Saint Thecla School building sold to Romanian church; proceeds to benefit new St. Elizabeth of Trinity Parish
by BRIAN NADIG
The former Saint Thecla School building, 6323 N. Newcastle Ave., was sold on Feb. 12 to the Philadelphia Romanian Church of God, currently at 1713 W. Sunnyside Ave., and proceeds from the sale of the property are going to the Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity Parish, which was formed last year and includes the former Saint Thecla, Saint Tarcissus and Saint Cornelius parishes.
The sale includes the school, gymnasium and former convent, which in recent years housed parish offices.
“The sale of this benefits the goal of the ‘Renew My Church’ process to allow the Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity Parish to have financial and temporal stability for the purpose of spiritual renew,” the parish said in a statement.
The Saint Elizabeth parish retains the Saint Thecla Church, 6725 W. Devon Ave., along with some adjoining offices and a small section of parking.
Services were last held in the church on Aug. 15, 2020, and the Archdiocese of Chicago has not completed the process of relegating the church for non-sacred uses.
The church cannot be sold until that process is completed, and there are reports that some parishioners have filed an appeal of the archdiocese’s decision to close the church.
“Living in this community for 45 years, it’s disappointing to see a longtime school and church close, especially one I remember playing against when I was growing up,” Alderman Anthony Napolitano (41st) said, adding that he is glad that the property will be used for a similar use. “It’s going to stay in the family of a school and church.”
The Romanian church plans to use the school building for religious, cultural and educational purposes. The church announced on its Facebook page that it had acquired the property.
The archdiocese has been closing and merging churches/parishes and schools throughout the Chicago area due in part to decreases in Mass attendance and school enrollment.
It was recently announced that the Our Lady of Victory Church, 5212 W, Agatite Ave., would be closing by this November, although a parishioner has filed an appeal of the decision to Cardinal Blase Cupich. A “Save Our Lady of Victory” organization recently formed, and some parishioners have expressed interest in having the church designated a city landmark.