Saint Emeric began in the late 1950's as a mission church of Saint Joseph in Homewood. But the people of Saint Emeric were a determined lot, and they began building their first church, with a great deal of help from the whole city, many of whom were not Catholic. The founding pastor, Father Stephen Ryan was appointed in 1960, when Saint Emeric became a parish in its own right. The patron saint of the parish, a young Hungarian prince who died in 1031 was chosen because of the youth of the parish. In fact, at the time, Country Club Hills had the second highest birthrate in the state!
In October, 1961, ground was broken for the current church and school, which was officially dedicated by Albert Cardinal Meyer on March 24, 1963. In 1963, Father William Mannion was appointed the first associate pastor, succeeded by Father Richard Bulwith in 1967. Father Ryan died in October, 1971, and was followed by Father John Rochford as pastor.
For twenty years, Father Rochford led Saint Emeric in the ways of faith. Assisted first by Father Dennis Roth, and later by Father Jeremiah Rodell, the parish continued to grow, especially through a program called Christ Renews His Parish. Other programs of spiritual development flourished, and Bible Study groups were formed. Father Rochford's years were marked by racial change in Country Club Hills. While many were threatened by this, others were anxious to welcome all believers to Saint Emeric. This is the greatest part of Father Rochford's legacy to our parish.
In 1991, Father Rochford retired and Father Paul G. Seaman was appointed pastor in March, 1992. In 2001, our school closed, but new ministries were developed. Among the initiatives begun under Father Paul was the Saint Vincent de Paul Society, for helping local families in emergencies; PADS, for sheltering the homeless; expanded Bible study; Disciples In Mission; Growing A Parish, a program of evangelization; the "Over 21" Club; the Peace & Justice Committee and an expanded social life for the parish. "The best part, "Father Paul said, "is that most of these ministries are lead by our deacons or the laity, they are making it happen!"
Working to touch as many people as possible, while still maintaining our family atmosphere, Saint Emeric works hard to bring the light of the Gospel to all people!
Cardinal Francis George appointed Father Martin T. Marren as the new pastor of St. Emeric Catholic Church beginning June 27, 2004.
Fr. Marren the oldest of 10 childten, was born in 1958 to Luke and Eileen Marren. He graduated from Quigley South in 1976 and from Niles College of Loyola University in 1980 with a B.A. in Fine Art and English Literature. He studied Theology at St. Mary of the Lake Seminary in Mudelein.
Fr. Marren was ordained in 1984 after serving a deacon internship at St. Bernadette parish in Evergreen Park. His first assignment was at St. Gerald Parish in Oak Lawn.
An artist interested in liturgical art, he painted "Echo of Freedom," the cover of the 1976 Chicago Telephone Directory, while at Quigley. He serves on the Archdiocesan Presbyteral Council and serves as art director on Upturn, the periodical of the Assiciation of Chicago Priests.
Fr. Marren is the fourth pastor at St. Emeric.