St. Francis Borgia Parish History

St. Francis Borgia is on the northwest side of Chicago. It was formed in the summer of 1949 with the purchase of land at Addison and Forest Preserve Drive. Veterans of World War II were moving from the congested central areas of Chicago to the edges of the city to raise their families and build their futures. The Archdiocese responded to the growing area by adding the parishes of St. Monica, St. Eugene, and St, Francis Borgia.

The parish are encompassed the western reaches of St. Priscilla Parish and the northern part
of St. Celestine Parish. Fr. Joseph Hemrick was appointed as the first pastor of St. Francis Borgia Parish. For the first few months, Sunday Masses were offered in the gym of Canty Public School, just two blocks away. The first Mass on parish land was celebrated at Midnight on Christmas Eve of 1949 in a Quonset hut chapel. In the six years of his pastorate, Fr. Hemrick was kept busy with a burgeoning parish with buildings to be built and a community of faith to from. In 1952 the school was built on Panama Avenue along with a convent to house 22 Sisters of Providence. After years of hard work, Our Lord called Fr. Hemrick home and he died of a heart attack on August 5, 1955.

Next to serve as Pastor was Fr. James Walsh whose time at SFB was a brief two years. The third Pastor, Fr. John Stokes, had the longest term of 18 years. His term at the parish was also a very busy time. Under his leadership the present Church building was erect3ed. Additions were added to the school to add classrooms and a gym. He built a new rectory on Addison to replace the original one across the street from the school on Panama. In his rare spare time he loved golf and even gave lessons during his years at M<Mundelein Seminary. He did all that and more with the help of a growing family of parishioners. He served as P{astor until 1976 and continued as a resident of the parish until he late 1980's. Fr. Stokes died on April 24, 1993 at the age of 88.

Following Fr. Stokes as pastor was Fr. Robert Brodfuerher who served from 1977 until 1991. Fr. Ralph Strand served from 1991 until 1993., Fr. Dan Mayall became the sixth pastor to serve St. Francis Borgia Parish and continued until 2001. when he was asked to serve as Pastor of Holy Name Cathedral Parish. In May 2002, the current pastor, Fr. Andrew Wypych, began his service to the parish faith community.

During the entire history of the parish, the Sisters of Providence offered their gifts in teaching the students of St. Francis Borgia School. Dozens of Sisters were members of the school faculty and offered countless hours sharing Christ's message of faith with students of the parish.

In 1999, St. Francis Borgia Parish celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the founding of the parish. With the blessings of God and the devotion of the members of the staff, the parish looks to the future.

SFB --- Stands For the Best