the Sanctuary of The Divine Mercy

Parish

 


The parish of St. Stanislaus Kostka opened in 1867. Bishop Foley put the Resurrection Fathers in charge of the growing parish in 1871. As the flow of Polish immigrants continued into the neighborhood, a larger church was needed. The cornerstone of the present church building was laid in 1877 and the church was dedicated in 1881.

By 1897, St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish was the largest parish in the United States with 8,000 families, totaling 40,000 people. There were twelve Masses each Sunday: six Masses in the upper church and another six Masses in the lower church. St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish is considered the mother church of the many Polish parishes founded by Fr. Vincent Barzynski, C.R., during his pastorate (1874-1899).

In the early 1950’s, the church was slated to be razed to make room for the Kennedy Expressway, but due to protests by the Polish community and the work of legislators like U.S. Representative Daniel Rostenkowski, the path of the expressway was altered and the church was saved.

Today, the parish continues to serve the spiritual needs of parishioners who come from a wide geographic area and include many different ethnic groups. The large number of Mexicans and Mexican-Americans has brought a new vitality to the parish. Masses are said in English, Spanish and Polish. The parish continues to operate an elementary school, as well as, a strong religious education program.

In 2007, Cardinal Francis George designated St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish as the Sanctuary of the Divine Mercy in Chicago and, in 2008, he blessed the iconic Monstrance, Our Lady of the Sign-Ark of Mercy, which draws many people to 24-hour Eucharistic Adoration at this historic church.

In September, 2011, St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish began a project of essential repair and restoration of the church building. The vision is that the parish will continue to be a beacon of hope for the next generations of Catholics of Chicago.