Longtime pastor of Old St. Patrick’s Church stepping down after nearly 15 years

Rev. Tom Hurley first joined the parish as associate pastor in 2003 and became senior pastor in 2007.

SHARE Longtime pastor of Old St. Patrick’s Church stepping down after nearly 15 years
Father Tom Hurley, of Old St. Patrick’s Catholic Church on the Near West Side, shown in May 2020.

Father Tom Hurley of Old St. Patrick’s Catholic Church on the Near West Side, is stepping down as senior pastor of the parish.

Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

After nearly 15 years as senior pastor at Old St. Patrick’s Church, Rev. Thomas Hurley will be stepping away from his duties.

Appointed senior pastor in 2007, Hurley said he is leaving the Near West Side parish to focus on his health. He made the announcement Sunday.

“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,” Hurley said during Sunday’s service.

In a livestream video of the service, Hurley became emotional as he explained his decision.

“I wish I could stand here and tell you that everything with me is great, but that would not be honest or accurate,” he said. “For 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.”

Rev. Hurley was ordained in 1993, according to the parish. While working as director of vocations and dean of admissions for St. Joseph College Seminary at Loyola University, he was a weekend presider at Old St. Patrick’s, 700 W. Adams St. He then joined the staff as an associate pastor in 2003, and was appointed senior pastor in 2007.

Viewers of the online video offered their best wishes in the online comments.

“Words are insufficient. Fr. Hurley, I pray you find peace and well-being again ASAP. There is absolutely no replacing you,” Mike Nicholson wrote.

“I’m so sorry to hear of your struggle. You’ll be sorely missed,” wrote Sue Dengan. “Glad, though, that you have support and are taking care of yourself. Wishing you health and happiness!”

The Archdiocese of Chicago issued a statement on Rev. Hurley’s decision.

“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,” the Archdiocese said in its statement.

The Archdiocese also announced Rev. Kenneth Simpson, current vicar for professional and pastoral development of priests, will serve as Old St. Patrick’s parish administrator.

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