Annual Report for 2015 – 2016

Operating Income    2,480,120
Operating Expenses    2,710,500
ExtraordinaryRevenue       758,047
Extraordinary Capital Expenditures       233,147
Net Parish Surplus 294,519
Parish Collections (Sundays, Christmas, etc.) 483,868 1,355,955
Tuition and Fees 30,226 1,355,955
Lease & Rental Income 172,110
Outside Funding Sources(1) 126,174
Fundrising Auxiliary Groups 102,963
Auxiliary Groups 13,923
Miscellaneous (Weddings, Candles, Extraordinary Donations, etc.) 173,374 21,527
TOTAL ORDINATY OPERATING REVENUE 873,501 1,606,619 2,480,120
Salaries & employee Benefits (2) 556,115 1,439,387
Books, Supplies & Administrative Expenses (Non-Liturgical) 74,586 127,145
Utilities (Telephone, Heating fuel, Electricity, Other) 39,050 48,907
Ordinary Building Repairs & Maintenance 34,549 42,524
Altar & Liturgical Supplies 58,948
Archdiocesan Assessment 77,016 9,655
Property/Casualty/Auto Insurance 89,835 54,443
Miscellaneous 45,533 12,806
Building Restoration & Improvements (3) 191,615 41,532 233,147
Church: Archdiocese Required Collections 24,618 24,618
Church: Other Extraordinary Donations and Income (4) 356,488 0
Church: Building Fund 316,694 0
School: Capital Donation 38,000 0
School: Fr. Hilary Mahaney Scholarship Fund Awards 46,865 0
NET EXTRAORDINARY INCOME 782,664 24,618 758,047


1 Outside Funding Sources: Action for Children [$9,328] + Big Shoulders Scholarships [$39,580] + Patron Grant [$75,000].

2 Salaries: teachers who ended their service to the school in June were paid the remainder of their salary owed them through August.

3 Building Restoration & Improvements—Church: mostly emergency Restoration and some architect fees; School: Auditorium sound system and Network upgrades for technology.

4 Extraordinary Donations & Collections: Funds [$21,990] + Annual Catholic Appeal Rebate [$49,159] + To Teach Who Christ Is [$70,471] + Christmas In June [$47,795] + Extraordinary Donations [$108,578] + Fr. Hilary Scholarship [$58,495].


Fr. Hilary Scholarship Fund

We started the fiscal year with $33,375. We raised $93,730, mostly from the To Teach Who Christ Is campaign. After awarding $46,865 in scholarships for families with financial needs, we ended the year with a reserve of $82,240. We seek to grow the scholarship fund to continue supporting large families and those with financial needs.

Electronic Donations

This year we received more than $135,500 in electronic donations from 409 donors. This allows donors to continue to support St. Mary of the Angels even when they cannot make it here on a given Sunday. Thank you for your loyal support! If you have ideas to improve this, please send us your suggestions.

Renew My Church Challenges

Recognizing the demographic shifts in the city of Chicago, Archbishop Cupich has launch the Archdiocese into a program to revitalize the parishes that would assure that each parish has the resources available to meet the spiritual needs of its flock.

The demographic shift is evident at St. Mary of the Angels. Fifteen years ago (in 2001) our average Mass attendance for a Sunday in October was 1,652 (21% Polish speaking; 18% Spanish; 61% English). This October 2016 it was 1,165 (13% Polish; 15% Spanish; 72% English). In 15 years, Mass attendance has dropped 29%—Polish Mass dropped by 58%; the Spanish by 41%; and the English by 16%.

Given that the 24 other Catholic Churches within a 2.1-mile radius (45 to 50 minute walk) of St. Mary of the Angels are experiencing similar drops in Mass attendance, the Archdiocese expects to reduce the number of parishes to meet the current needs with fewer pastors. Let us pray and prepare ourselves to be more vital and effective in evangelizing Bucktown and its surroundings, increasing our parishioner base and regular donations.

Parish Highlights in 2015 – 2016

We performed 138 baptisms, including 13 adults or older children. RCIA also received two adults into the Church.

116 children received their First Holy Communicants and 96 who received Confirmation. Our Religious Education Program (CCD) had 154 students. The classes we offer for parents—both in English and in Spanish—are key in reinforcing the children’s formation at home.

Young people are drawn to St. Mary of the Angels to get married, as we performed 69 weddings this past year. Couples really appreciate the formation and attention we offer to prepare them for their marriage.

School Highlights in 2015 – 2016

St. Mary of the Angels School is becoming a premier Catholic institution, developing a family-focused community that nurtures 21st century learners. While maintaining a clear Catholic identity St. Mary of the Angels School has upgraded its wireless network, put Promethean Boards in every classroom (PK 3- 8th grade). We have 25 Chromebooks (with 20 more coming) and 25 iPads.

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) program was introduced, supported by a more rigorous Singapore Math Curriculum. Latin is offered for the 5th-8th Grade, and Spanish in all grades.

Support Your Parish The Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us: “the Christian people ought to contribute to the support of the Church’s ministers. ‘The laborer deserves his food.’” (CCC 2122).
Thank You!We thank all the individuals and groups who have supported us in our ministry to God and his people, especially in the upkeep of this temple in honor of his Blessed Mother, St. Mary of the Angels.

Finally, my beloved children, let’s show the world that faith is not just ceremonies and words, but a divine reality that we witness to mankind of an ordinary life made holy. In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the   Holy Spirit and of holy Mary.

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Passionately Loving the World *(part 4)

Human Love: A Respectable Secular Reality.

My children, now consider an aspect of everyday life that is particularly dear to me: human love, the noble love between a man and a woman in courtship and marriage. Let me say it again, this holy human love is not something just to put up with or tolerate among the true activities of the spirit, as insinuated by the false spiritualism referred to earlier. I have been preaching and writing the opposite for forty years and those who didn’t understand it are starting to.

Love leading to marriage and family can be a divine way, a marvelous vocation, a path of complete dedication to our God. Do things with perfection, I told you earlier, putting love into the little duties of each day, discovering that divine something in those details: this teaching is especially true in that vital sphere of human love.

University of Navarre Professors, students and employees all know that I have entrusted your love to Mary, the Mother of Fair Love. And here on campus we reverently built a shrine where you pray and offer the sacrifice of your wonderful pure love for her to bless.

Joyfully, before the statue of Our Lady, the Mother of Fair Love, you respond affirmatively to the Apostle’s query: Do you not know that your bodies are the temples of the Holy Spirit, whom you have from God; you are not your own? (1 Cor 6:19): Yes we know it and, aided by your power, O Virgin Mother of God, we want to live it!

Meditating this striking reality will stir up contemplative prayer: the Holy Spirit choses something so material as my body to be his dwelling… I am no longer my own… my body and soul, my whole being, is God’s… And this prayer will be rich in practical resolves, starting with the great consequence the Apostle proposes: glorify God in your bodies (1 Cor 6:20).

In addition, you surely know that only those who understand and value completely the depths of human love can understand Jesus’ other ineffable saying that only by a true gift from God can someone be moved to surrender body and soul to our Lord, to offer him an undivided heart, without the mediation of earthly love (cf. Mt 19:11).

I must finish. I began my words intending to proclaim God’s greatness and mercy some. I think I have in speaking about sanctifying everyday life, because a holy life lived in the midst of the secular world, simply and honestly, without noise, is a most moving display of the magnalia Dei (Sir 18:5), of God’s prodigious mercies that he always works, and always will, to save the world. So now please join me in prayer and praise as I say with the Psalmist: Magnificate Dominum mecum, et extollamus nomen eius simul—Praise the Lord with me, let us extol His name together (Ps 33:4), that is, my dear children, live by faith.

In the liturgy, a few moments ago, we read St. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians in which God’s words encouraged us to take up the Shield of Faith, the Helmet of Salvation and the Sword of the Spirit (6:11ff). As sanctifying daily life is baseless without the virtue of faith, Christians greatly need it—especially in this Year of Faith promulgated by our beloved Holy Father, Pope Paul VI.

A living faith, now as we draw near to and are about to participate in the mysterium fidei (1 Tim 3:9), the Holy Eucharist, our Lord’s Pasch, the culmination of God’s mercies with man.

Faith, my children, in the Work of our Redemption to be renewed upon this altar in a few minutes. Faith that cherishes the Creed and Christ’s presence on this altar and in this Assembly, made cor unum et anima una—one heart and one soul (Acts 4:32), in a family, the Church, that is One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic and Roman, which means universal for us.

Finally, my beloved children, let’s show the world that faith is not just ceremonies and words, but a divine reality that we witness to mankind of an ordinary life made holy. In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the   Holy Spirit and of holy Mary.


*St. Josemaría’ s Homily at the University of Navarre. New Translation by Fr. John Waiss

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Passionately Loving the World* (Part 3)

I know I don’t need to repeat this doctrine of civic freedom, harmony and understanding—I have been saying it for years and it’s foundational to Opus Dei’s message: men and women who serve Jesus Christ in the Work of God are simply citizens equal to everyone else, striving to live the duties of their Christian vocation seriously, in all its implications. Must I repeat this?

Nothing distinguishes my children from other citizens; whereas only our common faith is shared with those of religious congregations. I love the religious; I revere and admire their cloister and apostolates, their separation and contemptus mundi, which are other signs of the Church’s holiness. But our Lord has not given me that vocation; to desire it would be a disorder for me. I am a secular priest, a priest of Jesus Christ, who loves the world passionately. No earthly authority can force me to be a religious, just as no one can force me to marry.

Who follow Christ with this poor sinner?

  • a small percentage of priests, who had exercised a secular profession or office;
  •  many secular priests from dioceses throughout the world, with stronger obedience to their own bishops and deeper love for and efficacy in their diocesan work; opening their arms in form of the Cross, their hearts embrace all souls and, like me, live in the street and world they love;
  • And  a great multitude of men and women of different nations, tongues, and races—mostly married yet many not—who work for a living, sharing with other citizens the great task of making temporal society more human and just. They work hand in hand with their fellow man in the noble struggle of daily ventures, experiencing successes and failures with, let me repeat, personal responsibility in fulfilling their duties and exercising their social and civic rights. And all this with naturalness and without elitism, as a conscientious Christian immersed in the mass of coworkers while striving to discover the glimmer of divine splendor glistening in the commonest realities.

Also, Opus Dei promotes works that have eminently secular, not ecclesial, characteristics. They are human, cultural and social initiatives that no way represents Church hierarchy, but is carried out by citizens who reflect the Gospel’s light, inflamed with Christ’s Love.

Some examples may help clarify this: Opus Dei never directs diocesan seminaries where bishops, establish by the Holy Spirit (Acts 20:28), prepare their future priests. Whereas it does foster formation centers for industrial and agricultural workers, including primary and secondary schools, universities, and various other works around the world, since its apostolic zeal, as I wrote many years ago, is like a sea without shores.

But need I say more? Your very presence speaks louder than words. Friends of the University of Navarre, alongside others, are committed to your society’s progress. You prove that the people’s energies can give birth to and sustain a university, giving your heartfelt support in prayer, sacrifice and contributions, not because of your Catholicism, but as clear testimony of a well-formed civic conscience concerned for the common temporal good.

I want to thank, once again, all who cooperate in our university—the city of Pamplona, the region of Navarre, the Friends of the University from all over Spain. Particularly I thank the non-Spaniards, even non-Catholics and non-Christians, who have shown with deed that they understood the intention and spirit of this enterprise.

Due to you this university has become an ever more lively source of civic freedom, intellectual formation, professionalism, and a spur for university education. Your generous sacrifices are at the foundation of this universal work that seeks to develop human knowledge, social wellbeing and teaching of the Faith.

The people of Navarre clearly understand this and know how their university impacts the economic and social development of this region especially in giving many of their children access to intellectual professions that would have been difficult, if not impossible, otherwise. The potential impact on their lives has inspired, from the beginning of the university, local support, which grows daily in enthusiasm and extent.

I still hope that, in justice, that the lived experience of many countries will come here, when the Spanish government will lighten the burden of an enterprise that seeks no private profit, but that is totally dedicated to serve society by working efficiently for the nation’s current and future prosperity.

*St. Josemaría’ s Homily at the University of Navarre. New Translation by Fr. John Waiss

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Unity of Life in the Catholic Voter

“But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8). Living by faith isn’t easy, most especially in the toxic atmosphere of today’s politics. So, with the 2016 elections approaching, Bishop Rojas has asked pastors in Vicariate III to prepare Catholic faithful to vote with consciences well-formed in the teachings of our Mother, the Church. Like St. Paul, Bishop Rojas is telling pastors: “I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus… proclaim the word; be persistent whether it is convenient or inconvenient; convince, reprimand, encourage, through all patience and teaching” (2 Timothy 4:1-2).

We must avoid separating our politics from our Catholic faith, as St. Josemaría warned:

“Avoid the temptation, common then and now, to lead a kind of double life: on one hand, an interior life in relation with God; and, on the other, a separate and distinct professional, social and family life, full of small earthly realities. No, my children! If we want to be Christians we can’t live a double life… Our life is only one, of flesh and spirit, body and soul, which must become holy and full of God” (“Passionately Loving the World,” 52).

We cannot leave our faith at home as we go to the polls and vote. “No, my children! … we can’t live a double life:” not as Christian politicians; not as Christian voters.

The Church preaches on the morality of voting for candidates and parties that promote policies contrary to Christ’s Gospel which the Church safeguards (cf. 2 Timothy 1:13). As Catholics, we respect differences of opinion on how to approach the environment, economy, healthcare, etc. Many political positions are opinionable; but some are not, especially regarding human life. As Pope Francis reminds us:

“Concern for the protection of nature is also incompatible with the justification of abortion. How can we genuinely teach the importance of concern for other vulnerable beings… if we fail to protect a human embryo, even when its presence is uncomfortable and creates difficulties?” (Laudato si, 120).

We can differ in opinion about how to protect the environment, but it would be totally depraved to promote killing certain people to reduce the world’s population so as to relieve stress on the earth. Yet some candidates do promote abortion under the guise of “reproductive freedom.”

We can differ on approaches to the economy, yet nobody could ever morally support or vote for those advocating killing a class of people to improve the nation’s economic situation. That is morally irreprehensible. Yet some candidates do say a woman has a right to kill a baby boy or girl for economic reasons as long as it is still in its mother’s womb.

Certainly it is morally wrong to treat women as objects to be used—is that not why we have abortion in the first place? Yet this exploitation is only heightened when the woman’s vocation of being a mother is denied and devalued through policies that promote the disposal of children in their mother’s womb, and then insists that our tax dollars pay for it.

Special compassion must be directed toward women who have had an abortion—how much they have suffered!—as St. John Paul II told us:

“The Church is aware of the many factors which may have influenced your decision [to have an abortion], and she does not doubt that in many cases it was a painful and even shattering decision. The wound in your heart may not yet have healed. Certainly what happened was and remains terribly wrong. But do not give in to discouragement and do not lose hope. Try rather to understand what happened and face it honestly. If you have not already done so, give yourselves over with humility and trust to repentance. The Father of mercies is ready to give you his forgiveness and his peace in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. You will come to understand that nothing is definitively lost and you will also be able to ask forgiveness from your child, who is now living in the Lord. With the friendly and expert help and advice of other people, and as a result of your own painful experience, you can be among the most eloquent defenders of everyone’s right to life. Through your commitment to life, whether by accepting the birth of other children or by welcoming and caring for those most in need of someone to be close to them, you will become promoters of a new way of looking at human life” (Evangelium Vitae, 99).

Compassion must also be directed toward the men who have sinfully exploited women for pleasure only to conceive a child, and then have no say in the woman’s decision to end their child’s life. Men suffer from abortion too!

Christ loves us sinners: “more rejoicing goes on in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine who never went astray” (Luke 15:7). God’s mercy is greater than all our sins together. This is great news! And often it is the repentant sinner who is the greatest proclaimer of this great news.

There are many important issues in the current political realm, such as religious freedom, immigration, racial inequality, respect for women, etc. Often we are left with real dilemmas: how can a candidate respect human life when women are disrespected as sex-objects? How can a candidate be welcoming to the immigrant only to sacrifice their children in the halls of Planned Parenthood who then sells the baby’s body parts? How can a candidate promote religious freedom by categorizing everyone of one religion as terrorists? How can one seek racial balance and respect for women by promoting the “right” of race- and sex-selection abortion up to the day the child is born?

“But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” Faith doesn’t take us away from this ugly mess of politics but calls us to influence the world through our well-formed voice, action, and vote. We cannot run away from it, as St. Josemaría reminds us:

“Have no doubt: it goes against God’s will for men and women of the world to evade the honest realities of daily life. On the contrary, we must understand with newer clarity that God is calling us to serve Him in and from the ordinary material and secular tasks of human life” (ibid.).

St. John Paul II encourages women to take the lead in this, in transforming world, and the world of politics, with “a ‘new feminism’ which rejects the temptation of imitating models of ‘male domination’… [to influence] every aspect of the life of society, and overcome all discrimination, violence and exploitation… [so as to] ‘Reconcile people with life’” (Evangelium Vitae, 99).

We must be thoroughly Catholic to protect and respect every human person as made in the image of God. Besides the presidential election there are other important political races on the ballot. Let’s form our consciences in Catholic teaching[1] and our hearts in God’s mercy so that, in the election booth, we find Christ who says: “As you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me” (Matthew 25:40,45). We will have to answer to God for: “as you voted to try, or not, to protect ‘the littlest’ of human life—whether of the immigrant, African-American, man or woman, or child in her womb—you did it to me.”

Fr. John R. Waiss


[1] A great resource: Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship: The US Bishops’ Reflection on Catholic Teaching and Political Life, available at

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Passionately Loving the World* (part 2)

As authentic Christianity professes the resurrection of all flesh, it logically opposes dis-incarnation without fear of being judged materialistic. So, it is valid to speak of a Christian materialism, which boldly opposes the materialism that excludes the spirit.

Look at the Sacraments. Early Christians described them as footprints of the Incarnate Word. Are they not clear signs of how God chooses to sanctify us and lead us to heaven? Look, isn’t each Sacrament a material channel of God’s Love, with all its creative and redemptive power? And this Eucharist we are celebrating, isn’t it our Redeemer’s adorable Body and Blood offered through the lowly, earthly elements of bread and wine, elements of nature, cultivated by man, as the recent Ecumenical Council reminded us? (cf. Gaudium et Spes, 38).

It makes sense that the Apostle would say: All things are yours, you are Christ’s and Christ is God’s (1 Cor 3:22-23). The Holy Spirit is sewing in our hearts and provoking in the world an upward movement from the earth to the God’s glory. Clearly this movement must include everything, even what seems most commonplace, as St. Paul goes on to say: in eating, in drinking, do everything for God’s glory (1 Cor 10:32).

You know that this Biblical teaching is at the very heart of Opus Dei’s spirit. It should lead you to do your work with perfection, to love God and mankind by putting love in the little things of everyday life and discovering the something divine hidden in small details. How apt are the words of a Castilian poet: Write slow and with care, for doing things well is more important than just doing them.

Rest assured, my children, when Christians carry out with love the most mundane daily task it overflows with divine transcendence. That is why I repeat and hammer away that the Christian vocation consists of making heroic verse out of the prose of each day. My children, heaven and earth seem to join on the horizon, but where they really meet is in your hearts, as you sanctify ordinary life.

Sanctify ordinary life. These words reflect the whole program of our Christian task. Stop dreaming. Leave aside any false idealism, fantasy, or what I call mystical wishful thinking—if only I hadn’t married, if I had another profession, if I were healthier… younger… older… Instead, calmly turn to the most material and immediate reality to find our Lord: Look at my hands and my feet, said the risen Jesus. It is I, touch me and see; a spirit doesn’t have flesh and bones, as you see I have (Luke 24:29).

These truths shed light on many aspects of life in the world. For example, consider civic activity. A man who knows how to find Christ in the world, and not just in the church, loves that world: he seeks good intellectual and professional formation; with complete freedom he resolves problems in the realm in which he moves; from personal reflection he makes his own decisions, which are Christian, by striving to grasp God’s Will humbly in important and less important events of his life.

Good Christians never claim to come down from the altar to the world to represent the Church, or that his is the truly “Catholic” solution to problems. No way, my children! That is clericalism, a kind of Catholic “theocracy,” or however you want to call it, which does violence to reality. You must foster everywhere a genuine lay mentality, with three key characteristics:

  • sufficiently honest to shoulder one’s personal responsibility;
  • sufficiently Christian to respect your brothers in the Faith who propose solutions differing from your own in opinionable matters;
  • sufficiently Catholic so as not to involve our Mother the Church in human factions.

Cleary you could not carry out this program of sanctifying ordinary life without the full freedom corresponding to your dignity as men and women created in God’s image. Personal freedom, which is recognized by the Church, is essential to Christian life. Yet remember, my children, it must be responsible freedom.

These words are intended as a call to exercise our rights—daily, not just in emergencies; a call to fulfill honorably our civic duties in political and financial affairs, in university and professional life; to courageously accept all the consequences of our free decisions and of the independence that each has personally. This Christian lay mentality avoids all intolerance and extremism. To put it positively, it helps us live in peace with our fellow citizens and it fosters harmony in all areas of social life.

*St. Josemaría’ s Homily at the University of Navarre. New Translation by Fr. John Waiss

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