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Sneed exclusive: Archbishop makes summer jobs a priority

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Chicago Archbishop Blase Cupich. | Sun-Times library

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Labor in the loggia.

Watch for Archbishop Blase J. Cupich to join the job market.

Sneed has learned Cupich is upping the city’s ante to end street violence this summer.

• Translation: While Mayor Rahm Emanuel attempts to tackle the city’s street violence and police imbroglios, Cupich is joining first lady Amy Rule’s “One Summer Chicago” effort to employ at-risk youth — by asking his pastors to help locate potential job sites in their parishes.

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The jobs will be subsidized by the city. (Look for more news from Chicago’s first lady later this week on businesses she’s recruited to participate in One Summer Chicago.)Sneed also hears Cupich has called a summit for June 9 — composed of leaders from Loyola and DePaul Universities, church leaders and archdiocesan pastors — at Mercy Home for Boys & Girls to review what’s being done by all Catholic institutions (hospitals, agencies and schools) to strengthen families and reduce violence.

“As we anticipate the beginning of summer, we recognize the challenges faced by many youth of our city,” Cupich wrote to his pastors.

“When I learned of this program earlier in the spring, I encouraged Mayor Rahm Emanuel to look to our city parishes and institutions as potential sites for this temporary employment,” he wrote.

“While the city can provide the salaries, unless an agency wishes to do so on its own, it also needs sites to provide our young people with meaningful work experiences. That is where we come in.

“We as a Church, along with city leaders, stand in solidarity with our young people, especially as they look for summer employment and safe and productive ways to spend the summer months,” he added.

Peace priest the Rev. Michael Pfleger, whose activism has been embraced by Cupich, told Sneed earlier: “We can have the best Chicago Police superintendent in the world, but unless jobs and opportunities are provided for young people — who have dangerous time on their hands — we will continue to see the violence.”

Sneedlings . . .

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