What Am I Going to Eat?

Living under the threat of violence can rob young people of their dreams. Fr. David Kelly, C.PP.S., talks about nurturing hope among the hopeless. A reflection for Wednesday 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.

The young people who come to the Precious Blood Center in Chicago’s Back of the Yards neighborhood, where Fr. Kelly is in ministry, are often living a precious life. They’re in danger when they are walking the street. There may not be any food or warmth at home. School isn’t always a haven. Living with that kind of uncertainty “robs young people of their dreams, of their hope for the future,” Fr. Kelly said. “They’re so busy worrying about surviving today, they don’t dream of anything beyond that. When I start talking to them about their future and maybe a career and college, they look at me and gloss over. They sayd, ‘Dude, what am I going to eat?’

“At the Precious Blood, we’re a family. That’s what we’re trying to create. We take care of one another. We take care of their immediate needs so young people have space to dream.”

O Lord, help us create a family for people who don’t have a family. In your mercy, help us give them a safe space to dream?