Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Buy Your Tickets Now, Then Get Ready For Hale Theatre Company's "Sister Act"

By Joan Hadac
Editor and Publisher
Southwest Chicago Post

There are plenty of ways to measure the health of a community.

One is whether or not they have a community theater company and support live theater in the community.

The Hale Theatre Company is one such good sign.

Here's their latest news, directly from them:

The Hale Theatre Company  of the Chicago Park District will present the musical Sister Act.

Performances are set for 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, June 3-4 and 10-11; and 2:00 p.m. Sunday, June 5 at the Hale Park Field House, 6258 W. 62nd Street.

Tickets are $12 for adults, $6 for students and senior citizens.

Reservations may be made by calling (773) 229-1032, and tickets may be purchased at the park. 

Reservations and advance ticket buying is strongly encouraged. The play will be presented in a relatively small space.

Sister Act is directed by Lauren J. Polenske, with musical direction by Jason Baumann.

The cast includes:

Deloris Van Cartier.................Lauren Bourret
Mother Superior..........................Carla Alcorn
Sr. Mary Robert.,......................Joanna Ziarko
Sr. Mary Patrick.......................Nancy Alvarez
Curtis................................Michael J. Murphy
Eddie Souther.........................Brian Baumann
Monsignor O'Hara................Larry Wenderski
Sr. Mary Theresa.................Jennifer Burnson
Sr. Mary Lazarus.......................Amanda Cady
Sr. Mary Martin-of-Tours...........Jenny Hogan
Sr. Mary Francis...................Dionne Hawkins
Sr. Mary Celeste................................Pat Sikes
Sr. Mary Irene........................Mary Kay Barton
Sr. Mary Joan.................................Amy Streit
TJ.............................................Andrew Brown
Pablo....................................Andrew Saucedo
Joey............................................Andrew Wiltz
Ernie..........................................Joe Schergan
Officer/Bartender.............Patrick Causegrove

Saturday, May 21, 2022

Here's a Young Mom Who Really Needs a Boost. Won't You Please Help?

By Joan Hadac
Editor & Publisher
Southwest Chicago Post

Again and again over my lifetime on the Southwest Side, I’ve seen examples of neighborhoods pulling together to help their own, especially in time of great need.

As a news reporter and columnist, it has been my privilege to help spread the word about and muster support for folks in need—and then later report the good news of neighbors helping neighbors.

Today, I’m writing about Stephanie Smock, a young mom who could really use a hand from all of us.
Stephanie Smock

Stephanie grew up in Garfield Ridge. She attended Byrne School and then went on to Kennedy High School, where she graduated in 2006.

In recent years, she has worked at Triano’s Pizza, where she has been said to be an exemplary employee.

She has long been known as someone who is “very outgoing, fun-loving and sweet,” according to her classmate and friend, Mary Spalla.

As Mary tells it, Stephanie was working at Triano’s to support her 18-month-old son, Cody; her mom, Rita (who has diabetes and severe rheumatoid arthritis); and her older brother, Kenny, who has severe diabetes with heart complications and can’t work.

Stephanie was the sole breadwinner for her family, especially since her father passed away in 2018.

Quite a load for a young mom to carry, right?
But things went from bad to worse in January, when Stephanie was involved in a car crash, which “caused Stephanie to suffer an embolism/stroke, resulting in complete loss of feeling on the right side of her body,” Mary reports. “As a result, she needs constant care and help with every aspect of daily living. Stephanie can no longer work and it is unknown if she will ever regain the use of her right side.”

Over the past few months, Stephanie has made some progress. Her memory has improved, and she is walking a bit.

But her road to recovery is still long and uncertain.

She needs help.

If you will, please visit gofund.me/b6ef4d3a. At the moment, the effort to help Stephanie is about $1,000 short of its $5,000 goal. If we all pull together, we can close that gap fairly quickly.

So let’s do it. And thanks to Mary Spalla for organizing the fundraiser and to Megan Heurich for alerting me to the situation in the first place.

Thursday, May 19, 2022

St. Mary Star of the Sea, St. Turibius Parishes Breathe a Sigh of Relief

Will remain open, in a process that has seen other Catholic parishes, schools closed

By Tim Hadac
Managing Editor
Southwest Chicago Post

The Chicago Archdiocese has announced that St. Mary Star of the Sea and St. Turibius Parishes will remain open and separate, though they have been ordered to "commit to shared ministry efforts."

The announcement was made public via a press release sent out Thursday evening.


St. Mary Star of the Sea Parish will continue to be staffed by a diocesan pastor, Father Roger Corrales-Diaz. 

St. Turibius Parish will continue to be staffed by an Augustinian pastor, Father Bill Lego, OSA.  

• This structure will be reviewed every four years in alignment with the timeline of the Augustinians discerning their ministries.  
The Augustinians are committed to St. Turibius Parish through June 30, 2026. 

St. Turibius Parish will continue to offer a Mass in Polish if the parish retains a Polish-speaking priest. Diocesan support for growing Polish ministry in this area will be focused on St. Faustina Kowalska and Saints Bruno and Richard Parish.

St. Mary Star of the Sea School will remain open.

The plan is part of a larger Catholic Church downsizing across the city and suburbs known as Renew My Church.

The move was not entirely a surprise to parishioners. They had in recent months been part of a Renew My Church planning process that made it clear there could be changes.


The goal of Renew My Church, Archdiocesan officials say, is to “make disciples, build communities and inspire witness,” according to a statement.

Renew My Church is the Archdiocese of Chicago’s “response to Jesus Christ’s call and our invitation for renewal. Called by Jesus Christ, we are making disciples, building communities and inspiring witness. The Renew My Church process will transform the Archdiocese over the next several years by working with groupings of parishes to determine how they will achieve the goal of having vibrant, life-giving faith communities accessible to all Catholics.”

“Today, we face a trending crisis of faith,” the unnamed narrator of a Renew My Church video says. “Fewer people than ever are connected with organized religion. Many who identify as Catholic do not attend weekly Mass. Overall, we see an increase in signs of a broken world. As a result of this crisis, we find ourselves with less people and financial resources for ministry.”

Despite the crisis, the video offers a confident and optimistic view of the future.

“We are a strong and committed church that will work together to overcome the challenges we face today and in the centuries to come,” the narrator adds. Through the Renew My Church initiative, the Archdiocese “will recommit our local church to the Gospel commission to make disciples, build vital communities of faith and inspire witness to bring the light and hope of Christ to a world in need.”

After the first video, Archdiocesan officials released another Renew My Church video—seemingly in response to pushback they have received from some Catholics skeptical of the process.

Entitled “Trust the Process,” the video includes an exhortation by Karen Moretti, a suburban Catholic and member of the new St. Mother Theodore Guerin Parish—a result of the Renew My Church consolidation of parishes in River Grove and Elmwood Park.

“Keep the vision alive, because it will be difficult when you’re going through your [Renew My Church] groupings,” Moretti said. “If you keep the vision, you’ll realize that what you give up now will be for a much greater future. It’s kind of like taking a bad-tasting medicine and then feeling a lot better later.”

Like most Catholic parishes in the U.S., those in the Midway area have suffered in recent decades from declining Mass attendance, financial contributions and numbers of priests available to administer sacraments.

Catholic parishes and schools across the area have been ordered consolidated or closed in recent years.

Several examples are the consolidation of St. Bede, St. Denis and St. Thomas More; of St. Adrian and Queen of the Universe; St. Symphorosa and St. Rene Goupil, St. Joseph and St. Blase, St. Camillus and St. Jane de Chantal, St. Richard and St. Bruno, St. Rita and St. Clare of Montefalco, and St. Gall and St. Simon. Most of those parishes had schools that have been ordered closed by several Cardinals.

Such mergers are not new. Decades ago on the Southwest Side, Archdiocesan officials consolidated parishes in West Englewood. St. Justin Martyr, St. Mary of Mount Carmel, St. Theodore and others were either merged or closed.

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

CBA Attorneys Offer Free Advice

From the Chicago Bar Association:

Are you struggling with a legal issue and need some free, expert advice? Attorneys with The Chicago Bar Association’s Call-A-Lawyer Program are ready and available to take calls from the public and offer brief legal advice on Saturday, May 21. The CBA is here to help as part of an ongoing legal public service program.
Calls will be accepted May 21 from 9 a.m. to noon at (312) 554-2001.   
Residents can call in and briefly explain their situation to an attorney who will then work to suggest self-help strategies or provide advice to help resolve their issues. If callers need further legal services or have questions beyond the scope of the attorney’s practice area, they will be advised to contact the CBA Lawyer Referral Service during the week for a referral to an attorney in the appropriate area of law.  
The CBA’s Lawyer Referral Service has more than 200 prescreened, qualified lawyers experienced in almost every area of law that offers their services to the public.  When contacting the LRS during normal business hours Monday through Friday, callers can be referred to attorneys practicing in numerous areas of law including:  
• Domestic Relations - including divorce, custody, support and other family law matters.  

• Personal Injury - including auto accidents, slip and falls, product liability, wrongful death, malpractice and other types of injury cases.  

• Estate Planning - including will and trust drafting, probate and will contest.  

• Real Estate - including buying or selling real estate, foreclosure defense and landlord/tenant issues.  

• Employment Law - including wrongful termination, harassment and discrimination.  
To reach a lawyer after normal business hours, the CBA offers an On-Call service which provides callers’ access to attorneys in three different areas of law. You can reach a lawyer 24/7 for help with criminal defense, personal injury and family law matters by calling (312) 554-2001 or visiting lrs.chicagobar.org.