November 13, 2016

Long time no talk! My summer break from the weekly column somehow lasted until November. Kind of like baseball in Chicago. I’ve missed connecting with you each week

Four subjects to cover:

At 11:00 a.m. Mass today, Bishop Joseph Siegel will officially “close” our Holy Door as directed by the Holy Father.  This Jubilee Year of Mercy has been a very interesting experience here at the Cathedral.  We welcomed hundreds of pilgrims who wanted to pass through the Holy Door.  Some folks came in  organized groups from other parishes or communities; others came on their own.  We had special Masses, Eucharistic       Adoration, confessions and tours.  So, so many tours.  We had two speakers—Fr. John Kartje and Fr. Jack Welch who provided great insight to those gathered.  Prayers were said in three languages—at least. It was a wonderful year of welcome.

The door of the Church is the ianua ecclesia--the “silent witness to all of the moments of our lives.”  And for that reason, we chose to use the original St. Raymond Church entry as the focal point of our new Centennial logo.

We worked with local graphic artist Ken Spiegel to develop this image.   The archway depicted is the entrance to the original church on Douglas Street.  This is the church our founding families built in 13 months between November, 1917 and December 1918. What a gift to generations! 
It is so fitting to commemorate that in this logo and in the archway in the Centennial Walkway

The Centennial logo will be used throughout the year in all of our printed and online messages. We will also create some commemorative items and perhaps wearables.  Our first item is a full-color lapel pin that will be available at the opening liturgy on December 8.  We hope you wear your pin proudly throughout the Centennial.

One of the other places where the Centennial logo will appear shortly is the new hymnal bookplates.  This is such a sweet way to support the music department.  For $20, you can have a personalized message printed on a book plate on the inside front cover of our new hymnals.

Three quick things to know:  1.The 30 character limit is a suggestion.  We can sneak in a few more letters, but not many. 2.Be sure to pick your preferred section of the Cathedral for hymnal placement. 3.Know that we have a limited number of hymnals.  We may sell out (we hope!).

This weekend we have folks taking orders after Mass. That’s the quickest and easiest way to make sure you get your bookplate in the section you prefer.  You can also grab an order envelope from the tables at the entrances and drop it at the rectory or school office or in next week’s collection.  Lastly, you can place your order online at

And finally a construction progress report:  As you are aware,  we have two spots in the Cathedral ceiling that are in need of repair. One is directly above the cantor stand and the other is on the same "rib" roughly above the front pew on the Mary side of the main body of the Church.

Certainly, these repairs are part of our 2018 cleaning project, however, because of the frequency of plaster powder and small chunks falling, we have decided to stabilize the problem now.  We do not want to risk any larger chunks of plaster falling and possibly injuring someone.

From November 15-18, workers will be on site every day from 9:00 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.   They will bring in a large lift and will work on both areas to remove the loose debris and install a mesh hammock to prevent additional debris from falling.  The hammock will be anchored to the metal beams in the Cathedral's attic.  The last step will be to paint the patch to match the ceiling. The final patch will be visible, but   hopefully it won't be too noticeable.

As for the source of the water damage, we are working on options for replacing the tiles in roof valleys where the most troubles are. We are also working on a quote for a complete replacement of the slate tiles with more traditional (and less brittle) asphalt tiles.

I think this whole project can be filed in the It’s Always Something file!

Have a great week and don’t forget our annual Thanksgiving Food Drive next weekend.

Eileen Hooks Gutierrez
Director of Development
815-722-6653, extension 242



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