I Am Grateful For All My Generous Gifts

Real Estate Agent with DFW FINE PROPERTIES 0506509

St. Stanislaus Kostka Church, built in 1867 is the church where my grandparents belonged when they immigrated to America before the first World War. They were part of the first wave to America from their country. It is still an active church and was the first Polish Catholic Church in Chicago. My grandfather served during the war in 1917 until 1919 in the United States Calvary of the mounted force of the United States Army. After being honorably discharged after the war, my grandparents married in St. Stanislaus Koskta Church. The home where they lived was taken away by eminent domain to make way for the Northwest Highway, which was renamed the Kennedy Expressway. It was unannymously voted on by the Chicago City Council to change the name on November 29, 1963, seven days after President John F. Kennedy was assasinated. 


This is the Church where my Mother and Father were married after he was honorably discharged from the United States Navy. Other relatives were also baptized, married, and had funeral services in St. Stanislaus Kostka Church. I was baptized in this beautiful church and it is where I was married with a long, long bridal wedding dress train. I also graduated in white cap and gown from St. Stanislaus Kostka High School before getting married. The High School is no longer there.  This is my final entry for the 2023 Thanksgiving Challenge hosted by Debe Maxwell, CRS. I am grateful for the generous gifts God bestowed upon me and my family.


For my father who taught me freedom does not give me the right to do whatever I please, I am grateful.


For my mother who constantly reminded me freedom comes from understanding there are limits to what I can and cannot have, I am grateful.


For the spouse I married inside St. Stanislaus Kosta Church, after he was honorably discharged from the U.S. Army, who helped prepare me to understand living in moderation is all I need before passing away, I remain grateful.


For my children who accepted me for who I am and what I could give them, and never ended up in trouble, I am grateful.


For the people who I misunderstood until they showed their true colors and gave me the freedom and the courage to let them go, I am very grateful.



For when my soul cries out to God, I pray: Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, and the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference, I humbly remain eternally grateful.



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MBA (University of Dallas)
(Bachelors of Arts & Science)
Paralegal (Southeastern Career Institute)
Associates (3) (College of Lake County)
KU (University of Kansas)


CRS (Certified Residential Specialist)
SRES (Certified Senior Residential Specialist)
PSA (Certified Pricing Strategies; Mastering the CMA)
CRS (Certified Military Relocation Specialist)
RENE (Real Estte Negotitions Expert)

"With self-discipline most anything is possible." --- Theodore Roosevelt 





Comments (24)

Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Patricia. St. Sanislaus Kostka Church is certainly visible to those traveling on the Kennedy Expressway to this day. Knowing a bit of its history from someone who was a member gives me goosebumps. Thank you. Enjoy your day.

Nov 22, 2023 05:13 AM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Wayne Martin - St. Stanislaus Kostka Church played a significant role to the people and the community. In the beginning there were twin towers 85 feet tall. During the Great Chicago Fire, the priests took shelter inside the towers while the city burned. The building and the priests survived. In 1964 the south tower was struck by lightening and was completely destroyed but the church went on to serve the community. I am not the only one who survived fires that later occured in Chicago. In 1906 a fire destroyed the nuns convent and the auditorium that was under construction. The auditorium was then used for Musical Theaters. By the time I attended school, it was used for a meeting room and open to those who needed to have a wedding reception. Then in 1929, the Polish Priests from St.Stanislaus Parish and the nuns provided help to the community members during the Great Depression helping them in their times of need. My grandparents had six children. My mother was three years old at the time. When the Vision to save the Church from being demolished for the Northwest Highway it was U.S. Representative Dan Rostenkowski who spearheaded the fight to save the church that was planned by the city to be demolished. Dan Rowstenkowski went to school with my mother. With the exception of 12 classrooms, the rest was saved and the  High School were I attended was built later on but closed in 1977 after I graduated from High School. 

Nov 22, 2023 06:31 AM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Endre Barath, Jr. - thank you for your comment. I was raised and educated with tough love that didn't kill me but made me stronger. Hard work. Discipline. Obedience to the laws of our country, and rules of the family, church, schools, and parents. Patrotism wasn't an option. It was an expectation and no one I knew complained.  

Nov 22, 2023 06:36 AM
Kat Palmiotti
eXp Commercial, Referral Divison - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

Wow, what a church! Thank you for your final gratitude post for this month's ActiveRain challenge. Many of the lessons we've learned and the people we've known are gifts, and they are a perfect thing to be grateful for!

I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving day.

Nov 22, 2023 06:39 AM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good morning Patricia,

I love this post in so many ways! I wish many would feel that patrotism is not an option but an expectation and a gift we are so fortunate to receive! I agree with Endre Barath, Jr. loved what you said "For my father who taught me freedom does not give me the right to do whatever I please, I am grateful." Happy Thanksgiving.


Nov 22, 2023 06:41 AM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Michael Jacobs - The architecture of that church was strikingly beautiful. Inside when the choir sung all I heard was beautiful voices. I did join the choir and it was an expectation when I was a student to attend Music class. If you read Wayne Martin's coment and mine, you might be interested to know that because the Church was saved in time without being demolished, the people of the community always said, we are the parish that moved the expressway. I would have to say, there was a lot of spirit at St. Stanislaus Kostka Church, including once a year at the Parish Carnival open to the community!  

Nov 22, 2023 06:43 AM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Brian England - I have been to many different churches, but no other one I knew of compared. It really is a beautiful parish church. 

Nov 22, 2023 06:51 AM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Happy Thanksgiving Bill Salvatore - East Valley - Yes. I had a final walkthrough with my client and the builder on Monday and this Monday is the closing,


Nov 22, 2023 06:53 AM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Kat Palmiotti - In looking back now, I can fully appreciate how important it is to be a part of the Community and help one another. When I attended High School, I had a teacher named Mr. Parrioswamy who taught Sociology. He was from Pakistan and he lived a frugal life while he saved his money to bring his family to America. Not only did our Parish School, but the entire community pitched in to help him bring his family to America. I will never forget how tiny his wife and children were and how grateful the family was for everyone who made their dream come true. If there is one thing I will never forget is that Teacher never taught class without a smile and was always available to help any student who asked for help. 

Nov 22, 2023 07:03 AM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Dorie Dillard Austin TX - There should be classes taught in school for entire semesters on the subject of Freedom with guidelines for what free speech means. Then maybe there would be greater understanding about how lucky Americans are to have been given the gift of freedom. Freedom can never be taken for granted. 

Nov 22, 2023 07:18 AM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

Thanks, Patricia, for sharing some of your family story.

Have a happy Thanksgiving!

Nov 22, 2023 08:55 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

I had no idea, Patricia. But this church is so famous, I've long known about it even though I'm not from Chicago. I am so glad it was saved. Makes me crazy when we tear down our historical buildings. Now I want to see that wedding dress with the long, long veil.

Nov 22, 2023 01:00 PM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Roy Kelley - Happy Thanksgiving. I am always thankful for your interest and support.

Nov 22, 2023 01:21 PM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Nina Hollander, Broker - It really is a beautful church. What a pleasant surprise to learn you knew about St. Stanislaus Kostka Church and its famous history. I am impressed! As for the wedding dress train and veil, they were ruined in my house fire. Where the photographs I had are, if they exist, or if anyone else had photos, I don't know. I still remember how proud I was to wear it and walk down that aisle. 

Nov 22, 2023 01:37 PM
Nina Hollander, Broker

Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP of course! I forgot about the fire. Such a shame. I used to travel to Chicago on business quite often. I had a step-sister who lived in the Chicago area for many years. In fact, I came close to moving to Chicago several times for good job offers, but decided I couldn't hack the winters!

Nov 22, 2023 02:01 PM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP

Nina Hollander, Broker - the thing about living in Chicago and tolerating the cold weather is, if you never moved to a different part of the country, or the world, and your family didn't take vacations, you wouldn't know because there was nothing to compare the weather with. My first experience was when I moved to TX and realized what I was missing - lots of sunshine and warmer weather! 

Chicago had good job offererings, that's for sure. I worked in Downtown, Chicago at some really great companies and two law firms. 

I did not know you traveled to Chicago often when you were in business. 

Nov 22, 2023 02:09 PM
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Patricia those were very wise lessons your mom and dad taught you about freedom.

Nov 22, 2023 07:06 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Patricia:

You certainly been blessed by some special gifts in your life, especially from your parents, your spouse when he was alive, and your children. That is a beautiful church which obviously holds many special memories for you. How wonderful is that?


Nov 28, 2023 04:20 PM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

George Souto - In my house, my parents taught us discipline, obedience, structure, organizational skills, faith, duty, and to never abuse the power of freedom. 

Thank you for your comment regarding the legacy my father left to me. 

Nov 29, 2023 05:57 AM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Jeff Dowler, CRS - I really do appreciate your thoughtful comments. I am thankful our paths. crossed here on AR and that I had the great privilege of meeting you, and some of the most important RRC/CRS members and bloggers too. 

I really am thankful for my grandparents, parents, and the spouse I had, and of course my children. Without them, I shudder to think what might have become of me. They all had something to teach me.

What is most interesting about St. Stanislaus Kostka Church is how the Polish history was passed down from one generation to the next. Many people aren't aware that the Polish people who settled in Chicago had their humble beginnings in America after many of them fought battlegrounds in Europe and other World Wars so that we could have freedom. That is something my family never took for granted.

Thank you for the time you gave me. Even if you never read this comment in response to yours, I do appreciate you.   


Nov 29, 2023 06:13 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS

Hi Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP 

Thank you for such a thoughtful response to my comment. I am also thankful that we are not only friends here, but that we had the opportunity to meet in Dallas a few years ago.

Nov 29, 2023 05:22 PM
Debe Maxwell, CRS
Savvy + Company (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC

OH, what a lovely post, Patricia. That church is absolutely STUNNING! I SO wish you hadn't lost your photos as I would love to have seen a picture of you with your train walking down that aisle, I'm sure you were such a beautiful bride! 

About community - I've often thought of this as well...how when we were younger, we took it for granted. Now, looking back, I wish we had a better sense of it and how it would impact our lives in later years. We did nothing wrong, not recognizing it - that's just how children are but, boy, don't we appreciate it now? 

Oddly enough, my great aunt messaged me this evening and we had a conversation about family and how much she enjoyed going to spend time at my MawMaw & PawPaw's home for a week each summer. She still remembers how special my grands made her feel. I love that she shared that with me and, of course, it brought back fond memories of my summers with them - in later years, of course! 

LOVE this post and many thanks for sharing in this month's challenge. I appreciate you more than you know and thank you for leaving your kind messages all across the platform. We are all blessed to know you.

Nov 30, 2023 09:50 PM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Debe Maxwell, CRS - My wedding photos were not lost. They were destroyed by my house fire in Illinois. This was a family photo that one of relatives shared with me  thinking I would appreciate it. And I do! So much family history was stored in St. Stanislaus Kostka Church. 

One of my biggest regrets was staying so focused on becoming the good wife and starting a family, I cut ties with my neighborhood friends. I cautioned my children not to do that. Isn't it funny how our own fond memories begin to unwravel when we hear about other people's stories? It is like a common thread and perhaps human nature. I always love your stories when you get personal too. That shows me who you are and what you've become. I am thankful our paths crossed on ActiveRain and even more grateful we met in person! You are making a difference in my life too. 

Dec 01, 2023 06:22 AM