Santa Lucia -Santa Maria Incoronata
3022 S. Wells Street
When construction of two expressways decimates your area and you survive-your faith has been tested under fire. The Italians of Santa Maria Incoronata were welcomed into nearby Santa Lucia Mission in 1954. (The original Santa Maria church officially became St. Therese Church for Chinese Catholics in 1963.) Today's Santa Lucia edifice, with its many statues and vigil lights is life's hub for 500 Italian- and Croatian-American families. Some young adults may move on to the suburbs, but their parents and others are rooted here. Its parish school and CCD program look to the future. Happily there is a sense of community, not competition among nearby parishes. A December novena for St. Lucy's feast day and the blessing of eyes draws many; and the whole area supports the parish's four-day carnival. Even parish bingo nights are coordinated with surrounding parishes' game nights. Tradition and faith are sustaining pillars here.