Wilmette churches celebrate coming together as new parish

July 1 was the official day 38 churches formally became 18 new parishes as part of Renew My Church. To celebrate their unification, the Wilmette parish hosted an outdoor Mass in Vattmann Park that drew more than 1,000 people. Named after Father Edward Vattmann, who lived in Wilmette in the early 1900s, the park marked the former boundary of the two parishes.
Father Wayne Watts prays during the Unity Mass with Sts. Joseph and Francis Xavier Parish on June 30, 2019, at Vattmann Park in Wilmette. (Julie Jaidinger/Chicago Catholic)
Legia Uhm holds a monstrance during the Unity Mass June 30. Parishioners carried symbols of parish ministries to the altar. (Julie Jaidinger/Chicago Catholic)