Saint Adalbert Church has been a landmark in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood for more than a century, but the Chicago Archdiocese now plans to close the church’s doors.
The decision has many parishioners up in arms as several members fight to keep the church open.
“I just love it,” said parishioner Joseph Schutz. “It’s where I belong. It’s home. It’s the best way of saying it.”
When the initial announcement was made back in February, members of the church launched a fundraising effort aimed repairing the church’s iconic towers.
“We’re trying to maintain that tradition,” said parishioner Blanca Torres. “It’s just something that is very near and dear to everybody here.”
Shortly after the launch of the fundraiser, a member who passed away left the church a large donation in his will. But still, members say they’ve learned their beloved church would not get a reprieve.
"While we are grateful for the generosity of the donor who wished to contribute to the parish, the value of the assets offered turned out to be significantly less than the $3 million originally thought and less than half the cost of the tower restoration alone,” a spokeswoman for the Archdiocese said in a statement.
The Pilsen Alliance has agreed to help the church with the remaining fundraising efforts.
“We want to reach out to other organizations in the church so we can come up with a plan or see what we can do,” said Director Byron Sigcho.
The Archdiocese said it will continue to evaluate options for the church. If the building is sold, the proceeds will used to pay off Saint Adalbert’s debt.
“This is Pilsen,” said Schutz. “We’re going to fight until the end. They have no idea the fight we have in us. So they’ll learn the hard way.”