect more deeply on the challenge of our Precious Blood Spirituality, and the preciousness of life and redemption. A similar “Listening Circle” could be formed in Kansas City, Dayton, or the town where you live. There are broken hearts crying out to be heard and comforted.


Register for the Oct. 9 discussion and all the events in this series by clicking one of the buttons below. You must register to attend.


Topics for the rest of the month are:

Oct 16 — Abolishing the Death Penalty
We will meet individuals who are working toward alternatives to the death penalty and will learn why they believe so strongly that all life must be treated with respect. Guest speakers: Jean Swymeler, Connie Swymeler, and Margaret D’Huyvetter from Missourians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty.

Oct 23 — Preventing Gun Violence
Gun violence is a growing concern in our country. We will meet two priests who addressed that situation in their parish ministry. We will learn what they did and why. Guest speakers: Fathers Joseph Uecker, C.PP.S., and Mike Goode C.PP.S.

Oct. 30 — Grieving Miscarriage or Stillborn
We will meet mothers who have lost a child through a miscarriage or a stillbirth. They will tell us about the grieving process and how to find ongoing support. Guest Speakers: Kara Palladino, Colleen Sullivan, and Deacon Gerard-Marie Anthony from A Mom’s Peace, in Virginia.

All sessions run from 10-11:30 a.m. central time.

[Fr. Ron Will, a Precious Blood priest and spiritual director, is a graduate of Catholic Theological Union and Creighton University’s School of Christian Spirituality. He has a special interest in helping form intentional disciples of Jesus, encouraging others to go spiritually deep-sea diving to explore a deeper relationship with God, and walking with people as they dive into the ocean of God’s mystery actually experiencing God rather than simply dipping one’s toe into the water.]

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