For 60 years, the Mater Christi Parish Holy Name has not only survived but thrived. An integral part of the North Riverside parish and community, the men of the Holy Name Society can boast about being one of the strongest men’s groups within the area. Its focus has been spiritual in nature, but its camaraderie has been one of its strong elements.

The group has met monthly for those 60 years in the basement of Mater Christi School. The room at one time was called the Marine Room, mainly because then-pastor Father Aloysius A. Menarik was an avid fisherman. Adorning one of the walls was a large fish caught by the priest. Could remind one of a story from the Bible if you think about it.

The room is now known as Menarik Hall in honor of the late pastor. If you look at the walls today in Menarik Hall, you will find not only a picture or two of Holy Name members but a plaque bearing the names of all the past presidents of the organization.

Holy Name members over the years have been a blending of the younger members of the parish and the “older” men. Generations have been a force maintaining not only membership but good workers. Case in point, the Zdarsky family. The late George Zdarsky could be seen working with his sons, George and Michael along with son-in-law, Al Meyer, at many of the group’s events. He trained them well.

Aside from their monthly meetings, there is the annual smoker (just a name, folks), the limited raffle and of course the turkey shoot, where you don’t actually shoot a turkey, but you can win one (how many of us have spent money to win a prasky?). Proceeds from their events have gone to support needs of the parish while providing spirituality and friendship for its members.

Here to stay

You may have heard Pagani Hair Salon (formerly Basili’s) was closing their Riverside shop and concentrating on their Oak Park shop. Well, that’s not the case.

Owner Frank Paganis will be closing the Oak Park store and putting all the energy into the Riverside shop at 5 Longcommon Road. Established by Bill Paganis 33 years ago, father and son will continue to work side by side with their staff to make the shop better than ever.

According to Bill Paganis, “Who says a business can’t survive in Riverside?”

I would guess over 30 years is proof it can.

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