In the Muddled Mess

Often in his ministry on the south side of Chicago, Fr. David Kelly, C.PP.S., finds himself walking into “a muddled mess.” But it allows him to be present to people in the depths of their grief. A reflection for Monday of Holy Week.

As we walk through Holy Week, we offer you the thoughts of Fr. Dave Kelly, C.PP.S., who spoke on April 8 to members of our Missionary Hearts Mission and Ministry Society. His reflections on his life and ministry with the Precious Blood Ministry of Reconciliation on Chicago’s South Side can inform how we experience this week with the suffering Christ, and with Christ’s suffering people.

Fr. Kelly lives among the violence that so often rocks the streets of his Back of the Yards neighborhood in Chicago, and he responds to the call to be with people in their grief. “I can’t tell you how many times I’ve entered a house after a shooting, and a lot of times there’s chaos and drinking and all kinds of things going on. It’s a muddled mess. I wonder if I’m doing any good. But later people will say, ‘You were there for me. You were there when I needed me. You allowed me to be wounded in your presence.’ That is what reconciliation means to me.”

O Lord, be with us when when we are called into a muddled mess. Help us to respond as you would respond.