JF Morrow & Sons religious supply store to close after 67 years in business
by BRIAN NADIG
The church and religious supply store J.F. Morrow and Sons, 6015 N. Milwaukee Ave., is closing its doors after 67 years in business on Dec. 29.
“It’s time to retire,” said Mary Morrow, who along with her brother Ken Morrow and sister Sue Johnson have been operating the store in recent years. They represent the third generation of the Morrow family to be running the business.
Mary’s grandparents John and Dorothy Morrow opened the business in 1951 at Lincoln Avenue and Roscoe Street.
In 1959, the business relocated to Gladstone Park after John built the store’s current two-story building, which had a second-floor apartment that is now used as office space.
“You closed the store and then went upstairs for dinner,” she said.
The Morrow’s sons John and Kenneth joined their parents in running the family business and established a customer base by visiting churches across the Midwest and selling a wide variety of products. “Everything from rosaries to altars to tabernacles,” Mary Morrow said.
Mary Morrow joined the business about 20 years ago and handles the company’s online orders. She previously lived in South America and worked as an academic director of a Binational Center, which fosters better understanding of South and North American cultures.
The decision to close the business was announced around Labor Day, and reaction has been “bittersweet,” Morrow said. The building is for sale.
She added that the industry and religious practices in general are different than when the store first opened.
“The world is changing,” she said.