St Michael's was founded in 1892 to serve the Polish immigrants who flocked to America's shores in search of work to build a better future for themselves and for their children. These new immigrants brought with them a deep faith which inspired them build this beautiful church. Over the past 100 years, the faith community has expanded to include Mexican and Mexican Americans, Nigerians, African Americans and Asian Americans as well as Haitians and Philipinos who now make this beautiful gothic church their spiritual home.
The present St. Michael's is the third church building constructed to serve the people of this area. It was completed in 1909 under the pastorate of Bishop Paul Rhode, the first Polish American to be consecrated auxiliary bishop of Chicago. Bishop Rhode later became the Bishop of Green Bay, Wisconsin.
The church's architecture and expansive interior is gothic in style and features two towering steeples that rise over the South Side of Chicago. The architect was William J. Brinkmann.
The main altar reredos is constructed of butternut and bird's eye maple wood, as are the two side altars. The central statue of St. Michael, the two incensing angels and the statues on the side altars were sculpted and painted by hand. The beautiful and rare communion rail is carved in oak with a white marble top. The interior of the church can seat approximately 1,100 people.
Interesting to music enthusiasts is the grand piano which belonged to famed composer, Ignace Jan Paderewski.
A shrine to Our Lady of Czestochowa, the National Patron of the people of Poland, is located in the sanctuary and was constructed in Poland in the early 1960's. This beautiful shrine continues to be source of inspiration to all the parishioners of St. Michael's.
The Magnificent stained glass windows were made by F. X. Zettler of Munich, Germany. Of special note are the two transept windows on the East and West sides of the church. They are the largest and perhaps the most beautiful stained glass windows in the Archdiocese of Chicago. The window on the east side of the church depicts the Pentecost event [the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Virgin Mary and the Apostles]. The window on the West side of the church depicts Saint Michael the Archangel at the last judgment.
St. Michael's enshrines a relic of St. Cyprian, Bishop and martyr.
We hope the beauty of this place inspires you in your prayer, and that you will join us as we offer to God a living sacrifice of praise. Please consider St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church your spiritual home.