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Archiver > IRISH-IN-CHICAGO > 2008-01 > 1201571068


From: Nan Brennan <>
Subject: Re: [IRISH-IN-CHICAGO] Holy Family 150th
Date: Mon, 28 Jan 2008 19:44:28 -0600
References: <14641.26553.qm@web80602.mail.mud.yahoo.com>
In-Reply-To: <14641.26553.qm@web80602.mail.mud.yahoo.com>


Wonderful story, Judy.
Thank you.

Nan

P.S. Did they videotape any of the ceremony or any of the storytelling?
What an opportunity for oral histories.

On Jan 28, 2008, at 12:57 PM, Judith Mason wrote:

> Donna, Nan and all!
>
> So sorry for the delay in responding/reporting about my
> attendance at Holy Family's 150th. anniversary celebration.
>
> To begin, I happened upon a private tour of the church back in
> 1997/98 when only the main altar renovations had just been
> completed. I'd gone to visit and was disappointed to find the
> church doors locked. At the curb, a van parked, opened the back
> door and the driver proceeded to unload, with much difficulty,
> boxes of food for the food pantry. Of course, I held the basement
> door open and helped carry the remaining boxes. As my reward, this
> wonderful lady walked me up the back stairs, turned on the altar
> lights and told me the story of coming so close to loosing this
> most beautiful place and the mission to save and restore it. The
> altar was spectacular, the remaining part of the church was
> awesome, but the need for help was quite obvious.
>
> On December 30, 2007, I was thrilled to witness Holy Family's
> celebration. The church was packed with not even standing room
> available when I arrived just moments before Cardinal George began
> to process to the altar. I crept slowly to the front to stand
> along the wall on the right just in front of extra chairs that had
> been placed. Having a panoramic view, I could see the beauty that
> had been returned to the church. Within a few moments, an elderly
> lady sitting in the third row center waived for me to join her. A
> family member had not arrived and I was offered the empty
> space.......thrill number two!!
>
> The mass and the presentation of gifts to those persons so
> instrumental in saving and preserving Holy Family Church was
> moving, even tearful at times when I could see how important this
> holy place was to so many. I can't not give a report without
> telling you about the choir and it's director. These amazingly
> talented people put on a performance that I don't have the words to
> describe. I must tell you this, I did not see one sheet of
> music......thrill number three.
>
> After the ceremonial mass, the church remained packed with
> current and past parishioners reminiscing, looking in awe at the
> beautiful church, the display of altar angels and various
> antiquities that had been found in a basement and waiting in line
> (a very long line) to sign the guest book. Listening to many of
> the past parishioner stories made me feel like I was participating
> in a live fairytale.
>
> After signing the guest book, I walked over to the school
> cafeteria where all had been invited for a continental breakfast.
> That two was an "experience". I sat at a table with a few people.
> We listened intently to a very elderly Italian woman who lives just
> off Little Italy's Taylor Street in the home her grandfather.
> Among a number of stories, the one I enjoyed most was this lady's
> telling what it was like growing up and living through the many
> neighborhood changes within the Holy Family Church parish. I wish
> I could have listened to every story that was told on this
> exceptional day. I'm so glad I was able to attend this celebration.
>
> There's still work to be done and money to be raised to do this
> work. There is no doubt in my mind the current congregation
> consisting of such spiritual, positive, hard working people will
> make this happen. The candle, now electrified, fulfilling the
> promise to burn forever that was made when the church was saved
> from the Great Fire of 1871 still illuminates the side altar.
>
> Hope this gives you some idea of how spectacular the entire event
> was.
>
> Judie Mason
> Chicago
>
>
> Nan Brennan <> wrote:
> Donna wrote:
>> I'm also interested in how the 150th Anniversary Celebration went
>> at Holy
>> Family Church. Unless I missed something, all the Catholic New
>> Word had was a
>> captioned photo
>
> Others have asked about this, too, including Tom Cook out in Oregon.
>
> I don't know who all attended this besides Judie.
> It would be great if you could tell us a little about it.
>
> Thank you,
>
> Nan
>
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