SNEED: Blase Cupich may raise money to repair cardinal’s mansion

SHARE SNEED: Blase Cupich may raise money to repair cardinal’s mansion

The “cardinal’s mansion” on North State Parkway. | AP

The Cardinal’s story . . .

Sneed hears rumbles Cardinal Blase Cupich, who has no desire to live at the cardinal’s Queen Anne-style mansion on North State Parkway, is quietly testing the waters to raise money to repair the ancient pile.

The tab?

Sneed hears a suggested $6 million of privately raised funds has been mentioned, according to a top Sneed source who claims to be familiar with the idea.

The old red brick and sandstone mansion, which has been home to eight Catholic archbishops since 1885, is two blocks from Lake Michigan on a prime piece of property known as the House of 19 Chimneys.


But it is also in bad need of repair, and word is $16 million may have been a recent offer for the manicured church property, whose suggested sale years ago by the late Cardinal Francis George was met with serious lay and clerical resistance. It was also noted back then it would be a laborious if not impossible property to sell.

George, Cupich’s predecessor, wanted to sell the mansion, contending, “It was too much home for a humble servant of God.” His proposal was to sell the estate for an estimated $15 million. George wound up living there until he died.

Cupich, whose humility led to his personal selection by Pope Francis, lives in a dorm setting at Holy Name Cathedral rectory alongside fellow clergy.

“But I think the cardinal wants to make the mansion more useful as a sanctuary or retreat or meeting ground — and sees how the ancient pile of bricks known as the Governor’s Mansion in Springfield is successfully being renovated with private funds,” said a source.

Sneed called the Archdiocese of Chicago for a comment and elicited the following response: “The Archdiocese does not comment on rumors.”

The stork story . . . 

Ring. Ring.

Illinois Senate President John Cullerton called Sneed to report why Tuesday was a bad day and a very, very, very, good day.

A scoop, perhaps, John?

“Well, yes,” he said.

“It just so happens Tuesday was filled with bad news . . . and some very good news,” he added.

“The bad news?” Sneed inquired.

“Well, Mike, as you know, Governor Bruce Rauner vetoed the school bill  on Tuesday. (Rauner nixed parts dealing with new partisan school funding, which included what has been described as the “Chicago bailout.”)

“But we still want to deal,” he added. “So we are going back to the table.”

“So what’s the good news?” Sneed asked.

“I also became a grandfather today [Tuesday]!” he said.

“How much better does it get? Pam and I have a new granddaughter named Edie. She is the sister of Cormac and the daughter of our daughter, Margaret, and her husband, Brian Hooper.

“Edie was born at Evanston Hospital, where her mother was born and . . .”

Thus we left Cullerton in a state of euphoria and in anticipation of hanging Edie’s birth announcement next to the rest of the little Cullerton birth items listed in Sneed’s column over the years.


The Schock saga . . . 


News ex-U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock’s attorneys want their client’s felony indictment thrown out because of “prejudicial questions” about Schock’s sexuality — including witnesses being asked by the feds if he’s gay — triggered this memory of a response by Schock’s father to a Chicago ABC7 TV reporter in March 2015.

“Aaron wears stylish clothing and yet he’s not gay . . . and he’s not married and he’s not running around with women, so everybody is throwing up their arms,” said Dr. Richard Schock.

“Aaron is a little different,” his father said, addressing the rampant rumors over his son’s sexuality. “Two years from now he’ll be successful, if he’s not in jail,” Schock continued.

Melania, my my . . . 

Good grief!

As if the country isn’t going through enough!

Now comes word first lady Melania Trump is rotating her apparel.

Repeating dresses.

Captured on Melania’s official Instagram posing with White House interns recently was a white Michael Kors dress she wore in May 2016, when President Donald Trump won the Indiana primary.

What’s a girl to do?

Sneedlings . . .

I spy: George “Cheers” Wendt spotted Saturday night at Harry Caray’s in River North. . . . Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt dining at Harry Caray’s Water Tower Place on Tuesday. . . . Today’s birthdays: Tom Brady, 40; Martha Stewart, 76; and Michael Ealy, 44.

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