Restore God's House Campaign

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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




Repair Details

Dome Repair = $2,700,000
Dome Interior Damage

Thousands of people pass through the doors of St. Mary of the Angels each year. Easily recognizable from the Kennedy Expressway, this “pearl of architectural beauty”is a well known Chicago landmark frequently toured by visitors and locals alike. During the last century, our wonderful dome – which shines as brightly as a beacon with its heavenly blue light – has suffered the wear and tear of Chicago weather, causing the exterior dome to leak and damage the inner dome (or the decorative portion we all see). With every new rain storm or snowfall, we experience substantial additional damage – with costs rising exponentially. The first priority we have set for our Restore God’s House campaign is the repair of our dome.

After careful study, our engineering firm has provided a comprehensive plan. The scope of the work involves removing all external portions of the dome, repairing any damaged portions of the structure or underlayment, covering the entire dome with a waterproof membrane and reinstalling new clay tile and terra cotta pieces. In addition, the entire dome will be tuckpointed. When these steps have been successfully completed, the interior damage of the dome will be addressed.

Parapet Rebuild = $250,000
The Parapet Wall Pre-1991

The church of St. Mary of the Angels has often been referred to as the “finest specimen of Roman Renaissance architecture in the United States.” Reviews of our church’s beauty are unanimously positive – “gorgeous,” “awesome,” “stunning,” “a Chicago treasure!” Preserving the design integrity has been a desire of many and the focus of the St. Mary of the Angels Restoration Committee. In 1991, due to safety issues and fear of collapse, the parapet wall facing Hermitage Street was removed. Happily, all the elements of the parapet – including the terra cotta pieces – have been faithfully stored in the church basement awaiting this moment in time. Because of this foresight, the reuse of these materials will provide a significant cost savings for St. Mary of the Angels.

Over the years, the Restoration Committee has been raising money to replace the parapet. Now, with the launch of Restore God’s House, the Committee members are transferring $220,000 – almost the entire cost of the parapet – to the capital campaign.

South Tower Renovation = $250,000
South Tower Damage

In the spirit of hospitality and welcome, we want every individual who attends St. Mary of the Angels to feel at home. Unfortunately, for those who enter through the South Tower, their first interior view is that of flaking walls, disintegrating plaster and general disrepair. To extend a visible greeting that is in harmony with the spiritual life of St. Mary of the Angels, masonry tuckpointing, brick work, resealing and repainting will add a positive impression to our entryway. As with the dome, the longer we wait, the greater the damage and expense. Should additional funds be available, similar needed repairs will also take place on our North Tower.



Giving Options

Options for Everyone

We will be seeking a meaningful, proportionate and sacrificial pledge from each member of our faith community. In order to make every parishioner feel a part of this effort, a variety of opportunities for giving are available. A gift to the campaign doesn’t necessarily have to be in the form of cash. Options for giving include stock, real estate, appreciated assets, life insurance and more. Non-cash gifts like these often carry attractive tax advantages. Please click here to donate to the Dome campaign.

In Giving We Receive...

In order to accomplish all of the repair work required for our dome, rebuild the parapet and renovate the South Tower, St. Mary of the Angels seeks to raise $3.2 million. To meet this ambitious goal which will Restore God’s House, we will pursue pledges from each and every member of our Parish community. To reach our objective, we will need the following:

  • heartfelt, continuous prayer that this effort be successful in not only meeting the monetary goals, but also in serving the Lord in a manner He would approve.
  • thoughtful and proportionate gifts – commensurate with one’s ability to give – to be made over a three-year period.
  • exceptional volunteerism to assist with all elements of the campaign.
  • appreciation for all the blessings we have been given and as sincere measure of gratitude as an expression of thanksgiving.
Please click here to donate to the Dome campaign.

Giving Over Time

While some parishioners may wish to make a large single gift in support of this effort, others have requested a payment schedule that will allow them to extend the possibilities of their generosity. These gifts can be made in annual, quarterly, monthly or weekly installments. The following chart illustrates gifts broken down over a three-year pledge period.

All figures rounded to the nearest dollar.
Matching Gifts

One way to increase your gift to Restore God’s House without writing a larger check is to use the Matching Gift program offered by your employer. Under most circumstances, the donor simply completes a form which is then verified by the campaign office. Many firms will match contributions to charities at a one-to-one ratio or sometimes higher – from both employees and retirees. If you are uncertain about your company’s policy, check with your human resources department. A few minutes could double the impact of your contribution!

In Honor or In Memory

Your gift or pledge in memory or in recognition of someone you wish to honor (a family member, friend, colleague, clergy, teacher) provides a beautiful memorial or tribute to a special person in your life. Ask your campaign Ambassador for more details.



Campaign Prayer

Guide us, Lord, as we work together offering our best in Your name, sharing our blessings as an expression of gratitude, and rejoicing in the opportunity to Restore God’s House.

Guide us, Lord, as we work together remembering that all we do is for Your greater glory and honor, recognizing that everything in our lives comes from Your hand, and knowing that Your love is everlasting.

Guide us, Lord, as we work together living our faith, trusting Your word, and believing in everyday miracles.

Be our guide, Lord, and may the work we do always be pleasing in Your sight. Amen.



Thank You

To everyone who reads this material, opens their homes to our volunteers, and makes the choice to help us Restore God’s House, we sincerely thank you. Not only for the financial commitment you are sharing on behalf of St. Mary of the Angels Parish, but also for your understanding that giving back − as an expression of thanksgiving − is part of being a good Christian steward. God bless you for your support, your prayers and your never-ending devotion.



Additional Information and Contacts

Contact Us

For additional information please contact the Restore God's House Campaign Office by phone at 773-278-2644 or email at jmendez@sma-church.org.

Campaign Leadership Team

Rev. Hilary Mahaney
Rev. Joe Landauer
Rev. Charles Ferrer
Gary Bilinovich
Mary Childers
Brett Denker
Judy Mendez
Eugene Urbaszewski


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