Chicago Lawn a New Neighborhood Home for Catalyst-Maria
Catalyst's new home is in Chicago Lawn. The school will become part of the fabric of this new community with time. Following in the footsteps of the Sisters of St. Casimir who owned and operated Maria High School (pictured here), Catalyst will be an asset to the people of this neighborhood. The building is a city block long. It has four floors to be used for educational purposes. Looking at it, one would not suspect something else going on in this community.
This map tells a story of struggle, abuse by financial institutions, predatory lending, and the grief of hundreds of families in this community who have experienced foreclosure on their homes. Catalyst is dedicated to service of the under-served, economically challenged and disenfrancised communities. The beauty of the Catalyst-Maria building represents the positive attitude and fighting spirit of the families in Chicago Lawn. This community is rallying to address the financial and housing issues in the community.
South West Organizing Project (SWOP) gathered several hundred community members on the evening of June 13, 2012 to walk the neighborhood, to see the boarded up homes, to give expression to their faith, and to commit to turning the situation around with other organizers, banks, and community partners. The inter-faith group, mostly made up of Muslims, Christians, and Jews find solidarity together through their hope in their own ability to change this situation and their faith in a common God who continues to inspire through the breath of a creative Spirit. Catalyst is happy to join forces with the educational community, the organized community members, and all who plan to make Chicago Lawn a desired place to establish family roots.