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AN APPEAL TO POPE FRANCIS: COME TO CHICAGO AND SEE ST. JAMES’ CHURCH

interior of the newly restored Holy Name Cathedral

interior of the newly restored Holy Name Cathedral (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Your Holiness, I make an appeal and present to you my observations regarding the ongoing saga of the history of St. James’ Church at 29th and Wabash in the south side of Chicago.

Sir, one day I went to explore that story and take some photographs. Today I am sharing both with you in the hope that you will personally come to Chicago and ascertain the facts and take in the story for yourself. You need to, because I feel that something is not right with the way this is being handled, that there are demographics at work that will ruin the chance for this community to have its church restored.

jameswside

This photo is taken from the northwest side of the church; it shows some of the elevated track behind the church. Apparently transit presence is one of the issues being used to support the closing of the church and its relocation.

The people of the area do not want the relocation; they want their historic church preserved.

stjamfront

This photo above is of the front of the church, showing the scaffolding.

StJamhouse

This photo is of a lovely historic structure to the left of the entrance of the church. It would be a pity should this building have to go because the church is destroyed.

Your Holiness, I have observed the nature of the environments of the areas around both Holy Name Cathedral, which is around where I live, and of St. James’ Church. The area of Holy Name, which is the Gold Coast of Chicago, is lively, vibrant, full of families and prosperity and schools and grand homes and apartments. It is the opposite of the area around St. James, which on a Saturday was nearly deserted and very quiet. There were a couple of cars and some people around in the housing complex on the west side of State Street, but I wondered what the atmosphere would be like if the church was restored as nicely as Holy Name was following the three-alarm fire.

Holy Name of Jesus

Holy Name of Jesus (Photo credit: Lawrence OP)

In no time at all it seemed, Holy Name was brought up to speed and looks better than ever. That money was raised and the construction efforts and restoration went ahead top speed. Many believe that it is because Holy Name is the “Cardinal’s Church”, but I say that ALL churches in this archdiocese are the Cardinal’s churches and belong to all the people and all the clergy. May who comment on this issue say that the push to shut down St. James’ is racially motivated. Comparing the Holy Name issue to St. James’ congregation concerns, I see that something is terribly wrong and needs to be fixed.

People of Bronzeville, people of Chicago interested in saving this beautiful church and bringing back pride and resources to the city, contact the Pope at the following address. Resource is below.

His Holiness, Pope Francis
Apostolic Palace
00120 Vatican City

RESOURCES

  1. http://vatican.usembassy.gov/vatican/ writing.html

StJamside4

Divi Logan, Chicago, ©2013. Please obtain permission for using photographs or content. Thank you.

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