Diocese of Joliet Announces Church and School Closings

The Diocesan Executive School Board, in conjunction with the Catholic Schools Office, made recommendations to the Targeted Restructuring Committee to ensure that Catholic education thrives in Joliet. I have accepted these recommendations.

The parish decisions inevitably affect St. Paul the Apostle School and St. Jude School. Therefore, both St. Paul the Apostle School and St. Jude School will close at the end of the 2023–2024 school year. The 2024–2025 school year will welcome students from both St. Paul and St. Jude Schools to a new school created as a ministry of the new parish and will function as a parish school model. The school will be located on the current St. Paul the Apostle campus which will best accommodate the anticipated growth of students and programs.

The new school will serve as a model for surrounding schools with added programming and outstanding academics steeped in Catholic teachings.

In the coming days you will learn of working sessions, informational meetings, and a timeline of transitional items for the school communities of St. Paul and St. Jude.

The Cathedral of St. Raymond of Nonnatus School, as well as St. Mary Nativity School will remain ministries of their respective parishes and are committed to incorporating programs to better attract and serve their surrounding communities.

In a matter separate from the Targeted Restructuring Process, I would like to make you aware that St. Matthew School in Glendale Heights will close this June. The decision was based upon several factors which included significant loss of enrollment over the past five years, a large annual deficit and substantial loss of funds due to the sunset of the Illinois Tax Credit Scholarship. Students are being welcomed at neighboring Diocesan Catholic elementary schools for the 2024–2025 school year.


Implementation of my decision will reduce the number of parishes in the Joliet Deanery from sixteen (16) parishes to seven (7) parishes. The seven parishes are:

  1. Our Lady of Mount Carmel
  2. Cathedral of St. Raymond
  3. St. John the Baptist (until the Franciscans no longer staff the parish, at which time it will be amalgamated into the Cathedral of St. Raymond and a decision will be made as to whether St. John the Baptist Church remains open as a worship site)
  4. St. Mary Nativity with Holy Cross as a mission/oratory serving the Polish community
  5. St. Ambrose (Crest Hill)
  6. New parish (Merger of St. Anthony, St. Bernard, St. Joseph (Joliet), St. Mary Magdalene) with St. Joseph and St. Mary Magdalene as worship sites, St. Mary Magdalene being the parish church
  7. New parish (Merger of St. Paul the Apostle, St. Jude, St. Patrick and Sacred Heart) with St. Paul and St. Patrick as worship sites, St. Paul being the parish church, and St. Joseph (Rockdale) as a mission/oratory of the new parish

Five churches will be closed: St. Bernard, St. Anthony, St. Jude, Sacred Heart and St. Anne


To read the full press release click here