The Crusader Newspaper Group

Cardinal Blase Cupich and Monsignor Michael Boland bless and dedicate Catholic Charities Peace Center and Garden in the Austin community

Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, Archbishop of Chicago, will join Monsignor Michael Boland, president of Catholic Charities, to bless and dedicate the new Father Augustus Tolton Peace Center, 5645 W. Corcoran Place, Chicago, on Thursday, May 24, 2018 at 2 p.m. The center is a social services resource and “peace hub” for violence prevention and trauma therapy programs.

“The Father Augustus Tolton Peace Center continues the legacy of its namesake who worked tirelessly for the poor and underserved to make his community stronger,” said Monsignor Michael Boland. “We welcome Austin residents to visit the center and receive the compassionate care, assistance and comfort they need and deserve.”

The 46,000 square-foot building and 51,000 square-foot site were gifts from the Austin Bank Corporation. Catholic Charities began offering programs at the center in December and has seen a steady increase in the number of clients and has expanded its services to meet their needs. The 17,000 square-foot Peace Garden, located adjacent to the center, is Catholic Charities’ gift to the Austin community and includes a moving sculpture by artist Timothy Schmalz entitled Thou Shall Not Kill that depicts Jesus weeping over a gunshot victim.

“We know that violence will not end in our society without a concerted effort to address its root causes,” said Cardinal Cupich. “At this center and throughout its network, Catholic Charities works to strengthen families, lift people out of poverty and help them develop life and employment skills. These ministries are our response to the Gospel call to show mercy and compassion to all we meet.”

Currently, more than 30,000 Austin residents are supported by Catholic Charities’ various services. The center will deepen and expand Catholic Charities’ impact in Austin with more services for youth, families and seniors with a focus on building peaceful communities. In addition to violence prevention and therapy programs, residents will benefit from dozens of additional services at the center, including financial assistance and counseling, public screening assistance, youth employment, pregnancy and parenting assistance, summer meals for children and elder care support.

For more information about the Father Augustus Tolton Peace Center, please visit

About Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago

Helping anyone in need for more than 100 years, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago is one of the largest private, not-for-profit social service agencies in the Midwest and the largest Catholic Charities in the country. Every 30 seconds someone counts on Catholic Charities for help. Catholic Charities fulfills the Church’s role in the mission of charity by providing compassionate, competent, professional services that strengthen and support individuals, families and communities. Each year we assist 1 million people in Cook and Lake Counties without regard to religious, ethnic or economic background as they journey on their paths to self-sufficiency. For more information, please visit

About the Archdiocese of Chicago

The Archdiocese of Chicago, the third largest in the United States, serves more than 2.2 million Catholics in 344 parishes in Cook and Lake Counties, a geographic area of 1,411 square miles. The Archdiocese, pastored by Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, has more than 15,000 employees in its systems and ministries, including Catholic Charities, the region’s largest nonprofit social service agency. The Archdiocese also has one of the country’s largest seminaries. The Archdiocese’s 214 elementary and secondary schools comprise one of the largest U.S. private school systems and have garnered more U.S. Department of Education Blue Ribbon Awards than any system of any type.

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