Catholic New World: Newspaper for the Archdiocese of Chicago

Parish Pride

By Dolores Madlener

St. Mary Magdalene Church

8426 S. Marquette Ave.
St. Mary Magdalene Church

Photo by: Sandy Bertog

Spiritan Father Freddy Washington
Sundays 9 a.m. English; 10:30 a.m. Spanish
Seating capacity:
(773) 768-1700
Parish founded:

Originally a national Polish parish, founded in 1910 on the Southeast Side, it is now a melting pot that relies on a delicate balance of flavors. Today's stately Romanesque-style church, built with a fašade of distinctive Lannon stone, was dedicated in 1954. A communal Mass is celebrated once a month here to combine all ethnic blends from Creole to Polish. The other Sundays they work to avoid the sense it is "an English parish with a Spanish Mass" or "a Spanish parish with an English Mass." With just under 300 families, people know their neighbors at social gatherings, allowing for hospitality and a feeling of family. "You're not ashamed to express your culture," they say. There is adult catechesis through the year and Spiritan seminarians who reside in the former convent help with CCD and vacation Bible school. St. Mary Magdalene's Feast in July is celebrated with a carnival and ethnic treats. Everyone's welcome.