Shine the Light: A Candlelight Prayer Vigil for Those Affected by Family Violence’ September 25, 2016


In preparation for Domestic Violence Awareness Month (October), Saint James, Our Lady of the Wayside and Saint Edna Catholic Churches in Arlington Heights, the Daily Herald Media Group, Northwest Community Healthcare (NCH) and WINGS are sponsoring ‘Shine the Light: A Candlelight Prayer Vigil for Those Affected by Family Violence’.

The event starts at 6:30 PM on Sunday, September 25, 2016, in North School Park, located at Arlington Heights Road and Eastman Street near downtown Arlington Heights. People of all faiths are invited to join the vigil to stand in peaceful solidarity with those who suffer the effects of family violence and to raise awareness of domestic violence in our community.

Scheduled speakers at the one-hour event include Arlington Heights Mayor Thomas Hayes, representatives of domestic violence service providers, including WINGS and the Northwest Center Against Sexual Assault, plus the personal story of a survivor of domestic violence. Silent Witness figures will symbolize area residents who have died as a result of family violence. Inspirational music will be provided by choir members from John Hersey High School and members of St. James Music Ministry.

All are welcome to pre-vigil events, including Catholic Mass at 5:00 PM at Saint James Church, 820 North Arlington Heights Road, presided by the pastors of all three churches, and a candlelight procession from Saint James Church to North School Park starting after Mass at approximately 6:00 PM, led by Mount Prospect bagpiper J. Kevin Chapman.

In case of inclement weather, all scheduled events will be held at Saint James Church.

In support of ‘Shine the Light’, Mayor Thomas Hayes commented, “Violence has no place in our beautiful Arlington Heights community. I encourage all area residents to promote healthy relationships and to take advantage of excellent area resources when conflicts arise.”

The domestic violence ministries at the three Arlington Heights Catholic parishes were started as part of the Archdiocese of Chicago Domestic Violence Outreach (ACDVO). Over 60 parishes in the Chicago area have active ministries, directed by Rev. Charles W. Dahm, O.P. The three-fold mission of the ACDVO and the parish ministries is to raise awareness of domestic violence, to promote the development and delivery of services for victims, and to advocate for prevention of domestic violence through education.

Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury requiring serious medical attention for women of all socioeconomic, ethnic and cultural backgrounds, yet family or partner violence victims also include significant numbers of men, teens, children, elderly adults, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. The event sponsors, the ACDVO and faith communities of Arlington Heights emphasize that every person deserves to be safe in his or her relationships. A wide range of resources for people affected by family violence is available in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago. For resource information, contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline (800-799-SAFE).

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