On Friday in Chicago, organizers of CROSSwalk, a prayerful four-mile procession led by Episcopal Bishop Jeffrey D. Lee, expect more than 2000 people to walk in memory of the city’s murdered children. The event, now in its second year, begins at the city’s Episcopal cathedral on the Gold Coast and ends at Stroger Hospital, where many victims of Chicago’s gun violence epidemic are treated or pronounced dead.
“We simply cannot continue to ignore the heartwrenching loss of young life that occurs with such horrifying frequency in Chicago and other cities in northern Illinois,” said Lee. “CROSSwalk calls us to pray, to build relationships and to act as though lives depend on us. And they do.”
On Monday in Washington DC, more than 20 Episcopal bishops from around the country will lead clergy and laypeople in praying the ancient Lenten service of the Stations of the Cross along Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House to the U.S. Capitol. Organized by the bishops and Diocese of Connecticut, bishops from Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Virginia, Washington DC and Wisconsin are expected to participate in the ritual, which will stop in front of memorials, government buildings and works of art to offer prayers for an end to violence, the culture of violence, and the economic conditions that spawn violence.
“The death-dealing realities of violence are brought home to us as Christians when we recall the crucifixion of Jesus on the Cross this Holy Week,” said the Rt. Rev. Ian T. Douglas, Episcopal bishop of Connecticut and one of the event’s organizers. “Walking the Way of the Cross invites us, compels us, to challenge violence of every kind and to pursue peace and reconciliation.”