CHICAGO — Roughly 200 worshippers gathered at Oakwood Beach early Saturday for the 9th annual Sunrise Prayer Service and Mass for Nonviolence and Peace.
The sunrise mass, which started about 6:30 a.m., was hosted by the Black Catholic Deacons of the Archdiocese of Chicago. The goal: to pray away the city's gun violence.
"I get so tired of hearing gun deaths are down when you got all these hundreds of people getting killed," said Leroy Gill, a deacon at St. Dorothy Catholic Church. "You're supposed to get excited because it's down by five percent. It's a problem."
Parishioners from across the diocese joined people of other denominations for a 90-minute service that include a choir, praise dancers and communion.
"Our children, our grandchildren ... [the] next generation — they are hurting," said Bobbie Shepherd, who attended the mass. "They’re saying it. And its obvious with their actions."