Fecske Family History

Words and Photos

Our Lady of Hungary

Catholic Church

Burnside, Chicago, Illinois

9241 South Chauncey (now Avalon) Avenue


Our Lady of Hungary School CHICAGO IL Picture

Our Lady of Hungary

Catholic School




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Our Lady of Hungary School CHICAGO IL Picture


Our Lady of Hungary School

Chicago, Illinois




Our Lady of Hungary (93rd St.): 1904-1987, Hungarian; records at Archives


http://www.illinoisloop.org/cath_closed_school_84_04.pdf Our Lady of Hungary

Catholic School

9242 Kimbark Ave. Chicago

http://home.comcast.net/~genealogy007/RomanCatholicChurches.htm OUR LADY OF HUNGARY

Ethnic Origin - Hungarian Date of Origin - 1904

Located at 9241 South Chauncey (now Avalon) Ave. Church closed in 1987.

Neighborhood - BURNSIDE

Records at Archives

Records 1904-1915 have been filmed by the LDS

Item 9: Baptisms 1904-1906, - Film # 1578588
Marriages 1905-1906, Deaths 1905-1906, Communion 1905, Confirmations 1905
Item 1: Baptisms 1906-1913, Marriages 1905-1913, - Film # 1578589
Deaths 1906-1913, Baptisms 1913-1915
Item 2: Baptisms (Includes Index) 1913-1915
Item 3: Marriages(Includes Index) 1914-1915
Item 4: Deaths (Includes Index) 1913-1915












Our Lady of Hungary

9237 Avalon Ave.











Flock That Dwindled Returns To See Their Church`s Last Rite

By William Recktenwald | June 16, 1986

In the hot, still air of the church, the old, young, black and white joined in song as organist Sister Mary Louise played, "How great thou art" with her right hand and wiped tears from her eyes with her left. Every pew was filled, as were the aisles and the vestibule. More parishioners waited on the front stairs of the church that could hold 850, but rarely draws more than 30. "I thought I could handle it," said Sister Louise, "but it so sad, so very sad." It was the last mass for Our Lady of Hungary Catholic Church, 9237 S. Avalon Ave. Four months ago, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago announced that it would close the parish and merge its dwindling membership with three nearby churches.

``Look at this crowd,`` said John Jaworski, 76, a member of the parish for 43 years. ``If we only had a third this many people every  Sunday we could have made it. It wasn`t that we were broke, we just didn`t have the people, we only had 21 people last Saturday night for mass.``

Jaworski remained in the neighborhood as it changed around him. He still lives three blocks from the church, and his wife attends mass every morning in the church.

Founded in 1904 as the first Hungarian parish in Illinois, the church`s original wooden structure gave way in 1929 to the two-story yellow brick building that houses the church and an eight-classroom school on the second floor.

Church membership changed with area, which at the turn of the century was home to newly arrived Hungarian immigrants who worked on the old Nickel Plate Railroad. Polish, Italian and Irish immigrants soon followed.

The area continued to change into the early 1970`s, becoming almost black as longtime residents moved to surrounding suburbs and other Chicago neighborhoods.

Many former members returned to their former parish only on holidays, funerals or for occasional reunions.

But on Sunday they returned to say goodbye, to shake hands with current and former members, embrace and to wish one another peace.

``Every Sunday for three years I`ve taken my daughter to mass,`` said James Carter, 52, ``this is the first time I ever had to stand.``

Cartr`s 10-year-old daughter Shelbra, had just completed the 4th grade in the church`s elementary school . She, like 182 other students, will attend a different school in the fall.

Sister Louise, the other two members of the Daughters of Divine Charity and the six lay teachers will be assigned elsewhere.

``Sometimes we have to let go of something beautiful,`` sai Rev. Michael Adams in his sermon, ``and although we say goodbye today, Our Lady of Hungary will live always in our hearts.``

The remarks by Father  Adams, who was raised in the parish and was one of several priests who assisted in the mass, brought applause from the congregation.

After a hymn in Hungarian, the mass ended with a slow recessional.

But the churchgoers were reluctant to leave. Many lingered on the steps, while former neighbors greeted one another with delight. Some carried cameras- including video cameras-as well as tape recorders. Some walked up the stairs to look for a last time at the classrooms where they had attended school as children.

With the church nearly empty, Sister Louise, folded her music and thanked the choir members, then reflected on what she had seen during her 13 years in the parish.

``If they hadn`t moved, if only more would have stayed, we would still have our church and school,`` she said.





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