St. Ladislaus Parish was founded in 1914 as a Polish parish in a still rural area that had been annexed to the city in 1889 in advance of the World’s Columbian Exposition. The Polish term for the surrounding area, Władysławowo derives from the Polish name for the church’s patron, St. Ladislaus. Originally a mission of St. Wenceslaus, the first church, a combination church and school building, was already in place by August 1915, an impressive feat given that the parish still only numbered about 100 families in 1920. The parish was key in spurring growth in the Portage Park area as it drew in Polish immigrants from the tenements west of the city center concentrated in the Polish Downtown area of West Town. Nearby Chopin Park stands as a testament to this, named after Poland’s most famous pianist and composer of the infamous Funeral March. With this development, the original pastor’s residence above the Hupka (now Kopec) Funeral Chapel at 5259 W. Roscoe at the time of the building of the first church gave way to the parish plant typical of Polish parishes in the Chicago area, as first the school was enlarged and a convent as well as a rectory were bought. The cost of all these improvements totalled nearly $76,000.
Rapid growth of the Portage Park area had led to rapid growth of St. Ladislaus in the same way the parish served as a magnet for this development. By the time St. Ladislaus celebrated its silver jubilee, the parish had paid off all its debt, and a building fund for the new church had already been started. However construction was delayed by the outbreak of World War II. Finally, on Nov. 17, 1952, ground was broken for the church at the northwest corner of Long and Henderson. The cornerstone was laid on Apr. 12, 1953, and the imposing brick edifice was opened on June 12, 1955 for its first Mass.
St. Ladislaus Parish, Chicago, IL. 75 Anniversary 1914-1989. CAP at Orchard Lake.
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We Need Your Help with Historical Preservation
If you have any important documents or other materials related to this parish and would like to share them with us, please contact us at: email@example.com
Remember these materials, for example, parish jubilee books, celebrations of priests’ anniversaries, church and/or parish photos, pamphlets, etc., may be valuable to the next generation and may become lost forever. Your contributions of historical materials may enrich our Polish American Liturgical Center website and archives and they will become a living memorial to your loved ones and your parish history.
We ask you to make an effort to help preserve your parish history as a memorial to all the parishioners who have contributed to making it a magnificent place of worship. May God reward your kindness!
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