Corpus Christi Catholic Church in Bronzeville to close after over 100 years

Chicago News

CHICAGO If every day is a day of Thanksgiving, this day at Corpus Christi Catholic Church is one for grateful reflection.

“I’ve been a part of Corpus Christi ever since 2nd grade,” church historian Larry Cope said.

For parishioner Katie Williams Hall, the church has been a part of her entire 73-year life. Parishioners expressed gratitude for the the institution that has brought families together in worship and education for over a century.

“It’s kind of like a death in the family,” church historian Larry Cope said.

Corpus Christi is consolidating with four other predominantly Black churches on the South Side to form a new parish, ‘Our Lady of Africa.’

“Mainly our congregation is made up of seniors who are on a fixed income so we haven’t been able to financially maintain the building,” Cope said.

The building will close, shutting the doors on an architectural gem that Cope said served as a credit union during the Great Depression.

For Cope, a church is the people much more than it is a building, with generations of family’s histories existing within the church.

“Many members of my family have been baptized, made their first communion, been confirmed, graduated from the grammar school,” Williams Hall said.

While she and other parishioners reflect on the church’s history, they are also still looking ahead.

“We certainly don’t want to lose all the Catholic churches in this Black community, so we’re going to have to step forward and step up,” Williams Hall said.

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