Chicago Save the St. Adalbert Shrine Hires Reporter to Investigate Church Sale

In response to requests for help from our friends at the St. Adalbert Preservation Society, the Coalition to Save the Shrine recently engaged an investigative reporter to look into the announced sale of the entire campus of St. Adalbert’s in Pilsen, including the church, to the Chicago Academy of Music.
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Also Church Militant: Chicago Cardinal to Sell Off Historic Church to Secular Music Group

I'm all for saving the shrine but in a previous article it stated they were in need of $5,000,000 just to save the bell towers.  If the funds can be raised and maybe a religious order could take it over, I think it would be fantastic.  Really, it's going to take some large donors to pledge that kind of cash and I hope people can step up.  However, there's a whole lot of Chicago churches going through the same thing right now.  Just because one may disagree with Cdl. Cupich on say sacramental theology does not mean every move is somehow contaminated with evil intentions.  The church is a masterpiece so if the people of Pilsen cannot support it I hope the building itself can be maintained.  If area demographics change maybe the archdiocese could work out something in the deal that would allow for some level of access to parishioners for religious use.


Anonymous said...

Thank you, Badger Catholic, for sharing the news about St. Adalbert's in Chicago!
One correction is in order: the investigative reporter was hired by the Coalition to Save the Shrine, i.e., an organization that successfully saved the Shrine of Christ the King in Chicago's Woodlawn neighborhood and now works for its full restoration. The Shrine, like St. Adalbert's, is a masterpiece designed by the renowned Henry J. Schlacks, founder of the Notre Dame School of Architecture.
The amount needed to repair the towers is disputed, with most estimates considerably lower than the $5 mil figure cited. The church is structurally sound and its interior, full of irreplaceable treasures, is in very good condition.
While it is true that many Chicago churches are threatened with closure, there are many troubling aspects to the potential sale of St. Adalbert's. After reducing the church to profane but not sordid use by decree last May, the Archdiocese rescinded that decree in October, reinstating its status as a sacred site but conditioning it upon sale to a secular entity. In seeming violation of canon law, the Archdiocese plans to sell a consecrated Catholic Church to a secular entity that would determine the future of Catholic liturgy there.
Also, there are more questions than answers about that entity. Only 18 months ago, the music school was characterized by the Hyde Park Herald as new, with its directors still searching for students; yet even then, it claimed St. Adalbert as a campus. Recently, it claimed yet another site at the former St. Boniface Church, in an area that is upscaling, like Pilsen where St. Adalbert is located. It is further curious how a school that claimed only 50 students last month can expand into multiple locations. Unlike this "music school"--an entity on the move--the parishioners and faithful of St. Adalbert are grounded in the neighborhood, and deserve to have their bid considered to repair this magnificent structure and maintain it as a proper house of God.

Badger Catholic said...

Thank you for this detailed response and correction!

Anonymous said...

The St. ADALBERT CHURCH is a magnificent masterpiece of a sacred church. The decision by the archdiocese of Chicago to sell this sacred church would be a loss to the community and the history of architecture. The Polish community believed the Church was the center of their lives and this church reflects that belief from the late 19th century.
The Shrine of Christ the King Sovereign Priest faced a similar challenge in October 2015 when a fire did extensive damage to the church.The efforts of the Coalition to Save the Shrine was able to influence the archdiocese of Chicago not to demolish the Shrine. The Shrine was deeded over to the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest and the restoration work has started.
Hopefully St. ADALBERT'S CHURCH may yet
Have a miraculous ending.
Both of these churches are palaces for the poor and the rich.