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MOST BLESSED TRINITY PARISH ESTABLISHED TO SERVE
CATHOLICS IN WAUKEGAN AND NORTH CHICAGO

Chicago, IL (July 2, 2009) – Three Archdiocese of Chicago parishes in Lake County have been merged to form Most Blessed Trinity Parish. Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I., Archbishop of Chicago, signed the decree that merged Holy Family and Immaculate Conception parishes in Waukegan, along with Queen of Peace in North Chicago, to form the new parish. Rev. Daniel F. Hartnett, S.J., has been named pastor of Most Blessed Trinity Parish.

In 2006, Cardinal George appointed Rev. Gary Graf as pastor of Holy Family, Immaculate Conception and Queen of Peach Parishes and asked him to create a new model of pastoral leadership to better serve Catholics in Waukegan and North Chicago. Fr. Graf was instrumental in overseeing the dialog, process and pastoral needs of the three parishes. In consultation with Auxiliary Bishop George Rassas, the Episcopal Vicar of Vicariate I, and after discussion with pastoral leadership and parishioners of all three parishes, a recommendation was made to merge the three parishes into a new faith community with one parish composed of three worship sites.

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History

The area of the Archdiocese of Chicago now known as Waukegan has a rich history involving the movements of people. From the discovery of a Potawatomi Indian settlement in the 17 th century by Jesuit missionary and discoverer of the Mississippi River, Father Jacques Marquette, S.J., to the present day, the area has been marked by several periods of significant change. Waukegan experienced rapid economic growth in the mid 1800s as one of the busiest port cities on the Great Lakes. It became the county seat by 1841; and with the addition of the Elgin, Joliet & Eastern Railway, it developed into a vibrant center for trade and industry. In 1895, the city of South Waukegan was incorporated, being renamed North Chicago in 1901. While initially both Waukegan and North Chicago were destinations for immigrants from Europe, over the latter half of the 20 th century, the area became the center for Hispanic immigration in Lake County. To serve the Catholic faithful of the Waukegan and North Chicago area, various parishes were established over the years. To meet the needs of changing demographics, some of these parishes were merged.

Immaculate Conception Parish is one of the oldest parishes in northern Illinois. Established in 1841 in the diocese of Vincennes, it initially served the Irish immigrants of the area. Saint Joseph Parish was founded as a national parish in 1870 to serve the German Catholic faithful, with Saint Bartholomew Parish being established in 1896 to care for the spiritual needs of the Lithuanian faithful. In 1991, these two parishes were merged to form Saint Joseph and Saint Bartholomew Parish, which was renamed Holy Family Parish in 1996.

A prior Holy Family Parish had been established in 1902, having first been a mission of Immaculate Conception Parish and principally serving the military personnel and their families. To serve the immigrant community from Croatia, Slovenia and Slovakia, Mother of God Parish was established in 1903, with Holy Rosary Parish being founded in 1904 to serve the Polish immigrant community. Due to changing demographics, Holy Family, Mother of God and Holy Rosary parishes were merged in 1991 to form Queen of Peace Parish.

Today

There are 357 parishes in the Archdiocese of Chicago with a Catholic population of 2,338,000, which is 39 percent of the total population of Cook and Lake Counties.

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