Queen of Angels Parish was founded July 1, 1909 when Archbishop James E. Quigley, appointed Father Francis L. Reynolds to establish a parish in the community of Ravenswood on Chicago’s north side. Its boundaries were Lawrence Avenue on the north, Robey Street (now Damen Avenue) on the east, Irving Park Boulevard on the south, and the Chicago River on the west. Rather than a parish for a particular ethnic group, Queen of Angels was created as a Christian community to welcome people of diverse cultures rather than as a "national parish" for one group. This created our identity as a welcoming parish.
The Parish's first building was constructed on the northwest corner of Western and Sunnyside, and dedicated June 28, 1910. The church was constructed to serve as a combination church-school-convent. Due to the rapid growth of the parish, a larger church became necessary. In 1926, property at the corner of Sunnyside and Claremont was purchased for $85,000. Due to engineering difficulties brought on by soft soil, the church would take 14 years to complete. The church was finished in the spring of 1940. The Mass of Dedication was May 5, 1940.
In 1910, the church showed a total income of $10,230 and total expenditures of $11,000. Parish records indicated that there were 402 families registered for a total of 1,206 persons. There were 62 infant baptisms, 12 adult baptisms; 25 persons were accepted as converts; 13 children received First Holy Communion; 10 couples were married; and 18 persons were buried. The first graduating class consisted of 30 students. Today, the combined Parish and School budget is $1,982,629 million. There are 1,149 households with 2,793 registered parishioners. In 2001, there were 162 infant baptisms, 5 adult baptisms, 8 persons were welcomed as converts into the Church; 66 children received First Holy Communion, 47 were confirmed, 19 couples were married, and 36 parishioners were buried.
Under the guidance of 10 pastors, Queen of Angels has continued to flourish and grow. We still strive to be a welcoming Christian/Catholic community celebrating our love for the Lord and the Lord's people. Though buildings are the often first things seen, the Parish is not a series of buildings. What's inside is us: an ever-changing group of dynamic, energetic and devoted parishioners with diverse backgrounds.
In a spirit of cooperation and mutual support, Queen of Angels Parish is part of the Six Parishes of Lincoln Avenue. From south to north they are: St. Alphonsus (Lincoln and Wellington), St. Andrew (Addison and Paulina), St. Benedict (Irving Park and Leavitt), Queen of Angels, St. Matthias (Claremont and Ainslie) and Transfiguration of our Lord (Carmen and Rockwell.) These parishes, with Lincoln Avenue as our "mainstreet" show the living, long-time and ever-renewing presence of the Catholic Church in this community.
Queen of Angels: proud of who we are sharing Christ's gifts. Proud of our life in the larger Catholic Church!