St. Gerald Church History/Timeline

1934….St. Gerald’s Mission church was established as a parish with Father Loras Welsh as Pastor.

1949….A convent and six room addition to the school was completed.

1957…Construction of a new, modern church was completed.  The first High Mass was offered by Fr. Welsh on May 26. 1957

November 10, 1958….Fr. Loras Welsh was fatally injured in an automobile accident. He was 62 years old and had served St. Gerald Parish for nearly 25 years.

December 1958….Rev. Monsignor William J. Mc Nichols was assigned as the new Pastor.

April 21, 1967…A tornado touched down in Oak Lawn along Southwest Highway and 95th Street.  Thirty four people lost their lives including eight parishioners.  Twelve classrooms of the school were demolished including extensive damage to the rectory.   The sacrament of Confirmation was scheduled for later that evening.  Cardinal Cody returned a few weeks later and conferred the Sacrament while providing an inspirational homily at a time when it was most needed.  Monsignor had the school rebuilt while adding (24) new classrooms to the (6) that were left undamaged.  The rectory was also remodeled.

1984….St. Gerald Church celebrated their 50th Anniversary.

December, 2004…The church endured a major renovation highlighting open seating, floor to ceiling windows near the sanctuary and a new roof. The first mass in the new church was celebrated on Christmas Eve, 2004.

June, 2009…St. Gerald parish began year-long celebrations in honor of their 75th Anniversary. Some events included a parish family picnic and a formal dinner dance including a musical show performed by parishioners.

March 13, 2010…Eight four year old stained glass windows from m Our Lady Help of Christian’s church, which is now closed, were refurbished and installed into the church’s sanctuary windows.  They portray the Coronation; the Resurrection; the Ascension and the Visitation events of our Lord and Blessed Mother. The windows were blessed and dedicated on this day, also the feast of St. Gerald.

July 13, 2013…A dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony occurred on this day for the newly constructed Jonathan Collins Activity Center.  The center was named after Lance Cpl. Jonathan Collins—a member of the 1st Marine Division, 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines, Fox Company 2nd Platoon, who at age 19 was killed in action on August 8, 2004 while serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom.  Jonathan was the grandson of John and Alice Collins, long time, active parishioners. After years of planning, fundraising and in spite of the turbulent economy, the long anticipated gymnasium became reality when construction finally began in October, 2012.

July 4, 2019…Beloved Fr. Lawrence J. Malcolm suddenly passed away.

St. Gerald Pastors:

Rev. Loras Welsh…1934—1958

Rev. William J. White…1979—1996

Rev. Lawrence J. Malcolm…2008—2019

Msgr W. J. Mc Nichols…1958—1978

Rev. Richard LoBianco…1996—2008

Rev. Michael J. Flynn……2019—Current (Pastor Administrator)

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