Monday, December 25, 2006

Yearend Roundup 2

Following from below, (at least) 5 big positives occurred in 2006, which by no means should suggest that things couldn't be better in 2007. Here are 5 fun tasks for 2007.

1) A section of the ceiling has fallen in at Marytown in Libertyville. Some of the great plasterwork in the Archdiocese is now in bits and pieces (but nicely arranged!) on the ground. Managable, worthy project, for those so inclined.

2) St. John of God and Sherman Park remain the most regrettable neighborhood in Chicago. A landscape masterpiece by Frederich Law Olmsted, and one of the great Schlacks churches of Chicago, lay wasting in this miserable neighborhood. I have a plan, if there are any takers...

3) The developments at Barat remain as hapless as one year ago, saving the decent Old Main building in a tortured tradeoff to destroy the Chapel, as masterpiece of Ecclesiology. Nearly 200 years after beating back the secularists in Revolutionary France, the Sisters of the Sacred Heart are having a whale of a time beating back the secularists of Lake Forest, Illinois. Here's a Christmas Whack to the vile developers, and an assurance of more to come next year. Fight the good fight!

4) Speaking of the Sacred Heart, Sacred Heart Academy is building a new Chapel in traditional Catholic Style. Checks anyone? It is a good one.

5) Ss. Cyril and Methodius in Chicago/Englewood has a very pleasant look about, and would make a perfect neighborhood anchor. Given the magnificent herd of Franciscan Friars I saw walking by it last week, one might want to get Herman Gaul's view of the Heavenly City.

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Yearend Roundup-2006

Everyone needs one of these, so if you missed it, here is some of went on in the Chicago area in traditional eclesiology.

1) James McCrery has been chosen to design the $8 Million Shrine to the Divine Mercy at St. Stansislaus Kostka, the mother Church of Polish Catholics in America. Round of applause to Mike Sullivan for answering prayers (and the telephone) leading this effort.

2) Church closings were minimal in the Archdiocese, but Quigley Preparatory Seminary will be closing in 2007. However, it will be kept in good condition and adaptively reused by the Archdiocese. Anyone want to restore the old library at Quigley? Send me a note and we'll do it.

3) Fr. Bob Lombardo, CFR put the flag in the ground for the Franciscans on the far West side at Our Lady of Angels Rectory. This is a Venetian Palace of a rectory (minus some of the frills, this is a Franciscan house!). Fr. Bob pulled off a minor miracle on this one, with help of his patron Saint, AJ Weinheimer and American Cleaning and Restoration

4) Fr. George Lane SJ continues to build the west side with a Historic 1879 G.F. Steinmeyer Organ being installed at Holy Family Church. Yes, this was once in the Danish National Cathedral, and yes Bach once tuned it, and yes, it sounds great on the West Side. Fr Lane also got these angels shined up.

5) The Insitute of Christ the King has won the Hyde Park neighborhood. How you say? When they moved in, empty lots were free for the taking. Only 2 years later the same lots are selling for $650,000 (too rich for me, but that is the going rate).

What an amazing way to build a neighborhood economy...take a bombed out church, say the Latin Mass, wear the traditional Robes, and Civilization has returned to the South Side, with a little help from Mt. Carmel High School and Tom Levergood at Lumen Christi.

Next up 5 Tasks

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Englewood Church Tour (Part 1)

Yes, you may be taking your life in your own hands, but what better reason to take a risk than to see the lovely Churches of the Englewood neighborhood in Chicago. Englewood, near Sherman Park (and St. John of God), boasts 3 beautiful Churches I visited today. I will start with Nativity of the Blessed Virgin, a Ukranian Catholic Church at 4952 S Paulina St, (now the Apostolic House of Prayer). Onion Domes, Chicago Brick, seated squarely in the middle of Bungalow filled neighborhood; this is where the the Ukranians in Upton Sinclair Jungle worshipped, in a setting that does not seem Jungular at all.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

West Side Renaissance

Welcome back to the West Side of Chicago! The Mission of Our Lady of Angels (Grand and Pulaski) was dedicated today by his Eminence, Cardinal Francis George. The tireless Fr. Bob Lombardo, CFR (Grayfriar) pictured here with Cardinal George and VG Fr. John Canary, and a volunteer, has welcomed God's Providence to the Rectory, and was able to open the very nice adjoining church for todays visitors. The Rectory (not shown) is a splendid Venetian Palazzo, while the Church is very much in the style of Chicago Great, Joe McCarthy. Chalk one up for the good guys here!