History & Tradition
Saint Gabriel Parish & Elementary School are positioned in the heart of Canaryville, a small community of several third and fourth generation Irish immigrants. The neighborhood is extremely proud of its strong roots to Ireland with family ties running deep and strong in the parish and school. Saint Gabriel is a hidden gem, tucked away amid century old homes and secluded from the neighborhoods surrounding Canaryville.
As Saint Gabriel Parish celebrates its 130th Anniversary, we would like to share how the school and parish began. Many people know that Father Maurice Dorney was St. Gabriel’s first pastor, but did you know… • Father Dorney had the foresight to purchase 20 lots (from 45th to 46th and Lowe) for $500(!) to build the church, school, convent and rectory for Saint Gabriel’s • While pastor, Father Dorney graduated from law school • Also know as “The King of the Yards,” Father was friends to both workingman and company owner, procuring jobs and helping avert strikes • Father Dorney was gifted with a block of stock from the head of National Livestock Bank – after two decades the dividends grew to $68,000, and the money was spend “for the welfare of the church, and assisting in the school’s of Saint Gabriel” • Father Traveled to Ireland in 1887 and was instrumental in the exoneration of Charles Stewart Parnell (champion of home rule for Ireland) who was accused of complicity in a murder.