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Chicago Heights: A Proud
Polish American Sister City
Chicago Height, IL- From a parish priest to bishop, cardinal and pope, the native son from Wadowice, Poland, Karol Wojtyla, on April 27, 2014, reached the summit of the Roman Catholic Church. Pope John Paul II became Saint John Paul II to the world.
A capacity crowd of local citizens of all faiths gathered at a special city council meeting in Chicago Heights on May 5, 2014 to recognize the canonization of John Paul II, born in Wadowice, a sister city to Chicago Heights since 2001.
In photo above: Pictured (L to R): Barbara Pawlowski, Elizabeth Sadus, Eugene Sadus, Lorraine Kozlowski, David Gonzalez (Mayor of the City of Chicago Heights)
Attending the council meeting were leaders of various Polish clubs and organizations. Representatives included: The Polish Roman Catholic Union of America District 9, The Polish American Club of Chicago Heights and auxiliary, the Polish Falcons of America Nest 42, The Polish National Alliance Lodge 590 and The Polish American Community Fair. The Chicago Heights-Wadowice Sister Cities Committee organized the event.
On behalf of the city council, Mayor David Gonzalez read and presented a proclamation to the Chicago Heights-Wadowice Sister Cities Committee congratulating the City of Wadowice and honoring Saint John Paul II.
Eugene Sadus, committee chairman, addressed the council and audience with regard to Chicago Heights’ relationship with Wadowice and how proud knowing it is the birthplace of John Paul II. He also said that the purpose of a sister city relationship is to promote goodwill and understanding among cultures and to create world citizenship among nations.
Wadowice became a sister city to Chicago Heights on April 22, 2001 and is one of five Polish sister cities in Illinois. On February 17, 2003, a part of Chicago Road (IL Rt. 1) in front of City Hall was named Honorary Wadowice Way.
Sadus introduced former mayor Angelo “Sam” Ciambrone, mayor at the time Chicago Heights-Wadowice sister cities program was established. Ciambrone spoke of his visit to the City of Wadowice in April 2001 to sign a reciprocal agreement officially establishing the relationship between Chicago Heights and Wadowice. The trip included a visit to Pope John Paul II’s home (birthplace) museum and the church where he was baptized. Ciambrone said “It was an awesome experience, one that I will never forget.”
During the week following John Paul II’s canonization, the Polish flag waved proudly alongside the American flag in front of city hall in recognition of the city which gave birth to the most influential and beloved leader of the 20th century, now and forever, Saint John Paul II.
Submitted by Eugene Sadus
Chairman, Chicago Heights – Wadowice Sister Cities Committee