Home Entertainment Suburban Muslims raise $1 million to complete Rolling Meadows mosque

Suburban Muslims raise $1 million to complete Rolling Meadows mosque

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Suburban Muslims raise $1 million to complete Rolling Meadows mosque


Hundreds of suburban Muslims raised more than $1 million in one night Friday to fund the completion of construction on the Islamic Society of Northwest Suburbs’ new mosque and community center in Rolling Meadows.

It was a final push to get the doors open ahead of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, expected to begin March 10.

The project faced initial challenges with zoning and fundraising. It’s taken seven years working collaboratively with the city of Rolling Meadows and other agencies to get the project approved, for construction to begin 14 months ago, and reach this point, said ISNS board President Mohammed Abdul-Gaffoor.

“ISNS is at the cusp of reaching a couple of major milestones,” he said Friday, adding that the mosque is entering the fifth decade of its existence.

What started out as a group of immigrants congregating in basements has grown into a vibrant community center for Muslims in the region.

“The challenges the immigrant community faced is very different from what we face today 40 years later,” Abdul-Gaffoor said.

Work began in August 2022 to convert a vacant one-story, 47,534-square-foot brick industrial building the society purchased in 2016 into its new prayer hall at 1200 Hicks Road.


        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        

 

Society officials have spent more than $4.6 million on the project and have $750,000 on hand. They set a target of $950,000 for Friday’s fundraising dinner, but quickly surpassed their goal and have enough to complete the first phase of construction, which includes prayer halls for men and women, a cafe, office space, parking lot and landscaping.

A second phase will involve construction of a youth center/gymnasium, school, and a multipurpose banquet hall.

Shrine pilgrimage begins


Pilgrims make their way past the shrine during celebrations in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe on Dec. 11, 2022, at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Des Plaines. Thousands of Catholic pilgrims again will travel to attend the two-day event commemorating reported visions of the Virgin Mary in 1531 in Mexico City.


Pilgrims make their way past the shrine during celebrations in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe on Dec. 11, 2022, at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Des Plaines. Thousands of Catholic pilgrims again will travel to attend the two-day event commemorating reported visions of the Virgin Mary in 1531 in Mexico City.
– Ryan Rayburn for the Daily Herald, 2022

The annual celebration honoring Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Americas, begins at 8 p.m. today and continues through 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, 1170 N. River Road in Des Plaines.

It’s the largest gathering of pilgrims honoring Our Lady of Guadalupe in the United States. Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims from the Chicago-area and across the nation are expected to arrive on foot, bike, bus, and car to pay homage to the Virgin Mary, Our Lady of Guadalupe, who appeared to Saint Juan Diego on Dec. 12, 1531.

        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        

 

Pilgrims make the annual journey to the shrine to fulfill or make “mandas” or promises to Our Lady for a specific need or concern.

The two-day celebration begins with the inaugural Mass and blessing of the newly rebuilt Chapel of the Resurrection, which was set ablaze on May 23 by a suspected arsonist. Parishioners and benefactors came together to rebuild the chapel.

The Most Rev. Jeffrey Grob, auxiliary bishop of Chicago, will be the main celebrant at the 8 p.m. Mass today. Masses will be offered throughout until the closing Mass at 7 p.m. Tuesday, which will be celebrated by the Rev. Esequiel Sanchez, rector of the shrine.

“Las Mañanitas,” the traditional serenade to Our Lady of Guadalupe, will begin at 11 p.m. Monday. There also will be music and folkloric dance performances by choirs, groups, and pilgrims from across the Midwest throughout Tuesday.

This year, the Des Plaines shrine marked its 10th anniversary as a formally established Shrine of the Archdiocese of Chicago. It is authorized by the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City to receive devotees and pilgrims unable to travel to the basilica in Mexico.

Winter supplies distribution

As part of a community-driven initiative to provide essential winter supplies to people in need, Zakat Chicago, a charity committee of the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago (CIOGC), will kick off its Winter Kit Drive Tuesday at 1544 W. Wrightwood Court, Addison.

Winter kits worth more than $250,000 will be distributed as part of the drive. Officials from Zakat Chicago, as well as community leaders and dignitaries will share the campaign’s goals and its projected impact during a 1:30 p.m. news conference.

Zakat is an obligatory act of charity prescribed in the Quran, Islam’s holy book, requiring the rich to give a small, designated portion of their wealth yearly to people/projects in need in the community.

For more information about the drive, visit zakatchicago.com.

Film screening


Mohawk Bear Clan Mother Louise Herne and Professor Sally Roesch Wagner are featured in the film "Without A Whisper -- Konnón:kwe."


Mohawk Bear Clan Mother Louise Herne and Professor Sally Roesch Wagner are featured in the film “Without A Whisper — Konnón:kwe.”
– Courtesy of Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center

The Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center will screen “Without A Whisper — Konnón:kwe,” a film exploring the untold story of how Indigenous women influenced the suffragist movement in the United States, on Thursday at 9603 Woods Drive in Skokie.

The film won Best Short Film at the Female Voices Rock Film Festival and Best Documentary Short at the Red Nation International Film Festival. It aired on PBS as part of its 2023 short film festival.

Following the 6:30 p.m. free screening, there will be a discussion with the film’s leading subjects, Mohawk Bear Clan Mother Louise Herne and Professor Sally Roesch Wagner, and director/producer Katsitsionni Fox (Bear Clan, Mohawk Nation at Akwesasn). The panel will be moderated by Efrat Schulman, partner at Jones Day Foundation.

Reservations are required at ihm.ec/konnonkwe.

Musical performance


Harmonica legend Corky Siegel and virtuoso tabla player Kalyan Pathak will perform live at 4 p.m. Saturday at the South Asia Institute, 1925 S. Michigan Ave., in Chicago.


Harmonica legend Corky Siegel and virtuoso tabla player Kalyan Pathak will perform live at 4 p.m. Saturday at the South Asia Institute, 1925 S. Michigan Ave., in Chicago.
– Courtesy of South Asia Institute

Harmonica legend Corky Siegel and virtuoso tabla player Kalyan Pathak will perform live at 4 p.m. Saturday at the South Asia Institute, 1925 S. Michigan Ave., in Chicago.

Eighty-year-old Siegel is renowned in the world of blues music. In 1988, he founded Chamber Blues, an ensemble showcasing versatile musicians skilled in multiple instruments. Pathak, a multiethnic percussionist, is a distinguished member of the Chicago-based blues band.

Their performance will mark the closing ceremony of the institute’s exhibition, “Indigo: The Blue Gold” by Shelly Jyoti.

“Their collaboration represents the beautiful fusion of different cultures and arts, producing a magical amalgamation of American and South Asian musical traditions,” said Brian Keigher, executive director of the South Asia Institute. “While as an institute we are dedicated to promoting South Asian art, culture, and music, we are also committed to creating spaces that celebrate the common threads among different groups and our shared passion for the arts.”

The performance is free and open to the public.

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