Chicago Tribune from Chicago, Illinois on October 22, 1978 · 22
Get access to this page with a Free Trial

A Publisher Extra Newspaper

Chicago Tribune from Chicago, Illinois · 22

Publication:
Location:
Chicago, Illinois
Issue Date:
Sunday, October 22, 1978
Page:
22
Start Free Trial
Cancel

r jTht jty)Q" iitt i l ' I i i ' 'i ' ' ' l " 22 Section 1 Chicago Tribuna. Sunday, October 22, 1878 MB Chicago's community often ignored in the past ope: Rallying point for expatriates . By Michael Hirsley PERHAPS THE HUB of Chicago'! first Polish community the triangle surrounded by Milwaukee Avenue, Ashland Avenue, and Division street symbolizes the way that ethnic group has been stereotyped. The triangle is functional but not flashy. Young trees stand in a geometric pattern, seemingly an afterthought to beautify the concrete island. It has a subway station and sheltered bus stops to accommodate workers, but has no monument to commemorate the hardworking Polish community that took roots there. Alhough tens of thousands of Polish-Americans have passed over the triangle, they have not left their mark on it. IT ALSO HAS been that way In a larger sense. Because they haven't been militant, vociferous, or charismatic, Chicago's Polish -Americans have been largely ignored. Now they are in the limelight. The selection of Karol Cardinal Wojty-la of Poland as the first non-Italian Pope in more than four centuries is fo- " f if t f " 'm i- ...is. : i- . ... 'A. V 1 iv :xww . . Trtpurw Pnoio by jonn Bardev Helen Zielinskl, president of the Polish Women's Alliance: "Everybody around here is thrilled about the new Pope. I think it may ease the political situation with the Communist government in Poland." cusing attention on Polish communities around the world. Chicago is the third largest of those communities. Only Warsaw and Lodz, Poland each with more than one million in population are larger. THE CHICAGO ROMAN Catholic Archdiocese, which includes Cook and Lake counties, is the largest in the United States. The archdiocese's largest ethnic component is Polish. There are 2Vi million Roman Catholics in the archdiocese, its office estimates, 1 million of whom are of Polish descent, and 850,000 of whom live in Chicago. This is how some members of that community accepted the news of the Pope's selection and tried to put it into perspective with their lives and Chicago heritage: "The selection of a Polish Pope could unify the Polish people remaining in the old neighborhood here, and could bring some who have moved away back for cultural activities " said the Rev. Donald Bilinski, director of the Polish Museum of America at 984 N. Milwaukee Av., three blocks south of the Milwau-kee-Ashland-Division triangle. "If this had happened years ago, it might have slightly stemmed the exodus of Poles from this area." AS FATHER Bilinski walked through the tidy old museum building owned by the Polish Roman Catholic Union, one of the city's three largest Polish-American civic groups, he sadly noted the chang ing neighborhood and times. "We have to keep doors locked here now," he said. "The museum has been robbed, windows broken, typewriters stolen. . . . One of the women who works here was mugged." The museum is a few blocks south of -the office of Daily Zgoda, a Polish language newspaper, and the Polish Women's Alliance office, both of which are about to relocate. He said he didn't know the museum's future. "We have a cluster of five Polish parishes within a few blocks here, but hardly any congregation," he said. "One of those churches, St. Stanlislaus Kostka, once had a congregation of 50,000. Can you believe it? "Museum visitors, especially from out of town, often ask; 'Where is Chicago's famous Polonia community?' I have to tell them, 'It's gone.' " THE COMMUNITY'S largest leadership group, the Polish National Alliance, with more than 300,000" members and a $147-million insurance company, moved from the old neighborhood to 6100 N. Cicero Av. two years ago. Al Majewski, president of the alliance and its national umbrella group, the Polish-American Congress, said the office move followed his personal move from the old neighborhood. Citing the PNA's meetings with lawyers to see if they could sue producers or distributors of the move, "The End," Majewski said Polish-Americans have experienced "polar emotions" in recent weeks: "One minute we're feeling as low as . ever because of a movie with Polish jokes so vulgar and vile as to defile our national anthem. The next minute, the Pope's election is one of the happiest, most rejuvenating emotions I've ever seen in the Polish community, city and suburbs. TED PRZYBYLO moved his residence and White Eagle restaurant to Nilea 12 years ago, when rioting flared among Puerto iticans in the Humboldt Park neighborhood where he grew up and had two restaurants. He still has photos on his restaurant wall from Cardinal Woj-tyla's visit there two years ago, and can point out the table where he sat. "His becoming Pope is the greatest surprise we've ever had," Przybylo said. "It's great for our pride." Noting that the large lunch crowd eating beef and gravy, broiled chicken, sausage, noodles, and pastries was subdued, Przybylo explained, "Most of these people are here from funerals or graveside visits. It's a tradition to invite friends to a restaurant after a funeral rather than go back home." His restaurant at 6839 N. Milwaukee Av. is across the street from St. Adalbert Cemetery, a historic plot to which Poles from the old neighborhood made all-day trips to bury their loved ones in the early 1900s. PRZYBYLO IS PART of a sizable Polish settlement in Nlles. He's moved from the central city, where his father worked in a razor strap factory. His daughter, Althea Przybylo-Kroger, moved to Vermont with her husband and successfully ran for state legislator. If his daughter helps Przybylo see the ' future, his mother, Caroline, 86, keeps him in touch with the past. Although Przybylo has bought her a home near his in Niles, she insists on attending church every Sunday back at St. Helen's parish, at Augusta and Western avenues. ALEXANDER STARSIAK'S mother, Mary Huczek, 77, is much the same. Starsiak still operates the clothing store his father founded in 1916 on Milwaukee Avenue, across from the triaro-gle. But Starsiak has moved from the apartment building nearby where he grew up. He now lives in the Sauganash , neighborhood near the new Polish National Alliance office. But his mother won't join the family. She lives in a Chicago Housing Authority home for the elderly near St. Stanis laus church. "She was suffering from malnutrition earlier this year. We took her in and fed her for a few weeks," Staralak said. "But as soon as she got better, she wanted to go back to the CHA home. She said she missed Bingo, Bunko, and other church activities." HELEN ZIELINSKI, president of the Polish Women's Alliance, which is preparing to move from 1309 N. Ashland to Park Ridge, said, "Everybody around here is thrilled about the new Pope. I think it may ease the political situation with the communist government in Poland." A hopeful sign, she said, is that she's telephoned friends in Poland who've told her they got government permission to go to Rome for the investiture. Mrs. Zielinski also will be there. HISTORICALLY, CHICAGO already had become the informal capital of Polonia in America by the time World War I brought an end to the initial Polish immigration to America. At that time, there were 250,000 Polish-Americans, Polish civic organizations, and four daily Polish language newspapers here. During the Civil War, cavalry officer Peter Kiolbassa organized the St. Stanislaus Kostka Benevolent Society, which built the first Polish parish church in 1871 at Noble and Bradley Streets. Noble became the "Main Street" of Chicago's first Polish community, and the Milwaukee-Ashland-Division triangle was its business hub. BY THE TURN of the century, St. Stanislaus Kostka's congregation had reached 50,000. A second church, Holy Trinity, was built two blocks away on Noble just to handle the overflow. The second large Polish parish and neighborhood in Chicago was St. Adalbert's around 17th Street and Paulina Avenue. Prior to World War I, three other large Polish parishes and communities developed in Bridgeport, near the Union Stock Yards, and in the Hyde Park area around 79th Street and the lake. The Rev. M.J. Madaj, archdiocesan archivist and historian, said that prior to World War I, second-generation Polish youngsters grew up in neighborhoods where English was seldom, if ever, spoken. They went to parochial schools until 7th grade, then went to work because their families needed money. Between the wars, more and more Polish youths went to high school, but few went to college until after World War II. That was also when Polish families began selling properties they had scrimped to buy in the city and moved to new homes in the suburbs. r i i "" . ... .- y m h I - . In Krakow, even atheist glows with national pride Tribune Photo by Sully Good At the Polish American Museum at Milwaukee Avenue and Augusta Street, tour guide Henry Cygan examines an exhibit. "We have to keep the doors locked here now," says museum director Rev. Donald Bilinski. noting the changing nature of the neighborhood. "The museum has been robbed, windows broken, typewriters stolen. . . ." By Jim Gallagher Moscow corrssoondent Chiago THbgnf Prtol Stfvtc KRAKOW, Poland It's not easy to spot but there's a small photograph of Poland's latest hero attached to the statue of port Adam Micklewicz which dominates the town square in central Krakow. A young coed strolling through the square Thursday evening spotted the photograph of Karol Cardinal Wojtyla, who is now Poj John Paul II, and started to smile. "There's been a fire burning in my heart ever since I heard the news," she said. "I feel so proud to be a Polish Catholic. And you know what? I think God has given us this Pope because we remained faithful to him in the face of communism. We held firm and are receiving a rich reward." ALL AROUND the town square that evening, in the restaurants, discotheques, book stores, and side-streets, people were talking about the new Polish Pope. "He confirmed me," said a pimply faced engineering student . named Robert. "But I guess now he won't be here when I get married." "Sensational, sensational," said the cashier at the cafe in the basement of the castle clocktower on the edge of the square. "I've known him for years, and he's a saintly man." "I'm an atheist," said 24-year-old Ta-deusz Noga, operator of an electronic amusement center called the Flipper Club. "But even so, I'm very happy, After all, I'm a Pole, am I not?" A RETIRED FACTORY worker named Andre boasted that the new Pope had baptized his son 22 years ago. The son, now a strapping soccer center, smiled sheepishly and fidgeted with hii denim cap. "When the news was first announced," another student recalled, "the . church bells ell chimed and we all came to the square. It was probably the most exciting time of my life." Excitement, jubilation, pride, and patriotism: these are the emotions the people of Poland show at the selection of one of their own as Pope. All across this Communist governed country, word of Wojtyla's elevation to the papacy has led to public, although restrained, rejoicing. And it has stimulated secret yearning that having a Pole in such a prestigious position will create more problems for the country's Communist rulers, who are bending over backward to accommodate the Catholic Church and the 85 per cent of the population that belongs to it BEYOND THAT people wonder whether a Polish Pope will somehow lessen the leverage exercised over this country by the Soviet Union. "Did you see the skimpy message of congratulations Brezrhev sent?" a Warsaw office worker asked. "I'll bet it killed him to do even that much. Maybe in the future the Russians won't take us for granted so often." A young girl sipping soda said, "between the new Pope and Zbigniew Bre-zezinski, maybe Carter will get up the Continued on page 23 HMfMlMlaj LuJ O yU UUXJEJ U S3U ULZZ3 j j ui, .tunmmtm I. Ill " T , --TIlllMTfr-llir - " 11 ' FATHER MADAJ, who works at St, Mary of the Lake Seminary in north suburban Mundelein, has followed somewhat the same route as he described. He didn't hear or speak much English until he was 7 years old, when his family moved from a strictly Polish neighborhood. His father worked, as Ted Przyblo's had, in a razor strap factory. His mother scrubbed floors in Loop office buildings. An initial effect of the new Pope's election. Father Madaj said, is that "non-Poles, particularly in the media, are interested in the Poles." "I don't know the long-range effect, particularly in Poland, where I've heard Cardinal Wojtyla speak out against the government for harassing church-goers. But here, I think it gives Poles a breather from Polish jokes, and encourages the Poles. One man's charisma can rub off on a whole nation's image." LAST 2 DAYS Get a head start on the holidays now during Wickes' special weekend of values! Bring in these coupons, take home savings on every item in every department ... brand-name dining rooms and dinettes, living and family rooms, bedrooms and bedding sets, chairs and recliners, modular groups, occasional tables, desks, wall systems, sofa-sleepers, lamps and accessories-everything! Coupon savings apply to our regular low prices. Take your purchases with you, or we'll deliver for a slight additional charge. And remember, you can charge it at Wickes! Coupons good only thru Monday, October 23, 1978. Find even GREATER SAVINGS on selected pre-marked merchandise... of course, coupons do not apply! Good thru Monday, October 23rd. SUBJECT TO ILL SALES TAX ON REG. PRICES COUPON WORTH $ on any 75-200 purchase COUPON WORTH $ on any 201-MOO purchase Good thru Monday, October 23rd. Good thru Monday, October 23rd. COUPON WORTH $ COUPON WORTH on any 701 -'900 purchase f ys. ffl 4 on any I C jar uWJk zjjtllj 4oi-7oo I ff mJlf I mjr XS purchase I , -mmr ; . j. Good thru Monday, October 23rd. Goed thru Monday, October 23rd. COUPON WORTH COUPON WORTH " yffH onany V!! hTh ""any ' Hll JliLJJ 901-1400 l!OlIiJP ,"01-,175 U jpr igpr purchase Id mjf SJSr purchase-Good thru Monday, October 23rd. Good thru Monday, October 23rd. I 1 COUPON WORTH onany 17S1-2200 purchase Good thru Monday, October 23rd. COUPON WORTH on any purchase over '2200 Good thru Monday, October 23rd. "WE! ""IPS I Charg.it! II I Vjk III "II, With any of Bu, i - jnyo"ooi these cards. I V, "i. x f Wwjgj TMOWNPl.tl S f5 twnjg t L y. rip The Wickea Promise of Satisfaction includes rtlutn privileges I! you r, not happy with your furniture whenNyou get It home. Wheeling- on Dunaee oefeen Hie. S3 and AWinue Ave. fRre 45). Phone. 541-4800 mice: use dd hiohway 53 enff Irving Per Rd.. or 7ftornaale eif of 1-90-53. Phone: 773-2210 HmdlWillowbrook: Kingsry Rd.. junction of f-55 and Rte 03. Phone-654-88 10 Harey- Halsted al ina intersection of Tri-Sfale Tollway. Phone- 3f 2-596-2200 Merriflvi'le. Indiana: al Intersection 1-65 ana U S. 30 across from Soufhlake Mall, Phone-219-738-2(40 Open Monday thru Friday 10-1, Sarorriey 10-i. Sunday 1 1-t Wickes Furniture

Get access to Newspapers.com

  • The largest online newspaper archive
  • 20,900+ newspapers from the 1700s–2000s
  • Millions of additional pages added every month

Publisher Extra Newspapers

  • Exclusive licensed content from premium publishers like the Chicago Tribune
  • Archives through last month
  • Continually updated

Try it free