Dominican Friars leaving River Forest priory
Dominican University in River Forest
Updated: May 1, 2012 8:19PM
The St. Thomas Aquinas Priory in River Forest will no longer be a residence for Dominican priests, the order announced today.
The Friars, who are a part of the Province of St. Albert the Great, have been in residence at the landmark campus near Harlem Avenue and Division Street since 1926.
The priests will now be housed at other Province sites throughout the Chicago area and elsewhere, including St. Louis.
Previously known as the House of Studies, the Priory was sold to Dominican University 10 years ago, but Dominican Friars continued to live and worship there.
The decision to close the residence hall comes after a “broad assessment” of the Province’s Chicago area properties.
“Our River Forest history is very important to us,” said the Rev. Charles Bouchard. “But we have now rooted our priesthood education programs at Aquinas Institute of Theology in St. Louis.”
Bouchard said closing the priory will have no impact on the order’s involvement with either Fenwick High School or St. Vincent Ferrar parish.
“These are both very important ministries, and we intend to sustain them long into the future,” he said.
A farewell Mass will be performed at the Priory by the Friars at 9 a.m. Sunday, June 10.