Mayor Daley should help the poor, even if they are not related

Michael McDonough gave some money to a lady that was in need downtown Chicago today. This lady had no friends and family with millions of dollars of profitable contracts with the City of Chicago. This lady had no friends to take Mayor Daley to see the world and stay in the best hotels. Mayor Daley lives like a king and the subjects starve. If this lady was related to Mayor Daley she would be in European palaces with four star services. America was founded by doing the right thing, have we forgotten? If the Chicago economy gets any worse, we all might be in the same boat. Please help the needy in Chicago! Photo by Patrick McDonough.

25 Replies to “Mayor Daley should help the poor, even if they are not related”

  1. Thanks for helping to address the plight of the needy and the homeless Pat. Because even all of the bought off black alderman and community activists no longer care that daley is trampling on the poor and forgotten. I personally tithe at least 25% of my income to help alcoholics and drug addicts whom I counsel to in the inner city. I am paying to house an ex-crack addict in a halfway who had a child born with cocaine in his system. I have been working with her for over 13 years now, and I am happy to report that she is over three years clean and she has custody over her little boy Tommy. Yes beautiful things do happen in this city but unfortunately we have to take matters in our own hands. Now when daley was planning on tearing down Cabrini green and throwing all the tenants out on the streets and out of the city, how hard would it have been for him to set up an organization to purchase all the land on and around Cabrini green and have the developers in that organization make small salaries to build all the new high price housing and donate all of the profits back to fund a super organization that would use all the profits to help with affordable housing elsewhere in the city and also set up mental health and drug re-hab centers to help the poor and addicted. That money could have went to help people like the mentally ill homeless woman who was being thrown off of the bus the other day and wound up tangling with a Chicago police officer who sadly lost his life over the matter. These powerful city and state politicuans are in a position to create enormously great and saint like programs to enrich the lives of those desperately in need. On Ashland and North avenue is a homeless black man who had part of his right foot cut off probably due to diabetes, and he is in constant pain now for the past two years just hanging around that area on one crutch with his foot severely infected and half bandaged. These politicians do not care and it breaks my heart every day. Please go to this blog of mine and you will see his picture at the top of the page. . here is another blog of mine which you have helped to inspire and I have dedicated a link to your site in the upper left hand corner. Thanks

    Read this Trib article about the new public housing buildings that were supposed to be done in 10 years is now over 15 years behind schedule.
    The link is below. Now with fuel costs more than quadrupled in the last 8 years O’Hare airports 25 billion dollar re-building is still on course. Daley’s 600 million dollar park got built. The 4 billion dollar Olympics is still on course. And yes it will end up costing 4 billion dollars or more not to mention displacing more working class people to do it. When Daley wants something done he is a mover and shaker who can get it done. He does not want the poor and the blacks in this city. If he cared he would get public housing built and finished like he said he would, In this tribune article he is blaming the bad real estate market for public housings 15 year delay in building. but he has no excuses why his other massive projects cant get done in this bad economy. he is getting them done. And Jessie jr. and sr. are laying around with socks in their mouths. they don’t say a word anymore about how their precious black people are being stepped on. well they are being destroyed by daley and no-one is their to defend them anymore because daley has bought these black leaders off by giving their families jobs and contracts. Even the black church leaders keep their mouths shut because Daley gave them all a few parcels of taxpayer owned land. I’m not gonna go on anymore about this shameful situation. It clearly speaks for itself.,0,3182591.story

  3. One quick point about the deceptive media. Barack Obama is 4 or 5 points ahead in all the liberal media polls. Interestingly CNN reported a poll yesterday that showed that 48% of Hillary Clintons primary voters said they do not plan on voting for Barack Obama. If 48% of Hillary supporters do not favor Obama then how can he be up by 4-5% in all the polls. The lies and the cover ups that the media put out as polls and stories are just so fabricated you cannot believe any thing in print anymore. The politicians and the media have one thing in common, they play us as being really stupid people.

  4. It seems this blog owner is obsessed with Richard Daley. Because he was partially wronged by his deparment but yet got a 6 month suspension everthing in the world is related to and Daley and he is to blame fpr every problem.

    You use homeless, your and other children, other innocent city employees, their families and harrass them, members of the public and other individuals just becuae you cant deal with your own issues.

    You claim to be a member of the press but yet you dont report the news you become the news. You your sons and a former city employee dont make up a protest in Evanston. You report to be meeting with people but it is photo opportunities.

    You make statement on your blog with out laying a foundation, then you attack any one who does not agree with you. Again you, yes you harrass city employees and try use FOI just because you cant deal with your own issues.

    Finally adding up all of the repeated posterd on you blog add up to 50-75 pissed off people who also cant deal with their own issues.

    I have simple solution, it called see a theripst and spear us your crap. Deal with your own issues Pat.

    (Response) Please continue to enjoy this work!

  5. TO “obsessed with Daley”. We are the people who have the decency to speak up and try to help the little guy whom is being tormented and ripped off by this current administration. Pat got fired for exposing corruption in the Daley administration. Pat had to fight to get his job back and feed his kids at the same time. Pat won a court victory as being unjustly fired for being a whistle blower. Lets see you get fired by Daley if you work for him and see how you feel when you cant feed your wife and kids. Pat is exposing the fraud, waste and corruption at Daleys city hall, and I know that you know darn well that Chicago taxpayers are being ripped off. We need people like Pat, because without them, we would’nt own the clothes on our backs.I think you well understand where people like Pat are coming from, and of cousre myself too. My grandfather and my great uncle were precinct captains under Daley Sr. my grandmother cried when Daley Sr died. I was a big supporter of this current mayor daley until his policies ripped me off, and yes he ripped me off! I am party to a class action lawsuit against the city of Chicago for theft!

  6. re obsessed with daley

    The only foundation needed to be laid is one thick enough, wide enough, deep enough and remote enough to put daley and his many coconspirators in.

    I have a simple solution.

    A massive epidemic of stroger-strokes, experienced only by those who’ve been, are, and will continue to be, the thieves, frauds and lying pieces of subhuman refuse infesting our city, county and state governments.

  7. Hey Pat,
    I read these stories that Tom Ryan writes on chicago clout, he reminds me of Wayne Strnad !!! Which is a good thing, Wayne Strnad is a well educatated person,
    A Professor !!! But I will not go into that at all. I suggest Pat sets up a meeting with this Tom Ryan and Wayne Strnad !!! Even I mite show up to this meeting!!!

  8. America 2008: DESPERATELY we need less Daleys and more Pat McDonoughs

    “Honesty is the best policy.” Wow, what sage advice that indeed is!

    There are certain truths you can whisper to certain confidants but don’t just say it around Chicago to just anybody and don’t write it down on paper or broadcast it over the internet. For example, Daley is a jerk, everybody knows it. However don’t say it in public. Don’t say it because we need him to not hate me or punish me financially ($-It’s all about money,yes-$) or because we need him in office as mayor because we don’t want a stranger in there.

    We sit here on the precipice of electing a marxist as POTUS because Daley has assisted robustly in talking the Illinois political elite into lying. Double-talk and lying is the name of the game. Just say anything. This Machiovellian game has now been fine-tuned across the U.S.A. The modern-day Machiovelli who assisted teaching this nefarious double-talk to liar Daley is the same person who is now treacherously ushering the marxist into our White House in D.C. The spin master, or master of deception, or idol maker, or campaign manager, or whatever term you choose…liar would be best…is David Axlerod.

    Get a sharp guy or a wisenheimer such as Axlerod, and take a dumbed-down over-fed electorate which spends too much time on sports or at the mall, watching painfully vulgar TV or eating bad chemicals from McDonalds, and we can collectively dumb ourselves down even further yet with cutting edge precision from image maker Axlerod. That is, cutting edge high tech precision from sound bites, commercials, bumper stickers, rallies, concerts, comedy shows and many more creative ways. Worst of all is media.

    The most devilish tool in our day today is one that has been honed to zenith level. That tool has been labeled many things, including, perhaps the best and simply put, “lying”. It’s what politicians do – they lie. As the lie is as old as the serpent and Adam and Eve, I like a couple of new terminologies that have been coined in much more recent years. They connote a sense that the old old lie has been made much more modern. It’s been advanced. Politicians have gotten this lie business fine-tuned into a darn science. Two of the aptly, smartly named terms in my opinion are “verbal engineering” and “subversion of language”.

    Again, it’s just a lie. The same old lie which is the dirtiest thing in the world – the lie. Lies bring us all down. The lie since 1973 has been “choice”. We were told by 5 fools that our constitution gives pregnant mothers the private right of choice to allow her baby to be born or to kill it. It became her choice. “Choice” sounds so nice.

    The weirdest lie going today is that a male can marry a male, and a female can marry a female.

    I don’t get it, you don’t get it, but we don’t supposed to get it. We supposed to just accept it. Don’t talk about it. Just shut up. Well you can whisper it to certain friends but don’t go around in public, in our “free” America, and say that it’s kind of strange that our children’s books are now going to be revised in government schools to explain that marriage is a man and a man becoming intimately and sacredly joined together or likewise a man and a woman becoming intimately and sacredly joined together. It’s all the same is what our children are now being taught. “Whatever” is key and a crucial word employed today in the lie business. “Whatever” sounds so nice and easy. Doesn’t it? Oh whatever.

    We’ve allowed this extreme dumbing-down of our culture in our U.S.of A. We’ve simply allowed it. I said “simply”! Through our deafening silence and refusal to push back against the minority extreme fringe of nut balls, we’ve allowed this. As the nut balls pressured the politicians into giving them their way by the threat that the nut balls won’t vote for them, the rest of us – oh just about only 90% – have been cowardly virtually silent.

    We have abdicated our civic responsibility. We are freaks who are actually petrified to utter an independent thought from the heart in public, from fear that John Daley may try to take your plastic garbage can away.

    Oh sure we know it’s more than that. It might be a $150,000 a year job or a contract to sell food or liquor at a lucrative profit, or a deal to sell widgets overpriced to a dumbed-down town. So, ok, the question becomes then, “Where do we draw the line?” Actually we should back up in order to be very honest and precise so there is no wiggle room. Politicians hate a state of no wiggle room, but what we are trying to do here is get everything out into the open – clearly, no fuzziness. So then the 1st question is “Do we even draw lines?”

    “Do we even draw lines?” means does there come a point that a man says I can’t justify my silence while our nation turns from freedom to bondage, solely because that silence gives me money…or the much stronger rationalization “because that silence gives me money to raise a happy healthy American family”. Can we start to see a picture emerging here? One may get a huge clout with the government giving them oodles of cash, and in exchange for the cash, that now rich person who raises a family, must pay fealty to the politician’s commands, demands, whims, deals with the nut ball fringe, etc. The now rich man must obey. The now rich person must shut up. The now rich person must march to the orders of a filthy dirty politician. The now rich man must follow and capitulate to policies. Now we are talking about a person promoting policies which are 180 degrees counter to his deepest held convictions and philosophy of life!
    Diametrically opposed is what we are talking about now. We’ve people who foster, condone and promote policies into our culture which are diametrically opposed to what they believe is good for their healthy happy American family.

    For example, you think abortion and homosexuality, as noted above, are bad things to promote. Furthermore, you also think that the following are bad…real bad : A pimp politician telling me that I can’t protect my law-abiding American family with a gun in my home, my house, while crack dealers right around the corner are carrying loaded guns ready to fire; a power-drunk government putting up red-light cameras, sending me $100 tickets later in the mail after the fact with no opportunity to explain; hiring a man because his skin is black or because he’s a Mexican instead of hiring on merit, thereby utterly cheapening and lessening our society’s entire reputation and quality; a poltical mafia taxing me into poverty and insanity, giving that money to his rich elite mob pals and to illegal immigrants who’ve invaded our U.S. of A.

    Do you draw lines? If not, you’re an admitted communist. If you do draw a line, where do you draw the line? When do you say to yourself “If I continue to support, in any way, the Rich/John/Mike/Bill Daley liberal democrat political party mafia which runs (ruins) Illinois along with Mell, Madigan, the Jacksons, Burkes, Strogers et al, including most importantly the lying “American” media (Times,Trib,TV,etc), ‘I am a coward’ ”?

    It seems to me there is no intelligent reason to be a coward. It seems to me one can have a government job, a contract, a business license, and even general political clout, and still be a conservative. You can be, act, and vote as a conservative for American conservative government and still have the right to life , liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Just take comfort in the Declaration of Independence and our United States Constitution, instead of some power-drunk anti-American and anti-Christian named Richie Daley from Bridgeport, Chicago.

    Ready to draw a battle line? Do you have to vote for the marxist for president because that marxist will deflect the massively serious investigation into Daley’s huge crimes and abuse of public trust, and in turn your family can continue to benefit from Chicago’s political mafia? You can continue to sell America out in the false guise that you are just a family man.

    You can vote your family easy money and an easy life by voting for a marxist for POTUS (and leader of the free world) who wants to teach your precious children that a female can marry a female and raise children.

    Yes you can vote for people who are completely against your short life’s strongly (strongly?) held convictions/beliefs/values…for money…out of cowardice…afraid of confrontation.

    A secret ( I think it’s sort of a secret ): You may now vote against Daley & company, and work against the Daley mafia, and publicly speak out openly and loudly against this despicable government mafia, and nothing bad will happen. Nothing bad in the long run. If you get pressured by this despicable political mafia, just call the authorities; the Constitution is on your side. Honesty is indeed the best policy. Our constitution is on your side. That’s what America is.

    Carl Segvich
    Independent Republican Committeeman

  9. The truth of the matter is Patrick Mcdonough was living outside of the city limits in clear violation of city employment policy, while Pat was a happy city employee he said nothing again NOTHING about city corruption, Pat pissed someone off that knew about his living outside of the city limits and that person dropped a dime on Pat, When Pat got fired for his CLEAR VIOLATION of city rules he went into action, (I DO NOT BLAME HIM FOR THIS) and he dropped a dime on the city corruption, which by the way is still happening, one of the things a contractor doing water main work for the city has to do is use those same hired truck companies to haul away the spoils, I would respect Pat Mcdonough 100% if he had dropped his dime while not being in any trouble with city policy at the time he made his phone calls.

    (Response) You have your facts incorrect. Long before any investigations started, I worked hard to get us out of the dirty trucks we were forced to ride in, have you forgot? Shoring also in 2000? Do the math!

  10. Why does not Pat file an FOI with the Human Resouces Board and see how many cases the Cty haswon and lost on residency in the last 10 years. Those cases are hard to prove andthat is why he was fired? I believe he won at the HR Board and not in court. But at last I am sure he was singled out for his property (outside Chicago)? because of his political views?

    Now he and his few followers harrass hard working city employees and supervisors who do there job. Pat could not get a job as a reporter on a high school paper.

    How about this what is up with that property in (outside chicago) anyways?

    (Response) Please do not knock my writing skills. Daley owns property in Michigan you idiot. Many city workers invest in real estate.


    PHOTO: Chicago Ald. Ricardo Munoz – 22nd Ward

    Alderman’s father pleads guilty in fake ID case

    BY NATASHA KORECKI Federal Courts Reporter
    The father of Ald. Ricardo Munoz (22nd) pleaded guilty this afternoon to snapping photos used to make up fake IDs for illegal immigrants.
    Elias Munoz, 63, of Bloomingdale, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring with others to make and sell phony driver’s licenses and other identification out of his photo studio, Nuevo Photo Munoz at 3105 W. 26th Street. Prosecutors say he was part of a $3 million annual fake document operation.
    Prosecutors said he operated his business out of the Little Village Discount mall since the early 1990s, often trying to recruit customers by calling out random passersby.
    Ald. Munoz has said he is estranged from his father, who has six children ranging in age from 13 to 46. Upon learning of charges against his father last year, Ald. Munoz stated: “Adults need to be held accountable for what they do.”
    Munoz’s plea means he is now a convicted felon and will likely be deported after he serves out his sentence, U.S. District Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer said. Munoz, who faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine, is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 24.
    Munoz was arrested in 2007 as part of a large-scale false document scheme that brought charges against 23 others.
    Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle Nasser Weiss said Munoz ran his photo business seven days a week and collected $300 daily in cash on average to provide the photos for phony documents. He ran the scam from 1994 to 2007, she said.
    At one point, he told Pallmeyer: “I wasn’t doing anything illegal because all I was doing was taking photos.”
    But Munoz admitted he knew the photos were used to make up phony documents.
    “It all depended on what the customer wanted,” he said.
    Munoz refused to comment while walking out of the building alongside a family member.
    But Munoz could be overheard lamenting about his sentencing date. “I have to wait until September?”


    Making fake ID’s for illegal aliens to rip off the government, this fake ID ring also was connected to murders and other crimes! Way to go Mr. Alderman! Your old man is just like you… a sneaky thief and crooked asshole!

  12. To Obsessed:

    There were over 1400 people by your estimation that also couldn’t deal with their own issues that filed Shakman claims.

    I was one of the top recipients.

    The only “issues” that I have are related to a poisonous work environment created by nefarious misogynists and politically connected individuals who lack empathy and seem to enjoy hurting people.

    None of you can take a stand on your own and lack the moral fortitude to discern right from wrong.

    Pat wasn’t “partially wronged” by his department. Those are weasal words to sugercoat that he was targeted for termination by corrupt fetid individuals.

    Your moral “foundation” seems to be askew if you want to protect people who commit illegal acts.

  13. To scrootined

    Many of the names on the Shakman list have a history of filing claims of other types of discrimination at the Federal Courts, arbitrations or other forums and not prevailing. Many others were current or former employees who were disciplined and that discipline was up held by third party arbitrators.

    Now those same employees file claim under political discriminiation but unlike the courts or other forums, the monitor does not even look into the City of Chicago side of the claim even it was already heard in another forum like federal courts.

    So congradulation on getting tax dallors. I find it morally and ethically wrong for someone to use the same incidents and claim different types of discrimination until they hit the jackpot.

    Just like the top winner Jay Stone. I went to school with and know Jay Stone. He could not win an election if he had an army of patronage workers working for him.

    So why not donate your money to a morally right cause like the charity of your choice.

  14. The problem isn’t necessarily patronage, it’s the lack, on the part of many of those advantaged by patronage being the worst bunch of unappreciative, disrespectful, low-life, ignorant pieces of shit to be imagined.

    In the old days, if you were fortunate enough to be blessed with connections that gave you this advantage, you showed how much you respected that, appreciated that and honored that by NOT BEING AN ASSHOLE, by doing the BEST job you could possibly do, because you would be ASHAMED to do any less, to dishonor those who trusted you to appreciate and value that advantage.

    What’s been lost is the deeply felt sense of GRATITUDE that you had for the immense good fortune to HAVE a job, and a good one, a VERY good one, one that most of your neighbors and fellow city and county residents likely could never have.


    You HONORED THAT, by, once again, NOT BEING AN ASSHOLE.

    No more.

    Nowadays, it seems like ONLY assholes enjoy the, in the past, appreciated and worked for, advantages of clout, without having a clue as to why they SHOULD BE ASHAMED for treating said advantages like so much dogshit.

    It’s because clout is now being abused by so many, undervalued by so many and thought of as a cocksure birthright by so many that these present day assholes think that the benefits they get from ‘having clout’ are ones they DESERVE, which is, by no means or measure, the case today.

    Old man Daley EARNED and BUILT the clout he had, but his demented offspring, as well as many others, were HANDED IT.

    That’s the difference between then and now.

  15. Obsessed it was asked on the claim form if the case was ever heard in another forum.

    Ms. Brennan had my documents pertaining to my EEOC claims. In particular, I brought up not being selected as “Acting Foreman” in 2002.

    Why didn’t the City turn over the clout list to the EEOC in 2002? Maybe they were hiding something?

    When I wasn’t allowed to “act” as foreman, I thought it was gender bias.

    My then supervisor stated directly to me that it was politics that drove the selections. The men who were selected were related to elected officials.

    I wrote and asked about the criteria necessary for the position. The written response that I received, from a Daley appointee, stated that the “best candidates were selected.”

    That was patently untrue.

    I had more education than both of the men selected.

    They were related to elected officials and I was not.

    They systematically prevented me from competing legitmately for the job by placing me in marginal assignments.

    Soon after the inquiry, I was subjected to heavy discipline.

    The City claimed to be an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer and signed the Shakman Decree prohibiting political promotions. How could I differentiate whether it was gender bias or politics given the information available at that time?

    Employees who had their claims heard in other forums weren’t aware that a secret clout list existed until the Sorich case.

    Why should the Monitor believe anything the City puts forward? They lied and stated that promotions were merit based when they were not.

    Furthermore, I do not like my tax dollars going to support and defend people who violate civil rights laws.

    I don’t enjoy paying my taxes so clout cronies can rake in overtime while other workers starve. They have the innate knack for ending up on those easy assignments as well.

    I don’t enjoy paying my taxes so the special people can push paper all day, surf the net, do crossword puzzles, make phone calls and drink coffee while thier co-workers bust their behinds to cover the work that needs to be done.

    I don’t enjoy paying my taxes to promote people who lack ability for the position.

  16. Carl segvich, I am always interested in reading what you have to say. You seem like a man of very sound mind. I really wish more people were of our concernedness. Alderman Corothers(hope it’s spelled right) said in todays article that he was going to grill Jody Wies about all the violence in the black neighborhood. It’s ashame how even the black alderman look the other way as to what the real problems are that underlie the violence. All their nieghborhoods are gentrifying and there is no more structure or programs put in place to deal with the issues of disfunction inthese poor peoples lives. The city’s policy seems to be to just bulldoze these people out of there by not making them feel welcome nor give them anyplace to go. The public housing rebuilding is purposely 15 years behind schedule to force these people to flle and get cozy in the burbs with their section 8 vouchers so they won’t want to come back to Chicago. The city boots these poor peoples cars, taxes them like mad and they become poorer and more frustrated on top of having high gas prices and food bills which have gone up over 30% in the last two years alone. So instead of properly addressing the issues at hand, the alderman and the mayor play slight of hand illusion on the people and let them think that the police superintendent is to blame for all the violence. And the police superintendent is going to react by getting tough and pressuring the police officers who in turn will feel more pressured to get tougher and more violent with the people on their beat. The answers are there but everyone chooses to steer the blame and not address the issues at hand the way that they should be addressed. Because to treat these people more decently during these neighborhood transitions will cost more money, and spending more money means slowing down mayor Daley’s legacy dreams of a shining city on a hill.

  17. I just wanted to let you know that the person in your photo has been offered help. There are underlying problems to every homeless person you see. No one can force these people to get help. You can thank all the rights activists out there who don’t want the homeless’ rights invaded upon. The ones who actually live on the streets need more than just a roof over their heads. I sent you an email so please check it out.
    (Response) I got your e-mail thanks

  18. scrootine

    You just proved the point

    The EEOC reviewed your case and what the city presented and I am guess dismissed your case. Did you then file suit?

    Now you claim the same set of facts and use political discrimination. This time the judging body, the shakman monitor does not even look into the City of Chicago side.

    If you go to the monitor website and read how cases were reviewed, she takes into account if a name appears on the so called clout list. If the names does appear then it is held against that individual and help the person filing the claim.

    ..News Flash a number of those names on that list were appointed to Shakman excluded position which means politics could play a role.

    In addition I like to find out if the monitor look at any of these other forums.
    I think not. I have a co worker who was in the lowest tier who got $$$ for facts that were dismissed by a federal judge as frivilious and this employee owed the city legal fees. Now the monitor just takes this person side and gives them four figures in $$$$.

    Just because a person has been a ong term employee does not make you more qualified. How has your work been, how has your attendance record been?

    However thank you, you just proved my point.

  19. ummmmmmm Patrick, you are avoiding my question. At any time during your city employment, did you live or have you lived outside of the city limits, in violation of city policy??? welllllll?
    (Response) I am a resident of Chicago! You know it so why do you ask? I love Chicago, but Daley and the corruption has to go!

  20. On Immigration, Folk Beliefs, and the Rationalization of American Catholicism

    “Pagan! Heathen! Idolator!” These were among the epithets hurled at the Italian immigrants around the turn of the century. In addition to being viewed as potential mafiosi or anarchists, the sons of Italy had the further onus of being regarded as the bearers of anti-Christian beliefs and practices. The “Italian Problem” in its religious manifestation had been discovered by American churchmen, both Catholic and Protestant, well before 1900. In the following decades much energy, money, and ink were expended in efforts to find solutions to this “problem.” What exactly was the nature of the Italian Problem? With few exceptions, American Protestants and Catholics agreed that the Italian immigrants were characterized by ignorance of Christian doctrine, image worship, and superstitious emotionalism. In short, they were not true Christians.

    Thus begins Rudolph Vecoli’s masterful essay on the evolution of Italian folk religion in the American immigrant experience, the full text of which can be found via this website. The recently deceased scholar argues in this essay that the religion of southern Italians was seen as a threat not only by American Protestants, but also by the predominantly Irish Catholic hierarchy itself. Even within the Catholic Church, immigrants from southern Italy were seen as barely Christian crypto-pagans whose festivals, folk practices, and devotions had to be curbed to agree with the ethos of northern European religion. To this day, this struggle for Catholic assimilation colors attitudes of the present society towards the new wave of Catholic immigrants.

    Vecoli paints a rather colorful picture of the Catholic religion coming out of the southern part of the Italian peninsula. Devotion to saints, folk healing, and protection against such preternatural ailments as the evil eye governed the psyche of the the Italian peasant or cotadini. Since life was often nasty, brutish, and short, religion was often seen as protection against forces that could harm you by invoking forces that could protect you. People had spiritual “home-remedies” in this regard now denoted as “benedicaria”, which often involved the invoking of certain saints along with other rituals. For more severe problems, one went to the most powerful magician of all: the priest. Protection against misfortunes, curses, and divine retribution were thus first and foremost on the religious minds of the Italian cotadini.

    Vecoli summarizes the inner life of the Italian peasant in this way:

    The folk religion of the contadini was no Sunday affair. Rather, it was a total system of beliefs and practices, a “sacred cosmos,” in Thomas Luckmann’s sense of the domain in which “both the ultimate significance of everyday life and the meaning of extraordinary experiences are located.” Judged by the criteria of depthof conviction and emotional intensity, certainly the piety of the peasants were real. Their religious faith was not abstract, intellectual, or individual; rather, it was concrete, emotional, and communal.

    It is this sacred cosmos that the immigrants brought with them when they got off the boat on the shores of America. It proved, however, to clash with Protestant and Irish Catholic ideas of reserve in expressing religiosity and the relationship between religion and the modern world. Of Protestantism, little needs to be said: for them, the new immigrants were pagans who paraded their idols through the streets. For Irish and other Catholics, however, co-habitation with Protestants both here and in the the old country proved to be a tempering element in some of the more atavistic elements of traditional Catholicism. The Irish in particular were heavily influenced by the Jansenist movement in France where its clergy were often trained which frowned on such practices. The cult of the saints was more reserved, festivals less colorful, and more “pagan” rituals that would shock non-Catholics had long since fallen into disuse. Vecoli recounts one incident pious extremism in a church on the East Coast:

    Alfonso G. ——, about 45 years old, had been imprisoned on a very serious charge, and was then acquitted. After having been set free, he was fired at five times, but escaped unhurt. On the 29thof May, 1898 at 9 o’clock Mass, barefooted, on his knees, with his tongue on the floor, he dragged himself up from the main church door to the sanctury (sanctuary?)railing, in fulfillment of a vow for deliverance, acquittal, and escape, through the intercession of S. Mary Magdalen, who, he said, appeared to him in the prison the night after he made the vow . . . and bowed to him, as if to say, “Thy request is granted.”

    This form of penance, lingua strascinuni (dragging tongue), was also practiced in Italy.

    To this saint-worship and other extreme practices, the American Catholic hierarchy aimed to integrate the Italians into the mainstream of Catholic culture. Often, this resulted in the outright refusal of the American clergy to preside over the festivals of popular Italian saints so central to the immigrants’ religiosity. As Vecoli writes:

    While the Protestant reaction was predictable, one might have expected a more sympathetic response from the Catholic Church. The bigotry of the American Catholics, however, equaled if it did not surpass that of the Protestants. No doubt the Italians failed to measure up to the norms of American—that is, Irish—Catholicism. The American Catholic was above all supposed to be respectful and obedient toward the clergy, faithful in attendance at Mass and in partaking of the sacraments, and generous toward the Church. Judged by such criteria, the Italian was no Catholic at all. Rather, as certain Irish priests declared, his religion was all emotionalism and external display. The feste of the Italians particularly scandalized the Irish Catholics. Strenuous efforts were made by the bishops in various dioceses to suppress the street processions, but to no avail. If denied the use of the church and the offices of the priest, the society would erect an altar on a vacant lot and hire a Protestant minister or defrocked priest to deliver the homily. Yet the threat of Protestant proselytizing and schism forced the Church to moderate its opposition to the peculiar piety of the Southern Italians.

    Even imported Italian priests from the northern half of the peninsula accused the religiosity of these immigrants as being, “a pagan survival with only a change of idols”. American clergy of Italian descent were often employed to diminish the extreme practices of their flocks, condemning very openly at times the feasts of the saints. In return, they were accused of being “secret Irishmen” trying to infiltrate their communities.

    Folk belief in such things as the evil eye also continued to prevail in the minds of many Italian immigrants. Often curses could still be put on people from across the ocean, as was the case of a mother who put a curse on her son in Chicago from Calabria for having married against her will, causing his first born to die in the womb. Amulets against the evil eye were very much still in use, and stories of ghosts and witches still haunted the imagination of the newly arrived ex-peasants.

    Eventually, growing educational levels due to the establishment of the parochial school system, modernization, and inevitable assimilation began to diminish the power of the “old religion”. While Vecoli concludes that the Italians were never quite “made Irish” in the twentieth century, he notes that there was a significant reduction in traditional religious practice in most places. Suburbanization, the emptying of ethnic ghettos, and the generalized secularization of the Catholic Church’s practices at the Second Vatican Council also meant that the Italian immigrants became less and less “Italian” and more American. To a certain extent, the Catholic Church remained “Irish” in its overall tenor.

    Vecoli ends his essay by reasserting the rationalistic character of American Catholicism:

    The study of the fate of Italian folk religion provides an illuminating perspective on the history of the Catholic Church in America. In this light, the Church emerges as one of the major agencies of “Americanization,” pursuing the objective of total, if gradual, assimilation. Early in this century the American hierarchy appears to have espoused the managerial ideology of seeking optimum institutional efficiency through the standardization of the religious behavior of all Catholics… Ironically by allying itself with the forces of rationalization and bureaucratization, the Church facilitated the process of secularization which has eroded so deeply modern man’s capacity for religious faith. The Italian immigrants brought with them an ancient religious culture, a Mediterranean sensibility pervaded by mysticism and passion. The American Church rejected this gift, to its and their great loss.

    Such conclusions could be conceived as meditations on what occured in the past, a nostalgic reflection of what we once were and how things could have been different. My own thoughts when reading this essay, however, landed closer to home in my own childhood. Southern Italian peasant religiosity and the sentiments of Mexican Catholics are often quite similar and we share as well many practices that northern Europeans would consider extreme. It was very common in my church growing up to see Mexican men and women walk up to the sanctuary on their knees, and I did this myself many times. An apparent allegiance to saints over and above anyone else was also something I saw, particularly towards the Virgin of Guadalupe.

    Other immigrant groups, however, also share this more “primitive” attitude towards the Catholic religion. To witness this, one need only visit such conservative parishes such as Our Lady of Peace Shrine in Santa Clara, Ca., where most of the parishioners are immigrants from the Philipines and India. Their attitudes towards the statues of the saints and Our Lord would be seen by some as outright pagan, and their religion might be deemed as being one that is devoted to mere externals. The questions at the core of Vecoli’s essay as to the nature of Catholicism are still alive and well in many parts of the Church in this country. Continuous waves of “brown” immigrants are still changing the face of American Catholicism, even if Vatican II could be deemed a mass “Americanization” of the Church on the international level.

    My own sentiments lead me to be quite skeptical of the attempts at the modernization of Roman Catholicism. In general, the objectors to the traditional religion of the Italian peasants were often either advocates of secular modernity or those who had been contaminated by its prejudices. The Irish, though putting up a brave fight to preserve the Faith of the their Fathers, inevitably adopted many of the attitudes of their oppressors and the Jansenist clergy who had trained them. When faced with a Catholicism that was untouched by the polemics of the Reformation, they felt that their co-religionists would endanger their psychological security in the face of a hostile Protestant environment. The main problem, echoing Vecoli, is that modernity had lost the traditional language of religion, its symbols, passions, and rituals. When faced with it in the persons of the “brown” immigrants, they were left with no other choice but to bring the newcomers over to their side. Inevitably, the general result was that they did not turn the Italians into good Irish Catholics, but that the descendants of the Italians, as well as of the Irish and other immigrant groups, wandered into the wilderness of secularized American religion, and thus in many cases lost the Faith altogether. The vital question remains if more recent waves of immigrants will follow this same route.

  21. ERRRRRR you did it again, answer the question, I know you now live in the city, but…….even better question…….have you ever resided outside of the city limits while you have been employed by the city??? yes or no
    (Response) Give a real name and e-mail and I will tell you the truth. And while you are asking for a honest answer, please tell me Patrick Daley’s cut in Chicago business!

  22. Re:”…into the wilderness of secularized American religion, and thus in many cases lost the Faith altogether. The vital question remains if more recent waves of immigrants will follow this same route…”

    It’s highly likely that they will INDEED unfortunately go that secular route.
    Just look at the trajectory.
    They become political democrats. Democrats’ religion is secularism.
    The gov’t gives stuff to unwitting folks for free for votes.

    Don’t have to wait to see what happens.
    It’s happening. Just look now!
    It’s happening now.
    Everything is paved with gold in America and immigrants can get anything for free from the nanny state.
    Otherwise good catholics come here and join liberal new religions, vote for killing of defenseless babies and so on it goes.

    The nanny state is in , the real God is out.

    Vote for Daley

    Carl Segvich
    Independent Republican Committeeman – 11th Ward

  23. Will Rich Green and Tommy Talley ever go to jail for their wrong doings?? Daley also knew of his sons involvement in that company, I seem to remember he said his managers are responsible for their underlings misdeeds, so is he responsible for his managers misdeeds? Patrick all I want is the truth

  24. Patrick you can answer Kevin’s question now about living outsde the city now or next time you are under oath in your lawsuit.

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