Our Brothers’ Keepers of Southern Illinois Celebrates June 30, 2019 First Annual – Father Chris Day
“Seeking Christ in the margins, one person can make a difference”
I like to remember Fr. Chris as a gruff, wry, kind man who delivered homilies like the heartiest of Thanksgiving dinners, leaving me well nourished but a bit uncomfortable. We at Immaculate Conception were fortunate to enjoy his ministry at the tail end of more than 50 years of service as a Franciscan priest: 35 years on the south side of Chicago, and more than 15 years as the Prison Ministry Coordinator for correctional prisons and jails spread over 28 counties in the Diocese of Belleville. The details of his life could fill several novels.
Locally, Fr. Chris worked with Bishop Stanley Schlarman, Louis Slapshak, our dear friend Russell Peterson, and ICC parishioner Sean Clancy (among many others) to establish Our Brothers’ Keepers of Southern Illinois (OBK), a reentry program for men and women leaving prison and jail to provide reentry services and reconnect with their families and communities.
On the first anniversary of the death of Fr. Chris Reuter, OFM, I ‘m happy to report that over the past year, OBK has grown its presence in East St. Louis, and recently entered a contract for office and education space with Catholic Urban Programs. Clients receive training and support and the opportunity to live in the dignity that God intended for all of us. The legacy of Fr. Chris continues to inspire (and make me uncomfortable).
Happy Fr. Chris Day, everyone!
Reflection by Lizanne Young (OBK Board Member)