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CHICAGO (CNS) -- Chicago Cardinal Blase J. Cupich April 4 announced a new initiative to increase the work of current anti-violence programs in parishes and schools and those run by Mercy Home for Boys and Girls, Catholic Charities and Kolbe House, the archdiocese's jail ministry.
The Chicago Archdiocese also will seek out partnerships to increase programs that will help break the cycle of violence.
The cardinal announced the initiatives on the 49th anniversary of the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
With a $250,000 personal donation, Cardinal Cupich said the archdiocese will create the Instruments of Peace Venture Philanthropy Fund that will provide funds for both new and existing neighborhood-based anti-violence programs. The money comes from donations he's received to aid his personal charitable efforts.
In 2018, the archdiocese also will hold the first U.S. meeting of Scholas Occurrentes, a program active in 100 countries that brings young people together to meet and problem-solve. The gathering will involve young people from Cook and Lake counties.
The announcements came during a news conference at the Peace Corner Youth Center, which serves young people in Chicago's violence-prone Austin neighborhood. As of April 5, 773 people were shot in Chicago in 2017 and there were 151 homicides, according to the Chicago Tribune.