|The New Steeple, Electronic Chimes and Building Improvements
The bell was replaced by chimes. In 2001, when Reverend Bakhos
Chidiac arrived in Wheeling, parishioners asked him to fix the chimes that
were out of order. The parishioners liked the sound of the bells before
and after Mass. After an investigation, it was determined that the chimes
were outdated and beyond repair.
In 2004, Reverend Bakhos Chidiac and the parish council agreed
to exchange the bell that was stored in the garage with many pieces missing
– into electronic chimes from the Verdin Company. The new chimes ring automatically
every day at a scheduled time.
After building a new addition to the church in 2008, which
included Cedar Hall and made the church building more accessible, the following
repairs and improvements were made to the interior of the church: 1) the
original altar was moved from back to front, 2) a new lighting system was
installed, 3) a new sound system was added, 4) new carpet was installed,
5) walls were painted, 6) pews were repaired, 7) statues were repaired
and painted, 8) and the stations of the cross were cleaned and polished.
In 2013, Monsignor Bakhos Chidiac (promoted in 2011), pastor of Our Lady of Lebanon Church, and the parish council decided to restore the steeple to its original 1922 design. Architect Larry Siebieda and Walters Construction were selected for the project, which spanned from July to November 2013.
A brick parapet in the shape of the crown of the Blessed Mother was found and restored at the base of the steeple. By completing this project, the church more closely resembles its original design and has been restored to its unique beauty of 1922.
The 2013 steeple, electronic chimes and building improvements project was funded by the generosity of private donors, community sources, and proceeds from the 80th annual Mahrajan in August, 2013. Structural damages inside the bell tower were also corrected. The damages occurred as a result of the 1932 fire, which gutted the building, and from being struck by lightning over the years.