The Mission of Our Lady of the Angels establishes a Catholic presence on Chicago’s west side. Once a vibrant parish, Our Lady of the Angels holds a place in Chicago History. In the 1958 a terrible school fire occurred there, taking the lives of 92 children and 3 religious sisters. Yet, the Hope of Christ remained, the school was rebuilt and parish life continued…until the early 1990s.
After the parish was consolidated with St. Francis (about 10 blocks west), Our Lady of the Angels was in disuse…until Fr. Bob Lombardo, CFR, was asked by Cardinal George to come start a Franciscan Mission in Chicago. Through God’s Divine Providence and the spiritual and material support of countless men and women, Our Lady of the Angels went from inhabitable to a fully-functioning retreat center and an outreach to the poor.
Currently there are four buildings, the rectory, where Fr. Bob lives and retreat and volunteer groups stay, the convent, which is currently near completion of major renovations, Kelly Hall, which through a partnership with the Chicago Food Depository and the YMCA is a fully functioning YMCA, complete with sports programs, after school programs and senior programs. Our Lady of the Angels Church will soon be on its way to repair, with the purpose of becoming a Eucharistic Center for perpetual adoration.
What is so beautiful about Our Lady of the Angels Mission? It is truly the work of God, in the Spirit of St. Francis. The neighborhood, West Humboldt Park, is one of the poorest areas of Chicago. Drugs, violence and gangs threaten peace at all hours. Yet, through God’s grace little miracles are happening. Slowly the neighborhood brightens as men and women from around Chicago and beyond come to volunteer time and share the love of Christ to help build a beautiful thing for God: a Mission Family.
To fully understand the miracles God is making on Chicago’s west side, you really have to come and see for yourself. Visit the Mission’s Website!
But how does Our Lady of the Angels fit into the NunRun? By the grace of God, a Franciscan community is forming at Our Lady of the Angels! Young men and women are taking steps toward giving their lives fully to Christ through vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. The process is slow, but all good things take time. I desire nothing more than to humbly give my full “yes” to God and become a part of the Franciscan community at Our Lady of the Angels. To freely enter the formation process to become a professed religious sister, I must be entirely debt free…every moment matters! As Mr. Laurent at the Laboure Society says, we must “Pray as if everything depended on God, and work as if everything depended on us!” Please join me in prayer as I move toward entering religious life, and do prayerfully consider making a gift to fund NunRun (visit Donate Today! for more details).