Parish – Founded in 1914 as a Polish parish in a still rural area that had been annexed to the city in 1889 in advance of the World’s Columbian Exposition. The Polish term for the surrounding area, Władysławowo derives from the Polish name for the church’s patron, St. Ladislaus. Originally a mission of St. Wenceslaus, the first church, a combination church and school building, was already in place by August 1915, an impressive feat given that the parish still only numbered about 100 families in 1920. The parish was key in spurring growth in the Portage Park area as it drew in Polish immigrants from the tenements west of the city center concentrated in the Polish Downtown area of West Town. Nearby Chopin Park stands as a testament to this, named after Poland’s most famous pianist and composer of the infamous Funeral March. With this development, the original pastor’s residence above the Hupka (now Kopec) Funeral Chapel at 5259 W. Roscoe at the time of the building of the first church gave way to the parish plant typical of Polish parishes in the Chicago area, as first the school was enlarged and a convent as well as a rectory were bought. The cost of all these improvements totalled nearly $76,000.
Rapid growth of the Portage Park area had led to rapid growth of St. Ladislaus in the same way the parish served as a magnet for this development. By the time St. Ladislaus celebrated its silver jubilee, the parish had paid off all its debt, and a building fund for the new church had already been started. However construction was delayed by the outbreak of World War II. Finally, on Nov. 17, 1952, ground was broken for the church at the northwest corner of Long and Henderson. The cornerstone was laid on Apr. 12, 1953, and the imposing brick edifice was opened on June 12, 1955 for its first Mass. [/dropshadowbox] [dropshadowbox align=”none” effect=”lifted-bottom-left” width=”100%” height=”” background_color=”#ffffff” border_width=”0″ border_color=”#dddddd” inside_shadow=”false” ]
Our Patron – King of Hungary, born 1040; died at Neutra 29 July, 1095; one of Hungary’s national Christian heroes. He was the son of Béla I; the nobles, after the death of Geisa I, passed over Solomon, son of Andrew I, and chose Ladislaus to be their king in 1077. It is true that he made peace with Solomon, when the latter gave up all claims to the throne of Hungary; however, later on he rebelled against Ladislaus, who took him prisoner and held in the fortress of Visegrád. On the occasion of the canonization of Stephen I, Ladislaus gave Solomon his freedom, but in 1086 Solomon, with the aid of the heathen Cumans, revolted against Ladislaus a second time; the latter, however, vanquished them, and in 1089 gained another victory over the Turkish Cumans. In 1091 Ladislaus marched into Croatia, at the request of his sister, the widowed Queen Helena, and took possession of the kingdom for the crown of Hungary, where, in 1092, he founded the Bishopric of Agram (Zágráb). In the same year (1092), he also founded the Bishopric of Grosswardein (Nagy-Várad), in Hungary, which, however, some trace back to Stephen I. Ladislaus governed the religious and civil affairs of his assembly of the Imperial States at Szabolcs, that might almost be called a synod. He tried vigorously to suppress the remaining heathen customs. He was buried in the cathedral of Grosswardein. He still lives in the sagas and poems of his people as a chivalrous king. In 1192 he was canonized by Celestine III. [/dropshadowbox] [dropshadowbox align=”none” effect=”lifted-bottom-left” width=”100%” height=”” background_color=”#ffffff” border_width=”0″ border_color=”#dddddd” inside_shadow=”false” ]
The Society of Jesus was founded in 1540 by St. Ignatius Loyola, a Spaniard of royal and military background. After being wounded in battle, he experienced a religious conversion. The result of his recuperation and spiritual explorations was the Spiritual Exercises, an articulation of his own journey to follow Christ and a model for others to follow. Over the centuries Ignatius’ spirituality has been enormously powerful in countless lives – from famous saints to ordinary men and women seeking deeper encounters with God in their lives.
Ignatius began his religious order by assembling a small, humble group of well-educated men whom he called “friends in the Lord.” Their mission was to help others in their relationship with God. While Ignatius intended the order to engage in missionary work serving those most in need, he soon realized that his objectives could best be presented in an academic setting. Jesuit influences have been realized over the centuries in numerous ways. Our modern Gregorian calendar, several astronomical advances, and the discovery of five of the world’s eight major rivers are just a few of the great intellectual achievements of the Jesuits. These pursuits went hand-in-hand with the Jesuits’ desires to share their passion for learning in new model of education, beginning in 16th century Europe and spreading to all the continents in the following centuries. For nearly 500 years, these men of Ignatius have been carrying their message of growth in relationship with Christ, finding God in all things, and promoting justice for all God’s creation to virtually every corner of the world. [/dropshadowbox]