History

St. Malachy School is a Catholic School committed to integrating the Catholic faith tradition and justice education with academic excellence. The school works purposefully to deepen the student’s appreciation for the richness of the world’s many cultures particularly in the Chicago area, focusing on the development and celebration of each person’s African-American identity as is relates to the neighborhood, the country, and the world. St. Malachy School is dedicated to the future of our children and equipping them with skills to become successful adults able to make a positive contribution to our society. We realize tremendous challenges face our children on a day-to-day basis and we believe a strong collaboration between parents, teachers and administration support our commitment to the goals and values that strengthen their abilities to grow and mature in a violent world.

Graduating class of 1915 published in the Chicago Tribune

Built in 1913, St. Malachy serves a neighborhood that has shifted many times, from being heavily Irish, to Italian, to Slavic, and lastly to African-American. In 1940, St. Malachy became the first all African-American Catholic Church in Chicago, and today remains one of the oldest African-American parishes in the city. The neighborhood experienced severe economic downturn after riots hit the West Side several times in the turbulent ‘60’s. Today, it is witness to an increase in urban development. Public housing complexes are being demolished and rebuilt into viable communities of owner-occupied single-family homes, low-density town homes, and apartments. Besides residential growth, there is complementary commercial growth introducing new employment opportunities for members of the community. These changes are happening slowly and the benefits have yet to be felt by the current family population. Replacement housing is available, however, it is very limited for low-income people. Walgreen’s opened in December of 2001 on a lot a few blocks away from our school that had been vacant for 5 years, however there is still no grocery store. It seems a positive change in the neighborhood is coming. This improvement is certainly welcomed but very slow in its progress.

St. Malachy School today

Located on the corner of Oakley and Washington Streets on Chicago’s near west side, St. Malachy serves 250 students from the neighborhood and the demolished Rockwell and Henry Horner Homes. Our most recent Archdiocesan survey shows 50% of our school population resides in the 60612 and 60624 zip codes. St. Malachy is a school striving to achieve success in a neighborhood where failure is the norm. It is located in the heart of a community that continues to face the challenges of poverty, unemployment, gang violence, and the slow oncoming of urban renewal.


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