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250 appeal, pray for end to city violence

Published: Sun, October 3, 2010 @ 12:01 a.m.

Related: • Mayor vows to raze 25 houses near St. Dom


  Community Prayer Vigil

More than 250 people attended a community prayer vigil at St.Dominic Catholic Church in Youngstown, OH.

More than 250 people attended a community prayer vigil at St.Dominic Catholic Church in Youngstown, OH.




The choice is let the area around St. Dominic Church continue to be a place for crime and lawlessness or do whatever is necessary to revitalize that section of the city.

Church parishioners, concerned citizens, clergymen and politicians joined in a vigil Saturday to say they won’t let that section of the city’s South Side further deteriorate.

About 250 people stood outside St. Dominic in steady rain, praying and talking about improving the community.

The Rev. Gregory Maturi, St. Dominic’s pastor, prayed for a “physical and spiritual transformation.”

He prayed for an “end to violence,” and for God to “help heal the wounds that violence caused.”

Thomas J. Repchic was murdered and his wife, Jacqueline, was seriously injured in a Sept. 25 drive-by shooting shortly after they left St. Dominic.

Saturday’s “community prayer vigil” was not only for the Repchics, but for Vivian Martin, a real-estate agent murdered Sept. 20 on the city’s East Side and for Angeline Fimognari, murdered in January in St. Dominic’s parking lot.

“This is our church and we want to keep crime out of here,” said Lisa Mansell, who moved from Youngstown to Struthers four years ago. “We need to clean up the city. This scares a lot of the older people who come here.”

The Rev. Michael H. Harrison Sr., pastor of Union Baptist Church and chairman of the Mahoning Valley Organizing Collaborative board, said this is “a moment where we need [God] like we’ve never needed [him] before. What has been will not be tolerated anymore. Right now, we need justice. We need [God] to sweep the streets.”

Sue Vitale of Boardman, who grew up in Youngstown, and Emma Nelson, from the city’s South Side, met at Saturday’s vigil.

Nelson needed an umbrella as the rainfall became heavy while Vitale needed a light for her prayer candle.

“I love Youngstown and know God will do great things here,” Vitale said. “He will show the way against this violence and lack of brotherly love. I believe it is the spirit of murder and destruction that must be stopped.”

Nelson said she was at the vigil because of the “senseless” violence.

“God wants us to love each other,” she said. “I felt a strong urge to come to this. I hope it will help. God will clean this up. [Those who committed the crimes] “think they’re getting away now, but they won’t.”

Councilwoman Janet Tarpley, D-6th, whose ward includes St. Dominic and the surrounding streets, said: “We need to change the face of this community. We are going to move forward together.”

Father Maturi said he and others will “continue the fight for Youngstown. We will revitalize Youngstown. We will return it to its former glory.”


1Freeatlast(1991 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Very good comment Censoredship . And I agree with all you say .

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2Lifes2Short(3882 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

"Father Maturi said he and others will “continue the fight for Youngstown. We will revitalize Youngstown. We will return it to its former glory.”

Have to give alot of credit to Father Maturi, he is showing the community he really cares about it, and slowly but surely we can get Youngstown back to it's former glory and take action and be done with excuses and band aids to the violence.

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3author50(1121 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Nothing but a photo opportunity for the power brokers who have no power.

The powers that be blew this years ago after THE FIRST senseless killing was ignored.

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4MLC(52 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

A Prayer vigil is the perfect start.Father Maturi will turn things around,we are lucky to have him here,fightinig against crime.

It's time for Mayor Williams to go,he reacts where Father Maturi tries to prevent any further crime.GOD BLESS Father Maturi.

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5ytownsteelman(680 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

These people should not be holding candles, they should have the grip of their weapon of choice in their hands! Arm the law abiding citizens so that they can defend themselves! Either that or stock up on candles!

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6Stan(9923 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Let's face it ! The good who pray for an end to the violence don't share the same values as those who rob and kill . Prayer is good as it may motivate those with the ability to penalize the godless ones with severe punishment to take action . Society is in a moral decay and we need to respond by supporting leaders who can relate to the problems that we face and take action .

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7southsidedave(5189 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Stan -

I agree with your thoughts. However, we all know that we will be commenting on another senseless crime very soon in these posts.

We can speculate how to solve the decay of our society: more police, more prison time, etc. But it has been proven that prison is not a deterrent that will end this mindless violence.

Take care.

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8Stormieangel(136 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Well, prayer sure won't hurt matters any. But all the violence is certainly a sign of what the Bible tells us...that things will get worse and worse. We need to prepare our own hearts and lives for the eventual destruction of the earth. But in the meantime, we must pray and we must try to respond to helping however we can. Truthfully, I do not know what I can do, other than pray. You won't find me going into Youngstown unless I absolutely have to do it. I agree that we need to arm ourselves. Get a right to carry permit and get a gun. But then that opens the door for a lot of people who won't be responsible enough in being a gun owner. I cannot help but to believe the cops are pretty well aware of where the drug dealers are and even many times they know who they are. What keeps them from cleaning up Youngstown or any crime-ridden city for that matter? And our great LEGAL system doesn't help matters probably with their plea bargains and Lord only knows how many crooked politicians we have in office...way too many I have no doubt. Who is raising these kids that turn to crime? Is Mom home? Is Dad on the scene? Too many children not being raised in a Christian way but I will admit that still isn't a guarantee. I wish the folks in Youngstown a lot of good luck in trying to clean up the crime. And I will add that situation to my prayers also.

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9kensgirl(1056 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

I grew up attending St. Dom's. Baptism, First Communion, Confimation and Marriage. That church has my heart. I pray something gets turned around! God bless Fr. Maturi and what he has inherited. It will be a LONG ROAD INDEED. NOTHING WILL CHANGE UNTIL WE PUT THESE LOW LIVES IN PRISON FOR LIFE OR REALLY START ENFORCING THE DEATH PENALTY.

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10borylie(946 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

How many vigils and how many neighborhood marches do you need to have before people realize that their efforts may give you that feel good moment and maybe your picture in the paper,but that they're wasting their time and effort. By the time police get involved with these animals it's already a lost cause. Like the Vindy poll asks,whose fault is it? Most agree it's the parent or parents fault. But like Stan said we're in a moral decay and NOBODY will address the root problems.
1)Unwed mothers.
2)Children already behind when they start school.
3)Lack of respect for others and other's properties,taught from day one.
4)That vulgarities,dope smoking and sex at any age is no longer frowned upon.
5)That liberal beliefs such as boys will be boys and kids will be kids is what we now accept as normal behavior.
6)It's not my kid's fault. Fill in any of today's many excuses and give the parent opportunity to also use excuses.
I could go on and on and on,but until real leaders come out loudly and clearly and forget the p.c. crap,it won't be long before any citizen will be safe anywhere. This is not a racist rant btw,blacks and whites are guilty of all of the above. At this time in our society blacks are having more children out of wedlock than other groups,thus the percentage is skewed toward black children being behind the eight ball when they enter this world. So our spiritual leaders,our political leaders,our sports and music performers need to step up now and spread the word on the new generation being born into this world,right now. Call me a pessimist,but this generation may be beyond help. We'll have to put up with these animals for another ten years or so,but let's start the cleansing now.

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11prodgodq(172 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago


You're a pessimist because it's easy to be a pessimist.

It's easy to oberve everything that's wrong in the world....and do nothing to help.

The people at this prayer vigil are doing more in one day than most of the people on this message board will ever do in their lives to help deal with the problems that this town faces.

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12borylie(946 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Hey prod,how the he** do you know what I've done to help or not help? Answer my question in my previous post. How many vigils and marches is needed to stop the violence? You don't have to go beyond this year to read about all the feel good vigils and marches we've had in this area and if you want go back and you'll find feel good stories every year after every senseless crime. People like you are the problem because you put down people like me who want to talk about root causes not what should be done after it's too late. Look in the dictionary the word pragmatic. Besides I wasn't putting these people down,just pointing out that these type things aren't stopping moral decay,because if they were we wouldn't be having this little chat. Vigils and marches may be helpful,but my suggestions in my opinion would in the long haul be much better. Try thinking before typing.

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13Nonsocialist(710 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

The solution is not complicated.

Stop paying people to not work. We can't afford it anyway. Such policies have created a subculture that has destroyed families, towns, and lives.

Without the possibility of government dependence, people will work hard, and take pride in their work, and themselves.

Or you can keep voting for the supporters of government dependence (Nearly all Democratic-Socialists and a few RINOs) and keep supporting the culture of depravity.

If Tim Ryan, et al win in November, than it is clear that you continue to strive to be Detroit Junior.

Your call.

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14areuwelcam(19 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Give me a break! Why are wee giving a free pass to Father Greg Maturti? After the death of the first member of his congregation, he was SILENT!

Now that it's election time, he's being pimped by every politician.

When asked during a radio interview what he and his congregation does for outreach he said, "Nothing" He continued on talking about a fund-raising WINE TASTE so they can expand their parish hall.The behavior of using cathedrals as a haven to do nothing.

Many have been ongoing trying to rid the area of crime and their efforts should be noted. Its committed folks like MVOC and ACTION working hard to bring about change.

Where these folks are looking out for the whole, Father Greg is only talking care of himself. IF he acted in January, things could have been different.

For that matter, the Rephic's were not victims because of the blighted houses around the church, yet this is now being lifted as the solution. HELP US GOD!
Opportunists like Father Greg and the politicians HE IS STROLLING WITH should be charged with "DRIVE BY COMMITMENT!"

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15areuwelcam(19 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

It was reported on today's news there was a stabbing at a home in the area of the church, While folks are concentrating on mobile crime, what about these home invasions?

A Cardinal Mooney student was also most sexually assaulted last Friday when some two thugs in their late 20"s or early 30's broke into her home to burglarize it. They did not even know she was in the house initially. If she was not able to call 911 on her cell phone, things would have been tragic. Yes, this occupied home- which is not blighted is within the vicinity and walking distance of the church.

I do find it interesting that the church has a strong stance AGAINST capital punishment, yet its members are advocating it. I'm just saying.

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16borylie(946 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

If all the vigilists would after vigiling contact their congressmen,their purported leaders and strongly protest(civil unrest) downtown Youngstown,Boardman,etc., to bring attention to the cultural that now controls the way people behave,then I'd say their doing something more constructive. Someone has to change the mindset of new parents and the children being brought into this world.

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