Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Feast of Corpus Christi - The Body of Christ

I had a perfectly lovely day with Miss Terry Sullivan. Together, we searched for hardware to fix her blinds and picked up another useful household item at Sears on 111th Street in Worth. One of the parts needed could only be found at Mount Greenwood True Value and so we hooked around back east.

After, finding the requiste blind fitting, we light- lunched at a new restaurant Joseph's* on 111th Street, The soup, salad and red pepper Italian sausage with garlic flecked bread was just the ticket.

I took a long stroll through Mount Olivet Cemetery** with the lady I love yesterday afternoon. Mount Olivet is a history lesson on the south side. It is one of the oldest Catholic burial sites in Chicago.

Mount Olivet brings together families and history. It contains the tombs of Chicago giants, like Monsignor Maurice Dorney, the King of the Chicago Stockyards; Michael Cassius McDonald, the founder of not only Chicago organized crime, but as historian Richard Lindberg reminds us, the Cook County Democratic Organization; the victims of the Chicago Fire and numerous Lake Michigan sailing wrecks, the bodies of strikers who fought for the eight hour day in Pullman and the Stockyard Strikes of 1904, 1912 and 1919; Captain Francis O'Neill, the Chicago Police Superintendent who meticulously preserved centuries of Irish music. There are gangsters and Carmelites buried close to one another, but the striking feature for me is the litany of familiar south side Chicago family names - Stanton, Parker, Sheehan, O'Donnell, Bransfield, Enright, Blakey, McAullife, McGrath, Dowling, Brackin, Nash, Burke, Cullen, Ahern, Capriotti, McNamara, Capangna, Casto, Gurgone, Pilon, Gately, Foster, Arneberg, Jennings, Donahue, Moriarty, Testa, Angone, Antonelli, Morganelli, . . . at one time Capone.

They are all brought together - living and the buried - at Mount Olivet,on sacred ground and our precious history. There are rolling hills and trees. Mount Olivet is a great meditation.

Today, is the Feast of Corpus Christi - The Body of Christ. We celebrate the union of God and Man in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on Calvary and especially in the transformation, consecration and communion of His Body and Blood in the Mass.
John 6: 51 - 58

I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live for ever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh."
The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?"
So Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you;
he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.
For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him.
As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats me will live because of me.
This is the bread which came down from heaven, not such as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live for ever."

There is much to remind us of others. I generally need a whack with a two by four between the eyes to snap me out of my contemplation of my navel. A stroll with one I love through Mount Olivet had a much more salubrious effect.

Joseph's Restaurant and Bar
3123 W. 111th Street, Chicago, IL 60655
Google Map
(773) 445-5637

Phone : (773) 445-5637
Email :

We are located on 111th street just east of Kedzie Avenue in Chicago - Mount Greenwood, IL

Mount Olivet Cemetery, 2901 West 111th Street
Opened 1885

Mount Olivet Cemetery was the first Catholic diocesan cemetery to serve Chicago’s southland. Established in 1885, the burial ground is one of the city’s most picturesque and was once located outside of the city limits. Catholics in Chicago were immigrants, and not surprisingly, city cemeteries reflect ethnicity. While there were German and Polish National cemeteries, the Irish tended to be buried in diocesan cemeteries. Mount Olivet Cemetery buried mainly Irish, reflected in its family plots and monuments of Celtic crosses and Irish names. Not surprisingly, a statue of St. Patrick is found amongst the graves.

Irish Nationalists of Chicago Obelisk at Mount Olivet Cemetery

Dedicated September 30, 1888

Rising 81 feet above Mount Olivet Cemetery is the first monument in America erected by the Irish Nationalists Society. In 1888, this Egyptian obelisk of Barry gray granite features a seven foot pedestal. At each angle are four Corinthian columns. The obelisk was erected in honor of those Irish patriot heroes who died in Chicago, yet had no family in their new country.

The face of the monument reads:

“Erected August 20, 1888 to the memory of departed brethren. God Save Ireland.”

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