This was revealed by Father Gordon, Parish Priest of St Martin RC Church in Gonzales, Belmont during an interview on the weekend with Newsday.
Pride in Gonzales is a team effort of Father Gordon and others who joined forces after gang- related killings in Gonzales caused alarm and fear among residents.
The church together with the police and others decided to engage the Gonzales community in favourable community projects in a bid to get those involved in crime and illicit activities, to change their lives and contribute in a more positive manner to the troubled community.
The project resulted in gangs signing a truce to keep the peace and since then, there has been a marked decrease in gang-related murders in that area, police sources said. Father Gordon and others have been praised by the Vatican for the initiative.
“The head of the Social Justice in the Vatican commended our efforts in the ‘Pride in Gonzales’ project and we are elated over this response,” Father Gordon said.
He said that more projects are being planned and many Gonzales residents are looking forward to the positive changes in their community. On Friday last, Father Gordon led a candlelight procession through the streets of Gonzales in observance of St Martin, the saint who represents the poor and downtrodden.