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St. Benedict the African Roman Catholic Church

Address

340 W. 66th St.

Neighborhood

Englewood

Hours

Sat, Oct 19: 10am - 5pm

Sun, Oct 20: 10am - 3pm

Family Friendly Photography Permitted Refreshments Available Washrooms Available Wheelchair Accessible

Architect

Belli & Belli, 1989

Description

Eight parishes were consolidated into St. Benedict the African in the 1980’s, the building was designed specifically with and for its predominantly African American community. The result is a Modernist church--named for an enslaved person in 16th-century Italy who followed Francis of Assisi--that takes inspiration from the form of traditional African huts. The round nave is surmounted by a soaring arched wooden ceiling, and ample light floods in around the perimeter to sustain lush vegetation. The interior features hand-carved wooden furniture and sculpture, contemporary stained glass, a 200-pound hand-woven tapestry. The Ann and Arthur Eiland Art Gallery, adjacent to the nave, displays original artwork that relates the work of the community. The church's full-immersion stone baptismal pool holds 10,000 gallons of water, making it one of the world’s largest.

Visitor Experience

Check out one of the largest baptismal pools in the world and soak in the tranquil atmosphere of one of Chicago’s most distinctive churches.