Catholic New World: Newspaper for the Archdiocese of Chicago

Parish Pride

By Dolores Madlener

Our Lady of the Woods

10731 W. 131st Street, Orland Park

Photo by: Sandy Bertog

Father Michael W. O’Connell
Saturdays 5 p.m./ Sundays 8, 9:30, 11
Seating capacity:
(708) 361-4754
Parish founded:
Parish Website:

With 2,190 families, it is considered one of the “smallest” of the burgeoning southwest suburban parishes. The church, a modern basilica design by Ware Associates, has a steep pitched ceiling, warm wood interior, and clear glass windows displaying a panorama of God’s creation. Many parishioners whose faith tradition was in South Side parishes find a connection with what went before: a fully restored 1957 Kilgen pipe organ from the former St. Raphael Parish and statues from now closed St. Lawrence Parish and from the chapel at the former Lt. Joseph P. Kennedy School in Palos Park, where Masses were celebrated before this edifice was dedicated almost 25 years ago. Vigorous stewardship has made the church, as well as a busy new $3.2 million Parish Life and Catechetical Center, debt-free. Parishioners across age groups, are active in service, catechesis and athletics. Currently, 95 teens, funded by donations, are helping the needy in Appalachia during the summer.