West Town church celebrates 150 years

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A West Town church is celebrating 150 years this weekend and still thriving after surviving a long list of challenges. (WLS)

A West Town church is celebrating 150 years this weekend and still thriving after surviving a long list of challenges.

There was the Chicago fire, and plans to demolish the church to pave the Kennedy Expressway.

"This very church moved an expressway, the expressway wraps around the church," said Father Anthony Bus of St. Stanislaus Kostka.

There have been lightning strikes, and financial hardship. Yet Friday, there was so much to celebrate.

The church is home to the Providence Soup Kitchen, where volunteers come from throughout Chicagoland to feed the hungry five times a week.

"We all try to make them feel like they're home during this time they are here. And we give them all the respect that we can," said Sister Florine Licavoli.

And when the soul must be fed, that happens too.

"When it comes to faith, it's very touching," said parishioner Lillie Gonzalez.

Gonzales is not only a parishioner and a volunteer in the kitchen, she also has five children who go to the church's school next door.

The church is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for everyone.

"A sense of change to keep moving forward, despite obstacles of circumstances," said Elsie Guelespe.

And that's what they have done here, year after year after year.

"It's so nice to know that we're one big family," said Sister Licavoli.

Cardinal Blase Cupich will be celebrating a special mass on Sunday at St. Stanislaus Kostka for the 150th anniversary.

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