In 1966, Archbishop John P. Cody established Our Lady, Mother of the Church as a parish in the Archdiocese of Chicago. It was the first parish Archbishop Cody built, and it is the last Catholic parish to be established within the City of Chicago limits. For the first year of its existence, Masses were held at Leigh School in Norridge and in a storefront at the strip mall at Lawrence and Cumberland Avenues. The church was completed, and Mass was first celebrated, in 1967. Our founding pastor was Father Peter F. Hayes.
Originally, the territorial boundaries of the parish included the area defined by River Road to the west, Thatcher Street to the east, Montrose Avenue to the south and Bryn Mawr Avenue to the north. Today, the Parish welcomes all who wish to worship with us, regardless of the location of their homes.
In 1983, Father Joseph F. Ognibene succeeded Father Hayes as pastor. Father Joe oversaw the extensive renovation to the church. Father Joe retired in 1996, and Father Daniel R. Fallon was appointed pastor. In cooperation with the Archdiocesan mandated Millennium Campaign: Sharing Christ’s Gifts, our church underwent yet another renovation in 2004, resulting in its present appearance.
In mid-2008, Father Rich Klajbor was appointed pastor of Our Lady, Mother of the Church. In the fall of 2011, Father Rich became seriously ill, so much so that in January, 2012, Father Jim O’Brien, pastor Emeritus of St. Eugene, was appointed Administrator of the parish. On April 10, 2012, Father Rich Klajbor was welcomed into eternal life.
The Archdiocese appointed Father Andrzej (Andrew) Bartosz as pastor of Our Lady, Mother of the Church, effective June 1, 2012. He was officially installed as pastor on September 30, 2012 by Bishop John Manz.
Baptisms and Marriages
Participants are expected to actively participate in preparation programs. Please make arrangements as far in advance as possible. Please make church arrangements before setting dates with halls, caterers, and so on.
We, the members of Our Lady, Mother of the Church, are drawn together through baptism as a part of the Body of Christ. We are a caring Catholic community, working together as instruments through which Jesus, our risen Lord and Head, continues His mission. Linked to Christ as His Body, we believe that the risen Jesus still proclaims God’s word, gives thanks and praise, welcomes, nurtures, comforts and reaches out to all people, using the hands and hearts of the members of the parish, with a growing sense that each of us is gifted and has an important part to play in our Parish, Church and World.