2013 Favs: Battling Sisters of Stone Park, IL Hold Their Own Against Strip Club

When the city fathers of Stone Park Il came out in support of the worthy project of building a strip club next to a convent, they failed to reckon with the grit, guts and determination of nuns.

I’ve written before about the moral courage of women. When that moral courage is empowered by an unwavering commitment to the love of Jesus Christ, it becomes the kind of force that wears away stone.

I don’t know too much about Stone Park, Il, even though we have similar towns here in Oklahoma. From what I’ve read it’s a small town with a large number of strip clubs. So far as I know, they’ve gotten away with this up to now.

But when they decided to build a multi-million dollar “adult entertainment” club across from the convent of the Missionary Sisters of St Charles Borromeo, Scalabrinian, they started a fight with people who aren’t impressed by money or scared of bouncers.

The intransigent support for this particular strip club, might lead to the conclusion that the people who run this town are what you might call dedicated to having this particular strip club in this particular location.

They want a strip joint next to these nuns and they aren’t going to give an inch until they get it. Earlier in the on-going battle the owner of the club played the Christian-bashing card.

Dont “… impose your religious beliefs,” he said.


This guy makes his living by treating women like animals in a zoo. I can certainly see why he wouldn’t welcome the nun’s “religious beliefs” on his premises. What I don’t understand is why he has fought so hard to put his premises on the nun’s doorstep.

Why is it so very important to place a strip club next to this convent? You’d think that piece of land was the last place in the continental United States that was available for such uplifting civic projects. The people who run this town are dug in on this. Is Stone Park in some sort of strip club competition with another town? Do they perceive a strip club gap developing that they have to fill?

The strip club is called “Get It,” which I think says a lot about the services it plans to offer. The intention was to open this club during Holy Week 2012. I think that speaks for itself. 

The war is one year on and the sisters are still holding their ground. They recently held a rally to celebrate this fact, which says a lot in itself.

As many as 500 people have gathered for a prayer vigil. More than 3,000 people have signed petitions against the Club.

“It’s not only for the sisters, but for the community itself,” Sister Noemia Silva said. “All of our communities are praying for this; it’s just constant, constant prayer.

She compared their fight to David and Goliath. “David won the battle because he trusted the Lord. He’ll fight this battle for us.”

From CNA:

CHICAGO — Residents and religious of a small Chicago suburb rallied to celebrate their so far successful campaign against the opening of a multi-million dollar “adult entertainment” club across from a convent.
“We came together as a community, as people of faith and stood together fighting for family values against what some thought was an unbreakable giant,” Sister Noemia Silva of the Missionary Sisters of St. Charles Borromeo, Scalabrinian said at an April 22 press conference.

“It’s not only for the sisters, but for the community itself,” she told CNA in a later interview.
Outrage has erupted locally over the building of the establishment, particularly because of its location next to the missionary sisters’ convent and retirement home. Proprietors of the business have been accused of breaking state law, which requires a 1,000-foot “buffer zone” between places of worship and such businesses.

“They haven’t respected state law and so we’re going to tell them, ‘You need to respect that,” Sister Noemia Silva said. “This should not have even happened so close to a worship area.”
Although the $3 million establishment, “Get It,” was slated to open during Holy Week of 2012, it has yet to open its doors to the public largely due to community protest and a legal battle between the landowner and building owner.

Sister Noemia said the sisters, who are spread throughout 18 countries, have been praying for the intercession of St. Michael. “All of our communities are praying for this; it’s just constant, constant prayer.”

Read more: http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/religious-sisters-celebrate-one-year-of-blocking-illinois-adult-club?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+NCRegisterDailyBlog+National+Catholic+Register#When:2013-04-25%2013:47:01#ixzz2RUdAXUIu




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  • FW Ken

    You would think the business owner would have the sense to know that his customers might be shy acting out that close to a convent. Anyway, if he ultimately prevails, they can haul out the big guns: set up an Adoration grotto on the front lawn, with sisters and lay faithful in constant prayer. I’d give the club six months.

    In the 1880s, they built our cathedral across the street from a bawdy house. The cathedral is still there.

  • Dale

    The sisters have been offered free legal assistance from the Thomas More Society. They may need to use those services. Quoting from a local news story:

    “But now, a year later, it appears the club is back on track. Owner Bob Itzkow tells FOX 32 News that a lawsuit between partners has been settled and he hopes to open what he calls a high-tech cabaret-themed adult club by late summer.

    “Yes, [the nuns] have certainly had a chilling effect on our activities,” says Itzkow. “But it’s our intention to open the venue some time in the future. Stone Park needs us, the 100 jobs we’re going to create and it needs our tax revenue.”

    • irena mangone

      Really it’s all about the almighty dollar tax revenue come on it’s about selling bodies

  • Bill S

    “Proprietors of the business have been accused of breaking state law, which requires a 1,000-foot “buffer zone” between places of worship and such businesses.”

    I would think that a church is a place of worship but a convent is not. I don’t think the nuns have a legal stand but they could certainly make the patrons uneasy.

    • Dale

      Bill, most convents have a chapel, and many are open to the public, so I think they can make the “place of worship” claim. Of course, it will be argued in court and the judge will decide.

  • Dale

    For anyone interested, I looked up the convent and the strip club on Google Maps, satellite view.


    The “A” on map marks the entrance to the parking lot of the strip club. The parking lot is large, as is the club itself, which is the green roofed building just north of the parking lot. The map is worth looking at because it shows that the club was shoehorned into a residential area.

    The Chicago Sun-Times has some photos which show the proximity of the club to the nuns’ property

  • Bill S

    It seems that if the convent meets the definition of a place of worship, then they have a legitimate gripe. Otherwise, they are just trying to impose their religion on a business that has as much of a right to be there as they do. If the business meets the local requirements, then it has every right to operate and increase tax revenues for the town.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Bill, the sisters are American citizens. They have as much right to petition the government as anyone else. The idea that they are trying to “impose their religion” is nonsense. They were there first. If anyone is “imposing” anything it is the strip club.

    • Dale

      Bill,a glance at the Google Maps link which I posted will show that the strip club is located almost literally in the backyards of the local residences. The objections to the strip club is not just about the nuns. It concerns the entire neighborhood and what the strip club does to the character of the neighborhood.

      The nuns are simply taking the lead in the fight against the club. Zoning battles are nothing new to towns, small or large. If you consider how far the strip club is located from Lake Street (an industrial/commercial road from which it will draw its traffic) I think you will see why the entire neighborhood is objecting to the club.

  • Bill S

    “They have as much right to petition the government as anyone else. The idea that they are trying to “impose their religion” is nonsense.”

    The owner seems to think that they are. There must be a reason for him to feel that way. They have a right to object but they may not prevail and might have to learn to live with the arrangement, as undesirable as it may seem.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      A reason for him to feel this way? The “owner” runs a “business” that objectifies and degrades women and treats them like chattel. He’s spent as lot of somebody’s money to put in this wonderful enterprise next to a convent — that he wanted to open during Holy Week, btw. His reasons? I won’t speculate. But the fact is his “reasons” for doing these things are non sequitur. The question of why the city council would do something this destructive to their own community remains.

      Why do you think these government officials allowed this piece of trash “business” that destroys women to be built in this location Bill? Can you think of any reason besides the fact that the sisters, who since they are Catholic Christians have no rights, don’t want it?

      If you’re going to take everyone who attacks the Church as your hero, you’re going to end up aligning yourself with some truly terrible people my friend.

  • disgusted

    I laugh at the people thinking there is anything wrong with just possessing an adult license. the owner has said several times this is not a strip club but from time to time might do theatrical shows with some nudity. Who is anyone to say what the place is or isnt but the owner. This is no difference between this and the american government putting false flag attacks on our soil and after being called out lieng a hundred times they continue to lie. you worry about the sisters of saint charles? where were they when 3 different girls between the ages of 5 and 9 years old would be routinely taken out of class and taken to the work shed of the building which is now casa italia and raping and molesting them? Ill tell you where, individually helping the brother steve of the order to hand pick which girls needed “Lessons in being brides of Christ”. That’s where. Where were the sisters when a recent priest of the order had to be relocated from the Melrose Park church of the order for GETTING A FEMALE MEMBER OF THE CONGREGATION PREGNANT!!! IN FACT SHE MADE ALMOST A QUARTER MILLION DOLLARS TO KEEP HER MOUTH SHUT!! Clean your house before you question or critizize someone else’s house. Especially when yours is full of depravity and evil manipulation of three little girls, two of which have committed suicide, and the female members of the congregation. You really need Jesus in your lives sisters.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      I believe what you are trying to do here is justify buying and selling women by pointing out the failures of others — in this case (of course) Christians.

      First, your claims about the Church are unsubstantiated, and even if they do have a basis in fact, they are not pertinent to this situation or this group of sisters.

      Second, you seem to know something about this club possessing “an adult license.” Are you connected with it? Or, are you someone who just goes to the clubs and enables this mass degradation of women with your dollars?

      Either way, the only reason I’m allowing this bizarre comment is to illustrate the thinking of those who support this kind of abuse of women.