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Need increases more than tenfold at St. Rita

As we continue to move toward a life more as we knew it, let’s look at how one leader in our neighborhood is taking matters into his own hands during this pandemic.

That leader is the Rev. Homero Sanchez, pastor of St. Rita of Cascia Parish. During a normal pre-pandemic month, the parish would see maybe 40 people coming to their twice-a-month food pantry. Now as much food as he can garner is given out every Sunday and the amount of people waiting in line has reached over 500. Yet Father Homero and his fellow friars and the Augustinians-in-formation continue to give as much as they can.

“Many people have lost their jobs. People are hungry. People are in need,” he said in an interview this past week. “They are worried. They don’t know what will happen the next week. So we are serving as best we can.”

Where does he get the money and food to do this? As word has spread, donations have come in from parishioners and other folks. Father Homero then uses that money to buy fresh produce. Other organizations have donated food. Some of the benefactors have included Who is Hussain-Chicago, Supermercado Sanchez, La Galera, Sisters of St. Casimir and St. Columbanus Parish. But every week, more is needed.

“It is so sad. The coronavirus has put so many at risk. They had to come in this horrible weather just to get food,” he said of the crowd on the 17th. “We invite everyone in need–wherever you live, whoever you are. If we can help you, you are our brother and sister and we are trying to do the best for you.”

If you can help Fr. Homero in his mission, please visit the parish website at parishstrita.org.

Now it is quite likely that during your free time over the last couple of months you changed some things around in your house. If during this time you found yourself with furniture or general housewares no longer of use to you, the question arose – what to do with it while waiting for donation sites to reopen? Here is some good news for you then. The Chicago Furniture Bank helps out folks in need, those down on their luck, perhaps victims of domestic violence that need to set up housekeeping on very little money. They will accept donations now and even pick them up for a small contribution to the bank. The contributions pay for the cost of pick-up. They do not accept clothing or knick-knacks, but will take items such as mirrors, pots and pans, glassware and lamps. For more information and a complete list of items they can accept, call (312) 752-0211.

Next let’s find out who won our Maria High School Loyalty Song contest. The first graduate to call in with the full lyrics was Mary Lou Barrett, Class of ’69. Mary Lou remembered that the song was penned by Sister Bernarda.

Close behind Mary Lou was Clarice Kovitch, Class of ’67. Clarice remembers singing it at her 50th reunion in 2017.

The winner receives a gift card to one of our most popular restaurants, Garifuna Flava, donated by Greater Southwest News-Herald Editor Tim Hadac. Congratulations!

Many thanks to Sister Elizabeth Ann Yocius, SSC, for her help in supplying us with the correct lyric and refrain.Ê

Here it is in its entirety:

Hail Maria High School, wave your gold and blue

Your fair and loyal daughters ever will be true

Your silver portals beckon, your gleaming cross points the way

We love your name, we’ll bring it fame, Maria, we proudly say:

Maria High School, Maria High School,

Tribute to Heav’n’s fair Queen

Maria High School, Maria High School,

You’re the fairest of all we’ve seen

We love your banner, we’ll do it honor,

We’ll cherish the gold and blue

From our loyal hearts we’ll always shout,

Maria High, we’re true to you!

When last we left 1980, we were going grocery shopping. Our destination was 5821 S. Kedzie. Where did we go? Sandy D. was the first to call with the correct answer: Meyers Super Foods. She remembered right away because her mom liked the store and sent Sandy there with her siblings quite often to pick something up. She must have really liked it, too, because Sandy told me they lived all the way over on Talman! Remember their slogan? Wise Buyers Shop at Meyers.

Here’s one to get you thinking: Forty years ago, what was the name of the True Value hardware store at 3414 W. 63rd St.?

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