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 History
 

Before Mary Queen of Heaven parish was organized, there were already five Catholic churches established in Cicero -St. Mary of Czenstochowa, St. Dionysius in Hawthorne, St. Attracta, St. Anthony and St. Valentine in the Grant Works section. In 1908, Catholics living in Morton Park, just north of Hawthorn and south of Grant Works, formed a group known as the Central Club. A rough census showed about fifty Catholic families in this section. Prominent in this group were James. F. Kane, George Comerfor Sr. Lawrence Fitzpatric and Jeremiah Carmody, who formed a committee to petition Archbishop Quigley to found a new parish. This petition was favorably received and kept under consideration.

In the summer of 1911 the Rev. A.J.Dedera, Associate Pastor at St. Ludmila Parish in Chicago, aided by the Rev. Francis Tony who then was a seminarian, arrived in Cicero. A new and more complete census showed that there, indeed, was about 120 Catholic families willing to form a new parish. The parish was organized by Fr. Dedra under the direction of His Grace, Archbishop Quigley in September 1911. The enthusiasm with which this announcement was received a generous cooperation of all families made it possible to raise funds to purchase a temporary church building which today is the present parish hall. Of historic interest regarding the area where the parish would be established is that the building located on the northwest corner of 53rd Ave. and 24th Place was originally the Morton Park Clubhouse, it then became the Town Hall of Cicero after which it became Methodist Congregational Church. It then became the property of Daniel Cohn who used it as a moving picture house. Finally it was sold by Mr. Cohn to the Archbishop of Chicago for the grand price of $7,500.

The School

In September 1912, the school was opened and the thirty-eight pupils who were divided into seven grades were taught by the pastor, Fr. Dedera and two lay teachers, Miss Catherine Fardy and Mss. Lorraine Doyle. On March 26, 1913 three sisters of the order of Sisters of Charity, B.V.M. came to teach daily. They made a daily trip from the Blessed Sacrament Convent on Central Park Ave in Chicago. By June 1913 the number of pupils was 136. The first sisters were Sister Mary Francis, Superior, Sister Mary St. Basil and Sr. Mary Irmina. The first graduating class left our school in 1914 with 7 graduates.

New Church

In 1925 Fr. Grifin, then pastor who later became Monsignor, was enabled to erect a new Rectory on the property situated on the North West corner of 53rd Ave. and 24th St. at the cost of $42,500. The rectory was blessed on the 8th of December by Bishop Hoban, and then Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago after which it was opened for all parishioners to see.

Filled with enthusiasm by the announcement of a proposed new church, the people cooperated whole heartedly, and the work was begun in a short time. On August 12, 1929 Monsignor Griffin blessed the ground. The following month, on September 15th, the corner stone was laid. The Rt. Rev. C.J. Quille officiated and the Rev. P. C. Conway preached the sermon. Work progressed rapidly and the following year on Sunday May 18, 1930, His Eminence George Cardinal Mundelein dedicated this beautiful new Church which was erected on the southeast corner of 53rd Ave. and 24th St.