Photos: Top Left - Original Church Building
Top Right - Church After 1902 Fire
Bottom Left - Church, School, Rectory 1934
Bottom Right - Building Today
St. Patrick Church, located
at 95th St. and Commercial Avenue, started as an outmission of St.James
church, which was located on 26th St. and Calumet Ave. In 1857 approval
was reveived for the request of the church to become the first church of
any denomination to be established in the southeast side of the City of
Chicago in the community of South Chicago originally and was the first
Catholic church to be founded South of 31st Street which was then the south
boundary of the City.
In 1859 construction began with the
frame church on what is now the intersection of 93rd and Houston Ave.
This church was served by the priests of St. James parish until 1869.
Afterwards, they were followed by St. Thomas parish, which was located
in the community of Hyde Park. This parish then administered the church
as well the needs of the Irish families who lived in the community.
These priests served the parish and the community for a term of ten years.
During the pastorate of Father Van de
Laar a lot of good things started to happen. He helped to built a
rectory which was built at 9525 South Commercial Avenue. Another
was a convent which was constructed at 9517-19 South Commercial Avenue.
At almost the same time, St. Patrick's High School was established
by the Sisters of Mercy. The church of St. Patrick became the first
Catholic parish with a coeducational High School in Chicago.
In 1902 the great progress of St. Patrick's church came to a standstill
when a great fire took place on 92nd and Commercial which reached the parish.
The churchs damages totalled to the sum of $17,000. Father Van de
Laar hired an architect to make some modifications. One of them was a new
design for the church with a school attached. And so it was on July
9, 1903 that the new St. Patrick Church opened. Soon after, on September
4, 1903 the school opened. There was an enrollment of 500 elementary
and high school students.
Click on the links at the left to tour
Chicago's South Deering Churches.