St. Josaphat Roman Catholic Church (Chicago)

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St. Josaphat
Saint Josaphat Church.jpg
St. Josaphat Church is located in the US
St. Josaphat Church
St. Josaphat
Coordinates: 41°55′25.1″N 87°39′46.8″W / 41.923639°N 87.663000°W / 41.923639; -87.663000
CountryUnited States
DenominationRoman Catholic
WebsiteSt. Josaphat's Parish
Founded1884 (1884)
Founder(s)Polish immigrants
DedicationSt. Josaphat
Dedicated ()
Consecrated ()
Functional statusActive
Heritage designationFor Polish Kashubians immigrants
Architect(s)William J. Brinkmann
Architectural typeChurch
StyleRomanesque Revival
Groundbreaking1899 (1899)
Completed1902 (1902)
Construction cost$125,000 (1902)

St. Josaphat (Polish: Kościół Świętego Jozafata and in Kashubian as Kòscół Swiãtégò Jozafata) is a historic church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago located at 2311 North Southport Avenue in Chicago, Illinois.

It is a prime example of the so-called 'Polish Cathedral style' of church in both its opulence and grand scale. St. Josaphat's two massive Romanesque belltowers are a hallmark view of the Lincoln Park skyline.

History of Saint Josaphat's Parish[edit]

The congregation dates back to 1882, when a 13-member committee of Chicago's Kashubian Polish community formally approached the Resurrectionist Father Vincent Barzynski, then Chicago's preeminent Polish priest, for his assistance in establishing a Kashubian parish. Prior to this most of the Kashubian families had been attending Mass at Saint Michael's Parish, a "German" parish which they preferred to Father Barzynski's own "Polish" parish of Saint Stanislaus Kostka. The current combination church-school building, an imposing brick edifice, was dedicated on May 22, 1884.[1]

The parish attracted Polish settlement in this area of the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago, many of them also of Kashubian descent, as part of what is called the Kashubian diaspora.[2] In 1902, Saint Josaphat claimed about 5,000 parishioners.[3] This concentration led to the neighborhood being referred to as Kaszubowo by local Poles.

By 1980, roughly half of Saint Josaphat's 450 families self-identified as Polish American, with 30% self-identifying as Mexican American.[1] In the twenty-first century, Saint Josaphat's now serves an overwhelmingly young, white, urban professional congregation in a newly prosperous, gentrified neighborhood. The renovated church, with its traditional Catholic architecture, is popular for weddings, with over 65 a year.


The Romanesque church, built at a cost of $125,000 in 1902, was designed by William J. Brinkmann, who also drew plans for the Neogothic masterpiece of St. Michael the Archangel in South Chicago.

See also[edit]

Church in architecture books[edit]

  • Sinkevitch, Alice (2004). The AIA Guide to Chicago. Harvest Books.
  • Schulze, Franz; Harrington, Kevin (2003). Chicago's Famous Buildings. University Of Chicago Press.
  • McNamara, Denis R. (2005). Heavenly City: The Architectural Tradition of Catholic Chicago. Liturgy Training Publications.
  • Chiat, Marylin (2004). The Spiritual Traveler: Chicago and Illinois: A Guide to Sacred Sites and Peaceful Places. HiddenSpring.
  • Lane, George A. (1982). Chicago Churches and Synagogues: An Architectural Pilgrimage. Loyola Press.
  • Kantowicz, Edward R. (2007). The Archdiocese of Chicago: A Journey of Faith. Booklink.
  • Kociolek, Jacek (2002). Kościoły Polskie w Chicago {Polish Churches of Chicago} (in Polish). Ex Libris.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b Archdiocese of Chicago (1980). "St. Josaphat Church History". Polish Genealogical Society of America. Retrieved 2013-10-28.
  2. ^ "The Kashubian Emigration –". Retrieved 2017-07-24.
  3. ^ "Kashubian Capital of America –". Retrieved 2017-07-24.