Our Lady of Loretto Parish
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.