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The Former Parish of Saint Bride
ON HOLY GROUND by Sr. Julie Stapleton, IBVM

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ON HOLY GROUND by Sr. Julie Stapleton, IBVM

Posted on Thu, Sep 10, 2020

Reflections on the History and Last Mass at St. Bride

ON HOLY GROUND by Sr. Julie Stapleton, IBVM

 

Reflections on the History and Last Mass at St. Bride

 

On August 16th, 2020, St. Bride’s Parish celebrated its final liturgy at 10 a.m. mass.  Srs. Frances McCarron, Class of ’50,  Anne Hyzy,  Julie Stapleton, former teacher (’83-’98)and Marywin Gerrity were in attendance. Marywin’s parents and all of their 17 combined siblings graduated from St. Bride’s school.  Because of COVID 19, with spaced seating at the church, reservations were required for the 100 people in attendance.  Fr. Robert J. Roll, the final pastor, concelebrated with his friend, Fr. Jim, who resides at the parish.  After mass and benediction, Fr. Bob identified many parishioners who contributed to making St. Bride’s a place of welcome and celebration. He called each forth and we applauded them one by one.  It will not be easy in our hearts to fold up the tent of this very special parish after 127 years.

The parish began in 1893 from St. Kevin’s Church at 105th & Torrence Avenue by their pastor, Rev. Timothy D. O’Sullivan.  St. Bride’s was a mission church until 1900 when  Fr. O’Sullivan moved from St. Kevin’s to shepherd the new one story church near the corner of Coles and 78th Streets which he had built for $3,000.  In 1902, the Carmelite Fathers began assisting on weekends.  The IBVM sisters were invited and opened the first Catholic grade school in South Shore September 7, 1909.

A three flat building was outfitted in 1920 at 7760 South Shore Drive for the convent. Now the Sisters could live on site and not commute to 1447 E. 65th Street, Woodlawn Academy and Convent.

Some of St. Bride’s students and parishioners stay in touch with the parish in a virtual way via FaceBook.  This was the case with a former student, Michael Patrick Hennessy, who wanted to make a contribution and arranged with Fr. Bob to have large floral arrangements delivered for the weekend.  Another student, Jim Wachowski, Father said, had arranged for a mass to be celebrated at the exact time of our mass, but in Wadowice, Poland, the hometown of St. Pope John Paul II and the Church where he was Baptized, for the St. Bride community.  We Loretto Sisters, IBVMs, have spent 89 years in this wonderful parish near Rainbow Beach Park on the shores of Lake Michigan.  We rejoice at the  following women who entered the IBVMs from 7765 S. Coles (they may not have stayed the entire eight years of grammar school):  Gail McKirchy; Judy Miller; Tish Lynch; Nancy J. Doolin;  Sally I. Doolin; Margaret Quinlan; Sally Manion;  Theresa A. Doolin; Dorothea Moriarty; Mary Alice McCarron; Suzanne Doolin; Mary Ann White; Nancy Lee Waite; Eleanor Holland; Mary Pat Doolin; Margaret O’Connor; Irene Hayes; Florence Hayes; Loretto McIntyre; Beata Purpura.

So many precious memories flood the mind.  Do you remember Mother Thecla’s song, “St. Bride, Lily of Ireland”?  St. Bride thou art Lily of Ireland, St. Bride, thou art Rose of Kildare;  we claim thee our patron in heaven, O list as we sing thee this prayer… Amen to a wonderful era!

 


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