Wednesday, April 04, 2007

"See how they loved him"

Chris Pineda's funeral was this morning. I heard the bell tolling for the casket as I walked to church. There were easily 2000 people there, and a line of TV cameras stood tall behind the last pew.

Fr. Ed performed his usual miracles with liturgy. The family chose the first reading from Isaiah, where it talks about the feast of rich foods and pure, choice wines, because Chris liked to eat. The second reading was the 23rd Psalm, also at the family's request.

The gospel was part of the recent gospel of the raising of Lazarus. We stopped at the part where Jesus wept and the crowd remarked, "See how he loved him."

Ed's voice broke in the homily talking about Chris's mother going to pray with the Virgin Mary. Two mothers who lost sons, praying together.

Stephanie Valentin of Poetics Magazine and the St. Joseph's youth group read the prayers of the faithful.

After Communion, Whitney Young's principal, Joyce Kenner, was invited to the podium. Five young men, friends of Chris, went with her. She invited everyone from Whitney Young to stand up. I could see at least a hundred--there were probably more. Dr. Kenner announced that Chris's diploma will be awarded to his family at the June graduation ceremony. That's when I started crying. Lots of other people did, too.

A college scholarship will be awarded annually to a Whitney Young senior who has similar qualities to Chris. "NOT a gangbanger," Kenner proclaimed, drawing sustained applause. The scholarship winner will have a C average or higher, a friendly spirit and a sense of humor, among other qualities.

To see video from the funeral (as long as the Trib keeps it up--I think it's got five days left), click here

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for writing about this. I don't live in Back of the Yards, but my daugther is a Whitney Young student, she was at Chris's wake and his funeral yesterday, and she told me she too started crying when the principal announced that Chris would be graduated along with the rest of his class.

This is so inexpressably sad and hard to come to terms with. What a horrible waste.

Anonymous said...

Mo - I'm crying here at my desk! Does anyone know what happened?
AS

Maritza said...

Thank you, anonymous parent, for reading and commenting. This is really hard to understand, since we don't know why it happened or who is responsible (answering your question, AS).

I just want to say I have been really impressed with the support shown by the students and staff at Whitney Young. Seeing the young people selling t-shirts Sunday to raise money for the family and for information, and seeing them again at the funeral helped.

Windy Citizen Share