|Epiphany, 2008: harpist Nancy Dunagan, flautist Denise LaGiglia, and pianist Marty Hesse.|
Book enthroned in the hall, named after St. Anthony. Note the icon of
Christ the Teacher, with a light in front of it. Both icons are loaned
to us from Father Milos Vesin, pastor of St. Michael's Church in
Lansing. Traditionally, the icon of Mary is on the left; the icon of
Christ is on the right. The purple cloths are in accord with the season
of Lent. |
|Stations of the Cross on Friday evening during Lent|
|Vespers on Friday evening during Lent|
Feb. 17, Father Gilligan welcomes two special guests. On the left,
Howard C. Morrison speaks to the people of San Rocco. He is the District
Deputy for the State of Illinois, for the Knights of Columbus. On the
right is James J. Leech, Grand Knight of the Chicago Heights Council 997
of the Knights of Columbus. Mr. Morrison explains that one purpose of
their organization is charity; the Knights want to help out the San
Rocco community, after the devastation of their church.|
the Knights present their checks to the community of San Rocco. Their
generosity is much appreciated by the people. That's St. Rocco himself
in the background, on the right.|
the left are Tom D'Ambrosio of Giersten Restoration, Joe Grilli,
Jayleen Angellotti, Father Gilligan, John Onofrio, and Paul Grossi of
Giersten. This is the building committee, in which each member has a
special competence. As Paul Grossi had asked, there are only two or
three people from San Rocco involved, no more.|
Sunday, 2008, at St. Rocco; we have an overflowing number of people
present and participating. On the far left are Enza and Rosario
Randazzo, in from New Jersey.|
|Here is the other half of the Easter Sunday congregation.|
|From the left are Marty Hesse, Michael Szczasny, and David Allie.|
is the Easter Sunday Choir, singing (appropriately) Sunday Morning by
Handel. "Let our eager, Easter voices sing it out, so he rejoices..."
The soprano section is augmented by Pat Hahto, 4th from the left.|
May 10, 2008, for the Vigil of Pentecost, begins with a short service
of light. The church is in darkness and silence; then the ministers
enter, led by the Easter candle. Deacon Bob Bonta (above) carries the
candle at the head of the procession.|
Joseph Perry presides at Vespers. He is the episcopal vicar for this
region of the Archdiocese of Chicago. To his left is Paul Rodriguez,
At this time, Father Gilligan is singing the encomium, a song of praise
for the Easter candle.|
Pena reads the second blessing before the Shema, the "Hear, O Israel."
Note that the Easter candle is in a place on honor in the sanctuary, in
this case, right before the altar. We are still in the season of
|The choir sings the Shema, with the people. The soprano section is made up of Megan Murray and Luisa Pizzoferrato.|
|Sandra Ziccardi reads the third blessing, after the Shema.|
|Megan Murray sings Psalm 117, Laudate Dominum, by Mozart. She also sings the doxology, Gloria Patri, at the end of the Psalm.|
the Psalm, all stand and pray in silence. Bishop Perry then sings a
collect. All answer Amen and sit down for the next Scriptural song.|
Angelo Ciambrone reads aloud the Scripture text for Vespers. The text
is the story of the Exodus from Egypt, reminding us of the Passover and
the paschal mystery. After the reading, Megan Murray leads us in the
Responsorial Song. Bishop Perry then delivers a sermon, speaking
explicitly of the dignity of the altar in a church. He explains why the
altar is solemnly blest and why it is treated with such reverence.|
Perry begins the dedication of the altar. He is assisted by Deacon Dan
Ragonese (far left). Paul Rodriguez, next to him, holds the book for
|Bishop Perry anoints the altar with blest oil. Deacon Bob Bonta is on the right. |
|Bishop Perry continues to anoint the altar.|
the beginning of the first verse of the Magnificat, all present make
the sign of the cross: "How great is God; my soul shall sing..." During
the Magnificat, the newly blest altar is incensed, then the people.
Deacon Bob Bonta then incenses the clergy, the choir, the crucifix, and
the sacred images.|
Perry is here incensing the altar, as a sign of reverence. The choir
and people are singing the Magnificat. In the background, from the left,
are Michael Pena, holding the crosier, Deacon Dan Ragonese, and Paul
|Here is Bishop Perry, incensing the people, as they sing the Magnificat.|
addition to the Psalms, a second major part of Vespers is the solemn
prayers sung towards the end. In this case, we use a sung litany, as at
Sunday Mass. Father Gilligan (above, facing the bishop) sings the
petitions, and the people answer Kyrie, eleison each time a petition is
sung. Vespers then ends with a collect, a blessing, and the solemn
dismissal, with the double Alleluia, as on Easter Sunday.|
|Bishop Perry, as he leaves the sanctuary of San Rocco. Deacon Dan Ragonese is to the left.|
Panici is checking out the restored statue of St. Rocco, the handiwork
of Daprato-Rigali Studios. The statue will be painted by Tom Planera.|
|Right after the baptism with water of Jeremy Garcia, all sing "Amen." They do the same after the anointing.|
10, 2008, about 11 a.m., the San Lorenzo procession is headed by the
Amaseno Lodge banner; at first, the group moves north on Union.|
|In 1994, Tom Planera restored our damaged statue of St. Rocco. Here is photographic documentation of that work.|
in September, 2008, Tom Planera again restores the same statue, severly
damaged in the December, 2007, fire. Although the statue blew up,
Daprato-Rigali restored it; Tom Planera finished the job by his expert
|St Rocco statue, newly painted and restored to a place of prominence|
|The former Quigley Seminary, now the Pastoral Center (chancery office) of the Archdiocese of Chicago.|
|A new nativity set was obtained from Formentini, by Mayor Angelo Ciambrone.|
|Before the Christmas Mass, the choir sings numerous carols, with the people.|
Jones (right) directs the singing and accompanies the choir and
congregation. St Rocco is in the back, in the center; he sings in the
Day, the Gospel Procession is more solemn, accompanied by the choir,
singing the Madrigal Alleluia. Above, Paul Rodriguez, carrying incense,
leads the procession.|
in the hall, named after St. Anthony, temporary arrangements are made
for Sunday Mass and other liturgies. The statue of St. Rocco, above,
used in the annual festival, has an image of St. Padre Pio at its base.|
|March 5, 2008: The work crew inside the building is affixing dry wall to the ceiling.|
|Note the new insulation, already installed.|
|Czlowiek przy robocie! Dobrze!|
|Kadzy robotnik wykwalifikowany jest pliny. Dziekuje wam bardzo!|
11, 2008: For the restoration of the church building, the building
committee today consists of, from the left, Jackie Graham, Jayleen
Angellotti, Father Gilligan, John Onofrio, Tom D'Ambrosio, and Paul
Grossi. Joe Grilli is away in Florida this month.|
|Each day, workers arrive at the oratory, for work on the ceiling, sealing and plastering.|
|Each worker finishes the ceiling from scaffolding or a tall ladder.||
[Jan. 3, 2008] In the afternoon, Bishop Perry,
local vicar, visits the San Rocco Oratory church building and St.
Anthony Hall. He inspects the extensive damage to the church and
notes the progress made to date in cleaning up the facility; the
carpeting now has been almost entirely removed, as well as all
sacred images. Much work remains to be done. He expresses an
intention to visit the San Rocco community soon, for Sunday
Mass. Bishop Perry also expressed appreciation for the setup
in the hall; it seemed, in his view, adequate for the purpose.
Today, the mail brings the current issue of the Catholic New World, official newspaper of the Archdiocese of Chicago. This issue features an article on the recent fire at St. Rocco.
[Jan. 4] Paul Grossi, of Giertsen
Restoration, calls to report on work accomplished. He says that
the hymnals formerly in the pews cannot be saved; they are permeated
with smoke. (Similarly, the Sacramentary and Lectionary
must be removed from use.) The statue of St. Rocco is also
certainly beyond salvaging. The ceiling and light
fixtures will have to be completely replaced. With regard to
the Stadelmeier chasubles, the Gospel Book,
the organ, the keyboard, and other items, he says that it would
be good to have specific questions in writing. The insurance
adjuster from Gallagher Bassett,
Michael Ehlers, will indicate proper compensation to the Oratory
for its losses. As long as he knows what is destroyed, we
don't need to keep damaged items. With regard to physical
restoration, he says that the planning committee Father Gilligan wants
should be no more than two individuals, three at the very
most. Paul thinks that restoration work could be
completed in about two months; we can look forward to a
written estimate within a few days and a meeting soon.
Jan. 6] For the Feast of the Epiphany, incense is used, in accord with
the Scripture and the prayers of the day. The liturgy is enhanced
with Nancy Dunagan, harpist, and Denise LaGigilia,
flautist. At the end of Mass, at announcement time,
recognition is given to a $1,000 donation received from Helsel-Jepperson Electric Company, in Chicago Heights, towards restoration of the church building at St. Rocco.
10] At St. Rocco, Father Gilligan meets with those involved in the
restoration of the church building. These men are Michael
Ehlers, insurance adjuster from Gallagher Bassett, Paul Grossi of Giertsen,
Dan Saenz ("SIGNz"), content specialist, and Tom D'Ambrosio,
project manager. Dan is in charge of the vestments, statues,
etc., for restoration, if possible; he will present a complete inventory
within a week, he says. Tom will coordinate all construction
work. Paul says that Giertsen will have to
replace the ceiling, light fixtures, bathroom vanities, and
electrical work; the sacristy wall is also largely
destroyed. Heating subcontractor is Oliver's (Wood Dale, Illinois); electrical subcontractor is Elcon (Elk Grove Village, Illinois). In response to the rector's request, Paul agrees to provide a waiver of lien
for these subcontractors. He will also provide a detailed,
written estimate by next Friday, Jan. 18, which will be coordinated
with Michael Ehlers. His approval is necessary. Michael says that
the Hoyle Company was hired by Gallagher Bassett, to determine the
exact cause of the fire. (Michael mentions that Brian
Czarnecki of Hoyle could not say whether the fire began in an
extension cord or in the multi-plug extension unit; both were burned
beyond further investigation.)
Paul says that inspectors from the city of Chicago Heights
have already visited the site; once proper permits are obtained, he
says, work can begin. The pews will have to be
removed, to pick up the remaining fragments of
carpeting. Dan says that the stations of the cross can
be salvaged, with cleaning and sealing. He says, too, that the
file cabinet and desk in the sacristy should be replaced. As yet,
he cannot speak for the state of the vestments or the organ.
14] Father Gilligan leaves for a retreat, up at Mundelein; after many
conferences, prayers, and liturgies, he returns Thursday evening, Jan.
17. At least for a while, he will be nice.
Another meeting is held at the Oratory, which is still redolent
with the smell of smoke. Paul Grossi is accompanied by Rick
Giertsen, owner of the restoration company. In extensive detail,
Paul explains to Chris Poulin of Gallagher Bassett (supervisor of
Michael Ehlers) what work is necessary in the church building.
Over in the St. Anthony hall, there are some comfortable chairs and a
couch, where all present can go over the planned renovation
carefully. We then walk over to the hall to continue the
Costs for the reconstruction of the buillding and
costs for replacement of contents are estimated separately.
With regard to the building, both furnaces have to be
replaced. Hahn & Coe
will have to replace its amplification system, with the exception of
the control box. The organ, however, can probably be saved. During
restoration, the pews are to be removed to a warehouse, where
they will be varnished. Dan says that this is no
problem. Removal will make work inside the building easier. The
kneelers, says Chris, have yet to be tested for smoke residue; if they
were fabric, they would have to go. Rigali,
he says, can provide the value of a replacement statue of St.
Rocco. A 10-page estimate for the building is presented and
accepted; reconstruction costs total, fortunately, less than
$90,700.00. There is a $1,000 deductible.
to other costs, not all figures are in yet. Replacement
of contents (hymnals, lectionary, vestments, etc.) will be estimated
soon; Dan Saenz presents a 19-page inventory, which he says
is 85% complete as of today. Paul says that permits have been
applied for. If work begins Monday, Jan. 21, as planned, he hopes
for completion perhaps in Eastertime, which begins March
23. He says that the drywall in the ceiling really saved the
building from breaking out in flames.
[Jan. 20] At Sunday Mass,
Skeeziks Markionni presents a $1,000 check from the Catholic War
Veterans, towards restoration of the church building; another $1,000
check is received anonymously, for the same purpose. Father
Gilligan announces that St. Philip's Lutheran church in Blue Island has
offered to help out in any way possible. Sam Ciambrone announces
that the Carnevale before Lent has to be cancelled this year, because our hall is being used for Mass the next day.
22] Of the Daprato-Rigali firm, Bob Rigali reports that
replication of the statue of St. Rocco is possible, using a plaster
mold. The new statue would be a duplicate of the original.
For many years, this firm has done much work for churches of the
Archdiocese of Chicago; it has an excellent reputation.
Father Gilligan, Marty Hesse, and Celeste Jones meet over lunch, to plan
for choir rehearsals and other music matters, for the rest of 2008.
|The family of the late Louis Capacasa, at San Rocco for a memorial Mass on Sunday, Feb. 2, 2008.|
[Feb. 2] At the request of Denise
Kagan, the late Louis Capacasa (husband of Donna Piacenti) is
commemorated at Sunday Mass. Members of his family read a
Scripture reading and bring forward the bread and wine, at the
preparation of the gifts. At the end of Communion, when a song of
praise is usually sung, we have a memorial of Louis, with the song May Light Eternal, a sung litany, and a song of commendation, May Saints of Old. On this Sunday, the hall is overlfowing, with people standing in the aisles.
this Mass, recognition is given for a $1,000 donation from the Amaseno
Lodge in Chicago Heights and a $200 donation from the St. Rocco di
Potenza Society, headquartered at St. William's Church in
Chicago. An announcement is made that Sylvia Panici, wife of
Cesar, has passed away; her funeral will be at St. Liborius in
Steger on Thursday.
[Feb. 6] Ash Wednesday is
observed in the hall, as in previous years, with a Liturgy of the
Word. This is a day of fast (from food) and abstinence (from
[Feb. 8] In South Holland, Paul Grossi meets with Father
Gilligan and reports on the ongoing work of restoration of the oratory.
Paul also delivers vestments and altar paraments, which have been
rescued from the fire; they are now cleaned and fully restored.
The Chicago Archdiocese has issued a $30,000 payment for Giersten, and
Father Gilligan signs it over. That evening, people celebrate the
Way of the Cross and Vespers in the hall, named after St. Anthony.
[Feb. 20, 2008] In the afternoon,
at San Rocco Oratory, Paul Grossi of Giertsen Restoration meets with
Jayleen Angellotti, Father Gilligan, Joe Grilli, and John Onofrio.
As Paul had strongly suggested, this committee is no more than two
or three people, to get the job done. Each member has a certain
expertise. Tom D'Ambrosio, project manager, is also present;
we agree he would contact Tom Planera to repaint the rerodos, the back
wall behind the sanctuary. Paul would contact Jayleen with regard
to the color of paint and the new lighting fixtures needed.
(Fortunately, the two lighting fixtures over the sanctuary, from the old
San Rocco church, were saved from the fire; they are OK.) Paul
also says that the choral music in the church was entirely
destroyed by smoke; all of it, including the copies we had of Messiah, will have to be replaced.
says that Father Gilligan is to contact Mike Ehlers of Gallagher
Bassett Insurance, to let him know of the cost of replacement of the
statue of St. Rocco, as estimated by Daprato-Rigali ($8,770).
Grilli asks for a surge protector in the distribution box; all
agree. We also agree on installing security lights, timer lights,
and track lighting, as suggested by Paul. We also agree on a
battery pack for the lights, as well as a smoke alarm. To Jayleen, Tom
shows a sample of the wood for the new vanities. The
committee considers it not feasible to expand the building to the north,
as some people had proposed earlier; the furnaces and the duct
work have to remain where they are. This group also
does not accept the idea of adding moulding on the inside of the
building. To make more room in the side aisles, so people could
get through more easily, we also consider narrowing the center
aisle from 6' to 4' and expanding the side aisles from 3' to 4'.
If we do that, all three aisles would be 4' wide. We also
agree on making more room in the area of the former sacristy, for
statues of St. Rocco and St. Lawrence, with kneelers, perhaps room
also for the choir and/or additional seats for the
congregation. In this shrine area, both St. Rocco and
St. Lawrence could have appropriate podiums or other enhancements.
Tom says that there is no difficulty in making this space open;
the register can be located in the ceiling. Joe Grilli proposes the
possibility, in due time, of a mosaic or some similar art work.
In the west part of the church, the confessional and baptistry are
intact and undamaged; they would remain where they are. By
the same token, the other statues of saints would remain where they were
before the fire, including Mary and St. Joseph.
[Feb. 25] Paul
Grossi reports that the new lighting would run about $1,950. He
also again promises a waiver of lien for his two subcontractors.
Mike Ehlers says that Gallagher Bassett will cover the cost of
replacing the statue of St. Rocco; payment for that will be made
directly to Daprato-Rigali.
[Feb. 26] By phone, Dan Saenz confirms
that all the choral music has indeed been destroyed by
smoke. He will have a complete inventory by next week, he says.
29] Inspectors from the City of Chicago Heights visit the church
building; they approve the work done on the ceiling,
namely installation of new rafters, ductwork, and
insulation. Drywall is not yet installed.
[March 2, 2008] Before Sunday Mass,
Tom Planera agrees to repaint the rerodos (back of the sanctuary) and
the baptistry, perhaps also some kind of special shrine area for St.
Rocco. He also wants to be involved in the color selection of the
paint for the interior of the building. After Mass, the
choir agrees that they should be moved from the west side of the
church to the east side, in the shrine area; they would have to be on
risers there, perhaps a platform.
[March 3] Tom D'Ambrosio,
project manager, reports on the ongoing renovation, specifically on
flooring, painting, and lighting. A summary
of the report is sent to the building committee
(Jayleen Angellotti, Joe Grilli, and John Onofrio) and to
subcontractors (Dave Hilgen & Tom Planera, painters) and Fran
Dandurand (woodworking). Mike Ehlers of Gallagher
Bassett today confirms that insurance will cover the full cost of
restoration of the plaster statue of St. Rocco but not the full amount
of a lindenwood statue; only replacement costs are covered.
5] Today, Father Gilligan confers with Randy DiSalvo (of Walker Company
in Harvey), Dennis Fleischer, Ph.D. (expert in acoustics), Father
Phil Horrigan (of the Office for Divine Worship),
Bishop Perry, and John Onofrio. He also visits the oratory and
finds a Polish work crew busy installing new drywall in the ceiling.
6] Marty Hesse and Rob Markionni meet with Father Gilligan at the
oratory, to consider how and if the choir's preference should be
considered, to relocate to the northeast corner of the building for the
[Sunday, March 9] On yellow paper, a one page
report is made at the end of Mass, listing 14 individuals and three
subcontractors, all involved in restoration of the oratory.
11] The building committee meets at the church, to evaluate work
done and make decisions about work needed. We agree to build a
platform in the northeast corner of the church, for the choir, and in
due time to build a shrine there for St. Rocco. We also discuss
numerous other matters, such as painting the pews the same color
as before, new electrical work, including new receptacles, cleaning of
the confessional and baptistry, the color of the walls, replacement of
the side door, flooring, light fixtures, etc.
[March 12] Joe
Ufheil from Daprato-Rigali comes to pick up the devastated statue of
St. Rocco, to bring it back to the studio on the north side of
Chicago. Joe notes that the crew in the church is still hard at
work, restoring the ceiling. On the phone, John Rigali,
brother of Bob, says that Daprato-Rigali could help design a shrine
for St. Rocco and any other enhancement needed for the oratory.
The company does everything, from stained glass to altars, to statues.
March 16] Because of the cold, the Palm Procession is held inside
today. The DiGiovanni clan celebrates its St. Joseph Table at a
local hall, at the Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Steger.
Because Mass is regularly celebrated in the hall, people don't want to
use the facility for other purposes.
[March 19] Father Gilligan meets with the head of the finance committee of Infant Jesus of Prague Parish,
to see how the group works. Cooperation with the Archdiocese of
Chicago has been beneficial. For example, each month, the Archdiocese
provides a free review of expenditures and records for many parishes;
this service is much appreciated.
[March 20] A brief meeting is
held to evaluate the needs of the choir and accompanist, in relocating
to the northeast corner of the San Rocco church. The Holy Thursday
Evening Mass of the Lord's Supper is held at 7 p.m. in the St.
[March 21] The Good Friday Liturgy of the Word is
celebrated in the hall, followed by veneration of the cross and Holy
Communion, as is customary. People visit the oratory church
building afterwards and discuss the color of the paint to be used.
[March 23] Easter Sunday, two trumpets accompany much of the Mass, including Sunday Morning and the Hallelujah Chorus. During the preparation of the gifts, the choir sings Mozart's Christ Is Risen; after that, our guest instrumentalists play the Trumpet Voluntary.The
congregation is large, with standing room only; in addition to the
priest, three people help with Communion. Jackie Graham and others
finalize a decision about the color of the paint to be used in the
interior of the church building. A report is given to the people,
on the restoration of the ceiling in the church; this report is printed
on the back of the yellow sheet, with the Order of Mass.
[March 26] From the Office of Divine Worship,
of the Archdiocese of Chicago, Father Phil Horrigan drives down from
the north side of Chicago. He visits both the church building and
the St. Anthony Hall, to prepare his recommendations for
restoration. He is a specialist in art, architecture, and
environment, recommended by Bishop Perry. Father Horrigan has a
master's in theology from the Catholic Theological Union
in Chicago, as well as a bachelor's (the "S.T.B."). He makes
several recommendations, for example, removal of the small
platform under the presidential chair, to make more room in the
John Onofrio meets with Paul Grossi and Tom D'Ambrosio,
to discuss various aspects of restoration, including new lighting
fixtures. He arranges for the existing risers to be repainted; he
also sees to installation of a platform in the northeast corner of the
church building, as well as visual separation of the sanctuary from that
area. This is accomplished by a vertical moulding,up to the
ceiling, and a small railing, not unlike the railing at the baptistry.
30] On the back of the Order of Mass, a yellow sheet distributed to the
people, is a report on restoration of the sound system in the church
building. This work was done by Lee Hahn of Hahn &
Coe. Today, also, we welcome Catholic War
Veterans. At the beginning of Mass, they march in, with
flags. During Communion, we sing the Battle Hymn of the Republic; at the end of Mass, we sing America the Beautiful. A special remembrance of the dead is also made at this celebration.
[April 6] Jackie Graham and Jayleen
Angellotti review the color of the paint used for the risers in the
church building. A report is made on the renewed electrical system.
7] The upper level of the sanctuary is removed, to make more room
there, following the recommendation of Father Phil Horrigan of the
Archdiocese of Chicago. Both the sanctuary and the choir platform in the
northeast corner of the church are covered with Durock,
manufactured by Gypsum Corporation. With installation of Durock, the
floor is rigid and secure, as opposed to a wooden surface. Tom
D'Ambrosio coordinates this work, as well as preparation of the floor
throughout the building.
[April 13] At Sunday Mass, a report is
distributed on the restored heating and electrical system in the church
building. Bishop Perry is said to be coming to San Rocco on Saturday,
May 10, at 6 p.m. for Solemn Vespers in the restored church. Today, John
Onofrio submits a sample of the color of the paint to be used for the
pews; he also picks up a check for payment for the new lighting
fixtures. We will be reimbursed for that expense.
[April 17] Tom
D'Ambrosio meets with Jackie Graham and John Onofrio, to determine the
extent of damage to the stained glass windows. Some were damaged by the
fire; some were damaged, it seems, in the process of restoration. Paul
Grossi is trying to get an estimate of the original cost of flooring in
the church from Napoli Tile; he says that the new flooring should be in
place in about five days. It is spastrelle cermiche pressate a secco smaltate in monocottura pasta bianca, imported from Italy, specifically from Alfa Ceramiche, in Reggio Emilia.
Paul says that the flooring should be completed in about five days.
Fran Dandurand calls, too, confirming that the new altar will be only
36" high. Joe Grilli says he will check on the surge protector he
recommended for the electrical system. Finally, today, Bob Rigali (of
Daprato-Rigali) reports that the new statue of St. Rocco will be
available by the end of the month.
[April 26] At 11 a.m., we
celebrate the funeral of Jean Ida Anzelmo, mother of August Anzelmo and
Marilyn Leader. For the previous two days, people had been
notified by phone, through the San Rocco computerized phone message
[Sunday, April 27] An article on the back of the music
schedule describes the restored liturgical books at San Rocco; the
bulletin explains why carpeting is not ideal in Catholic churches.
At Mass today, Michael Pena receives his first holy Communion, as a
member of the Sunday gathering. He received his instruction at St.
Joseph's in Dyer, Indiana.
[April 28] Tom D'Ambrosio supervises
putting the pews back in the church. The building committee evaluates
how the pews should be distributed. Extra floor space is provided in the
northeast corner of the nave, for the piano and organ; extra space is
also provided, as before, around the baptistry, since people gather
there for baptisms. Meanwhile, workers from Giersten clean the pews, in
preparation for their painting tomorrow. Risers are put back in place.
Extra tiles are stored in the St. Anthony Hall. The committee checks out
the new carpeting in the confessional. Repairs to the windows are to be
completed within a week. John Onofrio points out that the ceiling
lights are largely installed, except for some of the lights over the
sanctuary. Unity chairs, which can lock into the form of pews, are chosen in the same oak color as the wooden elements in the church building.
building committee is pleased with the new flooring, used in the nave,
the sanctuary, and the choir area. The extra large tiles provide an
expansive look to the church building. Their rough surface provides
traction, avoiding a slippery surface, making for safety. Their subdued
color will also hide dirt. That color, says Jackie Graham, will match
the new color of the pews.
The building committee also
unanimously agrees on the placement of statues in the restored church.
The crucifix, for example, will be put back in its former location. Mary
will be back in exactly the same place as before. St. Rocco will be
elevated in a special shrine area on the north wall; St. Lawrence will
be on the east wall nearby. These two saints, as you know, are
especially honored in the San Lorenzo Festival every August.
Gilligan visits Dandurand Custom Woodworking in Blue Island, to check
out the new altar. It is made of mahogany, with a sturdy, durable
appearance; it should be ready within a few days. Our expert from the
Archdiocese of Chicago, Father Horrigan, had recommended a smaller altar
for the sanctuary, to allow more room for the servers and for movement
Finally, at 5 p.m., at Woods Funeral Home
on Halsted, a Liturgy of the Word is celebrated for the funeral of Rosa Koite, age 70. She leaves 6 children and 10 grandchildren. This liturgy is largely in English, partly in Spanish. Most of the people present are more fluent in English. The funeral home has standing room only.
[May 5] Tom D'Ambrosio today
supervises the anchoring of the pews to the floor; they were newly
painted last week, to match the new flooring. Tony
Aguilar confirms placement of the pews, especially to make room in
the northeast corner of the building, so people can get by.
Materials that were stored outside (in mini-mobile containers) are
brought back inside the church. Tom Planera begins painting the
rerodos; he also repairs the crucifix.
[May 6] Mike
Ehlers, insurance adjuster, meets with members of the building
committee, with Giersten (Rick Giersten, Paul Grossi, Dan Saenz, and Tom
D'Ambrosio), and with Father Gilligan. Gallagher Bassett
will compensate San Rocco Oratory for expenses since the fire, says
Mike; documentation is provided. Those present evaluate the work so far
accomplished and that which Dan Saenz reports as a total loss.
These are materials ruined by smoke and heat, last Dec. 23. With Jackie
Graham, Mike investigates the state of the stained glass windows, some
of which are discolored. John Onofrio coordinates ongoing work of
restoration, working with Dan Saenz, contents manager. The pews on
the east side of the church are moved 5 inches to the west, to make
more room for the Wurlitzer organ, which will come tomorrow.
7] Fran Dandurand delivers the new altar, made of mahogany.
Bob Rigali says that he will have the new statue of San Rocco
ready Friday. The choir riser, formerly in the west aisle, is
moved to the St. Anthony Hall, where it can be used for displays,
concerts, etc.; it fits perfectly and conveniently on the east side
of the room. The organ, fully restored, is delivered by Gerry
Cosgrove of Zodiac Equipment Restoration
in Mt. Prospect. (Disposition of the organ and choir will be
worked out later.) The keyboard, damaged in the fire, is
also brought back. Lee Hahn installs new speakers and the
control center; he also tests the system. John Onofrio
arranges the statues in the church, on podiums. Tom Planera paints
the landscaping on the rerodos. Tom D'Ambrosio adjusts the
baptistry; he also obtains rubber feet for the kneelers that lack them,
so the floor is not scratched. An electrician, Theo,
comes to fix the big light over the sanctuary; it has a short.
The restoration of San Rocco also gets good coverage in the SouthtownStar, with an article by David Schwaub.
10] Bishop Perry celebrates Solemn Vespers at San Rocco. He
is assisted by two deacons, Dan Ragonese and Bob Bonta. San
Rocco is filled with people; there is not a seat
available. For the second Scriptural song, Megan Murray
sings Laudate Dominum, Psalm 117, by Mozart. This is
the shortest Psalm in the Bible. Mayor Angelo
Ciambrone reads the Scripture from the Book of Exodus. Megan
sings the responsorial song immediately afterwards; the people
respond vigorously with Kyrie, eleison. From the
chair, Bishop Perry explains the meaning of the dedication of an
altar. He then blesses the altar, according to
the Roman Ceremonial. A litany of the saints is sung,
followed by the blessing proper. The altar is anointed with
oil. At the end of Vespers, Bishop Perry sings the
concluding prayer, for Pentecost, and gives a solemn, three-part
blessing for Pentecost. He also attends the reception afterwards
in the hall.
[May 11] Pentecost Sunday is the day when we have our
first Sunday liturgy in the church building since last December.
The Mass is embellished with a brass quintet for many of the songs, from
the opening Sunday Morning to the Hallelujah Chorus
after Communion; the choir sings that chorus under the direction of
Celeste Jones, accompanied by Marty Hesse. As at
Vespers the evening before, the church is filled with people.
Entrance Procession for Pentecost Sunday Mass, May 11, 2008, the first
Mass in the church since the Dec. 23 fire. Paul Rodriguez carries the
processional cross; Michael Pena carries the candle.|
|The opening song is "Sunday Morning," with a brass quintet. On the right, Marty Hesse accompanies on the piano.|
Pentecost Sunday, the last Sunday of Easter, the Gospel Procession is
more elaborate than usual, as on the First Sunday of Easter. The choir
sings the Madrigal Alleluia.|
|Full house for Pentecost.|
|After Communion, the choir sings the Hallelujah Chorus by Handel, under the direction of Celeste Jones (in red, above).|
the end of Mass, after the Post-Communion prayer, announcements are
made. Here, Lou Anselmo invites people to help build up the garden in
our grotto, outside.|
[May 25] Because the weather is
excellent, we hold our usual Corpus Christi procession outside, walking
to the grotto area. The Blessed Sacrament is carried in the
monstrance, which survived the Dec. 23 fire. In the grotto, some
flowers newly planted are in bloom. The altar is covered with a
white cloth; candelabra are put on it, for veneration of Christ in
the Eucharist. The two candelabra, candles, and two
processional candles were donated to St. Rocco Oratory by Holy Rosary
Parish (113th & King Drive in Chicago), which is closing down and
consolidating with the nearby St. Anthony's. Thanks to the pastor
there, Father Mark Krulewicz.
Ryan Wess carries the processional
cross; Michael Pena carries the incense and the censer. As in past
years, the choir sings the verses to a Psalm on the way to the grotto;
the people sing Alleluia in response. On the way back, the
choir sings the verses to All Glory, Praise, and Honor, in four-part harmony; the people sing the refrain.
humeral veil (a gold veil used for holding the monstrance) is missing,
evidently lost in the Dec. 23 fire. The organ is not yet fully
repaired. New latex paint on the pews (already painted
with an oil-based paint) is beginning to peel off. The vigil
lights are not to be found. There is more work to be
[June 5, 2008] The San Rocco
finance committee meets today, as agreed at the last meeting. We
consider the budget for the next fiscal year, as well as practices asked
for by the Archdiocese of Chicago. Special attention is paid to
expenses of the ongoing restoration of the church building. John Graham
supports the idea of a permanent alarm system for both the church and
the hall; he will get bids for this.
[Saturday, June 7,
2008] We celebrate today the funeral Mass of Armondo Buzzelli, 90 years
old. Armondo's wife, Madeline, was buried from San
Rocco on January 21, 2006. Armando is survived by his sister,
Lucille, and his Son, Gene. Lucille is the youngest of ten
children. Although she grew up on The Hill, Lucille and her
husband, Billl, live in Huntington Beach, California.
June 8] Red vigil light holders are installed at the oratory,
replacing those destroyed in the fire. At 11 a.m., after Mass, we
celebrate the baptism of Daniel Ronald Peterson, son of Daniel Peterson
and Elizabeth Fushi. Afterwards, the family and guests share a
common meal in the nearby hall, named after St. Anthony.
June 12] Today, we celebrate the funeral of Augusta Benedetti, 98 years
old, born in Amaseno, Italy. She is the wife of Giovanni,
the mother of Rose Cipolla, and the sister of Maria Planera.
June 13] Today, Rick Giersten and Dan Saenz of Giersten
Restoration drive down to San Rocco to evaluate the ongoing problem of
the paint used for the pews and other challenges. The organ still
needs further repair, and Dan says he has found someone who can make a
diagnosis. We may have to replace the organ.
June 16 to Thursday, June 19] The priests of the Archdiocese of Chicago
gather, up in St. Charles, Illinois, to meet with Cardinal George and
others; this is the priests' convocation, held every two or three
years. On Monday, John Graham reports that the
Polish subcontractor warned that the wrong paint was being
used; the responsibility, therefore, is that of Giersten
Restoration. He also submits a bid for an alarm system for the
church building and the hall. His CPA also recommends Quickbooks.
[July 1] Today, a work crew finishes repainting, as needed, and sealing of the pews. Other, minor work is done as well.
July 12] At noon today, we celebrate the baptism of Marisela and
Vanessa Soto, twins of Bernardo and Cristina [Ayala] Soto. (You
may remember Cristina, who was an alderman in Chicago Heights.)
They were married here at San Rocco a couple of years ago. The
baptism is celebrated in Spanish; the godparents came up here from
Mexico, on a visa. Muy bien. Father John Siemanowski, pastor
of St. Paul's, gave permission for the baptism to take place at San
[Sunday, July 20] At Mass, we celebrate the baptism of
Jeremy Garcia, son of Marcos and Carol, younger brother of Erik.
Relatives come up for the occasion from Mexico. At the family's
request, the baptism is in English; godparents are Antonio and Rose
[Tuesday, July 22] At 4:30 p.m., we celebrate the funeral
of Evelyn [Sebastian] Childs, wife of Vernon; she was 79 years
old. Evelyn was the sister of Olga and the aunt of David
Sebastian. Vernon and Evelyn have lived in Wisconsin for some
time; they wanted to have a local service, so people wouldn't have to
drive up there. This service is a simple Liturgy of the
Word. A daughter, Elizabeth, delivers a eulogy. Vernon reads
from 1 Corinthians 13, in the translation of J.B. Phillips.
Another daughter, Mary Ellen, reads a blessing by the late Father
[Monday, July 27] Unity Chairs arrive from Sauder.
These chairs can be locked together as pews, for example, for the
choir; they can also remain as single chairs, as in the sanctuary.
They are more comfortable than regular pews and can be arranged as
appropriate, giving flexiblity for groups of various sizes. Each
chair has a rack underneath for the Leaflet Missal prayerbook and a hymnbook, thereby avoiding clutter.
[Tuesday, July 29] At 11 a.m., we celebrate the funeral of Robert DiCosmo, 91 years of age.
[Sunday, Aug. 3, 2008] At the end
of Sunday Mass, Joe and Lorraine Petrongelli receive a blessing,
commemorating their 50 years of married life. At 5 p.m., at Villa
de Bruno in Lansing, Bishop Perry celebrates his ten years of service as
vicar of region VI and auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Chicago.
[Aug. 10, 2008] As part of the annual San Lorenzo Festival,
a procession begins at the Amaseno Lodge, moves north on Union,
east on 22nd Street, and ends up at San Rocco for Mass about
11:30. To help with the restoration of the building, the
collection is higher than usual; people are generous.
[Aug. 15] Mass for the Feast of the Assumption is celebrated at 7 p.m.
20] Mary Kay O'Connell of the Parish Operations Service Center (POSC),
comes to ACP to install Quickbooks for the San Rocco account. She
provides consultation, as does Pam Gutter, Vicariate Administrative
Consultant. Both people will help San Rocco follow "best practices"
and implement policies of the Archdiocese of Chicago.
There will also be a monthly audit of all transactions. Such
services are provided free of charge to all parishes.
[Aug. 21] In
the morning, Father Gilligan meets at San Rocco with Dan Saenz, of
Giertsen Restoration Company; Dan explains the amount which has to
be paid to Giersten, item by item, an amount not covered by
insurance. Dan also has his carpenter install book racks where
needed and a vertical molding on the left edge of the sanctuary.
He also meets with the organ repairman, who has promised that we will
again have a fully functional instrument. Father Gilligan then meets
with John Onofrio, head of the building committee, to go over numerous
questions on the ongoing restoration. John approves, for example,
installation of a bar in the hall, donated by a local restaurant, now
closed. Finally, at 3 p.m., Mike Ehlers comes from Gallagher Bassett
Insurance; Mike makes an accounting of expenses that remain and confirms
reimbursement for expenses recently incurred.
7] Under the direction of Celeste Jones today, the choir resumes
singing at Sunday Mass. Remarkably, they sing four part music from
memory, without the music in their hands. The organ, too,
seems to be working OK; Giersten has indeed arranged for its repair.
8] We celebrate the funeral of Paula Camilleri, 60 years old. She
is survived by her husband, Giacomo, and three sons. Deacon Bob
Bonta helps with prayer at Panozzo Funeral Home, preparation at the
oratory, and with the Mass itself. He gives a eulogy after
the opening prayer, proclaims the Gospel, incenses the people at the
preparation of gifts, and helps with Communion. He also does the
committal at Assumption Cemetery. Scripture texts are
read by two nieces of Paula, Gia and Shelly. The builiding is
filled, with people standing in the back of church.
14] The finance committee of San Rocco meets after Mass. We look
at the budget for this year, as well as part of the annual report.
With a report from Fred LoBue, we consider how the St. Anthony
Hall is rented out. Mike Prisco has been asked to install
a replacement air conditioner, for the the unit that was
stolen some time ago.
[Tuesday, Sept. 16] Father Gilligan sends out a phone message, inviting people to a birthday celebration next Saturday.
20] Today, Dolly Leli celebrates her 90th birthday, with an open
house, at her home in Chicago Heights. She is a lifelong member of
the San Rocco community. You are welcome to come and celebrate
with her anytime between 3 and 7 p.m., today, Saturday, Sept.
20. She has two sons, Bob and Dave, who are there
[Oct. 20, 2008] For the second time, Mary Kay O'Connell visits, from the Parish Operations Service Center,
of the Archdiocese of Chicago. She reviews St. Rocco's setup of
Quickbooks for the current fiscal year with the part-time secretary,
Jeanine Zamiar. Everything seems to be in order. With Quickbooks, it will be easy to generate reports of all kinds, automatically. The publisher of Quickbooks says you don't need an accountant
anymore to do this kind of thing. Your CPA, says Quickbooks, is
then free to do what he or she does best: financial planning.
Oct. 26] Mass is at 11 a.m. today, to accommodate those who wish to go
directly to the spaghetti dinner in the hall, beginning at noon.
This dinner is a great success, with people coming in all during the
afternoon. The food is excellent, home made. Many volunteers
spend the morning in the kitchen, laboring with skill and dedication.
Oct. 29] We celebrate the funeral of Mike Novelli, father of Judy
Panici. A four-person military honor guard takes part in the
committal, at Assumption Cemetery. Mike went to Mt. Carmel School
and was a significant member of the St. Rocco community; he was 88 years
[Monday, Nov. 3] At 11 a.m., the usual time, we celebrate
the funeral of Jayleen Angelotti. You will remember her from
Sunday Mass, where she used a walker; she also received
Communion only from the chalice. While in flight on Oct. 28,
returning from a visit to San Benedetto, Italy, she had a massive heart
attack and died. Jayleen was active at St. Rocco, on
the finance advisory committee and on the building committee. She
also gave generously, to support music on special occasions, such as
Christ the King, Christmas, Epiphany, Easter, and Pentecost.
[Saturday, Nov. 8] At Infant Jesus of Prague Church,
Flossmoor, Father Gilligan witnesses the wedding of Michelle Turechek
and Chris Rodriguez. Chris is the brother of Paul Rodriguez of San
[Nov. 26] Dan Saenz of Giertsen Restoration Company
comes with a crew, to mount the restored painting of the Ascending
Christ. The painting now hangs from the south wall of
the church building. Cost of restoration was $3,600, says
Dan. He also arranges for a workman to come in on Friday,
Nov. 28, to shorten the platform under the presidential chair.
This work will make more space available in the
sanctuary. Dan also presents two checks to be signed, so that
with both the Archdiocese of Chicago pays Giertsen $124,711. In
addition to endorsing these checks over to Giertsen, Father Gilligan
also receives a bill from Giertsen for $12,034, for renovation expenses
not covered by insurance.
In the afternoon, Celeste Jones
meets with Father Gilligan, to plan the music for the Advent and
Christmas Seasons. (During this time, Celeste will be directing
the choir almost every Sunday.) Marty Hesse and he had previously
spent much time selecting contemporary arrangements,
including fourteen settings by the well respected musician, John Rutter.
There is not much time available before Christmas for the
choir to learn even a few of these arrangements.
Celeste hopes to have at least two rehearsals in December.
27] Thanksgiving Day Mass is celebrated at 9 a.m., at a time preferred
by a vote of the people, taken last Sunday. The vote was
[Nov. 30] At the end of Sunday Mass, Father
Gilligan presents the required annual financial report to the
people. There are several positive developments.
For example, people have been contributing to our building fund;
Quickbooks has been introduced for all transactions;the
Archdiocese has provided excellent help; best practices have been
implemented; checking accounts have been consolidated;
funds were put in an interest-bearing CD; monthly
assessments were reduced because of new property appraisals;
insurance is providing compensation for losses; and extraordinary
donations have been received.
[Dec. 2] Norm Matson comes and
begins to install some new wooden cabinets, to accommodate storage
needs at St. Rocco Oratory. These cabinets are located in the
sacristy and the washroom, at the south end of the church
building. In particular, John Onofrio asked for two new
wardrobes for our vestments, replacing the two metal cabinets in the
[Dec. 12] Father Gilligan meets with Kevin Marsalik,
new director of finance for the Archdiocese of Chicago. Last
Friday, the diocesan offices were moved from 155 East Superior to
835 Rush, in the former Quigley Seminary building. For many years, this was the high school seminary of the Archdiocese of Chicago; it has been extensively renovated for its new purpose.
[Dec. 17] The last two cabinets are installed today, in the sacristy and the washroom, in the San Rocco church building.
19] Father Gilligan meets with Bishop Perry, for the annual report of
pastors to their vicars. This meeting takes place, as usual, at
Seton Academy in South Holland.
[Dec. 25] For the Christmas Mass
at 10 a.m., the choir is directed by Celeste Jones; their work,
supported by two previous rehearsals, is excellent . The
celebration includes Gesu Bambino, with soloist (Rob Markionni) and full chorus; the choir also sings the Angels' Carol, by John Rutter. For the Gospel procession, longer today, the choir sings the Madrigal Alleluia.
A new nativity scene is in place, in front of the statue of the
Virgin Mary. At the announcement time at the end of Mass, Mayor
Ciambrone reminds people that they are celebrating the tenth anniversary
of the oratory. Bishop Perry celebrated the first Mass here, on
December 25, 2008.
[Monday, Dec. 29] At St. Anthony Church in Frankfort, the funeral Mass is celebrated at 11 a.m. for Dennis Nardoni II, grandson of Ann and the late Frank Nardoni. Arrangements are by Panozzo Funeral Home.
10, 2008 meeting of Dan Saenz, Paul Grossi, Mike Ehlers, and Tom
D'Ambrosio. Dan of Giersten Restoration is in charge of the contents of
the building; Paul is local supervisor for Giersten. Michael Ehlers is
from Gallagher Bassett Insurance. Tom is project manager for San Rocco.|
|Sanctuary of San Rocco church building, now gutted. The crucifix has been removed from the back wall.|
18: Here, Paul Grossi of Giersten (with his back to us, in the center)
goes over necessary renovation in detail. On the left is Rick Giersten,
owner of the restoration company. To the right is Dan Saenz, contents
specialist, Paul Grossi, then Chris Poulin and Michael Ehlers, both of
to get out of the smoke-smelling church building, the group gathers
across the parking lot, in the St. Anthony Hall. From the left are
Father Gilligan, Michael Ehlers, Chris Poulin, and Rick Giersten.|
|Here is some of the new ductwork, ready to be installed.|
|Scaffolding is set up in the sanctuary.|
|Note that the drywall of the ceiling has been removed; new ductwork has been installed.|
|The confessional ("reconciliation room") is shrouded, for its protection.|
|The pews, damaged by smoke, are stored in temporary trailers, in the parking lot.|
|Here, Lee Hahn of Hahn & Coe (Chicago Heights) is at work, restoring the sound system for San Rocco Oratory.|