Saint Michael The Archangel – Chicago
Saint Michael the Archangel Parish is located in the Back of the Yards neighborhood at 48th and Damen. Founded as a Slovak parish over 100 years ago, Saint Michael’s now ministers to a largely Hispanic congregation with joy and energy.
Saint Michael the Archangel is now a poor, mostly Mexican parish in an area of Chicago known as The Back of the Yards. “The Yards” of our neighborhood were the Union Stockyards, at one time the national center of turning cattle into meat.
The parish was founded in 1898 as a non-territorial Slovak “National Parish.” A priest from St. John the Baptist in Whiting, IN began service to the community. In 1905, St. Procopius Abbey, Lisle (Order of St. Benedict) was given care of the parish. Mass was celebrated in Slovak. A handful of sturdy Slovaks have remained with the parish and are active.
The next immigrant group to move into the parish was mostly Mexican, from many different parts of Mexico. Like the Slovaks, they worked hard and had strong faith. The parish has become a respectful and delightful mix of Euro-American faithful. Spanish, the language of their hearts, is now the language used for 3 of our 4 Sunday Masses.
They are a very young community. Their parish youth program centers in the nightly available gymnasium. Teens from the parish, and some from the area, gather to play basketball, socialize and receive great guidance from Fr. Tilford, parish priest of St. Michael. It is a safe environment from the drugs and gangs on the street. They have a CCD program to prepare their young folks in the Faith that has sustained them so well. Adults take the time to nourish their own life with street fairs and dances. The Comité Hispano has helped to prepare the people for the wonderful celebration of Our Lady of Guadalupe. They are not rich in material prosperity. They are very rich in faith and hope.
Saint Maria Goretti – Rwanda
Saint Maria Goretti Parish is located in the Central African Nation of Rwanda. The parish ministers to all who come to her in this desperately poor but very Catholic country which is still recovering from a brutal civil war which devastated an already poor, struggling nation.
You can join the Sharing Families project to support the Parish School for only $25.
Photos of the Rwanda Station School :