Mission Narrative

We – the people of Our Lady of Lourdes – seek unity and celebrate diversity. We pursue unity through our shared faith, care for one another and joyful approach to service. Our celebrated multicultural diversity encourages our varied gifts and talents, which we share in worship and festivity.

The Ravenswood, Uptown, and Andersonville neighborhoods have always been a port of entry for immigrating populations, and the ethnicities comprising our parish community has always been in flux. Today we are a proud, diverse parish of Latin American, European, Filipino and African descent who bring their religious traditions and cultures to our parish. We choose to proclaim this representation as an amazing asset. But we also recognize that these neighborhoods also change. We welcome and want to meet our newest neighbors and invite them to discover Our Lady of Lourdes.

We draw great inspiration from our connection to the original sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes, located in Lourdes, France, where millions of pilgrims from around the world have sought hospitality, acceptance and healing. Just as with Our Lady’s mission in Lourdes, we endeavor to be a haven of hope, understanding and healing, sharing these gifts with all our neighbors, turning no one away.

Our replica of the Grotto where the Marian vision appeared to St. Bernadette is a special place for silent prayer and contemplation, connecting us to the flowing waters of Lourdes in France. In 1992, parishioners discerned a call to designate the Grotto for 24-hour Perpetual Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. A diversity of all ages, ethnicities and backgrounds gather at every hour of the day, every day of the year for silent prayer and meditation before the true presence of Jesus Christ. It is our desire that the Grotto become an even greater witness to “the way, the truth and the life” by helping others discover its beautiful refuge.

In keeping with the missionary spirit of the Church, and the recent call from Pope Francis to “go forth from our comfort zone in order to reach the ‘peripheries’,” Our Lady of Lourdes has maintained a weekly Soup Kitchen for more than three decades. Our parish history stands as a testament to the fact that great challenges can be conquered when working together in hope and faith. In 1929, the city of Chicago and our parish made the decision to move the entire church across the street to the west side of Ashland Ave. Weighing more than 10,000 tons, the church was moved “a foot a minute” by 50 men and a team of horses. It was an amazing accomplishment. Like the men and women who preceded us, we will work hard to transform our parish into a fountain of hope, understanding and healing— “a foot a minute.”