Founded by neighborhood families in 1905, Saint Clement Church has long relied upon its parishioners as cornerstones for giving. It was built by families of deep faith and commitment to Catholic teachings. From the beginning, the parish turned to its members for help. For more than 100 years, multiple fundraising efforts have taken place at the parish in support of land acquisition, construction, expansion, and restoration projects.
Parishioners have long supported the vision of founding Pastor Monsignor Francis Rempe to create a church like none other in Chicago. The classic Romanesque and Byzantine architectural style make the church one of a kind in Illinois. The interior artwork of the church was conceived by Fr. Gleb Werchovsky, an acclaimed artist who drew upon inspiration from churches in Saint Petersburg, Istanbul, and Rome.
However, time took its toll and the church building deteriorated. The church was restored and adapted in the 1980s through the determination and dedication of then-Pastor Fr. John Fahey, with the support of Saint Clement parishioners. Like those who came before us, it is our turn to give to this spiritually rich community and maintain its strength for the next generation. As in the past, restoration projects are needed for the long-term preservation of our inspirational church. A number of areas within the church need attention.
1.The church windows all show signs of distress - this one has a bowed support beam and a cracked wall.
2. The Rose Windows are deteriorating and are in need of immediate attention.
The interior plaster walls need repair, patching, painting, and extensive cleaning; the beautiful Romanesque rose windows require structural repairs to exterior limestone, interior plaster, and framing; many of the stained glass windows are in need of re-leading, cleaning, spot repairs, weather proofing, and new exterior protection; and the retaining wall surrounding the church exterior needs repair. Additionally, a fire prevention and detection system is needed in the church along with upgraded sound systems in the church and chapel. Together these improvements will cost approximately $1.4 million.
If we exceed our $6 million campaign goal, we may also be able to clean and refinish the church pews, acquire additional artwork for the chapel, and repair marble in the church. Additional funding opportunities for the church include a redesigned and upgraded lighting system and a new congregational-friendly organ. Saint Clement Church is the place where we and generations before us have come to pray and worship together as Catholics. We will ensure that legacy for generations to come through strong commitments to the To Teach Who Christ Is campaign