IRISH-IN-CHICAGO-L ArchivesArchiver > IRISH-IN-CHICAGO > 2007-02 > 1172161187
From: Beth Walsh <>
Subject: Re: [IRISH-IN-CHICAGO] Englewood/St. Martin's Church/Visitation also
Date: Thu, 22 Feb 2007 08:19:47 -0800 (PST)
I will have a look at my pictures (when I can find them!) and see if I can see the plaque. My mother's wedding album really only has pictures at the altar and some other shots, but I do have the proofs and I know there was one taken out in the vestibule.
When we visited a few years ago I don't remember the plaque, but I can't imagine that we wouldn't have taken a picture if it was still there. I also have a booklet from the present church congregation and if I can uncover that will see if I can contact them and ask about the plaque and the statue! There had been a lot of vandalism to the building before the present group took over, so it is possible that people got in and stole it right off the wall. It was a miracle that the stained glass windows survived almost entirely intact.
Although I have never actually visited the Archdiocese Archives in person, I have called and emailed them on a few occasions and have never gotten much help - very disappointed in their responses to be quite honest.
Again, a few years ago (!!) I was able to go inside Visitation Church - since their multimillion dollar renovation - and again took pictures. The plaque with the servicemen's names is still on the wall - my father, uncle and a few of their cousins are all listed there. One of my concerns was where is the statue of St. Patrick, of all things - he seems to be missing from there. The other major change was the baptismal area (for lack of a better term). While it is very pretty, it's not what I've ever seen in a Catholic Church. This was all acrylic - right in front of the altar by the communion rail- and was like a fountain pouring into a huge tub-like receptacle in the floor.
And yes, the front main doors of the church are no longer painted that hideous orangey color. You can no longer enter that way, as they have them gated, but at least they were back to being a normal wood color.
Beth wrote: " I just read on the cinema treasures website that the gold statue of St. Martin's had been removed ? Any news on that ?"
I don't know the story on the absence of the statue, but almost drove off the Dan Ryan Expressway the day I saw it was gone! Ironically, it was the morning after Chicago had a huge storm and high winds, so I wondered if the statue had blown off? I even exited to 59th Street on the way home to drive past the church to see if it was there on the ground, but it was nowhere to be seen.
My parents, too were married at St. Martin's, but in the rectory (my dad was not Catholic). I was baptised there, and lived in the Englewood neighborhood until the age of 7. My mother attended a St. Martin's Grade School Reunion in the 1970's, and had expressed her disappointment that the group were not able
to get inside the church because she wanted to see the memorial plaque inside the vestibule honoring servicemen from the parish who served in WWII (her brother died in the war). I had emailed the Bernadin Archives several years ago to ask if they had any photos of that vestibule and plaque, but they said no. I assume the plaque was tossed for scrap during the new owner's rennovations.
I'd love to find someone with a photo of that memorial.
Oak Forest IL
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