Church holds street mass for peace as CPS students start summer break

School is out and in Little Village, parents are asking for heavenly intervention to keep kids safe this summer.

The first night of summer is beginning with music and prayer. The fourth of ten scheduled Street Masses for Peace used Thursday night's mass at 25th and Lawndale to ask God for protection.

A translator said Fr. Jesus Alvarado of St. Agnes of Bohemia said, "After mass he asks all the kids to come to the front and he says a blessing and he asks their guardian angel to bless them and take care of them."

CPS schools let out Thursday, ending the 2018-2019 school year. Some headed outdoors. A soccer team with kids from UIC Prep got together at Douglas Park. The Chicago Park District is offering a wide range of cultural and athletic programs to help students stay busy.

"Is it scary though on the streets of Chicago in the summertime? Yeah, so like sometimes it's hard for commuting to school and sometimes it can be tough for a lot of our kids," said coach Adolfo Pallares-Aceves.

A new resource guide called "Your CHI" offers information on summer programs and events, youth health services and free summer meals. For students most vulnerable to gun violence, a new program called "Summer For Change" will offer mentoring and educational opportunities.

A translator said Erica Garcia -- who is a mother of two girls -- said, "She is worried because she has seen some violence in the past and it's pretty common in this area."

Mayor Lori Lightfoot started the summer by greeting safe passage workers , thanking them for their service.