Parishioners at Catholic churches on Chicago’s Far Northwest Side reacted with anger and sadness Friday evening after learning their churches will close as part of a restructuring plan.
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago announced Friday night it will merge several churches and schools as part of its plan to restructure its parishes for a more sustainable future, according to a news release.
Among the mergers, St. Cornelius and St. Techla parishes will be combined with with St. Tarcissus parish. St. Thecla’s School will also close, and its student will be transfered to the Pope Francis Global School.
Video from Friday night’s meeting showed parishioners yelling after the merger was announced.
“I got to say, I have never been in my entire life more ashamed to be, I believe in Christ, but I can’t believe I have united with the Archdiocese of Chicago,” said parishioner Luke Schutt.
Churchgoes said they’ve lost their faith in leadership, and the move is all about money.
“So I ask the Archdiocese. Look at yourself,” parishioner Kathy Borner said. “Look at what is happening within the church. And I don’t think the change needs to come from the parishioners.”
On the city’s North Side, Transfiguration of our Lord’s parish church and school will be combined with St. Hillary. In addition, St. Matthias parish will be merged with Queen of Angels. St. Matthias School will be governed as an archdiocesan school, and won’t be directly affiliated with a parish.
As part of the East Little Village grouping, Assumption B.V.M Parish and St. Roman Parish will be merged with Our Lady of Tepeyac Parish. No changes will be made to Our Lady of Tepeyac Elementary School or high school.
The mergers are set to take effect on July 1, 2020.