How a Chicago parish designed a church based on its people

Demographic shifts led to the opening of a new church, with sacred art designed to resonate with the African-American Catholics who make up the parish.

Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood, located in the southwest side of the city, was once home to many Irish and German immigrants, who in the 19th century started a flourishing Catholic community. The first church ever built in the area was in fact a Roman Catholic parish, St. Anne’s Church, established in 1869.

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Over the course of the 20th century, Englewood experienced dramatic demographic changes. Its population peaked in the 1960s, when nearly 100,000 people were living in the area, but it has declined ever since. And what once used to be a predominantly white neighborhood became gradually mixed, and…

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