St. Finbarr

Street Address: 
14th and Harding
Chicago, IL

Organized: 1900
Closed/Merged: 1969
Moved to this location: 1900
Moved from this location: 1969

Church records available on microfilm from the Family History Library:

FHL Film #1617197 Items 3-6
Baptisms- 1900-1909
Deaths- 1900-1905
Marriages- 1900-1908
Baptisms- 1909-1915
Marriages- 1908-1915
Communion- 1912-1915.

Some digital images are available online.



1899 - 1969

Structure Type




My parents Aaron Grant Fairfax (now deceased) and Ida Mae Fairfax transferred us from Our Lady of Sorrows to St. Finbarr a small Church/School located in a poor working class neighborhood around 1956 or 57. The Parish Priest the late Father Farmer was the only Priest at the Parish for many years saying Mass every single day and three times on Sunday. The Sisters of Mercy taught school and performed community service in the neighborhood. The late Sister Mary Patric who passed away before I graduated from grade school Sister Mary Vincetta Sister Mary Chiara my 8th grade teacher and Sister Mary Jonella I remember well. There were one or two other nuns that I don't remember. I don't know if they are still alive but what I remember is that they educated us very well and protected us from harm. They worked hard in the community and were very succinct about it so as not to embarrass people that were in need. Poverty during the 50s and 60s wasn't fashionable like it is now here in California. In fact it was at our little Parish that the visiting Priest program was effectively ended. A visiting priest came to our Parish and Father was escorting him to some of the classrooms. When he came to our class and after telling Bible stories and jokes he volunteered to say 7am Mass. Jeffrey Kenneth and Howard volunteered to be the altar boys but Father was reluctant at first but eventually gave in after many please please please. When we arrived at school the next morning we were met by all three boys telling us about the morning events. Jeffrey and Kenneth lived across the street from each other and Jeffrey came over to get Kenneth but Kenneth was waiting for Howard who lived on 18th and Harding. Jeffrey said okay and left for Church which was right down the street from where they both lived. When Kenneth and Howard arrived this priest was backing Jeffrey into a corner and Jeffrey was crying. Kenneth and Howard hollered for Jeffrey to run and he did with all of them going straight to the Rectory. They told Father what had happened and Father immediately went over to the Church told this priest to go to the Rectory and wait for him there. After Mass this priest was sent on his way. Father came and talked to us that afternoon informing us that there were Priest who were not allowed to hold Parishes because these men specifically entered the Priesthood because of the availability of children. He stated that most of the time it was not discovered that they were pederast until after they had taken their vows. He commended Howard Jeffrey and Kenneth on their quick thinking and stated "We must be teaching you something right". He never touched Jeffrey. When word got out all of the Parish men including some of the men from the neighborhood got together with Father and went to the Archdiocese and ended the visiting Priest program. There were no more visiting Priests in the City of Chicago for years and with the recent incidents occurring a Priest was on the news and stated "When they discovered that they had one of those Priest they sent him back to Los Angeles.

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