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$3 Million Donation Could Be Pilsen Church's Saving Grace

By Stephanie Lulay | March 15, 2016 8:54am
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Due to "extensive repairs needed," St. Adalbert Church, 1650 W. 17th St., will be closed, the Archdiocese announced in February.
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St. Adalbert

PILSEN — A Pilsen Catholic church slated to close because of costly repairs may be saved after the church received a multimillion dollar anonymous donation this week. 

St. Adalbert Catholic Church on 17th Street has received a $3 million donation from a parishioner who died, according to a post on the church's website.

The $3 million donation was made by a parishioner who died and left the large sum to her nephew, with instructions to donate it to St. Adalbert when he died, Richard Olszewski, community hours coordinator at the church, told CBS Chicago. The big gift was announced at Sunday mass this week. 

“It was very exciting. People were crying, and people were happy and clapping their hands,” Olszewski said.

In February, the Archdiocese of Chicago announced that St. Adalbert, 1650 W. 17th St., would close "due to extensive repairs needed and associated high costs," according to a statement early Sunday. The church, built in 1914, has been raising money to repair its towers, windows and pipe organ. 

The Archdiocese has not yet received a formal proposal from St. Adalbert regarding repairs, officials confirmed. 

"We are sincerely grateful and continue to pray that the archdiocese will allow us to stay open...This is only the beginning!" leaders posted on the church's Facebook page this week. 

Earlier this year, a GoFundMe page created to raise $3 million to restore its 185-foot-tall towers, which some considered unsafe, raised less than $2,000 in nine months.

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