St. Jerome Croatian Catholic Church in Chicago purchased the Salem Lutheran Church attended by Swedish immigrants in 1922.
Nowadays, the church looks like this. Still beautiful.
Fr. Ivica Majstorović showed me around one cool, blustery day. Not only did I see bells, but I saw the closets full of the colorful ethnic costumes used for their festivals! I sorely regret not taking pictures of them.
I traversed narrow planks of wood over roof insulation to approach the belfry. This was a rare case of short ladders into the bell chamber, but the ladder was weirdly positioned relative to the hatch. Fr. Ivica was clever enough to maneuver up there. And what great pictures!
There are three bells, all cast by Stuckstede in St. Louis. Two from 1914 and one from 1923. They are dedicated to St. Anthony of Padua, Our Lady of Sinj, and St. Jerome. They ring every day in the morning (Mass or prayer), at noon (Angelus), and in the evening (Angelus) and before Sunday services.
If you forget that the white stuff are bird droppings, they actually give the bell a nice visual appeal.
And a lovely view from the tower.
The church is planning to rebuild parts of the church, including the cupola. I’m glad to hear that the bells will remain an important part of the church and congregation for years to come. Keep ’em ringing!