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OLA School Renovations

Mission of Our Lady of the Angels has begun the process of renovating Our Lady of the Angels School to expand its outreach to the neighborhood!

The use of the building will be 3 fold:

  • Essentially ground level storage for all of our donations and a new kitchen/ dining room

  • Offices and classroom space for programs for adults

  • Our new 69 bedroom volunteer residence / retreat space

Keep updated with the project on this webpage! Donate to the school project HERE. If you’d like to volunteer to help with the project/ donate material or have questions, please e-mail Sr. Stephanie HERE (

August 3, 2019 Adoration Chapel Nears Completion
  • Adoration chapel construction is almost complete!
  • HVAC system work is moving forward. It will be complete mid September!
  • The permit marathon continues. Please pray for the quick resolution to the last few issues with our permit.
July 21, 2019 i's dotted and t's crossed...almost

See ya later public notice! We passed at our zoning board of appeal hearing on Friday. 1 more step + we should finally have a permit.

July 14, 2019 Adoration Chapel Progress Continues

Our new altar backdrop and floor were put in this week! We are so excited to have Adoration in our beautiful chapel soon.

June 30, 2019 HVAC Progress - More Radiators! / More Walls!

We have 1 floor of radiators installed and almost 2 floors of radiator walls. Thank you to ALL of the volunteers who have been helping with the radiator walls and for Wantuck Comfort Solutions for their continued efforts on the radiator install.

June 22, 2019 Radiators In / Walls Up

All of the radiators are in the building! Radiator demo is almost complete + install will begin this week. Volunteers have also been very busy building walls behind the radiator areas and the surrounding walls. Thanks to ALL who are helping in this effort.

June 16, 2019 New Boilers!

As many of you know, it has been a very long and time consuming 10+ year path to getting new boilers. The first essential step has occurred- the arrival of the new equipment for the first half of the system! We are SO grateful and excited for all who have helped us take this incredible step- especially Carrier (and staff), Wantuck Comfort Solutions, and our volunteer pipefitters.

June 9, 2019 Volunteers Continue Moving and Demolishing

Thanks so much from our awesome group from St. Francis High School and our resident summer volunteers for all their work with demoing tile, moving junk into dumpsters, and moving radiators this week. Significant progress is only a permit away….

May 26, 2019 Work Continues Despite Permit Delays

While we are waiting for our building permit, we have still been able to continue with several parts of the project, including our new Adoration chapel! We have an artist who has donated his services to hand paint incredible religious art onto the walls of the chapel.

May 12, 2019 Fantastic Fundraising Opportunity

We are very excited to announce that an anonymous donor has stepped forward to offer a $200,000 match opportunity to help fund the school project! If we raise $200,000 he will donate $200,000! This $400,000 will get us pretty close to funding all of the main stages of the project. Donate HERE.
Our goal is to raise $200,000 by 6/30/19.
We’ve already raised $26,400!!!
Please pray for this fundraising campaign!
Donate now HERE. (Other donation methods listed HERE.)

May 5, 2019 Unwanted Surprises Overcome

A week of surprises. We found a lot of issues with the underground drainage system in the school this week. Got it all fixed as we continue to prep for the arrival of the new boiler.
Thanks for all of your continued support - especially as we continue to find expensive surprises like these pipes!

April 28, 2019 Thanks St Clement Parish

Thank you St. Clement’s for all of your amazing continued support of Mission of Our Lady of the Angels! We had over 40 volunteers on 4/27 to help us on the cleaning and moving projects in the school. Thank you for your help.

April 14, 2019 Pantry Continues to Grow / Boiler Disconnected


The Tuesday pantry continues to grow and improve! Here are some highlights from last Tuesday.


This week we also officially disconnected the school boiler from any heat as we get ready to start installing the new boiler very soon! Here is the moment of disconnection.

April 5, 2019 Marriott Managers Volunteer

We had a huge group of general managers from Marriot come to help us demo, clean, and organize in the school! Thank you for helping us make some major progress!

March 31, 2019 Landscaping

The landscaping outside the Mission got a major upgrade this week! Thank you C Thomas Company for donating the trees and awesome landscapers to put them in.

March 18, 2019 Walk-in Fridge Full

The new food pantry continues to expand rapidly! Our 24x12 foot walk in fridge was FILLED for the first time this weekend. Check it out. Keep filling it up everyone! We also need more help packing produce and prepping for the pantry. If anyone would like to help with the pantry/ pantry prep, please e-mail HERE.

March 10, 2019 Progress Everywhere

Progress! Many things this week:

  • Old, nonfunctional boiler was demoed
  • Construction on chapel started
  • Painting in new donation room complete
  • Basement painted, cleared and organized

This project is really going now! Check out these pictures from the boiler demolition.

March 4, 2019 Tuesday Food Pantry Success

The new food pantry was featured on NBC! Check it out HERE. The Tuesday food pantry is really working smoothly now! We’d love your help if you can come. Tuesdays from 7:45 to 12 pm at OLA School- 3814 W. Iowa St. Let us know if you can volunteer HERE.

February 17, 2019 School Renovation Continues

Building permits should be finalized and re-submitted (and hopefully approved) this week! We are continuing to paint and prep for the work that will start as soon as we get the permits.

Please pray that the permits move through the city system quickly this week!

January 22, 2019 New Pantry Opens

We opened the new pantry on 1/22! Check out the highlights HERE.

January 20, 2019 New Fridge and Freezer Up and Running

Our new walk in fridge and freezer are fully functional! They are each 12 ft x 24 ft. Our new pantry is almost set up & is opening on Tuesday 1/22. Join us for the Tuesday pantry sometime! Details about volunteering at the Tuesday pantry HERE.

New Pantry
New Fridge New Freezer
January 13, 2019 New Pantry to Open January 22nd

Big week in the school! The walk in fridge and freezer were installed. Walk in fridge is current ON and holding temperature! The walk in freezer should be working on Tuesday Jan. 15. We also painted the pantry. Thanks UW-Madison for your full weekend in the pantry taking care of this job!
Pantry still opening on 1/22/19.

January 5, 2019 New Pantry Space Ready

We have been prepping for the big pantry move! The walk in fridge and freezer are coming this week.  Here is a picture of the new pantry storage room as of 1/5/19.

December 23, 2018 Walk-In Freezer Space Prepared

Now that Advent is over - we’re ready to get our chocolate calendars out for the WALK IN FRIDGE/ FREEZER COUNT DOWN! Delivery on 1/7/19.
Here is the space for the unit. >>

December 17, 2018 New Pantry Space to Open Soon

The new pantry will be incredible. Check out this blog post from the Greater Chicago Food Depository highlighting the new pantry HERE.

December 2, 2018 New Pantry's Floor Waxed

Waxed floors in the new pantry! New pantry tentative opening date: Jan 22, 2019

November 11, 2018 Tile Installed in Future Pantry Space

We have new tile in the future pantry space! More tile will be laid this week.

November 4, 2018 First Floor Demolition Completed

Floors gone, lockers gone, steps jackhammered!!! 1st floor demolition is OVER!
Time to rebuild…. look for exciting updates soon.

October 21, 2018 New Pantry Work Continues

Our future pantry is looking better (see hallway/ doorway picture)- lots of work to be done in the next few weeks! We ordered the walk-in fridge / freezer this week as well as preparing for the next steps. There should be major movement on the project by Christmas!

October 14, 2018 New Pantry Work Begun
We are back! Wall repair and door instillation on the new pantry started this past week.
September 17, 2018 Paperwork Prayers Needed

The many administrative hurdles we have been jumping through remain!! Please pray that all of our paperwork moves quickly through the various systems it needs to travel through so we can get the first floor improvements going.

September 2, 2018 Landscaping Added

The lots at 3800 W. Chicago Ave now have their flower boxes and new plants! We are excited to have full uses of these spaces starting next spring.

August 4, 2018 Paving Completed

Our new basketball/ parking/ garden area was paved this week! Thank you to the City of Chicago and all who made this possible. More updates on the use of this lot very soon!

July 22, 2018 Bathrooms Improved

We are very grateful for the donated plumbing supplies and labor that have been donated to work on the 1st and 2nd floor bathrooms. We are excited about our highly functional sinks and toilets!

July 15, 2018 HVAC Repairs Needed
We continue to discuss and experiment with possibilities for the replacement/ upgrade of our HVAC system. One of the definite costs is going to be the replacement of most (if not all) of our unit ventilators (special radiators). It’s going to cost about $2000 a vent. There are about 50 vents in the school! Continue to pray for the project. God is very much providing the people we need to continue moving forward.
July 8, 2018 Tribune Tower Donations

We picked up several truckloads of donations from Tribune Tower this week including kitchen equipment and tables and chairs. Thanks to the Tribune and all who helped with the move!

July 1, 2018 Improvements Continue at 3800 W. Chicago

As work continues in the school, we are very excited to let you know that significant work continues to be done on 3800 W. Chicago Ave! This space will be a parking lot/ basketball courts/ garden space. Check out the latest pictures!

June 24, 2018 Demolition & Remodeling
Very busy week for the school construction project! First floor demo is complete, we moved 9 UHauls worth of furniture from DePaul University and 680 N. Lake Shore Dr. to the Mission, first + second floor bathroom repairs started, and we received monetary commitments from several sources for the kitchen. Keep up the prayers, networking, and generosity!! We are very grateful.
June 17, 2018 First Floor Demolition



We started the demo on the first floor of the school last week! It will be completed this week. This demo is making space for our new food pantry space, our new walk in fridge and freezer, and our new donation space.

Before After
June 10, 2018 Basement storage

The first of MANY before and after pictures! This week we got the basement storage room painted. We then moved all of the stuff that needed to be moved for the demolition into the room. Get excited for some demo pictures next week!

May 20, 2018 First Floor Demolition

We have a tentative kick off date for the project! June 16 should be the start of the demo on the first floor of the building. We will be knocking down walls to make room for the new space for our food pantry, giant walk in fridge/ freezer, and donation space.
We currently are running most of our food pantry in the hallways of the school building. We are really looking forward to having a designated room for the pantry. Check out some pictures below of the current pantry. We are serving about 140 families a week! That is more than DOUBLE what we were doing at this time last year.

April 22, 2018 Roof & Demo

Despite the lack of updates, there has been a LOT of background work going on to prep for the school construction project. We are finally ready to actually start doing something in the next few weeks.
Two things are going to be happening pretty soon:

  1. Roof- The school still has the ORIGINAL 1959 roof. It is a minor miracle there is not more leaking. Even with some VERY generous donations of material and labor, it will cost about $90,000 to replace the roof. See pictures of our lovely tar roof.

  2. 1st floor demo- We will be knocking down walls on the first floor of the school to make room for our new food pantry space, donation space, and HUGE walk in fridge/ freezer. More on the demo project in future updates.

January 28, 2018 - Large Food Donation

Incredible food donation!
We were very blessed to receive a surprise call from our new friends from Morton, IL who work with Midwest Food Bank! They dropped off 12 pallets of food & even assembly lined it into the building for us. We would have NEVER been able to receive this donation without the school building!

January 16, 2018 - Tuesday Food Pantry Now in the School

The Tuesday pantry moved to the school building in August. We now serve DOUBLE the people we used to every single month at the Tuesday pantry. Learn more about the future of the Tuesday pantry HERE.


November 10, 2017 - Home Depot School Repainting

Home Depot started this project with a bang by granting the Mission at $25,000 grant and providing ~150 employees to repaint the entire school in 1 day! Here are some highlight pictures and the news story from Telemundo from that day. More pictures of Home Depot volunteers HERE.