Wednesday, Aug. 25, was the first day of school for the newly formed St. Walter-St. Benedict Elementary School.

St. Walter-St. Benedict School has an enrollment of 270 students. The school is divided into two campuses.

The former St. Walter location, 11741 S. Western Ave., is now the Chicago campus for grades preschool through four, and the former St. Benedict location, 2324 New St., is now the Blue Island campus for grades five through eight and a preschool class.

Dr. Emily Hanlon is proud to serve both campuses as principal, and she is delighted by the commitment of the parents and community to ensure that enrollment and viability are high.

The church parishes are also experiencing change through the Renew My Church effort of the Archdiocese of Chicago. Soon, the locations of St. Peter Claver Roman Catholic Church, St. Walter Roman Catholic Church and St. Benedict Roman Catholic Church will become a new parish with a new name, which is yet to be determined.

The parishes will be led by Monsignor Dennis Lyle, and he is offering both parishes the chance to celebrate the legacy of each parish.

These events will be held at St. Walter Church and at St. Benedict Church and are a way to thank the parishioners from both parishes for their commitment and support.

The “Taste of St. Benedict Fest” will be held on Sunday, Sept. 19, from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. The fest will include a variety of food vendors from the different parish organizations.

The “Heritage Mass and Reception” for St. Walter Church will be held on Saturday, Sept. 25, from 5 to 7 p.m., with food provided by a variety of organizations.

The St. Peter Claver Church Heritage Mass and Celebration was held on Sept. 12.

School and church officials asked for prayers and said they appreciate the community’s support while they navigate the new formation for both the schools and the parishes.

For more information, visit the website at