On eve of an expected announcement on closing and consolidations involving eight parishes in Bridgeport, Canaryville and Chinatown, the Archdiocese of Chicago on Tuesday night announced consolidation of two churches on the South Side.
The decision by Cardinal Blase Cupich to consolidate St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church, at 8237 S. South Shore Dr., and Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, at 2944 E 88th St., came out of a recommendation from the same Presbyteral Council that has advised Cupich on his decision expected Wednesday on the eight other churches.
St. Michael and Immaculate Conception will merge into a new parish, effective July 1, 2019, with both churches initially remaining open as worship sites of the single parish, the archdiocese said. A new pastor will be hired to lead the parish and work with the archdiocese on a long-term strategy for St. Michael’s church and campus.
Immaculate Conception School, at 8729 S. Exchange Ave., will remain open to serve the new parish, as the archdiocese had already shuttered St. Michael’s school in June, citing low enrollment.
Just as with the eight churches and six schools in the Bridgeport, Canaryville and Chinatown grouping, the archdiocese had met for months with the four parishes and their four schools in the South Shore grouping as part of its “Renew My Church” initiative focusing on struggling churches and schools in its 97 parish groupings.
The two other churches and schools in the South Shore grouping will remain open: Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish, at 3200 E. 91st St., and its school at 9050 S. Burley Ave.; along with Sacred Heart Croatian Parish, at 2864 E. 96th St., and its school at 2926 E. 96th St.
Cupich is set to announce his decision whether to close or consolidate the churches and schools in the Bridgeport, Canaryville and Chinatown parishes: All-Saints St. Anthony; St. Barbara; St. Gabriel; St. Jerome Croatian; Santa Lucia-Santa Maria Incoronata; St. Mary of Perpetual Help; Nativity of Our Lord and St. Therese Chinese Catholic. The meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday at St. Barbara’s, 2859 S. Throop St.