"I think Mount Greenwood is a terrific community, both during my time growing up there and as a pastor," O'Donovan said Monday. DNAinfo"There is a lot of kindness that happens," he said. "The South Side is not how it is being portrayed." Father Tom Conde in DNAinfo
Father Tom Conde of St. Christina's Parish in Mount Greenwood stands in teh footprints of two great priests from that parish: Father John Ireland Gallery and Father Marty O'Donovan.
I know only of Father Gallery, brother of Adm. Dan Gallery - the man who captured the Nazi submarine that sits in Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry. Old timers told me that he was a shoe-leather priest who walked the parish, knocked on doors and found out what people needed, were thinking and were in need of help. Father Gallery had, like his three brothers been a Naval Officer and chaplain and as a priest ministered to person and flocks on Sunday.
I have the pleasure of knowing Father Marty O'Donovan. Father Marty is a priest among priests and a bluff, sweet natured, witty and generous man who had long shepherded the individuals of Mount Greenwood with compassion and Gospel courage. I know more than a few people whose marriages were turned away from disasters of selfishness cattiness and cruelty back to love and commitment and the love that brought two people together years before by Marty O'Donovan's simple, sweet and saving grace.
Last night, Father Tom Conde addressed the pain a neighborhood suffers when marginalized and sparked to anger for reasons beyond our simple comprehensions.
How did a neighborhood become the bad guy? Easily is the only answer.
All we can do is remember Father Conde's words - We are the Light of Christ and we step on Holy Ground wherever we walk. We lit our candles with the flames of the Pascal Candle to remind us to carry that flame around with us. Candle light brings people together. Camera lights, not so much these days. It is very good to be reminded of that.
Mount Greenwood might not have packed St. Christina's Church last night but the lights reignited glowed.