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WHY I JOINED ST. JAMES?
I moved to Arlington Heights three years ago. My parents were raised Catholic, but they decided to give us the freedom to choose our own religion. I always wanted to be part of it, but never had the courage to proceed forward. Now, I’m a mother of two young children and they have inspired me to follow through. The RCIA program is a great experience for anybody who wants to understand and experience the Catholic faith and its teachings without any pressure. Thank you, RCIA Team, for your support and your time dedicated to this program.
My grandparents were married at St. James so we began attending Mass to check out the church. We fell in love with the community at this parish and decided this is where we wanted to celebrate the sacrament of marriage.
I live in Arlington Heights with my husband of 10 years and three children. My daughter started wrestling with the “big questions” in 1st grade. I had no idea how to guide her in Catholic faith so we enrolled her in St. James Religious Education classes and started going to Church regularly. I enjoyed Church. I used the time to think, reflect on my blessings, be with my family, and pray for others. I was a comfortable guest, happy to turn to the side to let parishioners pass for communion. But, week after week those seeds of faith planted so many years ago began to grow roots and Mass became nourishing, sustaining, essential.
Why St. James Parish?
St. James is a large Catholic community in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. Our faith community is vibrant, and our welcome is warm. Please consider joining our family of faith, for a few moments on this website, or the rest of your spiritual journey.
There are many ways for you to serve at St. James Parish. The best way for you to see firsthand the true vibrancy of the parish is to join us at one of our six Sunday liturgies. Every mass is unique and each one will leave you seeking Jesus Christ more. Our complete mass schedule can be found on this website home page. St. James has over 80 ministries that are always looking for new faces to volunteer. No matter if you have an hour a week or a day a week; St. James has something for everyone. Start by looking at our Ministry Guide.
History of St. James
St. James Catholic Church has a rich history dating back more than 100 years. The parish began when the Reverend John Linden, a priest from St. Mary’s Church in Des Plaines, began holding one service on Sundays in the old Temperance Hall at Evergreen and Eastman Streets in Arlington Heights between 1902 and 1905.
An earlier Catholic congregation had built a small frame church south of the railroad tracks about 1875, but after several years the families moved to other locations and the church building was moved to Des Plaines by flatbed.
As the population of the region grew in the 1940s and ‘50s, the archdiocese spun off a few parishes from St. James. These included St. Raymond in Mount Prospect and St. Theresa in Palatine during the 1940s, and then Our Lady of the Wayside in Arlington Heights, St. Alphonsus in Prospect Heights, St. Collette in Rolling Meadows, St. Joseph the Worker in Wheeling, St. Zachary in Des Plaines, Queen of the Rosary in Elk Grove Village, and St. Thomas of Villanova in Palatine during the 1950s. St. Edna in northern Arlington Heights was split off in February 1965. Currently, there are more than 80 ministries at St. James, spanning across four commissions: Catholic Formation, Spiritual Life, Human Concerns, Parish Life.
St. James History Highlights
|1902 – Twenty-six Catholic families petitioned Archbishop James E. Quigley for their own parish. The archbishop granted permission to the Reverend John Linden, pastor of St. Mary’s Church in Des Plaines, to organize a mission parish in Arlington Heights. For the first three years, parishioners met at Good Templars’ Hall at the corner of Evergreen and Eastman.|
|1905 – St. James Church was completed in November, at a cost of $5,293. The church sat 220 people.|
|1906 – On June 10, Joseph George Whener was the first child baptized at St. James.|
|1912 – In June, the first couple was married at St. James.|
|1922 – In January, Reverend Peter Gall became the first resident pastor. Work also began on the rectory, which was built by parish members John Vetter and Nick Pitxen.|
|1926 – Built at a cost of $24,850, St. James School opened in September. The school had a dirt floor basement which was used as a gym. The first graduating class had 13 students.|
|1930 – In November, St. James Parish celebrated its twenty-fifth anniversary with a turkey dinner served by the ladies of the church and attended by 560 people. The Rev. John Linden, who was still pastor of St. Mary Catholic Church in Des Plaines, was the guest of honor.|
|1935 – St. James had 195 parish families. The population of Arlington Heights was 5,000.|
|1948 – St. James had grown to 400 families.|
|1952 – First services were held in the new church, work on which began two years earlier. There were 600 families in the parish and 555 children in the school. The Arlington Heights Herald reported on the new church on February 22, 1952, saying, “The interior of the church is so beautiful that it will be one of the show places of the community.”|
|1954 – Eight new classes were added as part of an addition to the school. Two years later, the school was expanded with another eight classrooms.|
|1964 – A new junior high school was dedicated I May. The parish now had 1,600 familied and 1,550 children in the school.|
|1969 – A multi-purpose parish center was dedicated in April.|
|1981 – St. James launched Theology-on-Tap, which became the premier catechesis and evangelization program for young adult Catholics in the United States.|
|1990 – St. James launched a Public Action to Deliver Shelter (PADS) site to serve the homeless in the area.|
|2000 – In January, St. James launched its “Millennium Campaign” to raise funds for a new worship space, meeting and activity area, as well as to unite the elementary and junior high schools.|
|2009 – In April, St. James dedicated a new St. James School and Formation Center, which consolidated the elementary and junior high school programs. The project included a 61,272 square foot addition.|
|2013 – Fr. Matt Foley became pastor of St. James in August.|