We will be holding a Prayer vigil in front of St. Adalbert Church (1650 W. 17th Street) starting at 6pm on Tuesday , February 28. The protest is in response to the reported sale of the St. Adalbert Complex to the Chicago Academy of Music (CAM), which has no roots and little to no support for its plans. This non-catholic entity is to host a concert, a paid event, at the church which is still a sacred site on that day at 7pm. We are in opposition to sale and are in a Canonical appeal process to bring about a different resolution.
The parishioners of St. Adalbert Church have submitted a matching offer to purchase the Church complex as a joint venture with long-standing community organization, The Resurrection Project (TRP). The immigrant faithful community of St. Adalbert that includes the Polish ( who helped build the church) , the Mexican ( who helped maintain it) and TRP have the support of community residents, numerous iconic community organizations and other citywide partners and elected officials including 25th Ward Alderman, Danny Solis. The Resurrection Project and many other community groups have a long history of serving the neighborhood and with the financial capability to present an alternative viable plan to CAM’s proposal. CAM itself is a new, untried organization which has never owned real estate. It is unclear that it indeed HAS the resources to purchase the building and to maintain it in the long run. We also have over $1million dollars in an account , and with the partnerships we are forming we know we will be able to provide additional funds for acquisition , eventual renovation and operational costs. We are committed to raise additional funds with all our stakeholders.
The ” transparent process ” as stated in certain media outlets from the Archdiocese, had as its outcome certain proscribed solutions, with almost all being the closure of St. Adalbert. Our true voice was never really heard. To date, the refusal of dialogue is itself very disheartening, we demand an opportunity to present our plans for the Church complex as well as have the Archdiocese of Chicago disclose the provisions for ensuring proper liturgical use of St. Adalbert Church in efforts to preserve the integrity of their Church. We are not asking for handouts or help, we are seeking to provide a workable solution to our church and deserve the same consideration or even more so, then a non-Catholic entity.
In these times of crisis and uncertainty in our country we look to the Cardinal for leadership and support. Our ancestors, many of who helped build St. Adalbert and many other Catholic churches, came to this country in search of the American dream and the values that make this country great. That mark of all inclusiveness should be forthcoming in this Cardinal Cupich administration since it expouses the defense of the marginalized poor that is the hallmark of Pope Francis and that vision of openness and acceptance of all.
We strive to have St. Adalbert be the welcoming fulcrum of a complex filled with many different cultural, civic and spiritual activities, those that will benefit all , not just a select few.
To Cardinal Cupich , your immigrant faithful look to you for transparent dialogue, hear our voice!
If you want your voice heard , please sign the petition here.
If you believe in this St. Adalbert endeavor, please provide donation here.
Peter Borre our Canonical Advisor speaking to the St. Adalbert Faithful last Wednesday
February 22, 2017.