Our History

The construction of Saint Basil Visitation Church was completed in 1898. Over its rich history the church and its notable architecture have been enjoyed by thousands of parishioners and visitors. Over 120 years after its inception the building remains a historical landmark for the Englewood neighborhood and the home to a diverse and vibrant faith community. 

IMG_6771.jpg

November 19, 1899 is the never-to-be-forgotten day in the annals of Visitation: the day of the solemn blessing of the Visitation Church. Archbishop Feehan dedicated the noble pile of medieval gothic architecture to the Living God in honor of His handmaid, Mary, under the title of  Visitation.*

In 1932 the New World commented that Visitation parish "is one of the largest and most important (churches) in the archdiocese". In 1939 the very first May crowning was held in Visitation parish. This annual celebration continued for the next 3o years.

IMG_6653.jpg
IMG_6655_edited.jpg

Visitation grade school graduated a class of twenty three in 1897. In 1925, 1,575 children were enrolled in the grammar school. Visitation had the second largest enrollment of catholic schools in Chicago. The school continues to operate today.

Visitation School Graduation 1960's

After 75 years of a predominately Irish congregation, the Englewood and Back of the Yards neighborhoods diversified over several decades. The black and Puerto Rican communities began to fill the pews in the 70's, 80's and 90's, bringing a richness of their culture and faith tradition.

IMG_6777.jpg

Mens Club 2003

IMG_3226.JPG

Confirmation October 2020

In 1990 Saint Basil parish joined with Visitation. During the two decades to follow the Hispanic community increasingly found a home at Saint Basil Visitation. Our parish continues to celebrate a diverse community of faith, one that is anchored in the vibrant history of our immigrant founders.

Excerpts taken from "A History of The Visitation Parish, Chicago Ilinois Faith, Personal Sacrafice, Numbers - These Three Are Visitation" by Father Kienberger, O.P.

Photographs are from the "Diamond Jubilee 75 Years of Visitation Parish" and from "A Church for All Seasons".

Faith Driven

Thanks for submitting!

Visitation parish was founded on July 2,1886 on the very feast day of Mary's Visitation. Over its rich history the church and its notable architecture have been enjoyed by thousands of parishioners and visitors. Over 120 years after its inception the building remains a historical landmark for the Englewood neighborhood and the home to a diverse and vibrant faith community. 

IMG_6771.jpg

November 19, 1899 is the never-to-be-forgotten day in the annals of Visitation: the day of the solemn blessing of the Visitation Church. Archbishop Feehan dedicated the noble pile of medieval gothic architecture to the Living God in honor of His handmaid, Mary, under the title of  Visitation.*

Sketch of original church: 1887

In 1932 the New World commented that Visitation parish "is one of the largest and most important (churches) in the archdiocese". In 1939 the very first May crowning was held in Visitation parish. This annual celebration continued for the next 3o years.

IMG_6653.jpg

May Day Celebration 1940's

IMG_6655_edited.jpg

Visitation grade school graduated a class of twenty three in 1897. In 1925, 1,575 children were enrolled in the grammar school. Visitation had the second largest enrollment of catholic schools in Chicago. The school continues to operate today.

Visitation School Graduation 1960's

After 75 years of a predominately Irish congregation, the Englewood and Back of the Yards neighborhoods diversified over several decades. The Black and Puerto Rican communities began to fill the pews in the 70's, 80's and 90's, bringing a richness of their culture and faith tradition.

IMG_6777.jpg

Mens Club 2003

viregn procession.jpg

In 1990 Saint Basil parish joined with Visitation. During the two decades that followed the Hispanic community increasingly found a home at Saint Basil Visitation. Our parish continues to celebrate a diverse community of faith, one that is anchored in the vibrant history of our immigrant founders.

Procession of Our Lady of Guadalupe 2018