Open Wide the Door to Christ

St. John Kanty Church

In 1906 Father Louis Jurasinski approached the Archdiocesan leadership telling them of the need for a new parish to serve the growing Polish population in the area. After an organizational meeting of the residents in the area, a charter was drawn and signed and in 1907 ground was broken for St. John Kanty, a Polish priest and scholar was namesake and patron of the church. Father Jurasinski was appointed pastor.

The church was blessed and dedicated in September, 1907 with a special Mass. Soon afterward, the school (part of the church structure) was opened with the School Sisters of Notre Dame in charge. The first Principal was Sister Mary Elma.

After Fr. Jurasinski left to become pastor of St. Stanislaus, Fr. Paul Chrzan took up the duties of pastor. Four classrooms were added to the school and the sisters’ residence was renovated and enlarged. Enrollment of the school reached 1,165. Father Chrzan died on November 14, 1938. His assistant Father F. Brukwicki became administrator protem.

On October 6, 1939, Father John Brzonkala took over as administrator. It was his dream of a new church building for which he will be most remembered. The dream of Father Brzonkala became the dream of Fr. Anthony Czaja. Fr. Czaja became pastor in 1952. Ground was broken January 30, 1955 and the cornerstone was laid May 18, 1955. On April 8, 1956 the new St. John Kanty church was dedicated. By 1960 the old church was raised, buried completely and blacktopped to become a playground and parking lot. 

On October 15, 1964 the final payment on the original note was made by Father Czaja. Fr. Carl Kazmierczak came to St. John Kanty in 1976. He brought our parish into the 1980’s. He also did some renovations and repairs saving the parish thousands of dollars. Fr. Kazmierczak retired in 2005. Fr. Michael Ignaszak was appointed sixth pastor on July 1, 2005.