Our Lady of Victory Church in Jefferson Park to close by late 2021; property could eventually be sold
by BRIAN NADIG
The Our Lady of Victory Parish campus at 5212 W. Agatite in Jefferson Park is scheduled to close by the end of next year as part of the Archdiocese of Chicago’s “Renew My Church” consolidation process, and the grounds, including its church, could eventually be sold.
The elementary school at OLV closed in 2016, raising the question whether the parish would survive the consolidation process that is being conducted over several years throughout the archdiocese. The OLV parish was founded in 1906, and its Spanish-style church, which includes the Marian Chapel (1928) in the lower level and the main sanctuary (1954) in the upper level, has served generations of Jefferson Park families. Another Jefferson Park church, Saint Cornelius, closed earlier this year.
The news about OLV came as part of an archdiocese Dec. 18 announcement regarding the future of seven parishes in the Jefferson-Portage-Old Irving Park area. The other parishes are Saint Robert Bellarmine, Saint Constance, Saint Pascal, Saint Viator, Saint Bartholomew and Saint Wenceslaus.
The OLV Parish will be united with Saint Pascal and Saint Bartholomew to form a new parish with a new name, and the OLV campus is slated to eventually be sold, with the proceeds benefiting the new consolidated parish, according to the archdiocese. The Saint Pascal and Saint Bartholomew churches will remain open, although Polish Mass will be ending at Saint Pascal.
The Pope Francis Global Academy, which meets at Saint Pascal, and the Saint Bartholomew School will continue to operate. A Spanish Mass will be held as part of this new parish.
In addition, Saint Robert Bellarmine and Saint Constance will be merging into one new parish with a new name next year, but both their schools and churches will remain operating. This newly merged parish will include a focus on Polish ministries.
Also, Saint Viator and Saint Wenceslaus will be merging into a new parish with a new name next year. Both of their churches will remain open, but the Saint Wenceslaus School building will be marketed and sold.
The mergers will take effect July 1, 2021, and the new parish names will be chosen by Cardinal Blasé Cupich, with input from local parishioners. Initially Saint Bartholomew, Saint Viator and Saint Wenceslaus were in a different consolidation grouping from the other four parishes, but the archdiocese decided wanted to strengthen its Hispanic ministries to the northwest and decided to move Saint Bartholomew, which holds a Spanish Mass, to the Jefferson-Portage Park consolidation grouping.
Earlier this year the parishes of Saint Tarcissus, Saint Cornelius and Saint Thecla were merged into the Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity Parish, with the Saint Thecla and Saint Cornelius parish campuses closing.