A year and a half of pandemic, the Renew My Church discernment and decision behind us, many things have returned to normal—in person formation, Masses, celebrations, etc.—and many things have not… nor do we want them to. Our school has increased to 275 students, with a Language Intensive preschool, a Montessori option, with a middle school and junior high that exceeds all surrounding schools in test scores.

Sacraments for our young people are growing—look at First Communion and Confirmations without the school! Marriages are up too, which is a trend we hope continues.

On the financial side we have seen operating revenue up the last two years, especially in unrestricted extraordinary donations,1* which are not “taxed” by the Archdiocese (contact our business manager to explore how you can make an extraordinary donation: 773-278-2644 x228 / busmgr@sma-church.org).

This past year the first St. Mary of the Angels’ Payroll Protection Plan (PPP) loan was forgiven, which increased revenue to the school by $264,000 and to the church by $102,000. 3* The school also receive $233,000 in Illinois Tax Credit Scholarship, thanks to all our generous parishioners who directed their Illinois taxes to our schools. Contact us if you’re interested in doing this too.

On the expense side, we now must pay for our water bills which have piled up while the Archdiocese fought new city requirements for religious institutions.4*  Cleaning costs were higher during the pandemic, especially in the school,5* and we gave out 20,000 Holy Water bottles, which increased some of our supply costs.6*

We keep collecting money from our For All Generations campaign, while we built new confessionals, exit stairs on the west (Wood Street) side, finished the church boiler installation, and did work on the north tower—almost finished!7*

With the Illinois State Credit Scholarship, we have been able to build up the Fr. Hilary Scholarship Fund for future students in need.8* 

Finally, the Sacred Art Fund purchased the new statue of Jesus for the church: Heart of Divine Mercy and Love. 9* This shows that the real growth in the parish flows from the Heart of Divine Mercy and Love as each one of us go to him and return to him, bringing our cares and concerns, and our families and friends.

Let’s all continue to pray the Memorare prayer as we entrust our evangelization efforts to St. Mary of the Angels, who teaches us to love with a love that gives itself away.

Fr. John Waiss