The people of St. Hugh celebrated the parish's 75th Anniversary Jubilee in 2000. Much has changed since the hard working people of Lyons built their own church but on any Sunday morning it is not uncommon to still see 3 or 4 generations of the same family worshiping.
St. Hugh has been more than a place to worship, it has been the center of the community. Although the parish was not organized officially until 1925, their Catholic legacy actually dates back to 1875. Men from nearby communities constructed the wood frame St. Mary' church to serve the families of Lyons, Clyde, and Summit. Parishioners worshiped there until 1899 when a new St. Mary's Church was built in Riverside. From 1901 to 1921, Lyons parishioners had to shuttle to Riverside to worship. Lyons Catholics decided to build a church of their own in 1921.
Rev. John B. Murphy was sent to organize St. Hugh Parish, named after St. Hugh of Lyon, France. The new pastor celebrated Sunday Mass in the former Lyons movie theater and the parish school was held in the rectory, while the parish raised the money to finish the combined church and school.
The present church cornerstone was laid in September 1925 and the first Mass was celebrated in the unfished church on Christmas Day, 1925. The Church of St. Hugh was dedicated in 1925 by Cardinal Mundelein. St. Hugh school closed in 2001 after 75 years of dedicated service to the parish family and community, but St. Hugh is still a growing parish. Today there are approximately 900 families. We are a faith community that continues to look for new ways in which to use our gifts in service to one another. We are thankful for all those who had a vision before us and shared it with us.
The Stained Glass Windows in St. Hugh Church
St. Catherine of Sienna
St. Anne & Mary
St. Jane Frances de Chantal
The Agony in the Garden
St. Theresa (Little Flower)
(These windows were made by the Munich Studios, Chicago.)
From a Bulletin Article published on September 20, 1992, by Rev. James T. O'Connor
Look Around the Church
The Parish Church was built in 1925 and has undergone renovation at various times.
Directly behind the alter is a traditional Crucifix which was brought to the Church from Mother of God Parish in Waukegan when that Parish was closed about a year ago.
To the left and above the Crucifix is a small circular window depicting the head of the suffering Christ, the "Ecce Home." To the right and above the Crucifix is a similar window depicting the head of the suffering Mary, the "Mater Dolorosa."
To each side of the altar are niches. The one to the left contains statues of Mary & Joseph and a small statue of the Infant of Prague (no longer in these locations). The one to the right contains the Tabernacle. There is also greenery in both niches.
On each side of the body of the Church there are three stained glass windows. On the left or North side the windows depict St. Anne and her young daughter, Mary, the future mother of Christ; next the Nativity scene; and last St. Catherine of Siena, Virgin and Doctor of the Church whose Feast is observed on April 29th. She cared for the sick; she interceded with the Pope for the peace of Italy; and she wrote to many Cardinals. She was named a Doctor of the Church because of her brilliant Theological mind. She died in the year 1380 C.E.
On the right or South side of the Church the windows depict Christ's Agony in the Garden; next the Angel announcing to Mary that God wanted her to bear His Son; and last St. Jane de Chantal, a wife and mother, a widow and foundress of the Visitation Sister, a model of being true to one's vocation in life, even if it changes. Her feast is celebrated on December 12th. She died in 1641 C.E.
Across the front of the Choir loft from the South side to the North there are four small statues depicting St. Joseph, the Sacred Heart, St. Christopher and St. Hugh.
On the rear wall of the Choir loft there are two windows. The one to the South depicts St. Wenceslaus who was of Bohemian ancestry and followed the Christian heritage of his father, trying to instill Christian ideals in all. He died in the year 929 C.E. at the hands of his pagan brother. His feast is observed on September 28th.
The window in the Choir loft to the North depicts The "Little Flower," St. Teresa of the Child Jesus, whose feast is observed on October 1st. Her motto was simple: "Love is repaid by love alone." She is best remembered, perhaps, for her vivid realization and appreciation of the spiritual motherhood of Mary, the Mother of God, heaven's Queen, and our own loving Mother. She passed from this life to eternity in 1897 C.E.
Our Parish Mission Statement is: "St. Hugh Parish is called by God to live, teach and serve as Jesus did. The parish exists to enable all it's members, both young and old, to depen their relationship with God and to help others both within the parish and in the world to draw closer to God and one another, thus becoming a community of believers living the Gospel message."