From Spaghetti Dinners to a Place of Peace: Gift to Chapel Honors Mother's Memory

St. Mary's Whack the Wall(from left): Mark Mangieri, Joe Mangieri, President & CEO OSF St. Mary Medical Center Roxanna Crosser, Tillie Mangieri, Sam Mangieri Jr., Mary (Mangieri) Burgland and Pete Mangieri.

Chaotic, fun and loving are just some of the adjectives Mary (Mangieri) Burgland uses to describe growing up in an Italian family with 11 other siblings. “You could always find us outside playing a game of badminton.” said Mary. “In fact, our front yard didn’t have grass because we played outside so often.” Working hard and playing hard is very important to the Mangieri family but most importantly they all believe in giving back to the community. “My father, Sam Mangieri, was a very generous man.” said Mary. “He believed in helping everyone he could.”

Mary wanted to give back to the community so she became involved with the OSF St. Mary Auxiliary in the mid 70’s when she was a mother of two young children. She saw the need of more help so she reached out to her mother Tillie. “My mother gave 100% to everything she did so I knew she would be a perfect fit at the hospital.” said Burgland. “She is a past president of the Auxiliary and volunteered in the surgical waiting area up until her mid 80’s when it just wasn’t safe for her to continue driving back and forth from Abingdon. She loves OSF St. Mary. She gave birth to all her children here so it’s almost like home to her.” In the late 70’s, OSF St. Mary wanted to start a spaghetti dinner to benefit the Auxiliary. This was the perfect opportunity to get the whole Mangieri Family involved. Almost 40 years later, the Auxiliary still uses the Mangieri Spaghetti secret recipe to help raise funds for the hospital.

Other siblings became involved at OSF St. Mary Medical Center throughout the years. Mary was on the Auxiliary Board and will soon be on the Area Wide Board, her brother Sam Mangieri Jr. was an Area Wide Board Member and another brother Joe is a Foundation Board Member. It was during an Area Wide Board meeting when Sam Mangieri Jr. heard about a need to build a new chapel for the hospital. Sam knew that his sister, Tina (Mangieri) Vujovich wanted to donate some funds to honor their mother Tillie. Sam thought the chapel would be a wonderful project to honor their mother. All of Tillie’s children came together and contributed a total of $100,000 to help with the chapel project. “Our goal was to come up with $75,000 and we ended up contributing $100,000.” said Mary. “Our family believes in doing what we can to make the community a better place.”

With this generous donation, Tillie was honored by selecting a name for the new chapel. She thought about the name and changed it a couple of times, but she decided on the name “Mater Dei” Chapel. Mater Dei is Latin for “Mother of God” referring to the Virgin Mary. One of the interesting aspects about this project is not only did the Mangieri family help fund the chapel project, but they also helped build it. Another sibling, Peter Mangieri, owns Mangieri Companies in Peoria, IL. Peter’s company was an instrumental part in building the new chapel. “The chapel is a great place to go and just clear your mind.” Mary said. “It turned out beautiful from the stained glass to the natural wood work.” The beautiful stained glass window was resurrected from a former church in the Peoria Diocese and the wood work was provided by Director of Plant Operations in Peoria, Michael Saunders. “This chapel will be used by so many people.” said Roxanna Crosser, President of OSF St. Mary Medical Center. “Patients, visitors and staff can stop by throughout the day for reflection or just if they need a few moments of quiet.”

More than 120 people attended the blessing and dedication of Mater Dei Chapel that was held on Tuesday, November 18, 2014 which was 4 days before Tillie Mangieri’s 93rd Birthday. “Our family was thrilled that our mother was able to attend the blessing and see the final project.” said Mary. When asked why the Mangieri family chose OSF St. Mary as their charity, Mary said, “When you get to know the sisters, you’ll do anything for them.” The new chapel seats around 40 people. Mass is held Sunday-Friday at 7:30am and Saturdays at 9am. Patients can now watch mass from their hospital bed on channel 79.

Editor's Note--Mary has a total of 12 children. Those pictured represent the local Mangieri bunch.