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Our Parish Grouping
St. Hugh, Lyons
History of St. Hugh Parish
St. Hugh - 7939 W. 43rd Street, Lyons 708-447-3108 sthughlyons.org
St. Hugh has been more than a place to worship, it has been the center of the community. Although the parish was not organized officially until 1925, its Catholic legacy actually dates to 1875. Men from nearby communities constructed the wood-frame St. Mary's Church in Lyons to serve the families of Lyons, Clyde, and Summit. Parishioners worshiped there until 1899, when a new St. Mary's Church was built in Riverside. From 1901-1921, Lyons Catholics had to shuttle to Riverside to worship. They decided to build a church of their own in 1921.
Rev. John B. Murphy was sent to organize St. Hugh Parish. The new pastor celebrated Sunday Mass in the former Lyons movie theater and the school held classes in the rectory while the parish raised the money to finish the combined church and school.
The church cornerstone was laid in September 1925, and the first Mass was celebrated in the unfinished church on Christmas Day 1925. Cardinal Mundelein dedicated the Church of St. Hugh in 1925. Keating Hall was built to the east of the church in the late 1950s, and new classrooms were attached to it. Later, a gym was built. St. Hugh School served the parish family and community for 75 years before closing in 2001.
Today, St. Hugh serves approximately 600 families. We are a faith community that continues to look for new ways to use our gifts in service to one another. We are thankful for all those who had a vision and shared it with us.
St. Hugh continues to grow and minister to the changing needs of the Lyons community, often attracting parishioners from other communities to whom it “felt like home.” In the past several years, St. Hugh started its own St. Vincent de Paul Society and a SPRED group for our friends with special needs, ages 17-21, and we joined the BEDS Plus program for the homeless.
Our Society of Catholic Women has been an active partner in parish life since its origins in 1922. Historically, our parish has also had a Girl Scout troop and Men's Club.
Parish catechetical ministries include Religious Education, a Youth Ministry, and Bible studies. Among our outreaches are running Kateri's Closet, collecting for a food pantry, and sponsoring a Christmas giving tree and coat drive for Lyons.
Young parishioners are a vital part of St. Hugh, serving as cantors, lectors, musicians, and Junior SCW members and helping with parish events such as the SCW Spring Event, "All Roads Lead to St. Hugh" in October, and the Christmas Bazaar.
You can see images of our stained-glass windows and statues on our website at: www.sthughlyons.org.
Mater Christi, North Riverside
History of Mater Christi Church
Mater Christi - 2401 S. Tenth Avenue, North Riverside 708-447-7115 materchristichurch.com
Mater Christi Parish is a close cousin to two other parishes in our grouping, St Mary and St Hugh. Our relationship is not only geographically, but because of our history. Both grew from the community that first gathered at St Mary church in Lyons. It was in 1949 that Father Timothy Lyne, then associate pastor at Saint Mary, conducted a survey of the Catholics in North Riverside. Father William Murphy, pastor of Saint Mary, petitioned the Chancery to begin Saint Mary’s Mission of North Riverside. The priests, Father Murphy, Father Lyne, Father Shirey, and Father Wisniewski served the Mission of North Riverside and Saint Mary.
Cardinal Stritch dedicated Mater Christi church on June 28, 1953. Father A.H. Menarik became the first pastor. Mater Christi was now a canonically established of the Archdiocese.
On Mother’s Day 1956, the magnificent Italian sculpted Carrara marble Mother of Mothers Shrine at Mater Christi was dedicated. The statue depicts Mary, Mother of God, and the Christ Child gazing lovingly at a modern-day woman and child. The shine has drawn visitors from around the globe to pray to Mater Christi, Mother of Mothers.
The lovely white marble statue of Mary which has graced the entrance to the church throughout its history still watches over the people of this faith community.
We know Mary, Mater Christi, will guide us through the Renew My Church process together with our cousin parishes and St Pius X.
St. Mary Parish, Riverside
History of St. Mary Parish
St Mary parish began around 1873, when there is evidence of an active Catholic community in the area. In 1874 land at the present 45th and Joliet Rd. in Lyons was donated for the first church. Father Austin Morini was the first pastor, followed by several more Servite priests. Parishioners were from Berwyn, Clyde, Lyons, Riverside and Summit.
The parish grew! In 1899, pastor Father Joseph Lamb purchased land for a new church on Blackhawk Road in Riverside and he helped the parishioners of Summit to secure land for their own church. A mission was established in Berwyn and in 1923 it became St Leonard parish. In 1925, parishioners from Lyons dedicated their own church, St Hugh. In 1926, a new St Mary church and school on Herrick Road were dedicated. In 1949. The growing number of Catholics in North Riverside joined the St Mary Mission of North Riverside. In 1953, that mission became Mater Christi Parish with the dedication of their church.
St Mary is still on Herrick Road, but so much is not the same! The years have seen many changes. Today our pastor is Father Tom May and we serve approximately 1100 families from 37 different communities. Our parish school has 357 students and our Religious Education program has 300 students.
A variety of organizations and ministries work together to welcome all and to serve the needs of parishioners and the communities beyond. Our website, stmaryriverside.org, provides current information and resources for growth in faith, live-stream Sunday Mass and daily reflections.
Our newest facility, the Parish Pastoral Center, is at 40 E. Burlington. Being on the main street of Riverside, it is convenient for parishioners and accessible to those who may be seeking the Lord.
We are proud of our history, but prouder that we are a parish of people who are open to the Holy Spirit and responsive to the Spirit’s work in our midst.