Civil rights, Civil rights demonstrations, Civil rights movements, Italian Americans, Chicago, Illinois, Catholic, Italy, Second Vatican Council, anti-war movement, Democratic National Convention, St. Gertrude Parish, Northside Catholic Academy, author, Democratic National Convention, Chicago, Illinois, Church work, Segregation
Cultural History | History | Political History | Political Science | Religion | Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion | Social History | United States History
Length: 105 minutes
Interview with Father Dominic Grassi by Paul Brennan
Fr. Dominic Grassi begins his interview by detailing his childhood, growing up the youngest of five to Italian immigrant parents on the North side of Chicago, He credits his high school work with the children at Cabrini Greens for introducing him to the community service aspect of religious life and recalls the significant role the priests played in his early years. He describes daily life at the college seminary and the formation of his religious vocation amidst “almost a tsunami” of worlds events: the Vietnam War, the Civil Rights Movement, Second Vatican Council, and the assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Robert Kennedy. He recalls the activism he was involved with, marching as seminarians for civil rights, anti-war protests, Robert Kennedy’s campaign, community work at Cabrini Green and other parishes, and the continuation of that work in the following decades. He recounts the events of the Democratic National Convention and how he felt about the various major politicians of the day, Nixon, Daley, Johnson, the Kennedys, and others. Finally, he reflects on the lasting legacy of that era, how it formed and influenced his personal and religious convictions, and the parallels between 1968 and the present day.
Brennan, Paul. "Interview with Father Dominic Grassi" (Spring 2015). Oral Histories, Department of Humanities, History & Social Sciences, College Archives & Special Collections, Columbia College Chicago. http://digitalcommons.colum.edu/chicago1968/3
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