About Our Parish

St. Irenaeus Parish Mission Statement

Our welcoming Christian community of St. Irenaeus Parish inspired by the words of our patron - "Humankind fully alive is God truly glorified" - journeys together to bring the love of Christ to all in our parish family through worship, faith formation, social justice, and loving service while reaching out to the broader community.

St. Irenaeus Parish Mission Narrative

St. Irenaeus parish was started in 1948 in the area before the community was named Park Forest. From the beginning, the parish was open to anyone who lived in the area.  Many races and nationalities have been represented in the parish from the beginning with no one ethnic group dominating.  St. Irenaeus parish has been a welcoming community inspired by the words of St. Irenaeus himself, “Humankind fully alive is God truly glorified.”

The parish always had a tradition of involvement in the life of the community in the various outreach programs to help those in need.  The parishioners strived to journey together to discover the love and presence of Christ in our parish family through worship, faith formation, social justice and loving service while reaching out to the larger community of Park Forest. 

St. Irenaeus parish strives to follow Jesus in service and prayer as exemplified in Mt. 14: 13 – 24a, when Jesus welcomed the crowd of over five thousand and fed them from the little that was available. He then went off alone to pray, to strengthen his relationship with his Father. St. Irenaeus parish welcomes others and reaches out to individuals in need while continuing to develop a personal relationship with Jesus in prayer.

The foundation for all that Jesus did, was his relationship with the Father. From that, he understood his mission to proclaim God’s love for all.  We are also called by Jesus to love one another as Jesus loved us, (Jn. 15:12). St. Irenaeus parish has done this in Fellowship and a welcoming spirit, the various outreach programs and through spiritual enrichment and formation.

As Jesus’ mission is ongoing until God’s Kingdom is fully established, the parish and its members are continuously challenged to:

  • Develop a Call to Holiness within the St. Irenaeus Parish Community through prayer, faith formation, outreach programs and youth involvement in liturgy and parish activities.
  • Promote a spirit of Communion through an enhancement of the inclusiveness of our Liturgy, the development of a comprehensive Fellowship program, and the improvement of communication strategies with and beyond the Parish.