Blessed Aloysius Stepinac
Croatian Catholic Mission
Serving the Croatian Community in Chicago since 1972
Logo Design by Francis Penavic
Things to See in Our Church...
Blessed Stepinac was first home to worshippers from Luxembourg in the early 1900s. Originally named St. Henry's Parish, the church on Ridge and Devon became a third church location. A cornerstone still marks the date of its consecration on April 16, 1905. Archbishop James E. Quigley dedicated the church on May 20, 1906.
Adjacent to St. Henry's was the growing complex of Angel Guardian Orphanage. In 1865, the Board of St. Boniface Cemetery purchased 10 acres of land on Devon and Robey Street on which they established the orphanage, which at the time, was supported by the German parishes of Chicago. A school was constructed in 1882. By 1926, Angel Guardian school had become a primary and secondary school.
In 1919, 101 young male parishioners served in WWI and three lost their lives. A monument was erected in their honor and still stands outside the north end of the church.
George Cardinal Mundelein soon approved plans for St. Henry Church to be turned over to the Angel Guardian orphanage in exchange for land on Hoyne where a church and school would be constructed. Thus St. Henry's Parish moved again and the old St. Henry's became the official chapel for the orphanage (pictured left). A two-story structure was designed by architect Henry J. Schlacks and built adjacent to the church (Schlacks had also designed nearby St. Ita Church). A cornerstone marks where the new two-story addition was dedicated on October 27, 1929. Today, this area serves as the rectory and living quarters of the clergy.
The church remained one of the tallest buildings in North Town for many decades.
By the early 70's, the church became home to Catholic worshippers of the Croatian community in Chicago.
Adjacent to the church is St. Henry's Cemetery which includes the graves of mostly Germans, some Croatians and the famous "Cracker Jack" sailor boy.
A bust of Blessed Cardinal Stepinac is displayed near the Sanctuary. It was sculpted by renown Croatian-American artist and sculptor Josip Turkalj.
A statue of Blessed Cardinal Stepinac, the namesake of our mission, was created by Croatian sculptor Vid Vučak was erected in front of the church in 2008.
The majority of stained glass windows are the original ones installed in 1905 by famous European artisans of F.X. Zettler from Munich, Germany.
The windows depict the life story of
St. Henry, namesake of the original church built for the Luxmbourg community on the North Side of Chicago in 1905.
Two large portraits displayed above the sides of the altar, one of “Blessed Alojzije Stepinac” and the other “Queen of Croatia” were painted by local Croatian artist and parishioner Ivan Mikan.