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Good turnout for St. Francis of Assisi’s annual picnic

St. Francis Assisi Catholic Church OrlPark held its annual parish picnic Sunday. | AngelikLabno/For Sun-Times Media

St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Orland Park held its annual parish picnic Sunday. | Angelika Labno/For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: September 23, 2014 6:15AM



With cool weather and sunshine peeking occasionally through overcast skies, the conditions were just right for St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church’s annual parish picnic Sunday.

The Rev. Artur Sowa, who became the Orland Park church’s pastor in June 2013, appreciated the nice weather, which helped draw about 270 people for the picnic that began at noon with an outdoor Mass in a tent on the church grounds, 15050 Wolf Road.

Parishioners Jim McCormick and Laurie Arrendo, co-chairs of the picnic and members of the church’s social committee, as well as dozens of volunteers from its youth group helped organize the event and make it a success.

“This has been successful in bringing families out right before the school year, and every year it grows,” said McCormick, of Orland Park, who has been a St. Francis parishioner since 2002.

Food was supplied by Salina’s Catering in Tinley Park, and there were a pie-eating contest and pony rides for children. Live music was provided by Bernie Glim and the Country Roads Band, thanks to the donation of parishioner Ron Longawa.

There also was a grand raffle, a major fundraiser for the parish, and the winners will be announced Oct. 25. Those interested can still purchase the $100 raffle tickets online, after weekend Masses or from the parish office.

Henrietta Mazich, of Orland Park, a parishioner for 15 years, said this year’s attendance was the largest she has seen at the annual picnic.

“These days, people don’t get together as much, so this gets people together,” she said. “This is a great parish — the people are friendly, understanding, love to get together and celebrate. This picnic is evidence of that.”

St. Francis is a relatively new parish, founded in 1990 by Cardinal Joseph Bernardin and celebrating its first Mass in the new church in October 1995. It now has about 3,200 families.



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