| The History of Melrose Park Sacred Heart Seminary
Melrose Park (population 21,171) is located in far northeastern Illinois in the west-central portion of Cook County. The town is a western suburb of Chicago and is about 15 miles west of the Chicago’s downtown area. Illinois Route 64 is the main roadway leading to and from Melrose Park. Illinois Route 171 and U.S. Route 45 border Melrose Park’s east and west sides. The Soo Line and Wisconsin Central Railroads pass through town as well.
A nice early history of the city of Melrose Park can be located on the town’s official web page of http://www.melrosepark.org/history/index.php as well as on the web address of http://www.encyclopedia.chicagohistory.org/pages/809.html. In summary, the town was created in 1882 as Melrose. The name was changed to Melrose Park in 1884. It is believed the town is named after Melrose, Massachussetts. After a slow beginning, Melrose Park began to grow in great strides after World War I. Today, the population has steadied as Melrose Park has become an industrial area as well.
A brief history of the Sacred Heart Seminary has been provided by our own Kev Varney:
“The Missionary Fathers of the Pious Society of St. Charles started this seminary in 1935 in the rectory of Santa Maria Addolarata Parish in Chicago. The school moved to Melrose Park the following year and built Bishop Scalabrini Hall in 1944, which housed dormitories, a gym, music rooms, recreation rooms, and offices.
Sacred Heart Seminary was founded to train priests from sons of American families that were of Catholic Italian lineage, accepting only those students that wanted to be a priest or brother. The school had a four-year high school, two-year college, two-year philosophy school, and four-year theologian school.”
More information on Sacred Heart Seminary can be found at the following web address: http://www.lib.niu.edu/1999/iht629936.html. We are uncertain of the exact year that Sacred Heart Seminary closed.