By now you should be fully aware that Our Lady of the Wayside parish is going through some major repairs. Thus far -- about one week into the church repairs -- we are on time and on schedule!
I want to thank you for your patience and understanding thus far -- and hope it will continue until the end of the project. The scheduled "end date" is April, in time for Easter Sunday. We all are likely to be keeping eyes on the calendar, and on the workers!
It took a little longer than we had hoped to get the approval to begin this project but there are many parishes in the Archdiocese of Chicago and many "stamps of approval" were needed. We finally received approval for the church repair project at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, November 17, the Friday before Thanksgiving.
I particularly want to thank you again for the generosity Our Lady of the Wayside parishioners have shown.
This much-needed work would not be possible without the support OLW parishioners demonstrated in the recent "To Teach Who Christ Is" campaign.
Our Lady of the Wayside has paid $1,310,000 of our pledge of $2,571,000. This has enabled us to make these improvements.
Not all parishes were able to reach their goals -- some goals were much smaller than ours -- but through your support and dedication we are able to proceed.
Upon approval of the Archdiocese, we were free to move forward and I am very pleased that work began just five weeks later. And it took less than one week for the pews, confessionals, Baptismal font, organ and Stations of the Cross to be removed.
If you were in the church building last week or have seen some of the photos that appeared in the Bulletin or on Facebook, you know that the interior of the church was virtually gutted as all the pews, kneelers, confessionals -- even the Baptismal Font -- were removed.
Even the plaques depicting the Stations of the Cross have been removed. (They will be re-installed.)
One of the major steps of the project last week -- and in every week until late April -- will be the conversion of the Father Mackin Center gymnasium into our Church for weekend Masses. Saturday night and Sunday Masses will be celebrated in the Father Mackin Center while daily Masses and Communion Services will be celebrated in the Gathering Place at the regular time of 7:00 a.m. for Communion Services and 8:30 a.m. for Mass, Monday through Friday.
The first full week of this "transplant" went smoothly!
As you can see from photos this week, the church has been emptied and the workers in these photos are the members of the asbestos removal crew, who began their work on Tuesday. The church is sealed until they finish and we will update you next week on progress and new developments.
Again, thank you for your patience and your support.
Father Ed Fialkowski
Pastor, Our Lady of the Wayside