Parish History

Overview of the Maronite Church

The Syriac Maronite Church of Antioch is one of 24 autonomous, or self-governing, Churches which form the Universal Catholic Church that our Lord established on the foundation of the 12 Apostles, the chief of whom was St. Simon Peter. While remaining in communion with the Pope (the successor of St. Peter) each Catholic Church has its own hierarchy and clergy, generally headed by a patriarch or metropolitan, and separate ecclesiastical jurisdictions called eparchies (or dioceses) headed by a bishop. The Maronite Church has its own hierarchy consisting of a patriarch, bishops, priests, deacons, and subdeacons, and our clergy operate under a separate Code of Canon Law than the Roman Catholic Church. We also have our own unique liturgical calendar and lectionary (see our "Maronite Calendar" page to learn more). Our parish is under the authority of the Eparchy of Our Lady of Lebanon of Los Angeles whose website you can find at

History of Our Parish

In the early 1950s the Maronite Christians of Chicago's west side were raising money to build or purchase a church. They raised enough money to buy a small five room bungalow on Talman and 15th street in Chicago. The first floor of the bungalow served as the priest's residence and the finished basement served as the church. The basement had two rooms; the larger room served as the church and the smaller room was a kitchen and meeting place. It was small but it was ours.

Our first pastor was Father Wehbe. Fr. Wehbe was concerned about his health and was anxious to return to Lebanon, his native country. Cardinal Samuel Stritch, the Roman Catholic archbishop of Chicago at the time, did not want to see the parish disbanded so he appointed Fr. Martin Scannel, a Dominican priest, to be the interim pastor. Fr. Scannel was very interested in the Maronite tradition and worked well with the parishioners to keep the parish alive.

On November 1st, 1956 , Monsignor John Naffah arrived in Chicago from Argentina. Msgr. Naffah and his loyal parishioners worked together to buy and remodel a Frank Lloyd Wright church in Midway Park in Chicago in the early 1960's.

The next milestone takes the church out of Chicago to the western suburb of Hillside, IL. The Maronite community in the Chicago area was flourishing, and so the parish purchased a beautiful church which was part of a large seminary complex. That church was located on 425 N Hillside Ave, Hillside, IL. Fr. Victor Kayrouz joined Msgr. Naffah and eventually became pastor until the church was sold in 2005 to the city of Hillside. It is now the Hillside Municipal Complex. Next, Msgr. Alfred Badawi became pastor of Our Lady of Lebanon and together with the parishioners built our beautiful church on Grace St in Lombard, IL thanks to a generous donation by the Shaker family. The current church was dedicated on Sunday, October 30th, 2005 by Bishop Robert Shaheen. We are very blessed to have our current building with a large banquet hall, kitchen and bar, basement with six classrooms, stained glass windows imported from Lebanon, a big parking lot where we can host our annual festival, and a sizable sanctuary that can hold up to 300 people. We are forever grateful to the Shaker family for the gift of the plot of land on which the church is built, to the Virgin Mary for her prayers for our parish, and to God for his ever-flowing spring of grace, by which we are greatly blessed. 

Msgr. Badawi served Our Lady for 8 years followed by Fr. Charles Kashan for two years, and Fr. Pierre El Balaa for another two years. We are now blessed to have Fr. Pierre El Khoury as the pastor of Our Lady of Lebanon Church. Our church is the spiritual home of more than 300 families and by the grace of God and the prayers of Our Lady, we are a community that is growing in faith, hope, love, and number. Come and attend one of our services or events and meet the people that are here. We like welcoming new folks into our community.


950 N Grace St, Lombard, IL 60148   T: (630) 932-9640   F: (630) 932-9463   E:
Sitemap | Our Lady Of Lebanon Church| 2023 - All Rights Reserved - MP18 |
Central Standard Time