Old St. Patrick's pastor, Fr. Hurley, to step away from duties to focus on health, well-being

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Old St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Chicago's West Loop announced Sunday that Father Thomas J. Hurley will be stepping away from his duties after nearly 30 years to focus on his health and well-being.

"We hope you will join us in holding him in our thoughts and prayers. 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. 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," the church said in a statement.

"I wish I could stand here and tell you, through my words and accompanying facial expressions, that everything with me is great, but that that would not be honest or accurate," Fr. Hurley said in a statement that was read to parishioners. "But I will admit to you that this has really been a rough journey...I am personally at a point where I need to step back for a while and take care of myself."

Fr. Hurley was ordained at St. Mary's of Lake Seminary in May 1993, according to Old St. Pat's website. He was first assigned at Most Holy Redeemer in Evergreen Park before serving as associate pastor of St. Cajetan until 1997.

For over six years, he was the director of vocations and dean of admissions for St. Joseph College Seminary at Loyola University. While working at Loyola, he was a weekend presider at Old St. Patrick's Church.

He became an associate pastor for Old St. Pat's in May 2003, and he officially became the pastor of the in 2007, according to the church.

"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. A parish administrator will be named soon," the Archdiocese of Chicago said in a statement Sunday.

Fr. Ken Simpson has been named administrator at Old St. Pat's, according to the church.
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