The raffle was held at the conclusion of the parish's annual Nativity Pageant, in which some 80 children ages three through twelve participated.
The gingerbread replicas were made by one of the senior high teachers, Harry William Reineke. A recent convert to the faith, Harry and his family were displaced from their home in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina. While other members of his family settled in other parts of the country, Harry was attracted to Chicago's western suburbs, in part due to the presence and witness of St. Joseph Church.
Earlier in December, the parish's fourth and fifth graders held a bake sale for St. Makarius Mission. Profits from the sale were combined with raffle donations, enabling the parish children to send a check for $600.00 for the fledgling Hyde Park community, headed by Fr. Elijah Mueller.
"St. Joseph's was planted by a handful of people as a mission in 1989," said Church school coordinator Melanie Hinds, "so it's only natural that we, especially our children, want to share the blessings that so many shared with us in those early years."
In years past, St. Joseph's was instrumental in establishing Holy Apostles Mission, Normal, IL, and offered assistance in planting St. Raphael Mission, Quincy, IL.
The parish is served by Frs. John Matusiak, Joseph Kopka, and Mykola Bodnarchuk and Deacon John Coleman, none of whom are likely to move into their gingerbread rectories any time soon -- for obvious reasons!!
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