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Friday, August 12, 2011

Save the dome and restore a beautiful church. [And help restore THE Church while you're at it.]

Save The Dome | St. Mary of the Angels Church Chicago

About The Dome Campaign

Donate Now

Saint Mary of the Angels is truly beloved by the neighborhood but also well beyond. It is a visible landmark to all who travel the Kennedy Expressway northbound or southbound. A look to the west at the Armitage Avenue exit provides a wonderful view of our Dome (now encased with scaffolding) plus two elegant towers. You cannot help but notice the resplendent church when traveling from other neighborhoods on nearby city streets or parks. It is visited by many on architectural tours and has been called “the finest example of Roman Renaissance architecture in the country.” For over 100 years, Saint Mary of the Angels has sat as a sort of ‘gate’ between Chicago’s neighborhoods and the City’s business center, a constant and steady reminder of God’s presence in our everyday lives.

With a suitable storied past stretching over more than a century, St. Mary of the Angels has weathered many a harsh Chicago winter of blizzards, high winds and ice along with punishingly hot summers. It became one of the great preservation stories of Chicago’s history when, in 1988 it was slated for demolition. Citizens, historians, private donations, and finally the efforts of the priests of Opus Dei and parishioners all worked together to save the Church.

Once again the Church is in need of significant repairs and renovations.

Funds are needed now to:

  • Repair the dome
  • Repair and plaster inside of church damaged by dome leakage
  • Rebuild the parapet
  • Renovate the South Tower

The cost of the work is upwards of $3.2 million (and possibly more for new-found North Tower falling debris.) We have raised nearly $900,000 to date. Please help restore this architectural gem serving Chicagoans daily.

>> Donate now <<

Dome Campaign: Restore God's House

Click here to learn how YOU can help the dome!

About The Campaign: A Letter To Parishioners and Friends

Fr. Charles, Fr. Hilary and Fr. Joe

Dear Parishioners and Friends of St. Mary of the Angels,

What an honor and privilege to serve God and His people in such a beautiful setting. Those who came before us offered their very best to give us this exquisite church – with 26 angels faithfully watching from above. It is hard to imagine that, less than 25 years ago, this structure was closed and faced an uncertain future. Thankfully, God and the people of St. Mary of the Angels had other ideas in mind for this truly sacred space.

Through hard work, sacrifice and determination, our church underwent a major restoration from 1991 to 1999. Since then, the number of registered parishioners has consistently continued to increase. Each week we have 17 regularly scheduled masses and offer 16 hours for confessions. Our church is the perfect place for quiet meditation, prayerful reflection and joyous praise. Our hope is to provide this safe, warm and inviting sanctuary for many years to come. Once again, we must first answer the call to Christian stewardship as we address vitally needed repairs and maintenance.

As you read about the pressing issues facing our parish, please take a moment to consider what St. Mary of the Angels – and your faith – means to you. The next time you attend Mass, look around you. Then lift your eyes upward to read the words inscribed at the base of the inner dome: “Glory to God in the highest, and peace on earth to men of good will!” Together let us Restore God’s House and proclaim His glory for years to come.

Together with God’s help and your prayers,
Rev. Hilary Mahaney, Parish Moderator
Rev. Joe Landauer, Associate Pastor
Rev. Charles Ferrer, Associate Pastor

A Message from Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I.
Francis Cardinal George

Dear Friends,

The angels that surround the dome of St. Mary of the Angels Church are a part of the daily routine of many Chicagoans, even if they are not sure what they are or why they’re there. As they commute on the Kennedy Expressway, people cannot help but notice the beautiful church building at the Armitage Avenue exit. For more than one hundred years, St. Mary of the Angels has sat as a sort of “gate” between Chicago’s neighborhoods and the City’s business center, a constant reminder of God’s presence in our everyday lives.

Since my return to Chicago in 1997, I have had the opportunity to visit St. Mary of the Angels Parish on a number of occasions. Each time I walk through the doors of St. Mary of the Angels, a special atmosphere of warmth and hospitality is evident. I am consistently inspired by the architecture of the church – the magnificent altar and stained glass windows, along with the glorious dome and beautiful paintings that together lift one’s mind and heart to God. The early parishioners of St. Mary of the Angels sacrificed considerably to build a church that would serve as a fitting place for worship and a source of pride for the Bucktown neighborhood.

As the current parishioners of St. Mary of the Angels, you have been faced with many facility challenges but, even when it was necessary to close the church building for a time for safety’s sake, you never gave up on the parish you love. I am very grateful to the prelature of Opus Dei for assuming responsibility for St. Mary of the Angles in 1991 and for faithfully staffing the parish since that time. Now, having survived more than a century of Chicago winters, the church is again in need of significant repairs and renovations. By working together to Restore God’s House, you will keep the doors of St. Mary of the Angels open for decades to come.

Thank you for your lives of faith and for your willingness to help your parish maintain its presence here for years to come. You and those you love are in my prayers; please keep me in yours.

Sincerely yours in Christ,
Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I.
Archbishop of Chicago

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