FROM THE PASTOR
Throughout the last 30 years we have seen numerous restoration and renovation projects at our parish. Anyone who has been here for any length of time has witnessed the transformation. One of the longest awaited projects has been the construction of new restrooms.
After several delays and some unexpected obstacles, we are happy to say that the project has finally begun and the construction of the new restrooms in the lower level of the church is fully underway.
However, while beginning this project, the unexpected happened—what began as a “simple” bathroom project had now turned into a much larger undertaking.
In the early stages of construction, engineers determined that our main spiral staircase had deteriorated. They would need to be replaced from the basement all the way up to the organ balconies. In addition, our old wedge-shaped stairs were not compliant with the new Chicago Building Code. We are not able to repair or rebuild the original staircase.
While the stairs are certainly a more urgent safety need, we were unable to use the To Teach Who Christ Is funds for the project since they were designated for the bathrooms. We also learned that it will be much more cost-efficient to do both projects at the same time.
As many of you remember, the restroom project was made possible by the funds donated through our To Teach Who Christ Is campaign managed by the Archdiocese of Chicago. Even though all pledges were not fulfilled (only about 70%), we were able to begin the new men’s and women’s restrooms that will allow us to accommodate the continued growth of our parish.
I fully believe the new restrooms and the renovated lower level vestibule will serve our parish for generations to come. As for the new staircase, we have settled on a design that uses steel and wrought iron and with some modifications will fit easily into the aesthetic of our church.
In order to begin construction on both projects as soon as possible, the Canons Regular made a donation of $450,000 to the project, so the parish would have the money in the bank, as required by the Archdiocese.
I am hopeful that together, we can raise the remaining funds needed to build new bathrooms and take our stairs, “To the Heights!”. We are estimating our current need to be $500,000. One-hundred percent of the funds donated to this Capital Campaign will stay at our parish.
We know that our church, since its beginning, has been built on the generosity of her parishioners. It is now our turn to care for the beautiful building that has been entrusted to us. Please prayerfully consider how you can help us reach the heights to leave a safe legacy for future generations.
Yours in Christ,
Very Rev. Joshua Caswell, SJC
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