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St. Raphael marks end of first construction phase

Fr. John Jamnicky St. Raphael Archangel Parish talks AngelTomlinsGrayslake outside new St. Raphael Archangel Church which is under constructiOld Mill

Fr. John Jamnicky of St. Raphael the Archangel Parish talks to Angela Tomlinson of Grayslake outside the new St. Raphael the Archangel Church which is under construction in Old Mill Creek. | Ryan Pagelow~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: March 26, 2013 2:25AM

OLD MILL CREEK — St. Raphael the Archangel Catholic Parish will celebrate the completion of the first phase of construction for the new church.

The event will be held Sunday from 2 to 4:30 p.m., on the new church grounds, 40000 N. Route 45.

The celebration will feature a tour of the church, music and exhibits of the architectural features that are planned for Phase II, including the restoration of the historic 1915 Austin organ from Medinah Temple; installation of museum-quality Tyrolean stained-glass windows originally imported from Innsbruck, Austria; new art glass light fixtures from Savoy Studios in Portland, Ore.; and 11,000 pounds of reclaimed bells that will be housed in the church’s 140-foot towers.

People of all faiths are invited to attend the free event and refreshments will be provided. The church has been under construction since 2010.

“We are very excited to welcome our neighbors of all faiths to celebrate this milestone with us,“ said Rev. John Jamnicky, church pastor. “This project is about building a Catholic church for all who are seeking spiritual comfort, but it is also about building a cultural center for those seeking the solace of beautiful music and the inspiration of beautiful architecture.”

Phase I is part of a $15 million construction program. To date, the exterior of St. John of God, a Renaissance-style Chicago church closed in 1992, has been disassembled, moved to Old Mill Creek, and the palleted stones have been re-erected. Phase II will finish out the interior of the church — from another Chicago church, Saint Peter Canisius, which was shuttered in 2007 — and the exterior landscaping. Phase III will see towers and colonnades erected. The interior of St Raphael is

“This project is a first of its kind,” said Dr. Richard Gambla, business and construction manager at St. Raphael. “No one heretofore has dismantled an historic church and moved it a distance from its original site. We are hoping that it becomes a model for other dioceses throughout the U.S. We see this approach as offering an alternative to tearing down beautiful old churches and eradicating the faith and good works of our forefathers.”

St. Raphael the Archangel is the first new parish in the Archdiocese of Chicago since the 1990s, was founded in 2007 in a converted barn in Antioch.

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