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St. Anthony’s and Pullman create memories

The end of summer is approaching but there’s still time to make up for the frigid winter we went through. That is, of course, if you weren’t able to make it to some of the summer festivals that took place in Chicago and suburbs.

One of the summer events that was well attended is the St. Anthony Festa which took place on Sunday, June 8th. Fr. Mark Krilowicz, the pastor of St. Anthony’s for the past eight years, has kept the celebration alive with a strong parish St. Anthony’s Feast committee that meets year-round to come up with food, activities, and music that please all tastes. This year was a good time for everyone in attendance including some longstanding parishioners who stopped by ‘to check it out’ as they say.

The celebration began with a procession at a home at 117th and Calumet Avenue. The procession did not have the hundreds of people that attended back in our youth but, if you saw the photo in the Catholic New World, those in attendance were very fervent and earnest in their prayers and devotion to St. Anthony. Many taking part had attended the nine evening novena which brought the statue of St. Anthony to the home of a different parishioner each evening.

petals40The procession went west on 117th to Prairie Avenue and then to Kensington Avenue. As the procession made its way to the church, the mysteries of the rosary were prayed. When we arrived at the front of the church, St. Anthony was carried in and the children honored St. Anthony with singing and dancing. The church was full of worshipers who not only attended the mass, but took part in the prayers to St. Anthony afterwards before joining in the St. Anthony Feast Day celebration in the parking lot.

The layout of the tents was rearranged this year to make for a more intimate setting and the food stands were all up and running by the time the church-goers walked out of the church. The first music group, an outstanding blues band began playing within minutes and the celebration began. As the festivities went on, more and more longstanding parishioners arrived to renew old friendships and to enjoy a great meal while helping to fund St. Anthony’s.

An event you can still consider attending takes place in Pullman. Pullman is a vibrant community and the one way you can find that out for yourselves, is to attend the 6th annaul Pullman Reunion on Saturday, August 2nd beginning at Noon. I will be there with a canopy over tables with some Roseland Memorabilia on Exhibit. This is a picnic event just like the old days where you bring your own provisions and get to see friends you haven’t seen in years.

Each year, this reunion is drawing more people who haven’t been back to the Roseland — Pullman — Kensington area in years. Last year, there were picnickers from suburbs such as McHenry, Kankakee and many towns in Indiana. This is the time to visit your past and walk through beautiful Pullman. The community of Pullman strives to maintain its beauty and relevance as a living piece of south side history.

The houses of Pullman were built in the years between 1881 and 1884 and were built in an eclectic manner. Many people are under the impression that all Pullman houses are identical, which couldn’t be further from the truth. While attending the 6th Annual Pullman Reunion, you can take advantage of being in Pullman by gathering some of your friends and family from the picnic and taking a walk through the neighborhood.

It never ceases to amaze me when former Pullman residents stop by for a visit and, as we take a walk through the neighborhood, they mention what businesses formerly occupied buildings that are now residences. Or another enjoyable moment is when a visitor rattles off the names of family and friends and the houses they lived in and as children played in when they visited. Many times, right next door to one family were their aunts and uncles, or grandparents. It turns out that in Pullman, it wasn’t unusual to have whole extended families living within a few blocks of each other and that included both sets of grandparents.

petals41Back in April at the Sunday Alumni Mass, the St. Anthony Class of 1971 managed to have a mini-reunion of five class members. Pictured are: Louise Garcia Hopper, Perry Sartori, Ray Gottardo, Daria Whalen Shnagjder, and Denis Magnabosco. Each year, the last Sunday in April is set aside as an opportunity for former classmates to get together and revisit old times. I can tell you, by the amount of laughter that came from the table were these five St. Anthony students were sitting, they went right back in time to fondly recall the nuns, the naughty times, and the good times. I know they’ll be back next year for sure to share a little breakfast, great memories and big laughs and I hope you will join them.

Contact CJ Martello at 11403 S. St. Lawrence Ave., Chicago, Ill. 60628; cjmartell@prodigy.net; or leave a message at 773-701-6756.

About C.J. Martello

CJ Martello has returned to his roots as the author of “Petals from Roseland.” After five years of writing his column as a resident of Chicago’s North Side, CJ put his money where his heart is and moved to Pullman, near the Roseland area in which he grew up. Having joined the Spaghetti-Os, Veneti nel Mondo and St. Anthony of Padua Parish and being one of the founders of the Roseland Roundtable Facebook page, CJ has become reacquainted with countless friends and acquaintances from his youth. CJ is looking forward to retirement and completing the books he has put on hold, including one that will encompass as much of Roseland’s rich, beloved history as possible.