Parish History

Father C. C. Boyle, pastor of the newly formed Saint George Parish, celebrated the first Mass on September 9, 1934 in the Tinley Park Community Hall that was originally a public school. In 1937 the parish bought the Community Hall, located at 17240 South 67th Court, and converted it into their first real church. The church was dedicated on September 19, 1937. In 1945 Mr. & Mrs. William Wilkin donated six acres of land a few blocks south of this first church. The land is now the site of the present church and school.

World War II and the post-war era brought significant changes to Tinley Park and St. George Parish. By the late 1940s, it was clear that the growing number of families served by the parish needed a school. The pastor, Father Lawrence Fitzpatrick, enlisted the help of the entire St. George community in his effort to build a school in spite of the extremely tight financial position of the rapidly expanding parish. In 1949 the parish acquired two abandoned Civilian Conservation Corps barracks. The men of the parish dismantled and moved the buildings from Thornton Woods and reassembled them on the donated property to create a four-room structure, St. George School. Classes began on September 7, 1949, with eighty pupils in six grades and Mantellate Sisters, Servants of Mary, from Blue Island as teachers. As the school enrollment grew, the men of St. George added a four-room brick school and parish hall in 1954. This building remains in use some fifty-plus years later as part of today’s school, a fitting tribute to the vision of these early parishioners. The cornerstone reads: “Constructed by the men of St. George Parish”.

The parish was also outgrowing its original church and in 1952 Father O’Connell led the effort to build a new church on the parish property. He celebrated the first Mass in it on Christmas Day, 1953. The move to the present location was now complete. Several additions were made to the school over the years. The most recent major construction projects included the expansion of the church and the addition of the gym and Parish Life Center, in 1998. The Parish Life Center was dedicated in Fr. Cahill's honor in 2003.

Several faithful priests have served the people of St. George as pastor. Fr. Christopher Columbus Boyle served until his death in 1941 and was replaced by Fr. Edward D. Malley for one year. Fr. Lawrence W. Fitzpatrick was pastor from 1942 to the end of 1949. On January 20, 1950, Fr. Thomas D. O’Connell became pastor, a position he held until his retirement in 1975. Fr. Nicholas J. Crosby was named the fifth pastor of St. George. Upon his death in 1988, Fr. Donald C. Cahill became pastor until his death in 2002. Fr. Christopher Doering served for one year as Administrator until Fr. Kenneth Fleck was called to become pastor in 2003.

All of the pastors have faced challenges serving the people of St. George Parish in an ever-changing world. From Fr. Boyle’s time down to the present, St. George has been blessed with good priests who have had the parish’s best interests at heart.

©2012 All rights reserved.
Chicago Web Design