CHICAGO – The Sheil Catholic Center at Northwestern University is the recipient of the 2016 Kinship Award from the Precious Blood Center (PBC). The Kinship Award recognizes community contributions and social justice efforts that have strengthened the Precious Blood Center’s mission of providing hope, healing, and hospitality to at-risk youth in Chicago’s Back of the Yards/New City neighborhoods, including those youth detained at the Cook County Temporary Juvenile Detention Center (CCTJDC). The award will be presented at PBC’s 5th Annual Fundraiser, “Opening Doors,” at the Floating World Gallery in Chicago on April 20.
The Sheil Catholic Center is a faith community of students and families in Evanston, and through the pastoral leadership of Father Kevin Feeney and Campus Minister Tim Higgins, has generously provided student and adult volunteers to minister to youth incarcerated at the CCJTDC in Chicago for the past 14 years. In addition, Sheil annually donates turkeys at Thanksgiving for the families of the youth served at the Precious Blood Center, which is located at 5114 South Elizabeth Street in Chicago, and also contributes Christmas gifts to youth as part of their Mitten Tree Program.
Sheil has hosted PBC art shows featuring works by juvenile and adult inmates, Confirmation candidates from their School of Religion have written to residents at the CCJTDC receiving their Confirmation, students from the School of Religion have supported PBC’s Mothers Group, and both college students and adults regularly write letters to prison inmates.
“Through their continuing commitment and faithful support, the Sheil Catholic Center is opening doors for the youth and families we serve, especially those in detention. Their generosity has demonstrated kinship with the spirituality of the Precious Blood religious congregations,” said Father David Kelly, a Missionary of the Precious Blood and executive director of the Precious Blood Center. “Our spirituality, in concert with Pope Francis and the Year of Mercy, is to build community through the inclusion of the marginalized, to walk in solidarity with those who suffer, and to seek reconciliation in a divided world.”
The 5th Annual Fundraiser will be held Wednesday, April 20, from 6:00PM–9:00PM at the Floating World Gallery, 1925 N. Halsted Street, Chicago. The event will feature wine and cheese, hors d’oeuvres, a silent auction, storytelling, and the Kinship Award presentation. To purchase tickets, visit www.pbmr.org or contact Sister Donna Liette at 773-653-5467.
As part of the Kinship Award, the Sheil Catholic Center will receive a framed piece of original artwork created by youth artist Tommie Myers and Precious Blood Center’s program instructor Alberto Alaniz. Established in 2014, previous recipients of the Kinship Award include Home Depot (4555 S. Western Blvd., Chicago); Anthony Suarez-Abraham, then director of the Archdiocese of Chicago’s Office of Peace and Justice; and St. John of the Cross Parish in Western Springs.
The Precious Blood Center was established in 2003 in the Back of the Yards/New City neighborhoods of Chicago to reach out to a community affected by poverty, gangs, violence, and racial divisions, and to work for reconciliation and healing. It is part of the Precious Blood Ministry of Reconciliation (PBMR), a network of reconciliation ministries inspired by the spirituality of the Precious Blood religious congregations. For more information, visit www.pbmr.org.