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Archdiocese of Chicago Announces New Parish and School Structures in Elmwood Park and Stony Grove Renew My Church Groupings

January 17, 2018

As part of the Archdiocese’s revitalization initiative, Renew My Church, the leadership of parishes in the Elmwood Park and Stony Grove groupings have been meeting to discuss the future church, parish and school structures for their areas. They submitted their feedback to the Archdiocese of Chicago and the final structures have been approved.

Elmwood Park Grouping

The Renew My Church Elmwood Park grouping includes St. Celestine Parish and School (Elmwood Park), St. Cyprian Parish and School (River Grove) and St. William Parish and School (Chicago).

St. Celestine and St. Cyprian Parishes will unite to form a new parish, effective July 1, 2018, retaining both churches as active worship sites of the new parish. St. William Parish will continue in its current parish structure, with a full-time resident pastor.

St. Celestine School will continue, now as a ministry of the newly united parish. St. William School will continue as a ministry of St. William Parish, with annual enrollment and financial goals established to ensure sustainability into the future.

St. Cyprian School, with a current student enrollment of 138 students, has faced low enrollment in recent years, which has caused a strain on the school’s finances. The school is not able to cover its costs and has incurred an operating deficit. In fall 2017, the Archdiocese and St. Cyprian parish and school leadership decided that, by January 15, 2018, the school needed to secure 128 registered students for next school year (2018/19) and $500,000 cash to cover operating costs for the 2017/18 and 2018/19 school years. Despite their best efforts, they failed to meet enrollment and financial targets with 101 students registered for next school year and $85,000 raised. The Archdiocese engaged with the Elmwood Park grouping community on the enrollment and financial struggles at the school. As a result of these discussions it was decided that St. Cyprian School will close at the end of this school year, effective June 30, 2018. This decision was shared with school families today.

The Archdiocese will work with St. Cyprian School faculty and staff to find employment within the Archdiocesan system. The Archdiocese will also work closely with school families to assist them with a transition to nearby Catholic schools.

Over the next few months, the Archdiocese will work with all involved to ensure an orderly and smooth transition to the new parish structure. The Archdiocese’s Priest Placement Board will work with the community to identify a pastor to lead the new parish formed by St. Celestine and St. Cyprian.

Through the new parish structure, St. Celestine and St. Cyprian Parishes will unite their resources to create a vital, life-giving parish with two worship sites. With this viable structure in place, the new parish, in collaboration with St. William, will work on new ways to implement the Renew My Church vision: to make disciples, build communities and inspire witness.

Stony Grove Grouping

The Renew My Church Stony Grove grouping includes St. Ailbe Parish and School, St. Felicitas Parish and St. Joachim Parish in the City of Chicago.

All three parishes in the Stony Grove area – St. Ailbe, St. Felicitas and St. Joachim – will unite to form one new parish led by one pastor and staff team, effective July 1, 2018. The newly formed parish will come together at St. Ailbe Church by July 1, 2019. St. Felicitas Church and St. Joachim Church will close at a time before July 1, 2019, with specific dates to be determined by parish leadership in consultation with Archdiocesan leadership. St. Ailbe School will remain open as the new parish’s school.

Over the next few months, the Archdiocese will work with the Stony Grove community to ensure an orderly and smooth transition to the new parish structure. The Archdiocese’s Priest Placement Board will work with the community to identify a pastor to lead the new parish.

Through the new parish structure, the Stony Grove community will unite their resources to become a stronger presence and reach more people in their work to implement the Renew My Church vision: to make disciples, build communities and inspire witness.

 

Plecy