Diocese: Diocese of the Midwest
Deanery: Chicago Deanery
1018 Barber Ln
Joliet, Illinois 60435-2918
2505 S 30th St
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53215
Lockport, IL 60441
Plainfield, IL 60544
Darien, IL 60561
St Nicholas Orthodox Catholic Church is located in Joliet, IL, approx. 45 miles southwest of the Chicago Loop.
From Interstate 55
Exit Rt 52 (Jefferson St). Travel east on Jefferson St for approx. 2 miles to Essington Rd, and turn left. Travel north on Essington for approx. 1 mile to Black Rd, and turn right. Travel east on Black Rd approx 1/2 mile to Barber Ln and turn left. The church is 1 block north on the right, at 1000 Barber Ln.
Exit onto Houbolt Rd. Turn north at the traffic light and travel several miles to Rt 52 (Jefferson St). Turn right and travel east on Jefferson St for approx. 1/2 miles to Essington Rd, and turn left. Travel north on Essington for approx. 1 mile to Black Rd, and turn right. Travel east on Black Rd approx 1/2 mile to Barber Ln and turn left. The church is 1 block north on the right, at 1000 Barber Ln.
Schedule of Services
5:00 PM Vespers.
9:00 AM Church School.
10:00 AM Divine Liturgy (9:30 AM in summer).
9:00 AM Divine Liturgy.
Mornings of Great Feasts
6:00 PM Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts.
Wednesday Evenings in Great Lent
6:00 PM Vespers.
Friday Evenings in Great Lent
Confessions are heard following Saturday Vespers or by appointment.
Please call the parish home at 815-725-4742 for a schedule of other services, or to arrange baptisms, marriages, memorials, etc.
Although 1907 is regarded as its founding, services had been held in various homes since 1905. Because of oppression and economic conditions in the early 1900s, many people emigrated from Europe, and it was these immigrants who formed the first St Nicholas parish, made up primarily of Russians, Greeks, and Serbians.
In 1916, with increased immigration, the Greek community formed a separate parish, now the All Saints Greek Orthodox Church. In 1927, the Serbian community formed its own parish, now the St George Serbian Orthodox Church.
During the next four decades, enlarging and renovating continued, but in 1946, St Nicholas parish considered building a larger church. A building fund was established, and a pledge system was underway. In 1959, a two and 1/2 acre parcel of land was purchased on Barber Ln. Ground breaking ceremonies at the building site, 1000 Barber Ln, were held on May 30, 1965. While preparations for the new church were in progress, a parish home was built, and Fr John Kuchta and his family moved into it on June 29.
On September 25, 1966, the new St Nicholas Church was consecrated, and in the following years many improvements were made. On October 24, 1971, the mortgage burning ceremony was held.
In 1981, the St Nicholas Garden in Woodlawn Memorial Park was created. Some families moved their deceased loved ones from the church cemetery in Fairmont to the new location. The parish retained the old cemetery and continues to maintain it.
St Nicholas is proud of two young men from the parish who decided to heed the call to the priesthood. On June 25, 1978, John Platko Jr, son of John and Anna Platko was ordained in St Nicholas Church. On November 1, 1981, Alexander Kuchta, son of Fr John and Matushka Ruth, was ordained a deacon. On September 26, 1982, he was ordained into the Holy Priesthood during the celebration of the church’s 75th Anniversary.
The blessing of the new church furnishings was held on August 23, 1992 at the church’s 85th Anniversary. His Beatitude, Metropolitan Theodosius presented the church with relics of St Tikhon, Patriarch of Moscow, St Panteleimon and SS Cosmos and Damian. These were sealed in the altar table.
Liturgical life includes observances of the Paschal and Festal Cycles. The Presanctified Liturgy was instituted on Wednesdays during Great Lent. Other activities include aid to the seminaries and special appeals as well as retreats and youth camps. The parish participated in all Deanery, Diocesan and All-American Councils and met all required responsibilities to the OCA.
Humanitarian activities include HELP, which provides food to the needy. The church school students raised funds for Christmas gifts for the children in Russia. Medical supplies, clothing, and food were also sent to Russia’s poor.
Organizations in the church include the St Nicholas Ladies’ Aid and Altar Circle which has been an integral part of the parish since 1939 and the St Nicholas Brotherhood. Church school is provided and lessons are held every Sunday before the Divine Liturgy. The Church also has an extensive library for those who wish to learn more about their religion.
Ninety plus years in the life of St Nicholas Church have seen many rapid changes in society and global affairs, with upheavals and strife throughout the world. Despite these changes, our faith has remained a constant source of hope and courage for a better future.