Our History

A growing parish established in 1987

St. Michael Parish first celebrated Mass on the Feast of St. Michael, September 29, 1867, and has grown into one of the fastest expanding parishes in the Archdiocese of Chicago.

With the rapid growth of the southwest suburbs, and the opening of a major regional shopping center in Orland Park, the parish is experiencing an influx of people of diverse educational, financial, cultural and ethnic backgrounds, all blending into the established parish of long time residents.

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The Original Churches

Original Parish Church at 151st and Will-Cook Rd. from the late 1860’s until 1924.

The original structure of sorts was located at 159th and Will Cook Road on land donated by Matthias Wagner. This site became the St. Michael Cemetery. Shortly thereafter, a white frame church and a two-room, two story school was built on a large tract of farmland donated by John Jungles at 151st and Will Cook Road in the Village of Goodings Grove, Homer Township.

Prior to our current church, the first church on Highland Avenue was home to many of our current parishioners from 1924 until 1969.

Father Frank Coyle had a vision of St. Mike’s future and continued the building program started by Father Kilbride.

On August 10, 1924, the first Mass was celebrated in the new white frame church at 143rd and Highland Avenue which had been pasture land on the west side of town. On July 5, 1926, the first resident pastor, Rev. William A. Gory, was appointed by His Eminence George Cardinal Mundelein.

Rectory built during tenure of Father Gorey.

The School Addition

St. Michael School and auditorium (gym) have served the educational; religious, social and athletic needs of the parish since 1949.

After World War II, with Rev. Michael Kilbride as pastor, the parish constructed the long awaited grade school. St. Michael School opened in September 1949, under the auspices of the Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine, Kentucky. In 1961 and 1962, a new wing was added to the school bringing its classrooms to 24 with 12 religious and 13 lay teachers, thus eliminating the need for a double shift.

The New Church

Construction of a new church began in 1966. On June 15, 1969, Pastor, Rev. Francis Coyle laid the cornerstone. His Eminence John Cardinal Cody was present. St. Michael Church was dedicated on September 19, 1969, the Feast of St. Michael.

Groundbreaking for a Parish Activity Center took place on January 15, 1980. The Center was dedicated on April 16, 1981, by His Eminence, John Cardinal Cody. The building housed Religious Education offices, Parish Ministries office, Adult Resource Center, a large Commons, seating 300 people which is capable of being partitioned into three separate rooms, a Lower Commons meeting room and storage place, a kitchen which leads to the gymnasium, a youth ministry office and a Learning Media Center for the school. At the time of construction of the building, the ventilation and the sound systems of the gymnasium were improved, the flooring was refinished, and washrooms and changing rooms were added.

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