By Robert Regan ‘23

On February 24, students from schools all over the Archdiocese of Chicago gathered together for a prayer service in honor of Black History Month. The service took place downtown at the famous Holy Name Cathedral, a stunning church featuring magnificent gothic architecture.

Ten Brother Rice students attended to represent the school at the service, who were led by Mr. Parker and Mr. McAuliffe.

The prayer service was a joyous celebration of African American history and outstanding individuals’ service to God. The six African Americans who are on their way to sainthood were featured by individual paintings and by each of their stories being told. Awards were also given to several adults and students, who were present at the ceremony, for leadership in their school and faith communities.

The service was filled with lots of music and dancing, and was very engaging with the audience. Before the service started, we were all given different colored bandanas. When the choir started singing “When the Saints Go Marching In” the audience all waved their bandanas in the air, giving off a colorful display of celebration through song. There was also lots of clapping along with the music, creating a captivating musical atmosphere in the cathedral.

After the service ended, we walked down to the Portillo’s at State and Ontario for lunch. We had worked up an appetite from taking part in all of the singing and clapping, and we devoured Chicago-style sandwiches and cake shakes. We returned home on the Orange Line with a better appreciation for black history and for God.

Overall, a good time was had by all the Crusaders who attended.

Junior JD Gamboa said, “The service contained so much involvement, energy, and enthusiasm for Jesus. I was inspired to live for the Lord in that manner as well.”

Senior Aydan Smith-Tetrev said, “I loved how the pastor periodically pulled out the saxophone. The cathedral looked amazing. The music was spectacular. It was the people that really made it fun.”

Mr. Parker and Mr. McAuliffe were proud of the Crusaders who attended. They also thoroughly enjoy the prayer service as they keep on leading men of Edmund to it every year. They both deeply appreciate the celebration of the service.

“It was a very memorable experience,” Mr. Parker said

Mr. McAuliffe said, “It’s a unique service and it’s a great way to celebrate African American heritage.”