Saint Spyridon Hellenic Orthodox Church
12307 South Ridgeland Avenue, Palos Heights, Illinois, 60463
Telephone: (708) 385-2311, Fax: (708) 385-0166
THE HISTORY OF SAINT SPYRIDON
With its humble beginnings, the history of St. Spyridon Hellenic Orthodox Church centers on the servitude and faithfulness of its parishioners and priests. Following World War I, a handful of Greeks settled in the Pullman neighborhood. On June 23, 1917, the group met to discuss starting a new community. The first dinner dance was held on December 12, 1917 -- the feast day of St. Spyridon – to raise funds for the new church. They decided to first establish a school, called the Pullman Greek School. Later renamed after 1st century writer Plutarchos, the school opened in 1920.
Building a church
On May 13, 1918, the church’s first property at 113th Street and South Park (now King Drive) was purchased. The perseverance to raise the funds and build the church was not an easy feat. In fact, “tragedy struck the community when one of its members, a mother of three, was killed by a car as she walked door-to-door collecting money for the new church.” Forced to face this unforeseen heartache, the community persevered and the church opened in July 1928. In 1925, the predecessor of Saint Spyridon’s Philoptochos, The Greek Ladies Society of Pullman “E Enosis”, was founded. The group was founded to care for the community’s orphans, as well as raise money to fund the school and build the church. Over the years, the community expanded and more ministries were added. On July 7, 1929, the parish hosted their first festival. By December 1931, the parish established a choir. In 1936, the community’s dance troupe made their debut. Like many other city churches, in 1942, the Saint Spyridon Ladies Society joined the war effort, and established a Red Cross chapter. By 1951, the church was expanded and further adorned. It was consecrated that year.
A new home
In the early 1970s families began to relocate out of the Pullman area and into the suburbs. This move prompted the church to relocate. In 1975, the community purchased the property at its current location in Palos Heights, and broke ground on a new community center and gymnasium. After years of hard work and fundraising the Thyranixia took place on April 20, 1986, and the new church was consecrated by Metropolitan Iakovos (then-Bishop) in November 1996. In the next two decades, the church would grow tremendously, offering new ministries and providing a spiritual home for over three hundred Orthodox families.
Throughout our history, our faithful have served this community faithfully and with great devotion. They have cherished the traditions of Orthodoxy and Hellenism, and they always acted out of gratitude for our patron Saint Spyridon who has sustained us throughout the last 100 years. May our good Lord continue to bless many generations of faith and tradition in our beloved parish of Saint Spyridon.