- St. Mary Parish
- RMC Announcements
St. Mary, Mater Christi and St. Hugh Unification Team Interest
Dear Parishioners of St. Mary, Mater Christi and St. Hugh,
You are invited to be part of the exciting mission of forming our newly unified community through the
Renew My Church (RMC) process.
Please consider contributing your time and talent. Our first meeting is Wednesday, May 5 at 7:00 PM in the Parish Center.
“Faith in action is love, and love in action is service. By transforming that faith into living acts of love, we put ourselves in contact with God Himself, with Jesus our Lord.” — Mother Teresa
Frs. Tom, Matt, Robert
NOTE: If interested in joining this team, please fill out information and return to your respective parish office.
Renew My Church Decree
Explanation of the Decree of Unification
In this weekend’s bulletin, you will see a decree signed by Cardinal Cupich. A decree is a pronouncement or document that formalizes a decision within the Church. In this case, the decree included here concerns the decision for our parishes to unify as a new parish after our grouping’s Renew My Church discernment.
The decree states that St. Hugh, St. Mary, and Mater Christi will form a new parish on July 1, 2021. The decree states the new parish will have an ad interim name. This means that the parish will be called St. Mary, Mater Christi, and St. Hugh Parish until we propose a new name to Cardinal Cupich for his consideration and approval.
When you read the decree, you will notice the decree states St. Mary Church will be the parish church of the new parish and that the churches of St. Hugh and Mater Christi will be churches of the new parish. A couple of notes on this:
One implication of St. Mary being designated the parish church means that the sacramental records of the new parish, as well as the past sacramental records of each of St. Hugh, St. Mary, and Mater Christi will be maintained at the offices on the St. Mary campus in the future. Rome requires that a united parish’s sacramental records be kept in one place and for that location to be designated in the decree as the parish church. For the current time, each parish’s records will remain at their current locations, and we will update everyone when the records are fully brought together at the office on the St. Mary campus. The hours and activities at each of the three offices after July 1 will be important matters discussed in the coming months.
Second, the decree states that each of the churches of St. Hugh, St. Mary, and Mater Christi will be churches of the new parish. When a new parish is formed, all of the assets of each former parish become part of the new parish. This includes the churches. As shared at the announcement on Jan. 22, the united parish’s Masses will fully transition to St. Mary and Mater Christi, with regularly scheduled Masses ceasing at St. Hugh. Until the procedure for formally closing a church occurs, a church remains available to use for occasional worship even if regular daily or Sunday Masses are not scheduled at the church. The specific Mass schedule after July 1 is an important topic we will discuss with parish leadership in the coming months.
Regarding the permanent name of the new parish, there will be a process to include everyone. We will keep you updated on the timeline of when this process to consider a parish name will begin.
Until then, let us hold fast to the Lord’s promise that He is with us always, and trust in the fact that He is at work in a special way within our faith community and is creating something new for all of us.
Certainly, the process of renewal is an emotional one. For many of us, it is a time of significant change. So, let us also keep each other and our neighbors in prayer as we continue our journey forward.
Renew My Church Update - January 22, 2021
NRLSR Renew My Church Update: January 22, 2021
(North Riverside, Lyons, Stickney, Riverside)
St. Hugh, St. Mary, St. Pius X and Mater Christi Parishes engaged in the Renew My Church
(RMC) discernment process through the fall of 2020. The Grouping Feedback and Discernment
team (GFDT), which was made up of members from each parish community, met to review and
discern the future parish structure for the area. Our deepest appreciation goes to the GFDT who
prayerfully discerned the parish grouping structure during this challenging time.
Based on their meetings and feedback gathered from the larger parish communities, they
submitted feedback to the archdiocese. The Archdiocesan Standards and Recommendations
Commission, which includes representatives from across the Archdiocese of Chicago, reviewed
the feedback and other information, including financial summaries, capital needs and parish
Cardinal Cupich and Bishop Manz are grateful to Fr. Marchwiany, Fr. May, Fr. Nemchausky, Fr.
Castillo and the Grouping Teams who gathered throughout the past few months, and all
parishioners who offered feedback through the recent discernment process.
In the past few weeks, Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, archbishop of Chicago, the archdiocese’s
auxiliary bishops, and the archdiocese’s Presbyteral Council met to discuss the Commission’s
recommendation. Based upon those discussions and prayerful consideration, Cardinal Cupich
made the following decisions regarding the parish structure in North Riverside, Lyons, Stickney
- St Pius X will join a grouping with parishes in Cicero/Berwyn and continue their
structural discernment later this year.
- Effective July 1, 2021, St. Hugh, St. Mary and Mater Christi will unite as one parish
with a new name, one pastor and one pastoral team.
- Fr. Tom May will serve as pastor of the newly unified parish. The Archdiocese of Chicago’s Priests’ Placement Board will work with the newly unified parish and Fr. May to discern the best assignment of an associate pastor(s).
- Both St. Mary and Mater Christi will continue to host a regular schedule of Masses– the specific schedule to be determined by the pastor in consultation with parish leadership.
- The Renew My Church Commission recommends the regular schedule of Masses at St. Hugh Church conclude no later than Ash Wednesday (March 2), 2022 and the entire campus be sold or leased. Local leadership will determine a specific timeline for transition Masses. Many communities have discerned transitioning Masses sooner than the recommended date is prudent for the new community.
- St. Mary will serve as the administrative center for the united parish and formally be designated the parish church where the united parish’s sacramental records will be kept.
- The Mother of Mothers Shrine at Mater Christi will continue with no changes.
- There are no changes to St. Mary School.
- The local community will discern possibilities for the new name of the parish, within guidelines provided by the archdiocese, and submit 3 to 5 options to Cardinal Cupich. Until Cardinal Cupich decides on a permanent name for the new parish, the new parish will have an interim name, using a combination of the three parish names.
Parish Structure Rationale
- The RMC Commission has asked St. Pius X to transition groupings based on similarity
of local area demographics east of Harlem Avenue. The Commission considered the
scenario of St. Pius X and St. Hugh uniting as one parish but discerned it would not be
sustainable. The Commission recognizes the challenge joining a new grouping and
additional time for discernment represents for St. Pius X.
- Uniting St. Hugh, St. Mary, and Mater Christi as a new parish provides the opportunity to
more effectively use resources and time for ministry across North Riverside, Lyons, and
- Vitality and stability of the new parish will be bolstered by reducing the number of
campuses and auxiliary buildings, making the new parish more manageable.
- Drawing down ministry and selling or leasing the campus at St. Hugh will significantly
reduce expenditures on building maintenance for the short and long term.
- Success toward stability and vitality will depend on strong outreach to all parishioners,
particular to parishioners of St. Hugh, with consideration toward ways to respect and
honor the culture of St. Hugh and its ministries.
- The RMC Commission asks the newly united parish formed by St. Hugh, St. Mary, and
Mater Christi to include an ongoing sensitivity to Hispanic traditions and cultural
celebrations. At this time, the new parish is not expected to begin Spanish language
Masses due to the number of priests available across the archdiocese able to effectively
support Spanish language ministry and the availability of Spanish Masses both east and
west of the new parish.
St. Pius X will begin to connect to the parishes in Cicero and Berwyn. Specific timelines for
continued discernment will be set in the coming weeks. The formal discernment process is likely
to begin in late Spring and continue throughout 2021.
The united parish formed by St. Hugh, St. Mary, and Mater Christi will embark upon the next
phase of renewal, focusing on strong evangelization to the world around us. The renewal
process calls us to become a stronger, more sustainable presence for the future, capable of
reaching more people in their work of making disciples of Jesus Christ, building communities
with one another and inspiring witness in the world around us.
- St Pius X will join a grouping with parishes in Cicero/Berwyn and continue their
Renew My Church Parish Decision
A Special Message regarding Renew My Church Parish Decision
Dear Parishioners of St. Hugh, St. Mary, Mater Christi, and St. Pius X,
When we entered the Renew My Church process, we began to pray the Renew My Church prayer. We prayed, “Pour out the gift of your Holy Spirit upon us…” Throughout the RMC process, we have all endeavored to be open to the Holy Spirit and to trust that the Spirit would lead us.
We are proud of our parishes’ RMC Teams and of all of you who participated in the meetings, gave us your feedback and prayed for this process to serve the future of the Church.
Cardinal Cupich, with input from all of us and from his RMC Archdiocesan Team and from the Presbyteral Council, has made his decision. Parts of the decision are not easy to hear and there will be a time of grieving for all of us. But we prayed the Holy Spirit would help us to “surrender our own plans readily.” We continue that prayer even as we mourn the losses we may feel.
Parish demographics and the boundary of Harlem Avenue resulted in the decision to have St. Pius X join the discernment grouping with parishes in Cicero/Berwyn later this year. We remain united with St. Pius in spirit as we move toward the renewal of all our communities.
As a newly unified faith community, we are committed to welcoming the gifts and talents of all parishioners of St. Hugh, St. Mary and Mater Christi and we respect and honor the history and traditions of each parish. The unification of our parishes is to ensure continued stability and vitality as the future unfolds.
In the RMC prayer we also prayed that the Holy Spirit would enable us “to embrace the greater good, to hand on your gifts to future generations.” As your pastors, we stand united in our commitment to the greater good and to the future of the Church in our area of the archdiocese. We will work together to ensure our movement to the “new reality” is done with care and with patience and with concern for each person in every parish.
We cannot do this alone. We ask all our parishioners first to pray that in the months of transition we remain faithful, wise and compassionate. We ask too that each of you reach out to any parishioners who are hurting and offer support and encouragement.
The virtue most needed for the coming months is patience. As pastors, we don’t yet have all the answers about what changes will occur. RMC is still a process and each step is based on the information we glean, always with unity our goal, relying on God’s grace with opened hearts.
The RMC prayer closed with “May we remain in the holy company of the Blessed Virgin Mary…” and we add and the company of St. Hugh and St. Pius X, “may their example and presence inspire us with confidence in the work of your grace.”
With you in prayer,
Fr. Robert Marchwiany Fr. Thomas May Fr. Matthew Nemchausky Fr. Ricardo Castillo
Pastor St. Hugh Pastor St. Mary Pastor Mater Christi Sacramental Priest, St. Pius X
A Special Message regarding Renew My Church from Father Tom
A special message regarding Renew My Church from Father Tom - January 14, 2021
I am pleased to announce that the Renew My Church Decision Announcement will occur on Friday, January 22nd at 6:30 PM.
Please join us at www.renewmychurch.org/announcements on your computer or smartphone.
The announcement will be made by Bishop Manz our regional Vicar and Cardinal Cupich’s representative to our region of the archdiocese.
We will meet online due to Covid restrictions with the people of Mater Christi, St. Pius X and St. Hugh to share the Cardinal’s decision for our grouping.
Once the announcement has been made, the work of RMC begins in a different way, as we embrace the new reality and work together toward the unity and mission of our new parish.
Let us pray for all in our grouping as we hear the decision and respond with faithfulness for the future of the Church in our area.
Letter to the Parishioners - September 19, 2020
Dear St. Mary Parishioners,
We have received the initial scenarios for our Renew My Church grouping from the Archdiocese.
Please use this link to see the information.
These scenarios will be discussed on September 30 in the Church at 4:00 PM and 7:00 PM. The 7:00 PM session will be livestreamed. Reservations are required and will open on September 25.
If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please feel free to email us at RMC@stmayriverside.org. You can also call 708-853-1419 and one of the RMC Team members will get back to you.
I ask you to please pray for the Holy Spirit to help us discuss and discern the future of our parish
RMC Scenarios Delivery
SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT - October 28, 2020
We understand that letters to the parish regarding the new Renew My Church scenarios are just being delivered today.
These letters were projected to be delivered by last Friday/Saturday, however it seems that mail delivery is indeed delayed.
Your feedback is important. While the letter stated that the deadline for feedback was Monday October 26, we do want to hear your comments, questions and concerns.
Please feel free to contact us via email at RMC@stmaryriverside.org or call 708-853-1419 and someone from the St. Mary Renew My Church team will get back to you promptly.
We apologize for any distress this delay in communication may have caused.