San Rocco Oratory

of the Archdiocese of Chicago

Feb 25, 2006 Carnevale at San Rocco
Feb. 25, 2006 Carnevale at San Rocco Oratory, celebrated in the St. Anthony Hall.

The word
The word "carnevale" or "carnival" in English is "Meat-farewell." During Lent, people used to abstain from meat on weekdays; hence before Lent, they would celebrate.

Another image of the carnival.
The carnival in 2006 is well attended.

Vespers at San Rocco Oratory
Lucy Prisco is on the right, during Vespers, on Friday night during Lent

Lucy Prisco funeral
For the funeral of Lucy Prisco, the San Rocco Oratory was filled to overflowing.

Jeanette Dandurand, at the Lucy Prisco funeral
Jeanette Dandurand led the singing, at the funeral Mass.

Mary Jean and Sam Argento, at the 2001 ACP Benefit
Mary Jean and Sam Argento, at the 2001 ACP Benefit

May Devotions at San Rocco Oratory
May Devotions at San Rocco Oratory

 New stained glass window at San Rocco Oratory
July, 2006: New stained glass windows are installed at San Rocco, with the help of John and Jackie Graham.

Stained Glass Window of St Rocco, above the front door of the church
In storage since 1995, here is the stained glass window of St. Rocco that previously was above the front doors of the church. As of July, 2006, this window was installed at San Rocco Oratory, above the front doors.

2006 Centennial Entertainment
September, 2006: The San Rocco Centennial includes entertainment.

Over the three days, hundreds of people participate in the San Rocco Centennial.
Over the three days, hundreds of people participate in the San Rocco Centennial.

Jake and Thelma Biamont
Jake and Thelma Biamonte have a caricacture drawn.

Many eat and are filled.

Dinner outside, under the tent

Mims and Madeline Mancini
Mims and Madeline Mancini checking out photos of graduation classes from Mt. Carmel grade school.

Deacon Ray Deabel proclaims the Gospel.
September 10, 2006, Centennial Mass is celebrated inside the Oratory. As is customary in the Roman Rite, the deacon, Ray Deabel, proclaims the Gospel, while all are standing. (Because of rain, the field outside was muddy; we could not have Mass outside.)

Sept 10 Centennial Mass with Bishop Perry
Sept 10 Centennial Mass with Bishop Perry, concluding the Eucharistic Prayer: "Through him, with him, in him . . . " The deacon, Ray Deabel, elevates the chalice.

Communion at Centennial Mass
For Communion at the Centennial Mass, Father Ed McKenna (left) and Deacon Ray Deabel (right) assist Bishop Perry (center). As usual, the people receive Communion under both kinds. During Communion, two servers hold candles, as at the Gospel.

Deacon Ray Deabel, Bishop Perry, and Father Ed McKenna
From the left are Deacon Ray Deabel, Bishop Perry's assistant, Bishop Perry, and Father Ed McKenna.

Father Wayne Prist, in the center
Father Wayne Prist, pastor of Queen of All Saints, on the far north side of Chicago; he drove all the way down to Chicago Heights for the celebration.

Ken and Sue Ziccardi

Vivian Hapniewski
Onward, Vivian!

Choir, on Holy Family Sunday, 2006
Dec. 31, 2006: Holy Family Sunday. First row of choir, from left: Bev Green, Sharon Billo, Luisa Pizzoferrato, Raven Hodge, Mary Jones, Cesarina Planera, and Sue Baggio. Second row, from left: Celeste Jones (director), Frank Giobbi, Sam Ciambrone, Tom Planera, Rob Markionni, and Ken Ziccardi. Absent: Marty Bramlette Hesse (in Thailand); Nick Markionni and Carol Dallesandro.

[Jan. 1, 2006] Giovanna Locascio is baptized at San Rocco, the daughter of John and Maria [Pistone] Locascio, granddaughter of Giuseppe and Giovanna Incandela. 

[Jan. 10] With one preliminary meeting the previous December, a newly formed committee begins work on the 100th anniversary of San Rocco. The Centennial celebration is planned for September 8-10, 2006.    Nick Markionni and Ken Ziccardi assume leadership of the planning committee.

[Jan. 21] Madeline Buzelli is buried today from San Rocco Oratory, at 11 a.m., the usual time.  At 10 p.m. Father Gilligan says Mass at Seton Academy for a marriage preparation group meeting there.

[Feb. 7-10] The priests of this region [Vicariate VI/southern suburbs] are on retreat in Mundelein, Illinois, at the Stritch Retreat House.

[Feb. 10] Joseph Pagoria is buried today from San Rocco Oratory.  Committal is at Queen of Heaven Cemetery in Hillside, Illinois.  He is survived by his wife, Virginia, and three daughters.

[Feb. 20] Priests of the area gather at the San Rocco hall, named after St. Anthony, for lunch and a cluster meeting.  Carol Dallesandro and Priscilla Fushi prepare the food.  The Archdiocesan program  for group purchasing ("Resource Renewal Project") is introduced by the Coleman Group.  Local pastors of large parishes are especially interested in this program.  For many pastors, this is their first visit to the new San Rocco community.

According to a recent financial report, the Archdiocese of Chicago is saving over $400,000 per month, because of the Resource Renewal Project.  Parishes and other church groups, including agencies and schools, benefit through substantial discounts from major suppliers. 

[Feb. 25] On the grounds of the Oratory, San Rocco hosts a carnival, with dinner at 6:30 p.m. 

[March 1] For Ash Wednesday, there is a simple Liturgy of the Word, concluding with the imposition of ashes.  The Eucharist is not celebrated; today is a day of fast (from food) and abstinence (from meat).  Today, demolition work begins on St. Joseph Church, Chicago Heights.

[March 3] In the afternoon, Father Gilligan meets with Bishop Perry, to see how best to invite Cardinal George to preside at the Centennial Mass Sept. 10 or perhaps to come another day. If the Cardinal can't come, Bishop Perry says he will preside.  There is also some discussion of setting up a finance committee for San Rocco and for promoting "best practices," such as having two money counters each week, with a night deposit.

Also, this Friday evening, the Oratory begins its Lenten practice of Stations of the Cross, followed by Vespers.  This prayer continues every Friday during Lent.

[March 5] MacKenzie Kathleen Linzmeier is baptized, daughter of Brian and Renee [Fares] Linzmeier.

[March 7] Lucy [DiGiovanni] Prisco is buried today, from San Rocco.  She did much work for the Oratory, from its inception, including sacristy preparation and maintenance of the vestments and paraments.  She also helped organize the annual DiGiovanni reunion. Her widower is Mike Prisco, an usher at San Rocco; her grandsons, Paul and Nikko, serve regularly at Mass.

[April 6] St. Joseph's Church, just north of San Rocco, in Chicago Heights,  is fully demolished today. Father John Siemanowski, pastor of St. Agnes Church, Chicago Heights, says a prayer and speaks.

[April 11] Cardinal George presides over the annual chrism Mass at Holy Name Cathedral, concelebrating with priests of the Archdiocese of Chicago.

[April 13] Holy Thursday is observed with an evening Mass of the Lord's Supper.

[April 14] Good Friday is commemorated with a Liturgy of the Word and veneration of the cross.

[April 16] Easter Sunday is celebrated with great solemnity.

[April 23] Lena and Albert Fares celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary, with a special commemoration at Sunday Mass.

[April 25] A wake is held for Jerry Hesse, the husband of our organist, Marty Bramlette.  Many people from San Rocco drive down to Mattoon, Illinois, where the wake is held in St. John's Missouri Synod Lutheran church.    Father Gilligan stays overnight at a local motel; the next morning, as a member of the congregation, he takes part in the funeral, a Liturgy of the Word.


[May 15] Some San Rocco people meet, to discuss a finance committee for the Oratory.  Ray Grothaus comes in all the way to South Holland from Frankfort; he regularly submits reports and prepares the annual budget.

[May 17] At Infant Jesus of Prague church, Flossmoor, Illinois, we celebrate the funeral of Sam Argento.  He was a board member of American Catholic Press and a frequent visitor to San Rocco Oratory.  He also sang in the choir, in 2001, for the Mass  welcoming Cardinal George.  In 2003, he brought people to San Rocco, to join the choir for the funeral of Joan Termini. Sam is survived by his wife Mary Jean, his son and daughter, as well as a stepson, Father Brian Barker of the Diocese of Belleville, Illinois. 

Father Barker presided at the funeral Mass.  Both Bishop Perry and Father Gilligan also participated, as well as several of the younger priests whose seminary education Sam had sponsored personally. 

At 7  p.m. at San Rocco, we celebrate May devotions, with many songs in honor of Mary.  There is also a procession and a May crowning.

[May 20] Sarah Cameli of Yorkville is buried today from San Rocco.  Before she moved, to be closer to her family, she never missed Mass at the Oratory.  She was a faithful member of the community.

Sarah Cameli is on the left, in the Corpus Christi procession outside
Sarah Cameli is on the left, in the Corpus Christi procession outside the Oratory.

[May 28] Joseph Carlo Krumdieck is baptized, son of Stephen and Nickol [Fushi] Krumdick.  (The last names are indeed spelled differently.)  Uncle, Rev. Mel Krumdick, a Maryknoller, was present.

[May 31] Jeff Dandurand, 41 years old, is buried from St. Stanislaus in Posen, Illinois.  Jeff is the carpenter who build the choir platform, the steps under the statue of Mary, for guest choirs, and the mail slot for San Rocco Oratory.  He donated his labor for the latter.  Jeff died of pneumonia, at Oak Forest Hospital.   He was a conscientious and dedicated worker, liked by all who knew him. 

Jeff Dandurand, with his mother on the left and his friends on the right, Dawn and Carol
Jeff Dandurand at the 1995 ACP Benefit at Surma's Restaurant in Homewood.

Tim Woods directing the congregation
With the San Rocco Choir behind him, Director Tim Woods brings in the congregation. Jeff Dandurand built both the riser in the back, for the San Rocco Choir, and the steps on the right, under the statue of Mary, for the guest choir from Annunciation Byzantine Catholic Church. Both the riser and the steps are needed for the singers, so they can be heard.

[June 29] Edward Zarlengo is buried today from San Rocco.  He was the brother of John Zarlengo, whose company providied asphalt for the parking lots at the Oratory.

[July 18] Vincent Ramacci is buried today.  He was a member of the San Rocco Oratory family.  Vincent is survived by his wife Josephine and sons Vincent and David.  The funeral, with a Liturgy of the Word, takes place at Steger Funeral Home. Committal is at Skyline Memorial Park, Monee, Illinois.

[July 30] Gianna Marie Amadio is baptized, daughter of Tom and Allison [Hall] Amadio.  Father David Simonetti from Queen of Martyrs parish came in to preside at the baptism.   He is originally from Chicago Heights and is a friend of the Amadio family. 

Father David Simonetti
Father David Simonetti

[Aug. 4] Victoria Prospero is buried today from San Rocco.  Her surviving daughters are Carol Dallesandro and Priscilla Fushi.

[Aug. 20] The San Lorenzo Festival is celebrated, beginning with a street procession from the Amaseno Lodge.  Mass at San Rocco Oratory is at 11:30 a.m. today, with the Roman Canon in Latin and songs & prayers in Italian.  An overflow crowd takes part.  There is considerable feasting all day at the Lodge.

San Lorenzo procession
San Lorenzo Festival, with statues carried in procession of both St. Lawrence and St. Rocco

[Aug. 25] Father Gilligan bids farewell to Father Max Ssekiwala, who served as secretary for Bishop Perry locally.  Father Max came with Bishop Perry often, on visits to San Rocco. He will be returning to Uganda soon, to his home diocese, Kampala. 

[Aug. 31] The San Rocco Centennial committee meets again at the offices of the Wilczynski law firm in Chicago Heights.  Everything seems to be going well for the event.  There will be a commemorative book, with ads and a history of San Rocco.  There is also a special website set up, just for the centennial.

[Sept. 8-10] The San Rocco Centennial is attended by hundreds of people.  It is a great success, in every way.  Friday, there is a calamari dinner; Saturday, chicken; Sunday, pasta.   The centennial had excellent coverage in the Chicago Tribune article, 100 years of devotion, Sept. 8, 2006.

Our Lady of the Millennium is also enshrined in our grotto, for the third time, during the Centennial celebration.

[Sept. l0] At Sunday Mass, Bishop Perry presides over a solemn celebration of the Mass.  He also preaches.  Guest singers join the choir, from St. Anthony's in Frankfort.  As usual, the San Rocco choir sings several songs in four-part harmony.  To celebrate the centennial, there are many guests present, who grew up in the old San Rocco.
[Sept. 17] Anthony David Sebastian is baptized, the son of David and Susan [Napoli] Sebasttian.   David did much work in building and in remodelling the church building of San Rocco Oratory.   Susan's father, Anthony Napoli, is in charge of the Mt. Carmel Club building, just to the east of the property of San Rocco Oratory.

[Sept. 30] At Scrementi's restaurant, Giuseppe and Mary Pongelli celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary; they renew their vows there and receive a special blessing.  The food is good, too.

Justice Antonin Scalia, delivering his address at the ACP dinner Oct. 7, 2006, at the Flossmoor Country Club
Justice Antonin Scalia, of the United States Supreme Court, delivering his address at the ACP annual dinner.

[Oct 7]  At the Flossmoor Country Club, American Catholic Press (ACP) hosts a dinner honoring Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.  The Italian-American "Justinian Society of Lawyers" is present in strength; their president, Celia Gamrath, is the M.C. for the evening.  Justice Scalia is introduced by Professor Richard Michael of Loyola University and Justice Anne Burke of the Illinois Supreme Court.  Father Gilligan then gives the Gratiam Dei Award, ACP's highest honor, to Justice Scalia.  In acceptance of the award, the Justice  delivers a profound and fascinating talk on the religion clause of the first amendment to the constitiution.  There are about 300 people present, including Mayor Angelo Ciambrone and August Anzelmo.

[Oct 17] Rose Granno is buried at San Rocco.   She had become a Catholic relatively recently and was a faithful member of the Oratory community.  Her widower is Frank Granno.  Committal takes place at Lincoln Cemetery in Elwood, Illinois, near Joliet.

Confirmation of Rose Granno
It is the office of the bishop to receive baptized Christians into the full communion of the Catholic Church. But a priest to whom the bishop entrusts the celebration of the rite has the faculty of confirming the candidate within the rite of reception, unless the person received has already been validly confirmed. (RCIA, 481) Above, Rose Granno is confirmed, after her profession of faith and before her first Holy Communion as a Catholic. Her husband, Frank, stands directly behind Rose.

Rose Granno in 1004
Rose Granno, on the right, in 2004, when her grandson, Ray Thomas, was confirmed and received his first Holy Communion. Ray is third from the left.

[Oct 28] Silvia and Cesar Panici celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary at San Rocco Oratory with a Mass.

[Nov. 1] Mass is celebrated at 7 p.m. at San Rocco for the Feast of All Saints.

[Nov. 18] Albert Marconi is buried today from San Rocco Oratory.  He was a civil engineer for the City of Chicago Heights, for 29 years.

[Nov. 19] The soprano section of the choir is augmented by two Marian students, Mary Jones and, a little later, Raven Hodge. 

Tom Roeser
Tom Roeser, columnist for the Chicago Tribune

[Dec. 3] For the First Sunday of Advent, before Mass, Raven Hodge sings a prelude, "O Thou that Tellest Good Tidings to Zion," from Messiah by Handel.  Back in 2001, Angie Palanca sang the same song, in honor of Cardinal George, when he visited us.

[Dec. 8] At noon, Catholic Citizens of Illinois hosts a luncheon in downtown Chicago, with guest speaker Tom Roeser.  Back at San Rocco, Mass is celebrated  at 8 p.m., for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception; only about 15 people show up.

[Dec. 24] For the Fourth Sunday of Advent, we are blest with a guest organist and choir director, Greg Schmit of Homewood.  For many years, he was music director of Incarnation parish in Palos Heights.  The choir sings the Trisagion, We Look for Light, and Blest Be the Name of the Lord, as on the other Sundays of Advent.   Today, in honor of the Virgin Mary, the choir sings It Is Right and Just; the people sing Daily, Daily, Sing of Mary.

[Dec 25] With the help of Celeste Jones, substitute organist and choir director, the Christmas liturgy is a great celebration.   The choir does the Madrigal Alleluia for the Gospel procession, which today is especially protracted.  Two lay people help with Communion. The church is fillled for the Mass, with every seat taken.

Since 1997, Celeste Jones has directed two adult choirs and the parish choir at St. Damian's in Oak Forest; she has also taught at St. Cajetan's on Chicago's south side, where she was married in 1990.  Celeste has a degree in music education from Colorado State University.

[Dec. 25-Jan. 7] During the Christmas Season, our regular organist, Marty Kabbes Bramlette Hesse did musicological research, studying how elephants communicate over long distance, using very low musical tones.   Her two sons assisted her in this research, in distant Thailand.  Like the rest of the country, Bangkok, as Marty pointed out, is very safe and never has any problem with crime or terrorism

Jerry Hesse, in the center; Marty at lower right
Jerry Hesse, in the center; Marty Bramlette Hesse, at lower right

Jerry Hesse, on the right
Jerry Hesse, on the right

Visit to Thailand
Visit to Thailand by Marty Hesse and her sons David (left) and John (right) Bramlette.

Dinnertime, north of Bangkok
Dinnertime, north of Bangkok

Thailand citizen with two guests
Thailand citizen,giving a ride to two guests

San Rocco Oratory

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