Nuns March to Reclaim Neighborhood After Shooting

The Benedictine Sisters of Chicago have been in Rogers Park since 1906, and were shaken by a shooting that occurred just outside the monastery

After a teenager was gunned down just steps from their monastery, the Benedictine Sisters of Chicago led a march Wednesday to take back their neighborhood.

Neighbors say they had a sense of security with nuns living so close by, but that changed when 18-year-old Antonio Johnson, of Evanston, was shot and killed two weeks ago in front of the St. Scholastica monastery on Ridge Avenue in Rogers Park.

The sisters have been in Rogers Park since 1906, and socially active on a number of issues. They were joined by community members on Wednesday to retrace Johnson’s final steps.

“We reclaim this space for non-violence,” said Sister Benita Coffey. “We're still women of peace, living community life here and wanting desperately for this neighborhood to become a place of peace.”

The sisters conducted a silent prayer walk, and a holy water blessing where the shooting occurred.

Johnson's older brother Stacy Rowzee said he's thankful for the support from the sisters and the community.

“I don't want to see no one else’s family go through what our family is going through,” said Rowzee. “So I just wish there was a way that we could put the guns down.”

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