Kathy Headley

Kathy Headley

St. Rita’s transformation is worth a look

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Kathy Headley

Your correspondent in Chicago Lawn and Marquette Manor

6610 S. Francisco • (773) 776-7778

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St. Rita of Cascia Church, 63rd and Fairfield, continues to undergo its transformation from the sunflowery/harvest golds and browns of the 1960s and 1970s to the calming pastels of the 2000s.

Since the basilica-style church of St. Rita is so large, it is a long and tedious process. As the décor gradually changes, the inside seems to be growing even more airy and bright. Stop in on a Sunday and follow the transition. Look up from the sanctuary and see the clouds that have formed in the light blue sky.

The Lithuanian Riflemen’s Union held a solemn procession at Nativity BVM Church on Sunday, June 16. It was a day of honoring the tens of thousands of people exiled from their homeland during the Soviet deportation that began in June 1941. Lithuania observes June 14 as the Annual Day of Mourning and Hope.

The Lithuanian Riflemen’s Association is a voluntary state-sponsored organization that unites people who dedicate their time to strengthening their homeland. They place a strong emphasis on working with young people providing citizenship and life skills.

kathyheadley2021

Kathy Headley

Now just one more time: The last thing I intended to do was belabor the Arby’s story. After all, it is a fast-food chain (albeit one that has been here for decades), not a family restaurant. So please just bear with me for one more comment. As I drove by the other day, I noticed the sign that sat under the big cowboy hat now reads: “Visit our nearest location in Hickory Hills” on one side. Do you think the person responsible for the sign has been reading our discussion?

The Kids Chess Club meets at the Chicago Lawn Branch Library, 6120 S. Kedzie Avenue, from 6 to 7 p.m. Thursday, June 27 for kids ages 6 to 13.

On Saturday, June 29, it’s Kid’s Karaoke at the library from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Kids can stop in to sing their favorite tunes and cheer on others as well.

And on Sunday, June 30, Community Cinema brings the 2023 Walt Disney Animated film Wish to the library beginning at 2 p.m. in the auditorium.

Over at the Southwest Regional Senior Center, 6117 s. Kedzie Avenue, there will be a Caribbean Heritage Celebration on Friday, June 28, beginning at 10 a.m.

This Saturday, June 29, the Young Adults at St. Thomas More will be hosting a Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser from 6 to 8 p.m. in Donlan Hall. All are welcome to stop in and enjoy. Prices vary. For more information see the ticket sales booth in the vestibule or email Greg at gphifer@archchicago.org.

And this Sunday, June 30, St. Rita of Cascia parish will hold a special event in which you can commemorate a loved child who has entered heaven by writing their name on a spin wheel that will be placed in the front garden on the northeast corner of 63rd and Fairfield. For more information, call the parish office at (773) 434-9600.

Mark your calendars for Sunday, Nov 3, when The Chicago Lithuanian Women’s Club invites everyone to join them for a ‘Las Vegas – Lithuanian Style Luncheon’ at the Palos Country Club, 13100 Southwest Highway, with entertainment by Vegas-style singer and entertainer, Vito Zatto. Doors will open at 12:30 p.m.

Now back to 1979. This is our last visit to 1979 for a while. As the first half of the year was coming to a close, the idea of a Crosstown Expressway was beginning to fade, much to the relief of residents whose homes were in its planned path. A few news stories from the beginning of 1979 that we did not cover in this visit include the passing of Mabel Beers at the age of 94. Over the years, she was a leader in the Gage Park area, having been the founder of the Gage Park Women’s Club, active in the Gage Park Improvement Club, worked for the construction of Gage Park Elementary School and served as president of the Gage Park PTA. She was a resident of Gage Park for 66 years living at 5632 S. Artesian.

Other notable stories that loomed large early in 1979 included the arson fire at the Marquette Park fieldhouse which destroyed the entrance hall and the office space and the attempted theft of the tabernacle at St. Adrian Church. I’m sure many of you remember those.

When we left last time, I wondered how many folks remembered the busy family-owned grocery store with its original location at 2454 W. 63rd St. Nancy B. was the first to come up with the answer which was Colony Food Mart.

Now let’s begin our visit to 1964, where we find the Southwest Council of Civic Organizations demanding a firm commitment on when Hubbard High School would be completed. At this point in time, Hubbard was serving as two-year high school Interestingly parents were not anxious to see a new addition making Hubbard a four-year school.

The Chicago Lawn Library was celebrating its 18th year at 61st and Kedzie with a series of events including a slide/lecture presentation of antique cars by Charles Schumacher of Talman Federal Savings and Loan to which he brought cars he crafted himself to display.

Now here’s a hard question: Talman Federal had just taken over the assets and liabilities of Property Federal Savings and Loan. Do you remember where Property Federal was located?

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