St. Thecla Parishioners Plan Vigil, Await Archdiocese's Decision On Closure

Bernie Tafoya
November 07, 2019 - 10:18 am
St. Tecla Church

St. Tecla Parish/Facebook


CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Parishioners of a Northwest Side Catholic church have a vigil planned Thursday night as they await word on the fate of their parish.

Several months this year, St. Thecla Church, St. Cornelius Church, St. Tarcissus Church, and Pope Francis Global Academy North campus have been undergoing the Renew My Church process, the Archdiocese of Chicago’s program for restructuring, including closing churches.  

Parishioner Bill O’Hara said finances are not an issue at St. Thecla church or school, but there's a concern the archdiocese might want to sell the property.

"Over the last five years, we’ve had a lot of ups and downs, don’t get me wrong, but we still remain self-sufficient. The school had an operating surplus this year," he said.

O’Hara said Thursday night’s vigil is to illustrate what the church means to parishioners. The archdiocese’s decision comes Friday night.

Parishioner Paul Schutt said the archdiocese decision should not come down to what property has more value on the market
The Archdiocese of Chicago said Cardinal Cupich is still looking at factors and that no decisions have been made regarding any of the three churches and the school. In a statement, the archdiocese said "decisions are being finalized" and that an announcement will be made Friday night.

If there's a decision to close St. Thecla, Bill O’Hara said he'd be "very disappointed. It would beg the question, what really are we trying to renew and is this a transparent process or is it kind of a smoke and mirrors?'