Pastor named for newly consolidated parish
by BRIAN NADIG
The pastor of the newly consolidated parish of Saint Tarcissus, Saint Thecla and Saint Cornelius will be Father Mike Grisolano.
The Archdiocese of Chicago made the announcement the weekend before Christmas.
"On July 1 … the assets and liabilities for each of the three parishes will become one parish," said the 42-year-old Grisolano, who will continue to serve as pastor of Saint Tarcissus until June 30. Grisolano, a Marist High School graduate, was ordained a priest in 2012.
The archdiocese’s decision to close the parish campuses of Saint Thecla and Saint Cornelius was met with anger and disappointment by many parishioners who attended a meeting in November to hear the "bad" news. Saint Tarcissus, 6020 W. Ardmore Ave., will serve as the host campus.
"Now is the time to get together and unite," Grisolano said. "I’m just trying to build trust, (and) people need to know their input matters."
Members of the three parishes will be surveyed on their preferred name for the new parish at church services during the first two weekends in January, and Cardinal Blase Cupich is expected to choose a name from one of the top five choices in the survey results, Grisolano said. The name cannot already be in use in the archdiocese.
Grisolano said that one of his priorities during the next few months is to bring together members of the three parishes as much as possible through ministries and events to help make a smoother transition. "I’ll be the one taking the lead on that," he said.
Another priority will be addressing parking as the archdiocese has acknowledged that there is a shortage of parking at Saint Tarcissus. Several parking option are being examined, but no decision has been made, Grisolano said.
On social media many of the Saint Thecla parishioners upset with the closing have noted that its campus has a larger parking lot.
Plans also are being made to select a principal for the new parish’s school.
Meanwhile, in the Dec. 22 Saint Cornelius bulletin, pastor Dan Fallon reminds parishioners the importance of attending church activities and making donations despite the planned closing.
"Let’s demonstrate that Saint Cornelius has been and continues to be a vibrant, energetic, faith-filled community right up to the bitter end. We’re not done; don’t you be done!" Fallon wrote.
In related news, an appeal of the archdiocese’s decision to close Saint Cornelius and Saint Thecla must be filed with Cupich within 10 days of his signing the decree, which had not been signed as of late December, according to the Saint Cornelius’ Web site.
"In the letter, a compelling reason or reasons for the appeal need to be specified. ‘I love my parish; please don’t close it’ is not a compelling reason. Neither is, ‘There is no parking at Saint Tarcissus.’ Issues of ministerial disruption and church accessibility and the like might carry some weight," it was reported on the Web site.
If Cupich were to deny the appeal, appeal can be sent to the Vatican within 15 days.
Also, it was reported in the Dec. 22 Saint Thecla bulletin that some parishioners have inquired about getting their memorial brick pavers back. Plans are being made in the spring to have a professional bricklayer remove the pavers and have them replaced with a plain brick.
The planned merger is part of the archdiocese’s "Renew My Church" initiative in which parishes and schools throughout the Chicago area are being closed due to aging infrastructure, declines in Mass attendance and school enrollments, a shortage of priests and budgetary issues.