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The Catholic New World

St. Peter’s in the Loop

110 West Madison Street

Pastor: Father William Spencer, OFM
Masses: Saturdays 5 p.m./ Sundays 9 and 11 a.m.; 12:30 and 6 p.m.
Seating capacity: 750
Phone: (312) 372-5111
Merged parish founded: 1846

Parish Pride
by Dolores Madlener

St. Peter’s in the Loop
110 West Madison Street

It was the first German parish here in 1846, with a little frame church at Franklin and Wells. It moved, it built, and it barely escaped the Chicago Fire in 1871. In 1875 its Franciscan priests arrived and stayed on call 24/7 in the toughest district of the city. They purchased the LaSalle Theater, and in 1946 J.J. Burns designed a new St Peter Church on the site; it was dedicated in 1953. With its 33-foot marble crucifix over the entrance, walls and floors of marble, and 10 Botticino marble panels in bas-relief, it is stunning. St. Peter's is also the only church in the archdiocese with 35,000 faithful present on Ash Wednesday, seven Masses celebrated each weekday, with the Sacrament of Penance available 11 hours each workday, four and a half hours on Saturdays. There is counseling and spiritual direction by friars nine hours daily, afternoon eucharistic adoration and programs on lunch-hours or after hours. Workshops and talks range from 12-step programs to an artist's introduction to the world of iconography. Young-adults' "Slice of Faith," 5:30-6:30 p.m. on first Thursdays, comes with pizza. It's the daily church for loop workers, and on weekends a magnet for shoppers, sight-seers or travelers.