Chicago Neighborhoods Run -down and Neglected? Who is Really Responsible?

The demolition of St. James’ Church and the sorry response to it prompt this brief article.


I have no doubt that the installation of the “L” behind the church was but one step in the beginning of the end of St. James and its historic parish. How very sad.

We still bow down before you men clothed in rich materials and blazing colors, carrying objects of precious gold and gems and burning expensive resins for the people in Holy Name’s congregation, and spending millions maintaining that high -end manor I call the “Cardinal’s Nest” on the border of the Gold Coast and Lincoln park? We still bow down and call you such titles as “eminence” and “holiness”… what a waste of words and energy we expend upon beefing up your bloated egos.


Some house, eh? What a palace! It is a palace fit for a “prince of the church”, such as our beloved cardinals are, and for entertaining the head of the swarm, the Pope. My, such a grand edifice… and what could be done if this was sold and the money donated to assist people in communities such as Bronzeville and other areas where need is so great, need for the basics of survival. Need… while above the outstretched hands of those in need piles the massive structure of this mansion with its grand rooms, manicured grounds, extensive costs for heat and light and water… oh, the infestation of it all!

No doubt this one article does not shed complete light on where the responsibilities fall when deterioration of a community or part of a city as vibrant and charitable as Chicago is seen and felt and heard and is not answered, but there is blame here on an organization that had the power to save a church and save the faith and hearts of a community, and they did not do it. Pharisees – they made rules and laws and expected them to be followed to the letter but did they lift a finger when the loyal followers called out for the saving of the very building in which those laws and rituals were spoken and conducted throughout generations?

They did not. They, the officials of the high -and -mighty Roman Catholic Church saw the letters, saw the articles and the news and heard the outcry. And did nothing.

So the cardinal wants to build a new church. So what. New. Smaller. Won’t even be large enough to hold the historic bells. Pitiful. Condescending…

I do not want to be part of an organization that diminishes and so blatantly and rudely and cruelly dismisses the requests and needs of loyal and ancient parishioners. I have not been to a church service except once, since I heard the demolition of the grand and historic building was finalized and that the holes had been put in the roof. The running in of the “L”, the running down of a community, the running down of a group of people in need of keeping that church and the stability of that congregation, began the running -out of that parish and the running -out of the loyalty of other Chicago -area parishioners.

What a sorry sight- both in the space where the church once stood and in the festering gerrymandered prejudicial halls of the Archdiocese and the Vatican. Heartless, disgusting people… rude and cruel, sorry folks you in those halls are. Rot with the rest of the hypocrites, turn away from those who need you, fake and heartless, hard -headed…

I hope you do not get a decent night’s sleep after seeing the harm your thoughtlessness has done to that community and the sting such actions have brought to others in the Chicago area. Look now and listen and you will hear the rumbling of the “L” as it rails past the ruins…

… the ruins of the very heart of a parish…

…watered by the tears of generations of parishioners. Not statistics.


Divi Logan, Chicago, 2014.


Follow another profound blog on environmental quality and other deep thoughts: There is Only One Air. My Lungs and I is a poem from that selection.


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