Chicago Tribune

Before becoming Chicago Police Department's first Muslim chaplain, veteran officer had to rediscover his faith

CHICAGO - Hysni Selenica's path to becoming the first Muslim chaplain with the Chicago Police Department began at a storied Catholic high school he attended across the street from police headquarters.

A born-and-raised Southwest Sider, Selenica attended De La Salle Institute, which counts at least five Chicago mayors among its alumni. One day a religious brother asked about his roots.

Selenica explained that his father was from Albania, a communist country at the time where practicing your faith was forbidden. His father kept his faith private even after fleeing to the United States.

"You're Muslim," the brother said matter-of-factly. Selenica, now 43, still remembers the brother's thick drawl.

"I guess?" Selenica replied. The first Iraq War was raging at the time.

Despite the brother's insistence that Selenica did not have to attend Mass anymore, Selenica said he chose to keep going. He was curious about the Christian concept of the Trinity.

It would take years to get back to the faith of his

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from Chicago Tribune

Chicago Tribune2 min read
White Sox's Losing Streak Reaches 6 As They Fall 7-5 To The Royals
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Welington Castillo took a lead off of second base after a one-out double in the fifth inning against the Royals. The White Sox trailed by two runs and were desperate to get something - anything - going. Royals pitcher Danny Duffy t
Chicago Tribune4 min read
Paul Sullivan: It's Only A Week, But The Cubs' Strong Start To The 2nd Half Alleviates Some Tension — For Now
CHICAGO - The Cubs passed the first test of the second half, handling the Pirates and Reds in back-to-back series to momentarily squelch talk about potential blockbuster roster moves and Joe Maddon's future. Like acing a pop quiz, the Cubs go into th
Chicago Tribune3 min read
'Sword Of Trust' Review: Marc Maron's Pawn Shop Owner Takes On Civil War Conspiracy Theorists
A glass three-fifths full, writer-director Lynn Shelton's affable comedy "Sword of Trust" gets by on the improvisational wiles of its cast. For those looking for it, there's also a glimmer or two of social observation regarding the way our country's