Blessed Carlo Acutis is the Patron of our Parish. He is a wonderful model for who we are and who we want to become. In knowing Carlo, we can see that anyone can be a Saint if they believe and dedicate their life to Jesus. Carlo is an especially great role model not only for the whole parish, but for all the children and youth in the neighborhood and for our school St. John Berchmans. We know that Carlo will help guide and build this great community to do amazing things and we are all happy to be a part of it.
Our Churches, St. Hedwig and St. John Berchmans, were long standing pillars in the neighborhoods of Bucktown and Logan Square and have now been called to come together as one parish under the guidance of Blessed Carlo Acutis. Blessed Carlo Acutis Parish now has an opportunity to use each of our former parishes strengths to show the city of Chicago and the world what we as Catholics can do when we combine our spiritual and temporal resources for the good of the community with Christ as our guide.
About Blessed Carlo Acutis
Carlo Acutis was just like any of us—a child with an open mind and an open heart. Carlo Acutis was born in London on May 3, 1991 and baptized just a few weeks later. Carlo and his family moved to Milan in September of 1991.
Carlo was a practicing Catholic at a very young age, even though his parents were not very religious. Carlo was a shining light in the community and was recognized by many for caring deeply for his faith and especially for the Eucharist. Carlo, like all Catholics believed that Jesus is present in the Eucharist and being in his presence was a very special part of Carlo’s faith life. Because of his devotion to the Eucharist Carlo received his First Holy Communion as soon as he was able, at the age of 7.
At school in Milan, Carlo was like most kids, but he was especially sensitive to the needs of those around him. He was concerned with those who were struggling, whether it was a child whose family was getting a divorce, a student with a disability or one who was being bullied. In his neighborhood, Carlo was concerned with those less fortunate in the streets and would try and help them when he was able.
Carlo was considered somewhat of a computer nerd and was known to spend a good amount of time on the computer, PlayStation or with comics. Carlo was very skilled with computers and computer coding. Carlo took his love of the Eucharist and his love of computer programming and built his own website. The website documented the Eucharistic Miracles from all over the world. He completed the entire website at the age of 11!
The Acutis family was fortunate enough to be able to travel to many places, but Carlo’s favorite place to go was to Assisi, Italy. Assisi is of course the home of where not one, but two saints, St. Clare of Assisi and St. Francis of Assisi were born and are now buried within a mile of each other, and Carlo was known to be a frequent visitor to these sites.
At the age of 15 Carlo Acutis was diagnosed with Leukemia but continued to be very strong in his faith in Jesus. Even through all the pain Carlo would continue to preach his love of the Eucharist and was known to say, "there are people who suffer much more than me". Carlo Died on October 12, 2006.
On October 10, 2020, at the Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi, Italy, Carlo was beatified.
About Our Parish Logo
Our Parish logo pays many homages to Carlo Acutis.
The first, which is seen right away, are the letters IHS. These letters are the Greek translation of Jesus, sometimes said “In Jesus’ Name.” The letters represent the Eucharist inside a monstrance.
The monstrance is the golden shape around the letters and represents the vessel that holds the Eucharist when it is brought out of the tabernacle for adoration.
Around this symbol for Jesus is a series of zeros and ones. These zeros and ones spell the name CARLO in binary code. Binary code is the “language” used to make a website.
At the top of the monstrance is the cross in the same style as the cross on top of one of the church sites.
Lastly are the colors navy and gold. There are many pictures of Carlo wearing many different colors, but as his last outfit for his burial his parents choose Navy. Navy and Gold are always a great color combination, but more so when you consider how they represent Carlo and Jesus, the clothes, and the monstrance.
History of St. Hedwig Church
In 1888, St. Hedwig Church was founded by the Congregation of the Resurrection. It was established to serve the Polish families in Bucktown. It was the fourth Polish parish in Chicago to be staffed by the Resurrectionist Fathers, who oversee St. Hedwig Church today.
In January 1889, three Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth were appointed to staff a school, located in the church building. The school subsequently relocated to the building at 2124 W. Webster Avenue, where the Sisters took up residence in a portion of the combination structure.
Today, St. Hedwig Church serves a diverse population of parishioners from Chicago and the suburbs, including the Polish, Latino and Filipino communities.
History of St. John Berchmans Church
In 1905 Archbishop James Edward Quigley asked Father John De Schryver, SJ., a professor at St. Ignatius College, to organize a parish for the Belgian community in Chicago. Named for the patron saint of young people, students and altar servers, St. John Berchmans Parish (SJB) was established on September 3, 1905. In 1907 the Dominican Sisters of Kentucky started the school.
Standing for over one hundred years as a Beacon of Hope and anchor of this Logan Square community, Saint John Berchmans has a rich history that kept up with this ever-changing neighbor.
Please read the complete parish history for more details about our past, then join us each Sunday to become part of our future.