St. Jerome Croatian Parish in Chicago, in its long and proud history, has had many bright moments and wonderful memorable events.

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One of those our people remember most took place during the visit of Pope John Paul II to Croatia (October 2-4, 1998) when he beatified Cardinal Aloysius Stepinac. At the same time, on October 3, the Mayor of the City of Chicago, Richard M. Daley, proclaimed the 3rd day of October, 1998 asCardinal Stepinac Day for the City of Chicago. By the same act, the Mayor granted the Croatian community in Chicago and, in a special way to St. Jerome's Parish, a street named after this honorable and blessed Cardinal. Namely, Princeton Avenue between 26th and 33rd streets was designated as "Cardinal Stepinac Way". This is a very important decision for our community especially because it is this street through which for more than 85 years St. Jerome Parish has held its famous Velika Gospa procession. The solemn moment of dedication took place on Sunday, April 18, 1999. We were privileged to have His Excellency Francis Cardinal George, Archbishop of Chicago for the solemn opening.



Steppin' Down Stepinac Way
Photo: David V. Kamba

St. Jerome Croatian Catholic Church has a new address, one that reflects pride in one of its own: 2823 S. Stepinac Way.

Cardinal George joined St. Jerome parishioners and other members of Chicago’s Croatian community April 18 to celebrate the honorary renaming of Princeton Avenue from 26th Street to 33rd Street in honor of Croatian Cardinal Aloysius Stepinac who was recently beatified by Pope John Paul II.

Following World War II, he had been imprisoned for defending the Catholic faith in communist Yugoslavia and died under house arrest. As Croatian and American flags waved, new street signs were unveiled and blessed during the dedication ceremony.

This article first appeared in New World, April 25, 1999, and has been reprinted with the permission of The New World. We would like to thank The New World for allowing us to reprint this article.

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