Thursday, August 03, 2006

New Hope in the Trials of St. Boniface




"The heathens fell upon them and murdered Boniface and fifty-two companions (according to some, thirty-seven)": I suppose when you are being attacked by heathens, 15 companions can make a real difference. At St. Boniface in Chicago, we could use at least 52 companions in getting Henry J. Schlacks faded masterpiece back into shape.

Right now, we have the Archdiocese, the Vicar General, the Landmarks Preservation Council of Illinois, the Mayor's Office, and some folks interested in bringing St. Boniface back as a working Church. Yes, not a condo, not an arts center, not a parking lot, but a Christian Church working to build its mission on the near northwest side of Chicago. The interior was opened today by the Archdiocese in an attempt to show the current mixed condition of the church. I can report:

1) The brick exterior is in fine shape.
2) The neighborhood is fairly safe, and property values are sky-high
3) The interior has some damage, but is structurally sound. There are broken windows.
4) The liturgical ornament is falling apart, but the glory of the liturgical paintings still shows through.
5) The floors and walls need a good cleaning. I wiped off the altar. It will need wiped off again before it is used.

Can we pull in 52 companions to bring this Church back to a shade of its former glory?

2 comments:

Daniel Mitsui said...

But to whom would the church be entrusted? Would it just become a regular archdiocesan parish again?

Anonymous said...

I just moved in on this block of Chestnut and I would love to get into this church to view the inside. The outside needs much work. I'm sure the inside does too. I don't know if it really appears to be structurally sound. I'm afraid it would take more than 52 companions to get this back into shape. It is beautiful though.