A Heartfelt Welcome
History of Seton
"We the heartfelt people of St. Elizabeth Seton Church are empowered by the Spirit to build Christian Community through worship, education, and service and to bring the love of our Creator and Redeemer to the suffering and deprived."
“Wisdom has built her house… come enter here, and live!”
When we reflect on the inscription from our cornerstone, we deeply believe that God’s wisdom indeed has been at work in many ways in preparing a place for this community to gather and to worship.
In 1962, at a time when this area was remote farmland, the imagination of God began its work through Fr. Thomas D. O’Connell, who was then pastor of St. George parish. In October of that year the Archdiocese purchased the 15 acres of land on which our Church building now stands.
Then in the mid 1980’s, Fr. William Devine, who was pastor of St. Julie Billiart, wrestled with the need to form a new parish in Orland Hills, even though St. Julie’s parish was still young. The rapid growth of the Tinley, Orland area necessitated such an early division. The parcels purchased in 1962 would be the location of a new parish. The mother churches of St. Michael and St. George must have been proud to see yet another offspring come to life!
On December 12, 1986, Fr. William O’Mara became pastor of the new parish. It was on Valentine’s Day 1987 that the Spirit led many of us to our first Eucharist together at Andrew High School. St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, the first American-born saint, was quickly chosen as our patron. As wife, mother, educator, and foundress of the Sisters of Charity, St. Elizabeth Seton symbolized a parish of many gifts. During four years of planning and raising money to build our own church, we felt at home in what we affectionately called “St. Andrew.” It was there that we celebrated and went forth from the Lord’s table each week. We began to be church.
A building committee was formed. Belli and Belli of Wheeling, Illinois, served as architects; Regina Kuehn served as a liturgical consultant; and Frederick Quinn of Addison, Illinois, as builder for the new church. On a cold, misty day, November 5, 1988, digging our shovels into the old furrows of farmland, we celebrated the ground-breaking for our future home. On September 30, 1990, the cornerstone of that new home was blessed and we entered the empty structure of the building, singing a loud“alleluia!” That day we wrote our prayers and grateful thanks, our memories, hopes and petitions on the unfinished concrete floors of the church, asking God to help make ready the place that would soon welcome us in.