A week after the consolidation of six churches and closing of three schools on the South Side, the Archdiocese of Chicago on Tuesday night announced two churches on the North Side also will likely be consolidated.
St. Ita Catholic Church, at 5500 N Broadway, in Edgewater, and St. Thomas of Canterbury, at 4827 N Kenmore Ave., in Uptown, will likely become one parish, effective May 31, 2019, both structures remaining open as two worship sites of the new designated parish, the archdiocese said.
St. Thomas of Canterbury School, at 5525 N Magnolia Ave., also will remain open, serving that new parish, the planned actions coming under the archdiocese’s “Renew My Church” initiative focusing on struggling churches and schools in its 97 parish groupings.
The archdiocese indicated the Presbyteral Council and Cardinal Blase Cupich were to issue a decision on those recommendations last week but put it off in the wake of controversy.
“Cardinal Blase J. Cupich … and the Archdiocesan Presbyteral Council were scheduled to discuss the commission’s recommendation … last week but postponed the decision. The topic will be brought to the Jan. 15, 2019 meeting of the Presbyteral Council for further discussion, which will inform the final decision by Cardinal Cupich,” the archdiocese said.
The cardinal’s decision on closings and consolidations involving eight parishes in Bridgeport, Canaryville and Chinatown last week had drawn hurt and anger among parishioners and school families, with 1,000 attending a community meeting.
It’s where they learned St. Jerome Croatian and Santa Lucia-Santa Maria Incoronata is being consolidated into one church; Nativity of Our Lord and St. Gabriel is consolidating into one parish with two worship sites; and St. Barbara, Santa Lucia and St. Gabriel schools are closing.
The same week, the archdiocese also announced consolidation of St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church in South Shore and Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in South Chicago into one parish, with two worship sites; and Immaculate Conception School will remain open to serve the new parish, as St. Michael’s School was shuttered by the archdiocese in June.
The Lakeshore Drive grouping of parishes in Edgewater and Uptown includes St. Mary of the Lake Catholic Church, at 4200 N Sheridan Rd., and its school, at 4200 N Sheridan Rd. However, “Throughout the discernment process, it became clear that the faith community of St. Mary of the Lake Parish will be better served as part of an alternate grouping. St. Mary of the Lake School will continue with its current programming,” the archdiocese said.
Just as with the South Side church and school groupings, the archdiocese had met for months with the Edgewater and Uptown parishes, leading up to a decision. Also put off until January by the archdiocese were decisions regarding consolidations or closings of All Saints-St. Anthony, St. Barbara’s, St. Mary of Perpetual Help and St. Therese churches in the Bridgeport, Canaryville and Chinatown areas.