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Summit Catholic churches to form new parish

St. Joseph, St. BlasŽ among local parishes seeing changes

By Bob Bong

The Archdiocese of Chicago announced last week that as part of its Renew My Church campaign St. BlasŽ Church and St. Joseph Church in Summit would be uniting to form a new parish this summer.

Also, St. Joseph’s School will be closing as part of the merger. Its final class will graduate at the end of the school year in June.

Calls to pastors at both churches were not returned, but according to the archdiocese, both churches will continue as worship sites with a regular schedule of masses after the July 1 merger, the new parish will offer services in Polish, Spanish and English, St. BlasŽ will be the designated parish church for sacramental records.

In 2023, a review will be conducted to determine whether both campuses will continue to operate.

The archdiocese said it would announce at a later date who would be the pastor at the new parish and the name of the new parish.

The archdiocese has been holding discussions with representatives of parishes throughout the area to see if they can continue to operate independently or should be merged with a nearby parish. Among concerns have been operating costs and a dwindling number of priests available to staff parishes.

A similar review of parishes in North Riverside, Lyons, Stickney and Riverside will result in St. Pius X Parish in Stickney joining a grouping of parishes in Berwyn and Cicero later this year for review.

St. Hugh in Lyons, St Mary in Riverside and Mater Christi in North Riverside will be uniting in July. A new name, pastor and pastoral team will be named later. St. Mary will be designated the parish church and serve as the administrative center for the new parish.

St. Mary and Mater Christi will continue with a regular schedule of masses. The Mothers of Mothers Shrine at Mater Christi will continue with no changes.

St. Hugh will cease scheduled masses no later than Ash Wednesday, March 2, 2022, and move toward formal closure.

St. Mary School will continue to operate as it does now.

Changes are also coming to the Oak Lawn, Burbank, Bridgeview grouping of parishes.

St. Louis de Montfort in Oak Lawn will close by June 30 and its parishioners are invited to join St. Albert the Great in Burbank. St. Fabian in Bridgeview or St. Gerald in Oak Lawn. The financial assets and physical property of St. Louis will be shared among the other three parishes. St. Gerald will manage the St. Louis campus and decide its future.

St. Albert and St. Gerald schools will operate as usual.

Similar changes are in store for parishes in Chicago Ridge, Hickory Hills, and Palos Hills.

Our Lady of the Ridge in Chicago Ridge and St. Linus in Oak Lawn will form a new parish with a new name on July 1. Its temporary name will be Our Lady of the Ridge and St. Linus Parish.Both churches will remain as worship sites but there will be one pastor and one pastoral team.

St. Linus School will remain open as usual.

St. Patricia Parish and School in Hickory Hills and Sacred Heart in Palos Hills will continue to operate as usual.

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