The Joseph Cardinal Bernardin

Archives and Records Center

All requests must be received in writing.


Records are only available for closed parishes, schools, and orphanages.  For a complete list, click here.


Requests take between 7-10 business days to process.


Requesters will not be granted access to original documents.


A $10.00 non-refundable processing fee, and a copy of a state-issued photo ID is required with all record requests.


To request a record for genealogical purposes, or a record of another person, click here for more information.





Sacramental Records



Archdiocesan parishes record all celebrations of baptism, holy communion, confirmation, marriage, and funeral rites in their sacramental registers. The Archives only holds the sacramental records of closed parishes (a list is available upon request).  Open parishes maintain their own registers.  Availability of sacramental certificates is limited to the participant in the sacrament.  Only the participant in the sacrament can request his/her own record. 






St. John Evangelist First Communion





Student Records



Archdiocesan schools, like parishes, maintain their own student records.  The records for approximately 300 closed Catholic schools are located at the Archives (a list of closed schools is available upon request).  Grammar school records may include grades, attendance sheets, test scores, and health records.  High school records are generally limited to transcripts.  Only the student in the records can request a copy of his/her transcript or student file. 



Orphanage Records 


Chicago was once home to several orphanages and houses for troubled youth.  The Archives and Records Center houses client files for Angel Guardian Orphanage, St. Hedwig, and St. Joseph Home for the Friendless/St. Joseph Carondelet, as well as admittance registers for St. Mary and St. Joseph Orphanages, St. Mary's Training School, and House of the Good Shepherd.  Client files may include sacramental certificates, grades, health records, and visitor information.  A person can only request his/her own orphanage file.  


 St. Joseph's Home for the Friendless, 1939





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