Catholic New World: Newspaper for the Archdiocese of Chicago

Parish Pride

By Dolores Madlener

St. Paul Church

206 E. 25th St., Chicago Heights

Mary Queen of Heaven

Photo by: Sandy Bertog

Non-Resident Pastor:
Father John S. Siemianowski
Saturdays 5 p.m. English; 7 p.m. Spanish / Sundays
8 & 11 a.m. English; 9:30 & 12:30 p.m. Spanish
Seating capacity:
(708) 754-3120
Parish founded:

There has always been an “immigrant spirit” at St. Paul’s. Founded for Slovak families in the southeast section of Chicago Heights, it struggled to exist. Eventually they named it for a priest in Wisconsin who encouraged their efforts to have a parish of their own. Today’s simple brick church and hall, built in 1929, is again home to newcomers, mostly young Mexican families—over 300 baptisms yearly and 400 kids in religious education. Devotions and festivals like St. Paul’s Fest in June and Mexican Independence Day in September are a happy mix of cultures, food and language. Skilled parishioners recently painted the church interior to save expenses. The main altar of the church shows the Sacred Heart with outstretched arms flanked on either side by St. Peter and St. Paul. Church is the people’s focal point. And even after Sunday Mass they linger at food stands out in front to gather and talk.