St. Adalbert can be saved

The people of St. Adalbert can save their spiritual home by doing some serious fund-raising and also by pursuing the goal of making the church a historic site.

St. Adalbert Church located at 1650 West 17th Street, in the Pilsen neighborhood.

St. Adalbert Church located at 1650 West 17th Street, in the Pilsen neighborhood.

Tyler Pasciak LaRiviere/Sun-Times

Is there anything sadder than the destruction of a church, its grand and glorious exterior reduced to rubble, its interior left in piles of debris, precious icons and paintings and statues gone?

The world wept when the incomparable Notre Dame Cathedral was mortally wounded by flames in Paris. Just recently, a magnificent church in Ukraine was rocked by a Russian missile strike. Horrified Ukrainians gazed upon the great altar knocked askew while marble and concrete lay scattered everywhere.

While a parish church in Chicago probably cannot compare with the megachurches of the world, parishioners still love their local churches without reserve. When there is threat of their church closing, and eventually being leveled, this is akin to a loved one dying.

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The parishioners of St. Adalbert Church in Pilsen face the fact that their place of worship may one day be demolished. St. Adalbert was founded by Polish immigrants in 1874 and the current church erected in 1912. Some $3 million is needed to shore up the steeples and building before the scaffolding can come down.

It seems to me that $3 million dollars is not an impossible sum to raise. The people of St. Adalbert can save their spiritual home by doing some serious fund-raising and also by pursuing the goal of making St. Adalbert Church a historic site now that the city’s landmark commission granted the building preliminary landmark status.

I pray that the people loyal to this beautiful church, and the Archdiocese of Chicago, continue to work together to save this little light in the darkness.

Kathleen Melia, Niles

Sacking Arwady was wrong on many levels

As a supporter of Mayor Brandon Johnson, I am writing to voice my dismay at both the firing of Dr. Allison Arwady and the way it was handled. I voted for Johnson because I agree with his view that Chicago needs a different approach to our problems. Unfortunately, in his firing of Arwady, Johnson is acting just like his predecessors by placing political revenge ahead of good public policy.

Arwady was apparently fired because members of the Chicago Teachers Union felt that the schools were opened too quickly amid COVID-19. There’s no data on the impact this policy had on Chicago students, their families or CPS staff. Johnson had vowed to oust Arwady and I can only conclude her firing wasn’t based on performance, but on politics.

Johnson reportedly hadn’t even met with Arwady before sending staff to her office on a Friday to dismiss her. What kind of a manager does that? What a terrible display of insensitivity if true. Johnson really needs to improve his approach to leadership and interpersonal relations.

Arwady was a truly reassuring presence during the height of the pandemic. Her reports on the conditions in the city were calm and factual. I believe that she was the best person for the job at that moment. If she could handle a crisis like that, I think she would have been an excellent member of Johnson’s cabinet in the city’s continuing recovery.

Sheila Castillo Nelis, Logan Square

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