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St. John Brebeuf Celebrates Polish and Irish Heritages on Same Night

With The Lira Singers is Father Michael Meany, right, Music Director Marek Rachelski, second from right, and Maine Township Supervisor Carol A. Teschky who is Polish stopped by to welcome the group.
With The Lira Singers is Father Michael Meany, right, Music Director Marek Rachelski, second from right, and Maine Township Supervisor Carol A. Teschky who is Polish stopped by to welcome the group.
The campus at St. John Brebeuf (SJB) Parish in Niles was a busy place on Saturday, March 8. With its parking lots filled to the brim, SJB hosted Polish mass followed by a stunning concert by The Lira Singers, a nationally renowned performing group of singers and dancers of traditional Polish music.

At the same time, SJB was hosting the Annual St. Patrick's Day dinner of the area Knights of Columbus for several hundred people from surrounding parishes. The traditional meal of corned beef and cabbage was topped off with Irish dancing and several rounds of raffles for cash and prizes. The famed Shannon Rovers pipe and drum corps also performed.

The Polish concert was the latest in a series presented by SJB's Music Director Marek Rachelski as part of the parish's celebration of its 60th Anniversary. The celebration started last year with a string of events including an outdoor mass, picnic, gala dinner and a rousing Christmas concert of Handel's Messiah conducted by Rachelski.

SJB's multi-year outreach "To Teach Who Christ Is" has involved surrounding parishes and community in general. The efforts have welcomed many back to the church and exposed non-Catholics to the range of groups, ministries and education available at the Niles campus. For example, as a good neighbor, the parish created a first-time outdoor ice skating rink on its school grounds during Catholic Schools Week earlier this year to the delight of area residents.

A recent speech from Patrick McCaskey of the Chicago Bears ownership family packed the house to hear what his Catholic education meant to him.

More concerts and parish activities are scheduled for the coming months. For information about SJB, visit wwwsjbrebeuf.org or call 847-966-8145.


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