1970s to the 2000s
When Fr. Matthias Hoffman was reassigned from St. Teresa’s, Fr. George Cerney was the appointed pastor followed by Fr. James Noone, Fr. John Hoffman, and for shorter times, Fr. John Blazek, Fr. John Baldwin and Fr. Ron Galt who ministered along with associates, deacons and lay ministers nurturing the spiritual needs of the community. Often Fr. Noone could be found in the school fixing leaky plumbing or other faults. Through these years the parish buildings, like some of the neighborhood, fell on hard times.
In 2001, Fr. John Hoffman and many parishioners were concerned about the condition of the parish center and made plans to remedy the situation and raise the needed funds. In 2003, the current Parish Center was dedicated and has been the home for hospitality, food pantry distribution, Loaves & Fishes dinners, parties, receptions, parish dinners, meetings and a space for guest speaking engagements.
When Fr. Frank Laztko arrived at St. Teresa’s in 2009, the 19th century school building was unusable. The convent built for the Sisters of Charity, now known as Avila Place, was being used as office and storage space. Avila Place also hosted a few community and parish meetings each month. Fr. Frank’s assessment called for the possibility of selling both properties, but the Archdiocese denied that request. A few years later the parish was contacted by the Real Estate Department of the Archdiocese of Chicago. The archdiocese asked if St. Teresa’s Parish was interested in selling the same property. A year-long process ensued with the sale taking place in August 2014. Currently three single-family homes are under construction.
Through these years, the Rectory infrastructure was upgraded and planning began for the renovation of the church. An important goal in a new design was to open up the south wall along Armitage Avenue. Infrastructure improvements included electrical upgrade, new sound system and easy access for disabled persons within the entire church. The greatest goal of the new design, however, was to improve the sacramental and liturgical experience for the community. As a parish, we eagerly look forward to moving into the renovated church space.
Rewritten and updated from the 1969 St. Teresa Church 80th Anniversary book, with thoughtful respect to all who have preceded us at St. Teresa’s:
Our parochial life is feeling the difficulties of change and transition that mark our present everywhere. Questions, doubts and difficulties are disturbing, but these people are good people, and good Catholics. The parish has trust that the Holy Spirit will inspire them to find Unity and Love and Life. The will to live is present and this determination will eventually lead to a parochial life of meaning. The sufferings of the present are a part of life and change. We pray that God be with us. We believe that God will be with us!
St. Teresa Parish in its 125 year history has indeed endured more than its share of hardships. But because it has endured them with extraordinary courage and hope, it is a strong community, and its members are united in mutual respect, mutual trust, mutual love. Its present life and its future hope rest on these noble qualities that have characterized St. Teresa Parish for 125 years. These same qualities support and give vitality to all the parish societies, organization and activities. To this community of people of God the future of St. Teresa Parish belongs.