More than 100 crosses – one for each homicide victim in the city of Oakland in 2020 – bear witness from the lawn outside St. Columba Church in Oakland.
That’s up from 78 in 2019.
“First year to change direction in my 12 years” at St. Columba Parish, said Rev. Aidan McAleenan, pastor who will preside at the annual rite.
Those crosses will be removed from the lawn by the end of the year.
The crosses will be brought into St. Columba Church, where each name will be said aloud and victims remembered, during a ceremony at 3 p.m. Dec. 31 that will be on Zoom.
In following Covid-19 restrictions, and out of concern for the well-being of the community, there will be no public participation in the cross removal or church ceremony.
In years past, as parishioners, friends and families gathered in front of the church, the cross bearing the name of one lost to homicide would be passed into the outstretched arms of a loved one.
Parishioner Rich Laufenberg assembles those crosses. He has made more crosses this year. “It’s an honor,” he said, to make those crosses in his home workshop. It’s a honor, too, when possible, to place a cross in the arms of a loved one.
Join the ceremony on Zoom. Meeting ID is 339316556. Password is 1898.
The above comes from a December story in the Oakland Catholic Voice.
Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace. Amen.
Thank you for highlighting this. Fr. Aidan speaks to
and for his community. Coming from Ireland, he immersed himself in the reality of those he was sent to serve.
As the San Francisco Chronicle noted, “When Black Lives Matter protests shook the ground beneath Oakland City Hall this summer, the City Council laid out an ambitious goal: cut the $300 million police budget in half, and invest the savings in social services.”
If California used the death penalty effectively and swiftly, it would be a deterrent to such murders because it would be a signal that our society valued human life so much that if you murder someone else you will be killed as just punishment for taking a sacred life. Sadly, opponents of the death penalty have no respect for the lives of murder victims nor future murder victims. The murder rate will continue to rise, and all they’ll say is sorry about your death or your loved one’s death, but we can’t execute guilty offenders because, human life. And so murders will increase. Going soft on crime invites more crime. Big Democrat controlled cities are finding that out. How bad will it get before citizens come to their senses about the way to punish and reduce crime?
Unfortunately, anon at 2:36 you provide no evidence for you claims that swift execution deters murder. That is a prescription for old west style of justice, and I’m not sure the homicide rate was any lower.
But worse, you go on to claim that going soft on crime, etc etc only brings about an increase in murders. Actually, the murder rate has been decreasing for about two decades. Then comes Trump, who may be Big but hardly a Big Democrat, and suddenly murder rates skyrocket.
Trump is not to blame for Democrat mayors and governors and DAs going soft on crime in Democrat controlled cities. Heard of “Defund the Police”? You’re seeing the first results of that Democrat-endorsed approach to law non-enforcement.
Again, anon at 8:38 AM, crime and murders were seriously on the decline for decades with those same Dem mayors in place. It was during Trump’s era that those trends reversed themselves. Is HE to blame? I’m not sure, but it’s definitely not the “soft on crime Dems” who had anything to do with it, otherwise those trends would have reversed 10 years ago.
Surely the good Pastor wanted to hold a ceremony for the aborted souls, but there simply wasn’t enough wood – or lawn. Or interest?
When they do the crosses for the aborted, it does take a lot of land but some smaller churches have done them as “abortions per hour” or limit just to the state they are in. Make the crosses. You will find a church that will put them up.
Hymie, I’m going to assume that you do not know this good and faithful priest who pastors a vibrant “Black” Catholic parish, made up of the families of the majority of victims of shooting in the area. Take a couple of hours some Sunday and attend Mass there. It will calm your cynicism and unwarranted snide remarks.
St Columba is a Black Liberation Theology church, i.e., marxist, and hardly Catholic. They celebrate Kwanzaa. McAleenan is a gay BLM-supporting radical from Northern Ireland who last year publicly called his bishop a liar and a racist. Naturally Bp Barber SJ did nothing about it.
I have no way of knowing if you are a real person trying to live a Catholic focused life. If you are, why do you retreat to untrue racist comments to justify your lack of knowledge of a community? How can you reconcile your attitude with Christ’s call?