Fr. Mark Francis, CSV, serves as president of one of the largest graduate schools of theology, Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, and with its title comes responsibility.

Fr. Mark Francis, CSV

This week, Fr. Francis joined with members of the Council of Religious Leaders of Metropolitan Chicago, whose mission, in part is to “to take action, as people of faith and a community of conscience, on public issues that advance the common good.”

The group met with Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot to speak about how faith communities could help stem the tide of violence in the city.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot addresses members of the Council of Religious Leaders of Metropolitan Chicago.

“We were encouraged to reach out to marginalized people on the West and South Sides of the city,” Fr. Francis said, “and encourage them to seek alternatives to violence through counseling, job programs and other activities.”

Fr. Francis went further this week, issuing a statement on the shootings in El Paso and Dayton, calling it: “A Call For Action: A Statement in Response to Recent Acts of Racism.”

Together with the Conference of Major Superiors of Men and other faith-based communities, they called upon elected officials to “immediately promote universal background checks for gun ownership — and sensible gun laws that seek to halt the sale of assault rifles and large ammunition magazines.”

Coming up in January, CTU will convene a public panel on the Religious Response to Violence in the City of Chicago.

“Until then,” Fr. Francis adds, “we will continue to denounce injustice and call for legislation that would help put an end to gun violence in our nation.”