St. Joseph’s Church in Homewood will close out its 110-year history with a legacy mass at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 16.
Parishioners at St. Joseph will join with members of St. Anne Parish in East Hazel Crest and St. Emeric Church in Country Club Hills to form a new parish that will meet in Homewood. The Archdiocese of Chicago officially began the process of consolidation in July. A decision on a new name for the reorganized parish is forthcoming.
Rev. Robert Kyfes, the last official pastor of St. Joseph, and Rev. Richard Kozak, pastor when St. Joseph celebrated its 100th anniversary, will be joined by Rev. Dan Jarosewic, former associate pastor, and Rev. Ronald Kondziolka, parish administrator. Together they will concelebrate the mass. Parishioners Ron Schmidt and Mike Krause will assist as altar servers.
The first mass of St. Joseph Church was said in the Homewood Village Hall in January 1912. In short order, members built a wooden church that was consecrated in September 1912. The Archdiocese of Chicago gave St. Joseph’s status as a parish in 1914. Over time that original building got a steeple and was clad in brick veneer to match the new school building in 1926.
The current St. Joseph Church was built just south of the original structure. It was officially dedicated in April 1955.
St. Anne, organized in 1911, remained a mission of St. Joseph’s until 1949 when St. Anne was elevated to a parish. The parish of St. Emeric was organized as a mission church of St. Joseph’s in 1959. It earned status as a parish in 1960.
The archdiocese is consolidating parishes in the South Suburbs. Infant Jesus of Prague in Flossmoor will be merging with St. Lawrence O’Toole in Matteson and St. Irenaeus in Park Forest. It, too, will receive a new name.
IJP was organized as a mission church in 1954 by Rev. Joseph Burke, St. Joseph’s pastor, who recognized the need for a parish to serve the growing area. IJP became a parish in 1957.
“All parishes will embark on the next phase of renewal to become stronger, more sustainable and capable of reaching more people in their work of making disciples of Jesus Christ, building communities and inspiring witness,” the archdiocesan statement said in January when the reorganization plan was announced.
Rev. Edmond Aristil is now the pastor of the new parish meeting in Homewood. He previously was pastor at St. Emeric Church. Rev. Ralph Zwirn is serving as associate pastor. He previously was pastor at St. Anne Church.