SMTC hosts many celebrations that are unique to the Bridgeport and Chinatown communities it serves. Throughout each year, SMTC hosts fundraising events, special cultural Mass celebrations and Feast Days, and community fellowship events. Read about each of our special celebrations for more information and how to get involved.
Our Parish Celebrations
This annual event usually takes place in the middle of June in the St. Barbara Site and on Throop Street. Experience family favorites such as the popular carnival rides, live music, games of chance, food and drink, and an outdoor Mass. The carnival runs for four days and is one of our parish’s major fundraisers, drawing neighbors, families, and friends from Bridgeport and the surrounding communities.
Chinatown Summer Fair
This annual city festival usually takes place on the third Sunday of July. Our parish has a popular food booth at the corner of Wentworth and Alexander serving delicious beef and chicken BBQ and other kinds of food. Alexander Street provides a vibrant area where we also offer games for children and church tours, ministry booths, and live music. This fun and enjoyable family event is also one of our major fundraisers.
Antique Car Show
This annual family event is usually held in mid-August in the parking lot of St. Barbara, featuring dozens of antique and unique cars and other vehicles on display. The event draws visitors from all over Chicagoland eager to see these beautiful cars. We also feature live music, food and drinks.
Feast of Santa Maria Incoronata
St. Therese Chinese Catholic Mission was formerly named Santa Maria Incoronata. It was built to serve a vibrant Italian-American community. A magnificent statue of our Blessed Mother stands at the highest point in the sanctuary, as the church was built to honor her.
To this day, the Feast of Santa Maria Incoronata continues the tradition of honoring our Blessed Mother’s birthday. It is held on the Sunday after September 8th which is when the Church celebrates the birth of Mary. This festivity begins with the celebration of Mass. Following Mass, the statue of the Blessed Mother is brought down from the Sanctuary of the Church and carried in a procession. This procession starts at St. Therese and continues around the neighborhood. After the procession, Benediction takes place in Church and then a meal is shared by the participants.
The Santa Maria Incoronata Club also holds a Memorial Mass for deceased members in November, and hosts a special May Crowning Mass in the beginning of May.
Feast of St. Rocco
Given the rich Italian heritage at the St. Therese worship site, an important long-standing celebration continues to be the Feast of St. Rocco. The feast, itself, is celebrated by the Church on August 16th, and the St. Rocco Society sponsors this annual celebration on the nearest Sunday.
The celebration of the Feast of St. Rocco begins with the celebration of Mass. Following Mass, the statue of St. Rocco is brought down from the Sanctuary of the Church and carried in a procession. This procession starts at St. Therese Church and continues around the neighborhood. After the procession, Benediction takes place in Church and a meal is shared by the participants.
The St. Rocco Society also holds a Memorial Mass in November for deceased members.
View the 2013 Feast of St. Rocco Video
Feast of St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta
The patroness of our parish, the Feast of St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta is celebrated as a high solemnity. Her feast day is September 5. To prepare for her feast day, the parish honors St. Mother Teresa by praying a novena on each of the 9 days leading up to her feast. On the day of the celebration, a special Mass is celebrated with the Missionaries of Charity (St. Mother Teresa’s congregation) with prayers and songs proper to this occasion. In addition, during the Mass, roses and simple gifts are presented and placed before St. Mother Teresa. Following the Mass, a reception is held with ample time for fraternity and socializing.
This feast brings visitors, family and friends from all over the Chicagoland area and beyond. It is a beautiful way to not only celebrate our Faith, but to honor a saint who had a passion to be a missionary. She saw Christ in every person she encountered, and served with humility. We invite you to celebrate this great feast with us, and we look forward to meeting you and welcoming you into our parish family!
Feast of St. Barbara
Another patroness of our parish, the Feast of St. Barbara is celebrated on December 4, and we hold a special Mass in her honor on the nearest Sunday at St. Barbara Church. To prepare for her feast day, the parish honors St. Barbara by praying a novena on each of the 9 days leading up to her feast. On the Sunday of the celebration, a special Mass is celebrated with prayers and songs proper to this occasion. In addition, during the Mass, roses are presented and placed before St. Barbara. Following the Mass, a reception is held with ample time for fraternity and socializing.
We honor one of the Church’s beloved saints who died a martyr. She is the patron saint of artillerymen and miners, and is venerated as one of the 14 Holy Helpers.
Feast of St. Therese
Another patroness of our parish, the Feast of St. Therese is celebrated as a high solemnity. Her feast day is October 1st, and this celebration takes place on the nearest Sunday after Oct. 1st. To prepare for her feast day, the parish honors St. Therese by praying a novena on each of the 9 days leading up to her feast. On the Sunday of the celebration, a special Mass is celebrated with prayers and songs proper to this occasion. In addition, during the Mass, roses are presented and placed before St. Therese. Following the Mass, a reception is held with ample time for fraternity and socializing.
We honor a great saint who had a passion to be a missionary. She is the Patroness of Missions and a Doctor of the Church. Her Little Way of Love – and doing everything, especially the littlest of things, out of love for Christ and neighbor – continues to inspire people around the world.
Lunar New Year Celebration
This annual celebration takes place on the 1st or 2nd Sunday after the actual date of the Lunar New Year. It is a festive celebration of our faith and the Chinese culture. The celebration consists of a Mass and a meal. There are many rituals incorporated into our Mass, such as, fireworks, liturgical dance, lion dance, and the veneration of ancestors. This indeed is a very unique and joyful celebration, drawing plenty of visitors to St. Therese Church every Lunar New Year. After Mass, a reception is held with tasty Chinese food and plenty of socializing.
Super Duper Bowl
This annual event takes place on Super Bowl Sunday in our Community Room. It is a fun party with delicious food and drinks for both our parishioners as well as visitors. Watching the big game on a huge screen and enjoying some yummy party food and each other’s company make this event so enjoyable.
The annual parish Walk-A-Thon is usually held in autumn, and is one of the parish’s major fundraisers. Parishioners and participants secure pledges to support our parish as they walk a designated route. In the past, we have walked along the Lakefront or around Ping Tom Park in Chinatown. Sometimes we also provide a social outing afterwards, such as boarding a Water Taxi in Ping Tom Park to downtown or taking a boat cruise on the lake.