St. Pius V Parish’s Big Halo: A $15 Million Economic Impact on the City of Chicago
St. Pius V Parish’s annual economic impact on the local economy is just shy of $15 million according to the preliminary results of a national study released in Chicago in early December, 2012.
On December 6, 2012, the Faith Environments Educational Forums, a partnership of preservationists and architects in collaboration with a non-profit organization called Partners for Sacred Places, presented the inaugural "Halo Award" to St. Pius V. The award recognizes the parish's "outstanding achievement leveraging their sacred place to serve their community."
The University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy and Practice devised the methodology for a study of 40 houses of worship in Chicago, Philadelphia and Fort Worth, Texas. The preliminary findings show an average economic contribution of $4.3 million. Of the houses of worship in the study, St. Pius V Parish in Pilsen had by far the biggest impact, at nearly $15 million a year. It was the only Catholic Church in the Chicago study.
The economic impact was determined in part by assigning economic value to the many services offered by the parish. These services include a soup kitchen, food pantry, and secondhand store. There are also a parochial school and counseling services for victims of domestic violence and their children as well as for abusive men. There are family support programs such as parenting classes and couples’ enrichment courses, and a youth center with a strong after-school program. The parish offers religious education for children and adults, including a large program for children with disabilities. Other ministries of the parish include leadership training, small faith communities, community organizing, legal assistance, referral services, and a large numbers of weddings, funerals, quinceañeras, and baptisms.
Fr. Brendan Curran, O.P., pastor of St. Pius V said, “We are delighted that our efforts to serve the community are recognized for their economic contribution. They do cost us a lot of money to maintain. With a committed, underpaid staff and many volunteers we bring hope to thousands of people who struggle each day. That’s the most important accomplishment.”
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