I could not even understand the language, but there it was on foreign television for me to see, news about my hometown, Chicago: 11 dead and 40 injured in Memorial Day shootings.
No wonder everybody overseas thinks Al Capone is still alive.
Even Big Al is put to shame by this toll. And embarrassed, even.
Is this a hopeless case of endless violence?
It appears that way.
Many things have been tried by politicians and religious and civic groups, but the killing goes on.
Often, these are the gangs that cannot shoot straight. They miss each other a lot of the time (a pity) and end up sending a round through a two-year old playing on the front porch.
Another Chicagonow.com post got me thinking about other hopeless things besides the Cubs, which that post covered.
St. Jude Thaddeus is the patron saint in the Catholic religion of hopeless cases and for cops. He was a distance relative of Jesus, but not so shirt-tale that he did not have access to Jesus. In short, he was no hanger-on. Some get Jude confused with Judas, but one went for the Word and the other went for the Silver.
St. Jude is known for his epistle to the Eastern Churches, where he essentially told the faithful to keep the faith despite the real problems and seeming impossible odds. Hence, the patron of keeping on keeping on, despite.
Chicago boasts not one but two shrines to St. Jude. One is the so-called National Shrine of St. Jude, located at 3200 East 91st Street, and is run by the Claretian Order of priests and lay participants. It was started at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, in 1929, when the Great Depression was just starting to reach and close the huge steel factories. It has grown to be a world-wide mission.
Lesser known, is the Dominican Shrine to St. Jude, at 19th and Ashland. The shrine is housed in the St. Pius V Catholic Church.
I am not aware of the Jesuits or Franciscans got in on the action and have their own St. Jude Shrine some place in Chicago, but I would not be surprised. Seems everybody who walks the streets should have their own little pocket shrine.
It does seem hopeless when the deaths in Chicago over a given weekend are higher than Afghanistan, a certified war zone, and when that news is broadcast around the world.
It seems like the next NATO meeting here will be of troops and not the brie munching officials.
Mayor Rahm talks like the tough guy, but it is apparent he has no better plan for curbing violence than his predecessor lords.
Tad ironic: St. Jude is the patron for cops, too. And the cops are stuck with a a hopeless case, protecting citizens and stopping crime, while being tossed into the moat by the Lord Mayors that reign behind a phalanx of bodyguards.
If St. Jude could hop down off the marble pedestal at either shrine, what would he do?
Though Christianity preaches that peacemakers are blessed, would St. Jude be with the cops and clean up the devil gang bangers with an automatic, thinking that peace has to start with action, or would he kneel and pray, knowing that the killer slugs will burn in hell no matter what?