A day in Cicero

WBEZ sent Lewis Wallace and Andrew Gill to visit Cicero and find a story. Here are the results of their trip.

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  1. 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.
  2. The church has a special emphasis on the Polish "Black Madonna," one of few in the area.
  3. We asked the priest to explain a little about Our Lady of Częstochowa.
  4. 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.
  5. Services are now conducted in English, Polish and Spanish.
  6. 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. 
  7. We thought this sounded like a great story, so we asked to tag along with Mary. Here are some photos of the convent building.
  8. As the ladies took their photos, they told us a lot about the history of Cicero.
  9. Warchol told us about Western Electric, the Hawthorne Works and their connection to the Eastland Disaster in Chicago.