A dream and vision…
Of a holy place of prayer and worship that would move the faithful from the ordinary to the extraordinary, from the mundane to the spiritual.
A monument of faith…
Built on a foundation of the conviction, talent and generosity of those who have gone before us and supported by the hope and sacrifice of our community today .
A historic preservation project that …
Entailed the stone-by-stone dismantling of St. John of God Catholic Church in Chicago (closed in1992) and the rebuilding of the old church façade, with these very stones, for the new St. Raphael the Archangel Church in Old Mill Creek.
Preserved the carved limestone exterior of this 1918 Renaissance-style church (designed by the architect Henry J. Schlacks), its 140-foot towers and its 4500-pound bells from deterioration or demolition.
Salvaged the museum quality stained glass windows, marble altars and statuary, and beautiful carvings from another shuttered Chicago Catholic Church, St. Peter Canisius (closed in 2007).
St. Raphael the Archangel Church
A unique preservation opportunity…
Thanks to the generosity of former Chicago Mayor, Richard M. Daley, we have acquired the 1915 Austin Pipe Organ No. 558 for the new St. Raphael the Archangel Church organ. After 10 years in storage, this is almost certainly the last chance for its restoration and use. We need your help to save it.
A historic instrument…
One of the few, large civic organs to survive from the early 20th Century. There are fewer than 20, and possibly fewer than 10, pipe organs installed in auditoriums in the early 1900s that still exist -intact, playable and comparable in size and scale to the 1915 Austin Pipe Organ No. 558.
A magnificent and large pipe organ…
Voiced in the English tradition, which gives it a warm, dark, rolling and powerful (but not loud) sound.
One of the largest pipe organs in Chicago, 92 stop and 74 rank, with a total of 5120 pipes that include three, full-length 32- foot sets of pipes. It has a Universal Air Chest that could accommodate a sit-down dinner for 25 people and Solo Cathedral Chimes that are the largest tubular bells of their type.
A significant Chicago cultural asset…
Well-known to Chicagoans because it is the orchestral organ that was housed in the Medinah Temple. The pipe organ was played (and frequently recorded with the Chicago Symphony) at concerts, recitals and graduations that were regularly held there and which a large percentage of Chicagoans attended.
A significant local, national and international asset...
The historic and cultural value of the pipe organ is too great to keep it confined to St. Raphael the Archangel church services and functions. It is our dream and vision that it will become an intrinsic part of the cultural community of Northern Illinois and a resource for local, national and international events. In that regard, we are planning to hold regularly scheduled concerts/recitals and we will be inviting some of the most renowned national and international organists and musicians to perform. These events will be open to the public, to all those who love classical music, and will not be faith- restricted.
The organ will be restored in authentic style, in order to preserve the character and historic value of the organ.
The scope of this work includes restoration of tonal clarity, greater brilliance, the addition of a large variety of stops and the sensitive, in-character addition of 12 ranks of pipes. Any tonal additions needed for the new liturgical setting will mirror the specification of the organ’s larger, sister instrument (No. 500) that is sitting in storage in San Francisco. Additions will mirror No. 500 because the design specifications of that organ were the original design specifications for No 558, our new St. Raphael the Archangel church organ. It was due to a lack of space in the Medinah Temple that the original specifications had to be pared back.
The 1915 Austin Pipe Organ No. 558
In 2010, we began an ambitious campaign to raise funds for the construction of a church building that would have the look and the feel of a holy place of worship and contemplative prayer. We wanted the architecture of the church to be sacred, traditional and transcendent, i.e. transporting us out of ourselves and into God's presence. In addition, we expected the architecture to reflect our mission: welcoming with open arms all members of our community - parishioners and non- parishioners, practicing Catholics and non- practicing Catholics, neighbors and friends of different faith traditions- and attending to their spiritual, religious and personal needs according to the example Jesus set for us in the scriptures and the sacraments. At the same time, we wanted to build a church that would be the realization of our vision of historic, architectural and cultural preservation.
Thanks to the generosity of our parishioners and friends, we have made great progress in the construction of the new St. Raphael the Archangel Church. It exists today because of the conviction, talent, generosity, sacrifice and prayer of those who have gone before us and of those today who believe in our mission and support our vision.
We ask for your support to help us complete the construction of the new St. Raphael Church, a unique and complex project of historical and cultural preservation. Just as we stand on the shoulders of those who went before us, we owe to our children and their children a legacy that can, in turn, inspire them to be part of something greater than themselves.
There are many ways to get involved in the St. Raphael the Archangel Church building campaign and we welcome your support.
Whether you are a former St. John of God or St. Peter Canisius parishioner or a Catholic Church parishioner across the world; a supporter of the arts (marble statuary, carved wood, paintings, art glass and stained glass); a person who is committed to sustainable architectural practices or one who supports architectural historic preservation; a classical music or pipe organ enthusiast…, we would like to hear from you. We welcome your thoughts, comments and participation in this campaign.
Give a Gift to the Church Today
I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something I can do.
— Edward Everett Hale
Thank you for your support of the new St. Raphael Church building campaign.
We cannot succeed without you.
Tour the Church
Please accept my invitation to schedule a tour
of the new St. Raphael the Archangel Church in the very near future.
After you see it, I am sure you will agree that it is an architectural and historic masterpiece that will serve the religious needs of our community and a beautiful center of culture that will attract local, national and international visitors.— Rev. Fr. John A. Jamnicky
To schedule a group or private tour of the new church, please follow the link below
or call Dr. Gambla at 847.395.3474.