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Parish Pride

By Dolores Madlener

Holy Cross/Immaculate Heart of Mary

4541 S. Wood Street

A natural (or supernatural) evolution culminated here in 1981 with two parishes merging. The worship sites are a few blocks apart. Holy Cross began in 1904, and the present magnificent Romanesque church with its landmark twin towers was built in 1913 for Lithuanian immigrants. Mexican families began moving into this Back of the Yards area as early as the 1930s to get work. In 1945, Cardinal Samuel Stritch made sure Immaculate Heart of Mary had a formal church, Spanish mission style, with a youth center. The two parishes grew side by side, but populations change, Lithuanians moved away and Hispanics moved in.

The two became one parish in 1981, utilizing two worship sites. “Flourishing” is an understatement. Its Web site tells the story. Faith and culture are celebrated. RCIA runs year-round and a strong Charismatic presence assures evangelization and devotions. Parish leadership is encouraged in adults, and youth are a priority focus. After-school programs run all year, including classes in the arts. Social services are many. A parish youth Marimba Ensemble has performed at the 10 a.m. Sunday Mass for 12 years, and sometimes takes its show on the road. This working class parish praises God and deserves much praise itself.

Father Bruce Wellems, CMF
Sat. 5:30 p.m. bilingual at IHM, Sun. IHM 8 a.m. & 10 a.m. Spanish; noon English at HC, 8 a.m. English; 10 a.m. 1 p.m. & 6 p.m. Spanish. IHM 5:30 p.m. bilingual
(773) 376-3900
Parishes merged:
Photo by:
Sandy Bertog