WEST LOOP — After nearly two decades of work, Rev. Thomas Hurley of Old St. Patrick’s Catholic Church is stepping away from his duties.
Hurley announced Sunday he is leaving the West Loop church, 700 W. Adams St., to take care of his health and well-being.
“I love old St. Pat’s and its mission with all my heart. I give every ounce of energy to this ministry, and I believe that I served it well,” he told his congregation Sunday. “I have done my best to keep a joyful, strong, positive exterior and to keep us all connected, especially during this year of the pandemic, but it has come at the cost of my own health and my well-being.”
Hurley said he made his decision after consulting with his doctor, therapist and family members.
“I wish I could stand here and tell you that everything with me is great, but that would not be honest or accurate … . For the better part of the past two years, even before the pandemic began, I have really been struggling … with the energy level needed for a successful place like Old St. Pat’s,” he said.
“I need some time to step away from the arena in order to re-examine my life and care for myself, and I believe the time is now … . This has been the hardest decision of my life, so please pray for me and I’ll do the same for you.”
Rev. Ken Simpson has been named the parish administrator, according to the Archdiocese of Chicago.
“When a priest steps away from ministry, there is a support system to help him. We pray for Fr. Hurley’s healing and for the continued good work of the parish leadership and staff,” archdiocese leaders said in a statement.
Hurley was ordained at St. Mary of the Lake Seminary in May 1993, according to the church website. During his early years, he served at Most Holy Redeemer in Evergreen Park and as associate pastor of St. Cajetan until 1997.
Hurley also was director of vocations and dean of admissions for the St. Joseph College Seminary at Loyola University for six years. He became associate pastor for Old St. Patrick’s Church in May 2003 and ascended to pastor in October 2007.
“Old St. Pat’s has been blessed by Fr. Hurley’s compassionate leadership as together we strive to fulfill our community’s mission and vision,” parish leaders said in a statement. “The staff and leadership of Old St Pat’s remain committed to carrying these forward. Please be assured that all the activities of Old St. Pat’s will continue uninterrupted, and we will share more information as it becomes available.”
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