On Sunday morning May 20th in Chicago, prior to the March for Justice and Reconciliation organized by the Iraq Veterans Against War (IVAW), nearly 100 members of Pax Christi USA, the Catholic Worker and 8th Day Center for Justice gathered in Grant Park for a Eucharistic Liturgy. Presiding at the liturgy was Fr. Bob Bossie, SCJ, a long-time Chicago peace activist.
After Mass the group joined the IVAW rally and marched with the thousands from around the country who were saying “no” to NATO’s ever-expanding mission and ever-increasing costs that serve the strategic goals of the 1% while forcing austerity at home and destitution and death around the world.
Prior to the liturgy, Pax Christi Ambassador of Peace, Tom Cordaro, spoke to the crowd about the reason for celebrating Mass prior to the march. His remarks were entitled, “Why We Celebrate the Eucharist at This Time and In This Place.”
Good Morning. My name is Tom Cordaro and on behalf of Pax Christi Illinois I want to welcome you to this Eucharistic Liturgy. Before we begin I would like to take a few minutes to explain to you why we decided to hold our Catholic “Mass in the Grass” here in Grant Park before the NATO Summit March for Justice and Reconciliation.
As many of you know, it has not been easy being a Roman Catholic these days. One only has to read the paper or listen to the news on TV or radio to know what I mean. There are a lot of reasons to be discouraged and deeply saddened.
But we are here in the place and at this time to give witness to and proclaim to the world that there is a different way to be a Roman Catholic. Now we are not claiming that our way is the best way to be Catholic, nor are we claiming that our way is the only way.
But we who stand here this day in this place proclaim to the world that the core and foundation of our faith is found in the life and teachings of Jesus the Christ, our Lord and Savior. We testify that we are continually being formed into his passion, death and resurrection. And we fully embrace our mission — the only mission worthy of the Church — to live as citizens of the Kingdom of God; a kingdom of love; a kingdom of mercy; a kingdom of compassion, tolerance and inclusivity; and a kingdom of justice.
This is why we are here. This is where we stand. This is our faith.