Archdiocese of Chicago provides updates on Renew My Church groupings

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The Archdiocese of Chicago recently announced updates on the Hegewisch and Burnham, Lemont, Lincoln Square, Milwaukee Avenue North and the East Little Village Renew My Church groupings.

Over the past several months, the groupings’ Feedback and Discernment Teams, made up of representatives from each of the parishes and schools, met to review and discern the future parish, school and church structures for their respective areas. Based on their meetings and discussions with the larger parish communities, they submitted feedback reports to the Archdiocesan Standards and Recommendations Commission, which includes representatives from across the Archdiocese of Chicago. The commission met to review the feedback reports and other materials and information, including demographic data, financial summaries, and parish and grouping trends.

Over the course of the past several weeks, Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, archbishop of Chicago, the archdiocese’s auxiliary bishops and Presbyteral Council met to discuss the commission’s recommendations. Based on those discussions and prayerful consideration, the following decisions have been made.

The Hegewisch and Burnham Renew My Church grouping includes the following parishes: St. Columba Parish (Chicago), St. Florian Parish (Chicago), and Mother of God Parish (Burnham, Ill.).

The parishes will unite to form a new parish, effective April 13, 2020. The leaders and parishioners of the new parish will discern possibilities for the new parish’s name within guidelines provided by the archdiocese and will submit their candidates to Cardinal Cupich for his decision on the permanent name.

St. Florian will serve as the parish church for the newly formed parish, where the pastor’s office and parish records will be kept.

The Lemont Renew My Church grouping includes the following parishes and schools, all of which are in Lemont, Ill.: St. Alphonsus Parish, St. Alphonsus/St. Patrick School, Ss. Cyril and Methodius Parish and School, St. James at Sag Bridge Parish, and St. Patrick Parish.

St. Alphonsus and St. Patrick Parishes will unite to form a new parish, effective July 1, 2020. St. Alphonsus will be designated the parish church, where the pastor’s office and parish records will be kept. St. Patrick Church will continue to operate as a church of the new parish.

St. James at Sag Bridge Parish will become a mission of Ss. Cyril and Methodius Parish, effective July 1, 2020. This transition recognizes the declining numbers of priests available to serve as pastors. The status as a mission will allow St. James at Sag Bridge Parish to retain its historic identity and character while operating under the priest leadership of Ss. Cyril and Methodius. The pastor of Ss. Cyril and Methodius will work with the leadership of both Ss. Cyril and Methodius and St. James to integrate administrative functions and ministries to best steward their resources for investment in each community’s ministry needs.

The priests and parish leaders of both the Ss. Cyril & Methodius and St. James Mission and the united St. Alphonsus and St. Patrick Parish, will review their Mass schedules and adjust them to align with the number of priests available to celebrate Masses into the future.

No structural changes will be made at this time to St. Alphonsus/St. Patrick School or Ss. Cyril & Methodius School, subject to each school remaining financially independent. Financial benchmarks applied in past years remain in effect for this and future years.

The Lincoln Square Renew My Church grouping includes the following parishes and schools, all of which are in Chicago: St. Hilary Parish and School, St. Matthias Parish and School, Queen of Angels Parish and School and Transfiguration of Our Lord Parish.

St. Hilary and Transfiguration of our Lord Parishes will unite to form a new parish, effective July 1, 2020. St. Hilary Church will be designated the parish church, where the pastor’s office and parish records will be kept.

Queen of Angels and St. Matthias Parishes will unite to form a new parish. Queen of Angels Church will be the parish church, where the pastor’s office and parish records will be kept.

The leaders and parishioners of each newly formed parish, will discern possibilities for the name of the new parish within guidelines provided by the archdiocese, and will submit their candidates to Cardinal Cupich for his decision on the permanent names.

St. Hilary, St. Matthias, and Queen of Angels Schools will remain in their current programs, subject to each school remaining financially independent. St. Hilary will be the parish school of the new parish formed by St. Hilary and Transfiguration Parishes. Queen of Angels School will be the parish school of the new parish formed by St. Matthias and Queen of Angels Parishes.

St. Matthias School will be governed as an archdiocesan school, not directly affiliated with a parish. The archdiocese will work closely with St. Matthias leadership and school board to define support needs moving forward.

The Milwaukee Avenue North Renew My Church grouping includes the following parishes and schools, all of which are in Chicago: St. Cornelius Parish, St. Tarcissus Parish, St. Thecla Parish and School and Pope Francis Global Academy’s North campus (located on the campus of St. Tarcissus Parish).

St. Cornelius, St. Tarcissus and St. Thecla Parishes will unite to form a new parish and school, effective July 1, 2020. The new parish and school will have a new name. The leadership and parishioners of the new parish and school will discern possibilities for the new parish and school permanent name within guidelines provided by the archdiocese and will submit their candidates to Cardinal Cupich for his decision.

St. Tarcissus Church will be designated the parish church, where the pastor’s office and parish records will be kept.

Effective July 1, 2020, St. Thecla School and Pope Francis Global Academy’s North campus will unite as a newly named parish school at the St. Tarcissus campus for the 2020/21 school year.

The East Little Village Renew My Church grouping includes the following parishes and schools, all of which are in Chicago: Assumption B.V.M. Parish, Our Lady of Tepeyac Parish and School and St. Roman Parish.

The three parishes will unite to form a new parish, effective July 1, 2020. The leadership and parishioners of the new parish will discern possibilities for the new parish’s name within guidelines provided by the archdiocese and will submit their candidates to Cardinal Cupich for his decision on the permanent name.

Our Lady of Tepeyac will be designated the parish church for the new parish, where the pastor’s office and parish records will be kept.

Ministry activities, including Kolbe House and Taller de José, will continue on the Assumption B.V.M. campus. The pastor of the new parish, in consultation with parish leadership, will determine how frequently the united parish’s ministries will use the campus.

There are no changes to Our Lady of Tepeyac Elementary School or High School.

Next Steps

Over the next few months, the archdiocese and the pastors of the current parishes will support the communities in their transition to the new parish and school structures. The archdiocese’s Renew My Church Accompaniment Team will work alongside local leadership to ensure the uniting faith communities and staff members are supported through this time of change. All parishes will embark on the next phase of the renewal process to become a stronger, more sustainable presence for the future, capable of reaching more people in their work of making disciples of Jesus Christ, building communities with one another and inspiring witness in the world around us.

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