SOUTH LOOP — The city's oldest Catholic church dedicated the archdiocese's newest parish center Friday.
Archbishop Blase Cupich led the dedication ceremony at Old St. Mary's Church, 1500 S. Michigan Ave. On a gorgeous and overdue spring day with a standing-room crowd in the courtyard between the church and the Petermann Parish Center, he asked God to "bless us and bless this building."
The Parish Center completes a three-stage process relocating and building up the church, the first Catholic parish in Chicago when it was commissioned by the bishop of St. Louis in 1833, four years before Chicago was incorporated as a city. That includes a new, contemporary sanctuary and a new Catholic school built over the last 15 years.
"We have found us a permanent home," said the Rev. Eric Andrews, president of the Paulist Fathers, a sect that has run the church since 1903.
Father Paul Huesing, who has guided the church for the past two years, thanked the parish's Petermann family for what he called an "enabling" donation that made the center possible. He also cited the support of Ald. Pat Dowell (3rd) and former Ald. Bob Fioretti (2nd).
After Cupich was treated to a performance by the Old St. Mary's School choir in the new center's gymnasium, he told students, "If you are the face of a place called Old St. Mary's, I want to be old."
For more neighborhood news, listen to DNAinfo Radio here: