St. Adalbert Church is a historic church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago. The church is located on 17th Street between Paulina Street and Ashland Avenue in the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois. St. Adalbert has served generations of Polish immigrants and their American-born children; at its peak, parish membership numbered 4,000 families with more than 2,000 children enrolled in the school. The church has been the historical epicenter of Chicago’s Polish Catholic culture. In recent times, the church has been an anchor for Mexican and other Spanish speaking immigrants that have made the Pilsen area their home. The church is named after St. Adalbert of Prague. Read more…
Since his arrival in Chicago, Cardinal Cupich has closed parishes at a rapid and accelerating rate. In the face of intense ongoing objection from parishioners including Poles and Hispanics from the Pilsen neighborhood and elsewhere, the cardinal put St. Adalbert’s up for sale in 2019. A letter of intent for the purchase of St. Adalbert’s has reportedly been signed, the reported prospective buyer being ANEW LLC, led by Dan Davidson. Davidson has already converted an Orthodox Jewish temple in South Beach (Miami) into a luxury/celebrity event venue called The Temple House. TheTempleHouse.com
The venue’s claim to fame is the digital video projection technology used on the interior walls. He’s using this technology to transform sacred spaces into pseudo-sacred psychedelic spaces that can be adapted to his will. He, his video projections and his attitude are depicted in the video on the top of the home page of his United Projection website here. UnitedProjection.com. United Projection is co-located at The Temple House. Extasee is another of his businesses. Extasee.com.
Neither Cardinal Cupich nor the Vatican should be considering the sale of St. Adalbert’s or any church for such a profane appropriation of the Catholic faith.
Poles, Hispanics and others have been praying for the restoration of St. Adalber’s as a church, shrine or monastery at Rosary rallies that have been taking place weekly since 2019 at Saint Adalbert’s and at Cardinal Cupich’s Holy Name Cathedral.
In August of 2022, a large hole was broken in the wall of the beloved St. Adalbert’s church so that it’s Pieta sculpture could be removed and relocated. Both the church and the Pieta were created with the funds of the Polish community. Funding from Poles, including Polish philanthropists, has played a major role in the church’s upkeep. This sacred work of art was carved inside St. Adalbert’s, not long after the church was completed in 1914. It is an exact replica of the one at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome and was made using marble from the same quarry using a mold taken from the Vatican sculpture.
The August attempt to remove the Pieta was thwarted through the efforts of vigilant neighbors, the prompt actions of the Hispanics and Poles who have been working to save the church and the support of others, including the local alderman, Byron Sigcho-Lopez. Since then, a dedicated group of Hispanics, Poles and others has kept a 24-hour watch over the church and Pieta from the alley that provides the access point that would be used for the sculpture’s removal.
Cardinal Cupich and Fr. Michael Enright, the pastor of St. Paul’s, a nearby affiliated parish, have been ascribing responsibility to one another for the removal of this treasured and sacred part of the local and ethnic heritage. As of October 20, Cardinal Cupich has taken responsibility for the situation. It remains to be seen whether he will attempt to continue his course of action, ignoring the outcry from many Chicago Catholics.
Reporting on the efforts to prevent the removal of the Pieta is provided here.
We ask the support of the bishops in Chicago, Poland and elsewhere, to encourage the reversal of the decision to sell off St. Adalbert’s, an architectural treasure, a sacred part of our history and a much-needed center from which to re-evangelize the beleaguered Pilsen neighborhood. We ask the clergy and laity to support this cause and to help raise awareness about the looming profanation of this extraordinary church. We ask Mayor Lightfoot, the Landmark Commission and the Chicago City Council to listen and respond to the outcry of their constituents who stand to lose not just their beloved church, but also their homes as they are displaced by the gentrification of Pilsen. It’s wrong to drive Pilsen’s immigrant population away and into even more dangerous parts of Chicago. We ask Cardinal Cupich and Pope Francis to face the failure of a Church that is collapsing wherever it has turned away from Christ and the timeless deposit of faith in favor of the ways of the world and to recognize how the Church thrives where it holds fast to divine revelation, sacred tradition and its mission to make disciples of Christ. We ask faithful religious orders looking for a place to grow to consider coming to St. Adalbert’s and reestablishing Catholicism as a much-needed transformative force for good in the community. We ask philanthropists to consider supporting the development of a well-conceived and self-sustaining effort to do so.
Could there be a better time to re-evangelize Chicago?