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The Chicago Midway Airport Chapel

Wednesday marks the 25th Anniversary of the first Mass at the Chicago Midway Airport.  The message below appeared in Our Lady of The Snows’ bulletin back in 1988 when the Chapel was still in the dream stage.  It is proof that faith, trust in the Lord, and the power of prayer can help us reach our Impossible Dreams!

The current Midway Airport Chapel.  For the first 14 years, the Chapel was very mobile, moving to any open gate. On April 14, 2002, this permanent chapel was dedicated by Cardinal Francis George.

The current Midway Airport Chapel. For the first 14 years, the Chapel was very mobile, moving to any open gate.
On April 14, 2002, this permanent chapel was dedicated by Cardinal Francis George.

The Chicago Midway Airport Chapel

A few weeks ago, I wrote of my vision of an Interfaith Chapel at busy Chicago Midway Airport for the spiritual uplift of the airlines’ personnel and of travelers moving through its concourses.  Determined to get a hearing for this idea of a Chapel, I left word with the Deputy Commissioner of Aviation, the Manager of Midway, of my willingness to give time on a daily basis to the spiritual needs of the Midway people.

Later, in the meeting with the Manager, I spoke about “the wild idea of an Airport Chapel.”  “On the contrary”, he responded, “it sounds like a good idea.”  Mentioning the necessity of clearing the project with his superiors, the Deputy Commissioner encouraged me to obtain permission for this possible ministry from Cardinal Joseph Bernardin, the Archbishop of Chicago.

After several months of communications with the Archbishop’s office, I received the permission from the Cardinal, through his Chancellor, to take on the Airport Ministry.  I was to keep my present work and position as Associate Pastor of Our Lady of The Snows and to give as much time possible to the Midway work.  The Chancellor mentioned on the phone that the Cardinal was “very enthusiastic” about the possible opening of a Chapel at Midway, since the Cardinal uses the Airport frequently on his business trips to the East Coast.

With two hurdles taken care of, only one remains.  The manager of Midway seeks to find a suitable place in which to locate the Chapel, no easy task, because of the influx of many airlines which are using up much of the available space.  If and when the Chapel does open, our Pastor at OLSnows, has generously promised the former altar and tabernacle used in our parish Church during the first 25 years of its existence.

I ask for your generous prayers for the success of this venture, one filled with unlimited possibilities of spiritual good for many of the thousands of people using the Midway services each day.  Pray to St. Joseph, asking him to help the manager and his engineers locate a fitting place for this House of Worship.  I always prayed to St. Joseph when traveling in foreign countries to help me obtain a place to sleep at night.  He never failed me!                                                                                                                                   

                                                                                                           Fr. George Mc Kenna

July 21, 2013 - Posted by | Bulletins | , , ,


  1. Thank you Fr. McKenna for your dedication to serving God’s people at Midway Airport. God bless you and keep you in His loving care. I will pray to St. Joseph for good lodging during my travels. Pam Gervais

    Comment by Pam Gervais | July 21, 2013 | Reply

  2. All the best wishes as you celebrate 25 years of service to the Midway Airport community.You are in my prayers, offering continued success.

    Comment by Tom O'Dowd | July 21, 2013 | Reply

  3. Happy 25th Anniversary — Midway Chapel made possible by your vision, faith-filled wisdom and efforts
    Fr. George! How many thousands of passengers and employees have enriched their faith through Mass and the sacraments because you…”had this wild idea!” …how blessed are we, who have been to the chapel in the midst of busy travels! God’s Blessings, Love & Grace, Marianne

    Comment by mcs | July 21, 2013 | Reply

  4. Hi Fr. George! What a wonderful silver anniversary of the Midway Airport Chapel! The Chapel has a special place in my heart because it was where I first heard you say mass, in May of 2008. It was life-changing for me! You have been an inspiration to me ever since and I love you for that. I hope that you realize all of the lives that you have touched by this ‘wild idea’ of a ministry at the airport! So many people must have special memories of stopping in and saying a prayer – whether for a good flight, or for consolation, or for thanksgiving. I have done all three while kneeling in the airport chapel. You are such a remarkable man and truly one of God’s finest priests! I love you, Fr. George. Praying for you daily as well. Love, Nancy

    Comment by Nancy Westvang | July 22, 2013 | Reply

  5. Like to discuss a new chapel at Kansas City International

    Comment by Jeffrey scott phipps | January 17, 2018 | Reply

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