- In an effort to get to know Chicago's suburbs better, WBEZ sent us to visit Cicero this week. The idea was to follow our curiosity and find a story.
We started our day at St. Mary of Częstochowa, a traditionally Polish parish founded in 1895.
- The church has a special emphasis on the Polish "Black Madonna," one of few in the area.
- We asked the priest to explain a little about Our Lady of Częstochowa.
- The priest told us that the parish isn't actually majority Polish anymore. The changing demographics of Cicero have led to 60% of the congregation being Latino.
- Services are now conducted in English, Polish and Spanish.
- As we were leaving, the priest introduced us to a parishioner who was stopping by to work on an interesting project. Mary Warchol was joining her cousin to photograph the old convent building before renting it to a group that houses immigrants awaiting their legal status.
- We thought this sounded like a great story, so we asked to tag along with Mary. Here are some photos of the convent building.
- As the ladies took their photos, they told us a lot about the history of Cicero.
- Warchol told us about Western Electric, the Hawthorne Works and their connection to the Eastland Disaster in Chicago.