From personal dreams to one communal dream of peace



More than 100 people from all walks of life joined together to celebrate the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day at St Agatha Parish, Chicago.  The celebrations were aimed at “Seeking the Common Ground for All God’s People”.  The program was hosted by the Life Directions team – Van Bensett, Fr. Tat Hoang and Focus Life Discernment members. “This event molded all of our unique personal dreams into one communal dream of peace, justice and fraternity for the next generation,” explained Fr. Tat.

“There were no great speeches, but there was a deep spirit of the ‘beloved community’ that Dr. King envisioned. People from every age and ethnicity who worship in a variety of churches came together in tribute to Dr. King’s legacy,” said Tom Masters, one of the participants.

A young girl played her violin at the Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration in Chicago

Favorite cultural dishes were shared by the Afro-Americans, Filipinos, Vietnamese, Mexican and Euro-American families and friends. “Our celebration was different,” another participant said. “We celebrated as a community with stories, friendship, laughter, songs and art.       Dr. King’s legacy and our traditions brought us together as a big family.”

 Dancers honor Martin Luther King, Jr.

“The Life Directions team gave a lot of life and encouragement to the celebrations of the community” said Fr. Chris Krymski.  He added, “Thank you, and let it grow, grow, grow. I am so happy that Life Directions is in our neighborhood on the West Side of Chicago – the Blessed Side of Chicago.”

The Life Directions team is deeply grateful to everyone who contributed to the success of this dynamic event, particularly: Fr. John Phelps, who presented an engaging reflection on never giving up; Fr. Larry Dowling, pastor of St. Agatha Parish, who hosted the event; and Fr. Joe Thong Ngo and the Seelos House theology students for contributing to the feast.

“We are excited and proud to be working with God’s people on the West Side of Chicago and building a strong community of peace, justice and fraternity,” Fr. Tat said. “Please keep Life Directions ministry in your prayers.”

Submitted by Kristine Stremel; photos by Fr. Tat Hoang

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