Our History

Established as a Polish parish in 1921, St. Camillus at 55th and Lockwood Avenue on the southwest side of Chicago, was originally a mission of St. Joseph Church in Summit, Illinois. Beginning in 1918, Reverend Thomas P. Bona, pastor of St. Joseph Church, and his assistant, Reverend Maximillian Warkocki, celebrated Mass for Polish Catholics in an empty store at 5228 South Archer Avenue (incidentally, this same building, now remodeled, is the home of Meson Del Rio Mexican Restaurant).

Two Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth opened a school in a hall at the northeast corner of Archer and Lockwood Avenue. Two Sisters commuted each day from St. Joseph School, which was then located at 7438 West 61st Place in Argo, Illinois.

In 1919, property was purchased at the northwest corner of 55th and Lockwood Avenue directly across the street from Meadows Golf Course (which later was developed as Midway Airport). Here a one-story brick building was constructed in 1920 and this structure served as a combination church and school for the mission, which was then known as St. Florian. A history of St. Joseph Parish contained the information that the building “is to be dedicated before the end of the year 1920” and that “Seventy families have already settled within the boundaries of the mission. “

St. Florian Mission was reorganized as the national parish of St. Camillus in October, 1921, and Reverend Leo Sychowski was appointed first resident pastor. He came to the neighborhood now known as Garfield Ridge from St. Casimir Church at 22nd and Whipple Street where he had been assistant. Father Sychowski took up residence in a house at 5218 South Lockwood Avenue, which had belonged to the Walkowicz family.


Construction on the present St. Camillus Church began in 1922. The modern brick edifice was joined to the existing combination building at 55th and Lockwood Avenue. To achieve symmetry, a wing was added to the west side of the church. Following the completion of the new church quarters, the “wings” were used as classrooms.

An apartment building at 5430 South Lockwood Avenue was acquired in 1924 for use as a parish rectory. By 1925, 300 children were enrolled in St. Camillus School.   In 1927, Father Leo Sychowski was transferred to Five Holy Martyrs, and Father Boleslaus J. Kasprzycki from old St. Stephen’s Church began outgrowing its facilities. The convent was too small, more classroom space was needed, and there was a pressing need for a parish hall, where parish gatherings and activities could be held. This called for further expansion. So in 1928, a new building project was underway. Under Father Kasprzyski’s supervision, a three-story structure was added to the rear of the original wing on Lockwood Avenue. This three-story structure satisfied the need for a hall, more classroom space, and an expanded convent. It was adequate for a good many years.

A history of St. Camillus Church published in The New World of May 24,1935 contained the information that parish membership numbered 320 families and that 260 children were enrolled in the school.   On December 12, 1937, Father Kasprzycki (or Father Kasper as he was fondly called) celebrated his Silver Jubilee of Priesthood. It was a beautiful and memorable occasion, surrounded by pomp and ceremony.

Father Kasprzycki worked hard, and devotedly served the people of St. Camillus all alone for fifteen years. When Father Menceslaus Madaj was assigned to St. Camillus as its first assistant in 1942, he was a welcome Sight to the people, but especially to Father Kasprzycki.   In 1944, a 2:30 a.m. Sunday Mass was inaugurated to serve defense workers in such area plants as Studebaker located at Archer and Cicero Avenue, and Ford Motor Company at76th and Cicero Avenue. This Mass became so popular that it continued to be held until the early 1960’s. On October 20, 1946, St. Camillus Parish celebrated its Silver Jubilee. To celebrate the occasion, there was a Solemn High Mass at noon, with His Eminence Samuel Cardinal Stritch presiding at the Mass.   After the Silver Jubilee, the parish was still growing but the parish facilities were adequate to cope with the growth. Father Madaj was transferred in 1950. Father Ed WOjtecki took his place. After two years, Father Stanley Gruchot replaced Father Wojtecki.

In November, 1953, Father Kasprzycki was named a Domestic Prelate with the title Right Reverend Monsignor. He enjoyed this honor for only a few years. Following Monsignor Kasprzycki’s death on May 17, 1957, Reverend Stanislaus J. Gruchot served as administrator of St. Camillus Church. He had been an assistant at the parish since 1952.

In July, 1957, Reverend Joseph J. Mackowiak was appointed pastor. He came to this parish from Bridgeport, where he had been an assistant at St. Barbara Church. Father Mackowiak continued Monsignor Kasprzycki’s plans to enlarge the parish complex. On August 17, 1958, ground was broken for two new buildings, the cornerstones of which were laid on December 14, 1958. A new rectory was constructed at 5426 South Lockwood Avenue as well as the combination building at 5434 South Lockwood Avenue which contained eight classrooms and accommodations for 12 Sisters. The new parish buildings were dedicated on October 25, 1959 by Bishop Hillinger. At the time, 600 students were enrolled in St. Camillus School.

Father Gruchot was transferred in July of 1959, and the newly ordained Father Walter Koszut and Father Leo Bogdan were assigned to St. Camillus to assist the pastor.   Father Walter Koszut was transferred in July, 1964 and Father Robert Byczybski was assigned to St. Camillus.

In February, 1965, Father Mackowiak was named pastor of St. Wenceslaus Church on the northwest side of Chicago. His successor was Reverend Stanislaus J. Kwiek, a former assistant at S1. Valentine Church in Cicero, Illinois.   One of Father Kwiek’s concerns was to make the necessary changes in the sanctuary of St. Camillus Church so the the priest could face the congregation while celebrating mass. Before Father Mackowiak had left the parish, he initiated negotiations with American Airlines to purchase its parking lot on 55th Street between Lorel and Long Avenue. This property, which was purchased by the Archdiocese in 1965 for $50,000.00, was to provide parking space for the time when a new church would be built.

The Golden Jubilee of St. Camillus Church was celebrated on October 17, 1971; John Cardinal Cody presided at the special Mass of Thanksgiving. More than 650 parishioners and friends attended a parish dinner dance at the Manor Ballroom. A jubilee committee headed by Al Bell prepared a souvenir history book which included early photographs of the Garfield Ridge neighborhood as well as photographs relating to parish life.

In May of 1966 Father Bogdan was transferred and Father Charles Osowski came to St. Camillus as an associate pastor. In May of 1972 he celebrated his own Silver Jubilee of Ordination. Then in March of 1969 brought another change to the parish when Father Frank Ryzner was assigned to S1. Camillus as a replacement for Father Robert Bycznski as an associate pastor.   The parish’s first deacon was George A. Swindells who was ordained on December 10, 1972.

At the request of the parish Building Committee, Cardinal Cody granted permission on November 28, 1973 for the enlargement of S1. Camillus Church.   The newly renovated church was blessed by Bishop Abramowicz at a Concelebrated Mass which took place on Sunday, September 22, 1974 at 9:30 a.m, in which all parishioners who donated memorials were invited to attend. Also during that year, another change came to the parish when Reverend Thaddeus Duda was assigned as an associate and two years later, Reverend Norbert Wachowiak joined our parish.

Father Kwiek continued to serve as pastor until his death on February 2, 1977. Soon after his death, Reverend Charles Osowski, former associate pastor of S1. Blase Church in Argo, was appointed pastor of S1. Camillus Church on March 30, 1977. Father Osowski was known to many in the congregation because he had served as an assistant at the parish from 1966 to 1974.

Reverend Marcel Pasciak came in 1979 as an associate replacing Father Duda. In 1981, Father Wachowiak was transferred and Reverend Daniel Jarosewic became our new associate. The parish welcomed Reverend Norman Czajka in 1986 as a new associate when Father [arosewic was reassigned.

On March 9, 1988, the congregation mourned the loss of our beloved Father Charles. Soon after his death, Father Norman became pastor and two associates were assigned, Reverend Raymond Jasinski and Reverend Dr. Stanley Drewniak. Fr. Edward Zimmerman became the second deacon on April 30, 1988, replacing Deacon George Swindells who moved to Colorado Springs, Colorado in 1989. Father Jasinski was also reassigned in 1989.   On August 26, 1992, Father Stanley Drewniak blessed a newly opened classroom. The third floor renovations reopened two classrooms closed for more than twenty years. Also a dedication ceremony renaming the parish hall in memory of the late Al Kacprowski, a parishioner for more than 43 years, was held.

Today parish membership numbers approximately 1,000 families. While St. Camillus Parish is predominantly Polish, families of other nationalities also belong to the congregation.

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Msza Krzyżma, Oleje Święte, Wielki Tydzień i Wielkanoc

Msza Krzyżma, Oleje Święte, Wielki Tydzień i Wielkanoc

Należy pamiętać, że wytyczne i ograniczenia dotyczące publicznych liturgii i zgromadzeń obejmują Niedzielę Wielkanocną i wszystkie liturgie po Wielkanocy aż do odwołania.

Msza Krzyżma NIE będzie odprawiana publicznie. Kardynał Cupich i biskupi pomocniczy odprawią Mszę św. w Katedrze Świętego Imienia. Będzie ona transmitowana na żywo dla dobra wiernych, aby mogli uczestniczyć w niej w swoich domach.

Oleje święte nie zostaną przekazane aż do czasu ustąpienia obecnego kryzysu zdrowotnego.

Liturgia Niedzieli Palmowej i Wielkiego Tygodnia nie będzie publicznie celebrowana w naszych parafiach.

• NIE należy organizować żadnych publicznych uroczystości, nawet na zewnątrz, włącznie z Drogą Krzyżową w Wielki Piątek.

• NIE należy rozdawać czy przekazywać poświęconych palm. Jeśli jednak kapłan błogosławi prywatnie palmy, mogą one być przechowane do dystrybucji w późniejszym terminie, który zostanie ustalony przez USCCB i / lub Archidiecezję Chicago.

• Przyjęcie sakramentów podczas Wielkanocy przez kandydatów RCIA i katechumenów należy odłożyć na później - wskazówki zostaną udzielone w przyszłości, po ustąpieniu kryzysu.

• Msza Wieczerzy Pańskiej (bez obmycia stóp), Liturgia Męki Pańskiej i Wigilia Paschalna będzie sprawowana przez kardynała Cupicha i biskupów pomocniczych w Katedrze Świętego Imienia bez wiernych i będzie transmitowana na żywo. Jeśli / kiedy Msza Wieczerzy Pańskiej celebrowana będzie prywatnie w Waszej parafii, nie będzie podczas niej rytuału obmycia stóp.

• Nie należy odprawiać nabożeństw z udzielaniem Komunii św. ani obecnie, ani w czasie Wielkiego Tygodnia, dopóki nie uzyskamy pozwolenia na udział w liturgiach publicznych.

• Proszę nadal postępować zgodnie z wytycznymi CDC: nie pozwalać, by w kościele lub poza nim, w tym samym czasie, gromadziło się więcej niż 10 osób, zachowywać dystans społeczny, czyścić i dezynfekować kościoły po przebywaniu w nich wiernych

Chrism Mass, Holy Oils and Holy Week and Easter

Chrism Mass, Holy Oils and Holy Week and Easter

Chrism Mass will NOT be celebrated publicly. Cardinal Cupich and the auxiliary bishops will celebrate the Mass in Holy Name Cathedral, which will be livestreamed for the benefit of the faithful to view in their homes.

Holy oils will not be distributed until the current health crisis is abated.

Palm Sunday and Holy Week Liturgies - including Easter Sunday - will not be celebrated publicly in our parishes.

• There are NOT to be any public celebrations, even outside including live Stations of the Cross on Good Friday.

• There are NOT to be any distribution of blessed palms; however, if a priest blesses palms privately, those palms may be reserved for distribution at a later date to be determined by the USCCB and/or Archdiocese of Chicago.

• Easter sacraments for RCIA candidates and catechumens are to be postponed – guidance will be provided later on when they might be celebrated after this crisis subsides.

• The Mass of the Lord’s Supper (without washing of the feet), the Liturgy of the Lord’s Passion, and the Easter Vigil will be celebrated by Cardinal Cupich and the auxiliary bishops in Holy Name Cathedral without a congregation and will be livestreamed. If/when the Mass of the Lord’s Supper is celebrated privately in your parish, it is not to include the ritual of the washing of feet.

• There should be no Communion services currently nor during Holy Week until we are cleared to return for public liturgies.

• Please continue to follow the CDC guidelines by allowing no more than 10 people to gather together at one time inside or outside the church, practicing social distancing, and cleaning and disinfecting of churches after use.

• Note: guidelines and restrictions on public liturgies and gatherings are inclusive of Easter Sunday and all liturgies after Easter until further notice

Stay-at-home Order and Guidelines

Stay-at-home Order and Guidelines

As of Saturday March 14, all liturgical services in the Archdiocese of Chicago have been suspended, as well as the mandated closing of schools operated by the archdiocese, and the closing the Pastoral Center and related agency offices until further notice.

In light of the Cardinal’s decision to suspend the celebration of all public liturgies, it is understood that all Catholics within the Archdiocese of Chicago are dispensed from the obligation of attending Mass on Sundays and holy days of obligation (per canons 85 and 87 in the code of canon law of 1983).

Governor Pritzker's mandatory stay-at-home order for the State of Illinois means the following for our parishes effective 5 p.m. Saturday, March 21 through Tuesday, April 7:

• All churches and adoration chapels must be closed and locked until the order is lifted by the governor. Private prayer in any parish building must be discontinued until the order is lifted.

• There can be no live Stations of the Cross or any other gatherings anywhere on parish/school property, nor can any parish personnel be involved in organizing them on any other site.

• All weddings and baptisms must be postponed and can be re-scheduled only once the order is lifted. There are no exceptions to this, regardless of the size of the group. However, in case of an extreme emergency for baptism, please seek the permission of your bishop.

• Funerals and wakes must be postponed until the order is lifted.

• Parish offices must be closed until the governor’s order is lifted.

Ważne ogłoszenie – wszystkie Msze święte niedzielne i w ciągu tygodnia zostały odwołane

Ważne ogłoszenie - wszystkie Msze święte niedzielne i w ciągu tygodnia zostały odwołane

Drodzy Parafianie i Przyjaciele,

Z przykrością musimy ogłosić zarządzenie Jego Eminencji Kardynała Blase Cupich, że zostały odwołane wszystkie Msze święte niedzielne i w ciągu tygodnia, ze względu na niebezpieczeństwo Koronawirusa/COVID-19.

Zachęcamy was do odwiedzania w niedzielę naszego kościoła i do prywatnej modlitwy przed wystawionym Najświętszym Sakramentem o ustanie zarazy, błogosławieństwo dla żyjących i radość wieczną dla zmarłych.

Wszystkie przyjęte intencje mszalne Księża będą odprawiać prywatnie bez udziału wiernych. Tak będzie aż do momentu zniesienia zakazu. Zachęcamy do uczestnictwa w Mszach świętych telewizyjnych i radiowych. Nie będzie też rozdawana Komunia święta.

Nasz kościół św. Kamila będzie otwarty w każdą niedzielę i będzie wystawiony Najświętszy Sakrament w godzinach od 7:00 am do 12:00 pm.

Kościół św. Faustyny będzie otwarty w każdą niedzielę i będzie wystawiony Najświętszy Sakrament w godzinach od 7:00 am do 3:30 pm.

Prośmy Świętą Faustynę aby wstawiła się w naszych potrzebach u Jezusa miłosiernego.

Ofiary które przynosicie na Mszę świętą można wrzucić do koszyka ustawionego w głównej nawie kościoła. Obok koszyka są wyłożone biuletyny parafialne, prosimy o zabranie biuletynów.

Bóg zapłać wszystkim za wyrozumiałość, decyzje są podjęte przez Arcybiskupa ze względu na nasze bezpieczeństwo.

Prosimy osoby chore lub objawami przeziębienia aby pozostawały w domu.

Prosimy aby wszyscy myli ręce wodą i mydłem, powstrzymywali się od podawania rąk i przebywania w bliskim fizycznym kontakcie.

Zajęcia szkolne, rekolekcje, program REF, program SPRED, bierzmowanie, dekanalne i archidiecezjalne spotkania zostają odwołane.

Niech Jezus Miłosierny ma nas wszystkich w swojej opiece.

Szczęść Boże!

Important Announcement – all Sunday and weekday Masses has been suspended

Important Announcement - all Sunday and weekday Masses has been suspended

Dear Parishioner and Friends,

We regret to announce the ordinance made by His Eminence Cardinal Blase Cupich that the public celebration of all Sunday and weekday Masses has been suspended due to the threat of spreading the Coronavirus / COVID-19.

We encourage you to visit our church on Sunday to privately pray before the Blessed Sacrament for the Coronavirus to cease, to send blessings upon the living, and to bring eternal joy to the deceased.

All mass intentions already received will be celebrated privately without the participation of the faithful. This will continue until the mandated suspension has been lifted. In order to remain connected to the Sacrifice of the Mass during this time, we encourage televised or live-streamed, online Mass viewing or listening to Mass on the radio. The Holy Eucharist will not be distributed.

Our church St. Camillus will be open every Sunday and there will be Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament from 7:00 am until 12:00 pm.

St. Faustina church will be open every Sunday and there will be Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament from 7:00 am until 3:30 pm.

Let us pray to Saint Faustina to intercede on behalf of our needs to the merciful Jesus.

The Sunday offerings that you bring to Mass may be placed into the basket located in the center aisle of the church. Next to the basket are the parish bulletins, please take a bulletin home with you.

God bless you for your understanding, as decisions are made by the Archbishop with our safety in mind.

We ask people who are ill or have symptoms of a cold to stay at home.

We ask everyone to be mindful of proper hand-washing techniques using soap and water, to refrain from shaking hands and being in close physical contact.

School classes and activities, missions, REF program, SPRED program, Confirmation Mass, deanery and archdiocesan meetings are cancelled.

May the good and merciful Jesus keep all of us in His protection and care.

God bless!

Obowiązek Pozostawania w Domu

Obowiązek Pozostawania w Domu

Opierając sie na wytycznych lokalnych wydziałów zdrowia publicznego, które zalecają odwołanie zgromadzeń publicznych z udziałem 10 lub więcej osób (od 17 marca 2020 r.), kardynał Blase J. Cupich, arcybiskup Chicago, nakazał zawieszenie do odwołania wszystkich przewidzianych normalnie obowiązującym harmonogramem nabożeństw liturgicznych, począwszy od soboty wieczorem, 14 marca 2020 r. Ponadto ksiądz kardynał nakazał zamknięcie szkół prowadzonych przez archidiecezję oraz zamknięcie Centrum Pastoralnego i powiązanych biur agencji. Decyzja obowiązuje do odwołania i uzyskania dalszych decyzji.

W świetle decyzji kardynała o zawieszeniu celebracji wszystkich liturgii publicznych rozumie się, że wszyscy katolicy w archidiecezji Chicago są zwolnieni z obowiązku uczestniczenia we Mszy w niedzielę i w dni obowiązkowych (wg. kanon 85 i 87 w kodeksie prawa kanonicznego 1983).

Gubernator Pritzker właśnie ogłosił dla całego stanu Illinois obowiązek pozostawania w domu. Dla naszych parafii oznacza to wprowadzenie od godziny 5 p.m. w sobotę 21 marca do 7 kwietnia następujących zarządzeń:

• Wszystkie kościoły i kaplice adoracyjne muszą być zamknięte i niedostępne do momentu zniesienia zarządzenia przez gubernatora. Prywatna modlitwa w którymkolwiek budynku parafialnym musi zostać zawieszona do momentu zniesienia zarządzenia.

• Na terenie parafii / szkoły nie mogą odbywać się żadne nabożeństwa stacji Drogi Krzyżowej ani nie mogą być organizowane żadne inne zgromadzenia, jak również nikt z personelu parafii nie może być zaangażowany w organizowanie ich w jakimkolwiek innym miejscu.

• Wszystkie śluby i chrzty muszą zostać przełożone i można je ponownie zaplanować dopiero po zniesieniu zarządzenia. Nie ma wyjątków od tego zarządzenia, bez względu na wielkość grupy. Jednak w przypadku ekstremalnie wyjątkowej sytuacji związanej z chrztem, należy poprosić o pozwolenie swojego biskupa.

• Pogrzeby i czuwania przy zmarłych (wakes) należy odłożyć do momentu zniesienia zarządzenia.

• Biura parafialne muszą być zamknięte do momentu uchylenia zarządzenia gubernatora.