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Sunday Mass at St. Anthony’s

Lou Ann Sola Pretto, Gina Frighetto Sakiewicz, Ana Magnabosco, Louise Panozzo, Jack Rossi, Fran Trentacosti, Carol Miceli, Edda Mancuso, Tony Pittacora, Vince Zopetti, “Midge”, Mike Maglis, CJ Jim Martello, Adriano and Gina Magnabosco, Bob and Lorraine Brezich, Chuck and Beverly Carli, Julia Munoz, Madelyn Wolf, Georgia Vroman, Jo (Josephine) Navarette, Gloria Bernardi and her son John Bernardi, and Marilyn Meneghini Carone, Dan and Sue Bovino, Dennis and Debbie Carlotto.

I’m sure you’ll recognize more than a few of the names. It’s amazing that this is 2011 and yet, the family names that we heard so often when we were younger are still familiar to us today. The best part of our familiarity with those names is that we can still picture the faces of the people that go with them.

Even more amazing is the fact that we can actually see those family members and friends in person practically any given Sunday. All of those people mentioned in the first paragraph, plus some I’ve missed, attend St. Anthony’s Church in Kensington at the 8:30 a.m. Mass on Sunday mornings on a regular basis. After Mass, you can find everyone downstairs sharing conversation, coffee, and the occasional ciope or tiramisu.

I’ve heard people say, “I haven’t been to Roseland in more than 30 years,” or “The last time I went to church at St. Anthony’s it was for my wedding.” or “Roseland! Oh my God! Is it safe to go there?” If all of those people listed above can make it to St. Anthony’s on any given Sunday — you can too!

If we could add your name to that list in the first paragraph it would mean a return to your roots: reacquainting with old friends; and, best of all, a return to your spiritual roots, which began with your mom and dad.

One of the most familiar names is the family name of Sola. LouAnn Sola Pretto is one of those regulars at Sunday morning Mass. Lou Ann, with her welcoming smile, is an angel and is always ready and willing to help anyone with the smallest need, including being there to help Fr. Mark and Louise Della Betta with organizing church events.

I’ve got a pretty good idea where LouAnn got that angelic attitude of nurturing everyone and being there for those in need. LouAnn’s mother, Rita Bertoletti Sola, was the eighth of 10 kids born in North Dakota before the family moved to 117th Street in Roseland. She graduated from St. Anthony and then St. Louis Academy. After marrying Vince Sola, she found herself raising her own 10 children in a house on 124th Street, just east of Michigan Avenue across from Jeanne Nelson’s family.

Being used to 10 children — first her parent’s and then her own — it was apparently no problem for her to take care of any of the neighborhood kids when they were injured. I remember playing spears in the prairie across from the Sola house and getting speared just above my left eye. Mrs. Sola appeared magically, got a washcloth and took care of it.

Rita also helped Vince in their tavern business, Sola’s on 123rd and Michigan, and at their Cleaning World Laundromat next door. With 10 children, she also managed to be a scouting den mother and volunteer at the Roseland Little League concession stand.

Kids were always staying over at the Sola house but they weren’t always truthful. A couple of times the kids neglected to tell Mrs. Sola they had left home, as in ran away. Mrs. Sola is definitely missed by everyone who knew her and especially by her children. However, her daughter LouAnn Sola Pretto is a pretty close stand-in as a representative of all her mother stood for and was loved for. Thanks LouAnn, for being there for us whenever we need you. Your mom did good!

Note e Notizie Fenger classes of June 1951 and January 1951 and January 1952 joint reunion: Friday, June 24, 1-6 p.m., Orland Chateau, Frank Esposito, 815-407-0417 or ndsu14@att.net. Guests and other year’s students are welcome. … The June 1952 class is planning its own reunion but hasn’t completed arrangements. … All-Roseland reunion and dinner dance: Sunday, November 13, 4:30 p.m., Orland Chateau, 773-646-1415.

Contact CJ Martello at 1501 W. Belmont Ave. #708, Chicago, IL 60657; 773-525-7823; or cjfranoi@yahoo.com; Online: Roseland Roundtable on Facebook

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.