For All Generation Campaign

We have been entrusted with a great treasure: St. Mary of the Angels church. Your prayer and financial helped us rebuild the Dome in 2010, restore the South Tower in 2012, eliminate our debt in 2013, and have now raised over $1 million in donations and pledges ear-marked for restoration, but our needs are greater… We don’t want to bury our talents, but to multiply them. Instead of doing the Annual Catholic Appeal this year, we will ask you to make a pledge to help us raise the moneys needed to restore our church. We will set aside $29,000—our parish goal—for the Archdiocesan appeal. The rest will fully go to restore St. Mary of the Angels. Our Needs: Did you know that wire mesh covers the top of the North Tower and the beams between the columns as well as the balcony railing above those columns in the front of the church? This is to keep loose bricks, concrete, and terra cotta from falling, because water penetration have rusted interior steel causing mortar to disintegrate, and large cracks in the bricks and terra cotta. Did you know the parapet above the façade was removed in 1990 due to structural weakness—it is flat between the two towers—and that our four minor cupolas are wrapped in heavy canvas to prevent falling debris? Did you know that our church and boilers are 100 and 120 years old? Of course you know that our church restrooms are inadequate for a parish of our size and that we only have an antiquated stair lift chair—no elevator—to provide handicap accessibility. In addition our roofs are 25 years old and need replacing; we just relined some cracked interior downspouts that had damaged interior plaster. Also, metal bars have been placed to keep some stained glass windows from falling out due to cracked window tracery. Other needs include our current church sound system that is no longer reliable and does not transmit sound to all areas of the church; our old lighting is inefficient and adequate, leaving some areas dark; only one of our two beloved South Tower bells functions, and the 120 year-old school building—also used by our C.C.D. program and Midtown Center—needs repairs and upgrades. Our parish office also is too small, staff offices and rooms for catechesis and apostolic activities use make-do and repurposed spaces scattered around the church basement and former garage. The priests, staff, and finance council have decided that it is time, with God’s grace, to fully restore the church to its glory and to rededicate St. Mary of the Angels to Our Lady For All Generations, the name of our campaign! Phase 1: When we reach $3,000,000 we will restore the North Tower, East Façade, and replace the missing Parapet Wall and also renovate school restrooms. Included is restoring the four minor cupolas—we have dismantled one of them to prepare a replacement strategy. Phase 2: When we reach $5,000,000 we will tuck point the remaining church walls, repair or replace damaged window tracery, sound system, lighting, bells, and install new roofs to protect the church. We will crown the East Parapet with a 25’ high Marian image, evoking Our Lady’s protection over the parish and the City of Chicago. Phase 3: When we reach $7,000,000 we will replace our boilers with high-efficient HVAC systems and build an addition to improve security and give elevator access to the church, office, and basement meeting rooms. A 10% tithe on monies raised will provide ongoing aid to students and families in need through the Fr. Hilary Scholarship Fund. Please help us reach these goals: first, by praying for the campaign—without God’s help this is impossible; second, please consider volunteering to make this campaign successful; finally, please consider a sacrificial gift when the time comes to make your pledge! Commitment Weekends are April 7/8 and 14/15. Let’s rededicate our church to St. Mary of the Angels for all generations!

Fr. John R. Waiss

Online: http://sma-church.org/motherofpurelove

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