Our Lady of Loretto Parish

Contact Information:

8925 S. Kostner

Hometown, IL  60456

708-424-7471

www.ourladyloretto.com

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             Father Patrick Ronayne arrived to establish the parish of Our Lady of Loretto on July 29, 1951. He was appointed by Cardinal Stritch who offered him the opportunity to establish a new parish, in a new subdivision not yet incorporated. Fr. Pat (as he was affectionately called) submitted three names to the chancery office and the first one was selected. His first choice being "Our Lady of Loretto." It is the name by which the Blessed Virgin Mary is patroness of aviators and homes. The parish is close to Chicago Midway airport. Also the House of

Loretto which is alleged to be the home of the Holy Family in Nazareth before it was transported by Angels to Italy, seemed appropriate for a community of homes called Hometown.

            The first Mass was celebrated in the Hometown Fire House on September 30, 1951. During the winter the fire trucks were backed out of the fire house and kept running to keep the engines warm, should there be a fire call.

             The first Christmas mass was celebrated in a storefront of the new shopping center in 1951. The rectory was used for daily masses and the first baptisms took place in the chapel at St. Gerald's. On Good Friday 1952, the first services to be held in the still uncompleted Quonset church were said. There were no tiles on the floor and no pews; but the

Stations of the Cross were said. The only approach to the church was over muddy ground by way of wooden pallets. Ground breaking for the new school began in April of 1953 and was opened in January 1954 with 6 classrooms and an all-purpose room. In 1954, Confirmation was held for the first time in the parish with Cardinal Stritch as celebrant.

           In November 3, 1968, Fr. Heaney laid the cornerstone of the new church complex and on May 30, 1969, the new Our Lady of Loretto was formally dedicated by John Cardinal Cody, archbishop of Chicago.

 

           In September 1973, Fr. James O'Connor was named third pastor to Our Lady of Loretto. Under his dedication, the parish continued to grow. During his pastorate Fr. O'Connor made women lectors, commentators and auxiliary ministers. Girls were also allowed to become altar servers.
 
           1984 - Fr. Ronald Mass was appointed pastor. Under the pastoral leadership of Fr. Ron Mass, lay ministers became more active in our parish; Parish council, finance council, liturgical counsel, parents school council.  Fr. Mass’s last year with Loretto began our one priest parish.
 
           1997 - Fr. William Burke - pastor to 1999.   Fr. Bill Burke returned as our pastor in 1997 and gifted our parish with his artistic and dramatic liturgy.
 
         1999 - Fr. James Donovan - pastor to 2008.   Fr. Jim Donovan was assigned to our parish and under his leadership, we celebrated our 50th Year as the Parish of Our Lady of Loretto. We began to experience many changes, an older population, a decrease in number of children attending a Catholic school as well as an economy that challenged most parishioners.
 
            2008 - Fr Thomas S. Cabala - present pastor
Fr. Tom Cabala is our present pastor and under his leadership, we have been able to establish a Food Pantry with the capability of fresh and frozen foods available to help many of our fellow parishioners as well as our neighbors within the City of Hometown.