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Miracle On 17th Street? St. Adalbert Gets $3M Gift, Hopes To Stay Open

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A Pilsen neighborhood church slated to close later this year under a consolidation plan announced by the Chicago Catholic Archdiocese might get a new lease on life thanks to a major anonymous donation.

"A miracle has happened at St. Adalbert's," said Richard Olszewski, a volunteer coordinator at St. Adalbert's Church.

The current church has stood at the corner of 17th and Paulina streets since 1914, but the Archdiocese recently said repairs for the church's towers and other badly needed overhauls would be too costly, and the church will be closing this summer under a plan to consolidate six Pilsen parishes into three.

Olszewski said, at Sunday mass, it was announced a parishioner who died had left about $3 million to her nephew, with instructions to donate it to St. Adalbert when he died. Since the church needs that money now, he decided to donate it now.

"It was very exciting. People were crying, and people were happy and clapping their hands," he said.


St. Adalbert would still need another $500,000 to have its buildings tuckpointed.

Olszewski said the church is waiting to hear back from the Archdiocese about whether the church now can stay open.

A spokesperson said the Archdiocese said it has not yet received a proposal from St. Adalbert.

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