Despite being Chicago Catholic Examiner, my last few columns have had little to do with local events in Chicago. Don't worry though, I'm making up for it this week with two stories about Catholic events from my neck of the woods, namely southwest suburban Cook County.
The first is a particularly sweet experience. Sweet baby back ribs, to be exact. It's the 19th annual Rib Fest at St. Bernadette's Catholic Church in Evergreen Park, Illinois. This is my family's home parish, so it's certainly an event that is well known to us. I covered last year's Rib Fest in an earlier column, but much has changed this year and now it's even better. New to Rib Fest is a kids area (operating from 4:00—7:00 pm). It features a giant obstacle course, many new games, and a 3-person rock-climbing wall. For parents who want to bring their kids, it's $7 for obstacle course and unlimited games, or $12 for obstacle course, unlimited games, and rock-climbing wall. This year's Fest also features the rock band S.S. Funk, who will be playing free of charge from 7-11 p.m.
St. Bernadette's also has a brand new pastor for this year's Rib Fest. His name is Fr. Benedykt Pazdan, a young priest from Poland who was ordained in 2006. He was only named pastor of the parish a few months earlier, but he has already had a huge impact on the parish. Fr. Pazdan has also become a vibrant force within the Archdiocese of Chicago. He has quite a talent for playing the guitar, and also recently wowed Chicago's southside when he hosted the first ever Motorcycle Mass at St. Bernadette's. Even more remarkably, St. Bernadette's is the first parish in which he has served as the sole pastor. He was recently joined by a new deacon at St. Bernadette's, Deacon Kevin O'Donnell.
Continuing on from previous years, St. Bernadette's Rib Fest features a variety of foods, desserts, beer garden, split the pot, and of course, the famous Best Ribs Contest. Many tables will be offering various types of unique ribs and side dishes. There are various other surprises as well, such as the Knights of Columbus returning with their famous red pickled eggs for a second year in a row.
As a parish, St. Bernadette's has been around since 1955, but the Rib Fest has become one of its most iconic and memorable events. 19 years and strong, it is sure to be another crowd pleaser this year. Best of all, there is no admission fee to attend the fest! If you're from the southside and never been to the Rib Fest, give a try!
St. Bernadette Rib Fest
Date: September 7, 2013
Time: 4:00pm - 11:00 pm
Place: St. Bernadette Parish
9311 S. Francisco Ave
Evergreen Park, IL.
Featuring the Band: S.S. Funk (7:00pm - 11:00pm)
If you would like additional information, please contact Arlene Baumann by phone: (708) 422-6429 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org; or contact Andrea Gertonson at phone: (773) 680-4103 or email: email@example.com