Sunday, January 10, 2010

River North: Assumption Catholic Church

Assumption Catholic Church..
Completed: 1886
Address: 323 West Illinois Street
Chicago, IL 60654..
Assumption was the first church in Chicago specifically commissioned to minister to the growing Italian population..

The Assuption Parish Church website informs.. [click here]..
Assumption Church began dedicated to the care of arriving Italian immigrants. Bishop Foley entrusted the care of the new parish to the Order of Servants of Mary (OSM), commonly called The Servites. The Order had been founded in Florence, Italy in 1233. Servites had arrived from Italy and ministered to the immigrants living in the area near Old Saint Patrick Church at Des Plaines and Adams Streets. The present structure of Assumption was completed in 1886. Many immigrant Italians lived in the neighborhood and were quickly expanding north and west from the Chicago River. Assumption was the first church in Chicago specifically commissioned to minister to the growing Italian population and as such was authorized to enroll as parish members any Italians living within the Archdiocese of Chicago, which at that time included what are today the Diocese of Rockford and the Diocese of Joliet. Therefore, it can be said that the parish boundaries extended from the shores of Lake Michigan to the east shore of the Mississippi River.

The parish grew and prospered. A school was opened on Erie and Orleans Streets in 1895 and was staffed by the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart, founded and directed by Mother Cabrini, the first American to be canonized. At one time the school had as many as 800 students enrolled. However when the neighborhood changed from residential to business, commercial and industrial, many Italians moved away from the downtown area and the school closed in 1945. The building still stands. It was used as a business and commercial structure for many years and most recently was converted into condominiums. During the years when almost no one lived near Assumption, many Italian families continued to return on Sunday for Mass. The church also served the needs of downtown workers.

Assumption School Building..
Address: 319 W. Erie Street
Year Built: 1899
Architect: Frederick L. Foltz
Date Designated a Chicago Landmark: July 10, 2003..
For more on Assumption School Building, click here..

# River North - II..
# River North: Assumption Catholic Church..
# The Assumption School Building..

The Assumption Parish Church .. click here..
The Chicago Landmarks.. click here..

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