Photography with a neighborhood dimension…

Blessed Jurgis Matulaitis, MIC

On Tuesday, January 27th the Catholic Church both universally and in particular the Lithuanian Hierarchy commemorate the Memorial of Marian Archbishop Jurgis Matulaitis, MIC. Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Shrine Parish in Chicago’s Marquette Park community joins with all Lithuanian parishes throughout the world in prayer for the canonization of this saintly man; the Renovator of the Marian Congregation of the Immaculate Conception. His ministry here in Chicago is still alive and well on the Marian Campus in the West Lawn community where the Lithuanian newspaper DRAUGAS is still published…let us join in prayer for that final miracle to bring this man to sainthood…

Francis Cardinal George, OMI blesses the mosaic and relic of Blessed Jurgis Matulaitis at Nativity BVM here in Chicago…

Blessed Jurgis Matulaitis, MIC with Francis Cardinal George, OMI

Saint Casimir Motherhouse

The Sisters of Saint Casimir Motherhouse remains dark and desolate today…all of the 66 Sisters have left for the Franciscan Village in Lemont…they left Venerable Mother Maria Kaupas, SSC entombed in the Chapel wall…wonder what she thinks of all this…the empty buildings that Father Staniukynas helped purchase for the Sisters; and over 35 years the lack of even one vocation to the congregation! The Marians (Congregation of Marians of the Immaculate Conception) have thirty young men in formation and continue to minister to the Lithuanian community through the Lithuanian newspaper DRAUGAS which is on the Marian campus in Chicago’s West Lawn community…

Saint Casimir Motherhouse

Farewell Luncheon

Farewell Luncheon

At a farewell luncheon held today at the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish Hall, 6820 S. Washtenaw Avenue here in Chicago…Sister Regina Dubickas, SSC, the General Superior of the Sisters of Saint Casimir gave the sad news of their departure from the motherhouse in the Marquette Park community for the Franciscan Convent in Lemont. The future was not painted bright for the Saint Casimir Motherhouse. The facility is large and there seems to be no takers for the property. The 200 seat renovated chapel with the entombed remains of the congregation’s foundress Servant of God…the Venerable Mother Maria Kaupas, SSC remains a big question mark for the Sisters. The campus also includes a chaplain’s residence at 68th and Rockwell together with a Lourdes Grotto; and numerous Lithuanian statues and Crosses throughout the property. The final contingent of Sisters is to leave at the end of the year. Sister Regina Marie said it is the Cardinal’s intention that if no Catholic organization assumes the property…everything must be dismantled…including the stain glass windows. The Ad Hoc Committee on Lithuanian Concerns, chaired by Juozas Polikaitis have had a few meetings with the nuns and discussed the establishment of the Lithuanian archives…museum and Lithuanian cultural schools for the older part of the motherhouse building. With the appointment this Fall of a new Archbishop for the Chicago Archdiocese more options might become available.

A Sad Farewell…

A Sad Farewell...

The Sisters of Saint Casimir will say goodbye to the Marquette Park community that was their home since the their arrival in 1911. The St. Casimir Motherhouse was purchased by Rev. Anthony Staniukynas (whose statue stands in the front of the motherhouse). The future of the Motherhouse complex and campus is still unclear… as is the fate of the Venerable Mother Maria Kaupas, who is interred in a wall crypt in the 200 seat convent chapel. The Sisters will be relocating to the Franciscan Sisters Motherhouse in suburban Lemont. The Farewell Mass will be at on Sunday, June 22nd at 11 am at the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish with a dinner following in the parish’s social hall…

Patrolling the Neighborhood…

Patrolling the Neighborhood...

The Chicago Police Bike unit patrolling the Marquette Park neighborhood last Thursday stopped by briefly at the Illinois Police Reserve (IPR) headquarters at 2735 West 71st Street (708-572-IPR1). The securing of alleys and gangways between buildings is a smart tool for the Chicago Police and any security service that patrols neighborhoods. This is being used by the Special Service Area on Pulaski and 63rd Streets. Foot and bike patrols help prevent crime from happening … and as a matter of fact discourages it. Welcoming the unit is IPR Commander of Media Affairs Joe Kulys…