Updated: Sep 6, 2018
In partnership with Precious Blood Ministries of Reconciliation, the HHH ensemble recently sang a very special mass at the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center. After attending classes taught by Precious Blood Ministry of Reconciliation staff, seven young people elected to be confirmed into the Catholic Church by Cardinal Blase Cupich.
Our relationship with the Precious Blood Ministry of Reconciliation (PBMR) stretches back over 15 years and we are proud to partner with them again. Like PBMR, Harmony, Hope & Healing is called to accompany individuals on their journey of healing and transition.
PBMR’s website says,
“I was in prison and you visited me.” (Matthew 25) is a clear mandate from Matthew’s gospel. It is at the core of our ministry – to build relationships/connections with those incarcerated. So often, our relationship begins in the detention center. In that environment, we build a level of trust that enables us to continue that journey when they are released back into the community.”
They call this a “ministry or presence.” In addition to their work at the detention center, the organization does a wide range of outreach work with youth and families on the south and west sides of Chicago.
Check out their website to learn more about their amazing ministries.
“Walking into the detention center felt cold and intimidating.” said Tina Villapando, Director of Programming. “I didn’t know what to expect. Then Felipe Maglorie, Deputy Executive Director of Programs and Professional Services, warmly greeted us, and we met the wonderful staff of Precious Blood Ministries. It reminded me that even though this is a difficult place to be, there are people working hard to support the detainees through this process.”
“I could tell that it was a very proud moment when they were being blessed by Cardinal Cupich,” said Tina. "The parents beamed with pride and excitement as they watched their children take a positive step into a new life."
Several detainees stepped in to fill the place of a family who wasn’t able to attend, clapping and cheering on their friend. “Witnessing young guys supporting each other like that was very powerful,” Tina said.
The ensemble sang a mixture of our HHH gospel songs and some Spanish songs, as many of the families were Spanish-speaking. At the end, they lit up when we taught them the song “Bambelela,” which means “Never Give Up.” They loved singing along with us! “Your music and the incredible spirit of HHH really made the confirmation special!” said Father Dave Kelly of PBMR.
“Growing up Catholic, getting confirmed is just something you do,” said Tina. “I think I took those things for granted. The fact that these young people made the choice for themselves, to better themselves, is beautiful. It may have been a bad decision that led them to where they are, but now they are making proactive steps and positive choices for themselves. A choice to do better.”
HHH is honored to be present for, accompany and walk with these young people through their transformation, and into their new lives.