Chicagos Italian Catholic Churches
by: Laura Heidekrueger
Searching for your Italian ancestors, as with any ethnic group in an urban area such as Chicago, holds special challenges. Not only are you studying the history of your family but that of the city they immigrated to and settled in. Church records are sometimes the only clue to the ancestral town or another family member. Finding that certain Italian Catholic Church that you assume your family went to sometimes can be a problem.
The list below shows the main Italian Catholic Parishes in Chicago, founding dates, current addresses and founding address. It is advisable to have a good street map of Chicago when trying to locate a parish near your ancestors address. Some have been closed for many years while others are struggling against closure.
|Assumption||1881||323 W. Illinois ( Illinois & Orleans St.)|
|St. Mary of Mount Carmel||1892||6722 S. Hermitage Ave. (67th & Page)|
[Records at St. Justin Martyr, 1818 W. 71st St.]
|Guardian Angel||1899||178 Forquer|
[Records at Our Lady of Pompei]
|Santa Maria Incoronata/Santa Lucia||1899||3022 S. Wells (Clark & 18th St.)|
|Santa Maria Addolorata||1903||528 N Ada (Grand & Peoria Sts.)|
|St. Michael The Archangel||1903||2325 W. 24th Pl.(24th & Wentworth)|
|St. Philip Benizi||1904||357 W. Locust (Gault Ct. & Division)|
[Records at St. Josephs, 1107 N. Orleans]
|St. Anthony of Padua||1904||11533 S. Prairie Ave. (Kensington)|
|Holy Rosary||1904||612 N. Western (249 N. Western Ave)|
|Our Lady of Pompei||1910||1224 W. Lexington (1224 Macalister)|
|St. Francis de Paula||1911||7822 S. Dobson (78th & Ellis)|
|San Callisto/St. Callistus||1919||2167 W. Bowler ( Polk & DeKalb)|
The areas for these new national Italian churches were chosen by the population and if the Archdiocese felt there were enough of the ethnic group to support the church. Here lies a problem that sometimes is overlooked. Where did the Italian immigrant family go to church before the Archdiocese opened the national church? Of course, there were other churches in the areas many years prior to these openings. These records should also be checked if the Italian Parishes produce negative results.
The Archdiocese of Chicagos website can be found at:
A current listing of all the parishes, addresses and telephone numbers are available. Links to other diocese are also provided. It can be a useful tool in finding a church.
Records from the parishes prior to 1916 for Chicago are also on microfilm at the LDS. These records hold a wealth of information. The Italian names are spelled correctly, since an Italian priest was doing the recording. Ancestral towns are often listed and many marginal notes such as marriage dates can be found next to baptismal entries.
© 1998 L. Heidekrueger. This information is provided by Chicago Genealogy and Family History Research Services, active
Genealogy researchers for over 14 years.