St. Mary of the Lake

fullsizeoutput_12a7

Listed as one of the “Eleven Churches Not to Miss if  You Visit Chicago,” St. Mary of the Lakewas at the top of my list for what I hope will be a traditional journey to spectacular churches at Christmastime.

DSCN3407

Last year I visited Holy Trinity,  St. John Cantius and St. Hedwig.

The parish is diverse and the 10:30 an English mass I attended was meaningful with lovely Christmas music. They also offer masses in Spanish.

fullsizeoutput_12c9.jpeg

The church was designed by Henry Schlacks, who also designed St. Paul’s  in Pilsen.

fullsizeoutput_12ca.jpeg

Holy Trinity

img_20190106_110500

I figured that January 6, Epiphany, would be the last day to see Christmas decorations in a church. I returned to Holy Trinity Polish Mission, another church built in the late 19th Century. I’d been blown away with its art and architecture.

img_20190106_111125

Nativity Scene

Once a local parish, Holy Trinity is now a mission for Polish Catholics in Chicago. The mass I attended was 100% in Polish so I marveled at the sacred art as scripture was read and the homily given.

The mass I attended had about 300 people in attendance, which is unexpected in an era when so many churches are half empty. I think the Polish are still quite serious about religion.

img_20190106_112005

I learned that Poland celebrated its independence in 1918.

I love to see how people keep their culture alive generation after generation. Holy Trinity has a grade school and high school.