of Our Lord

653 West 37th Street
Chicago, Illinois 60609
Phone (773) 927-6263 Fax (773) 847-0600 

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The Pastor's Page

From Our Pastor Rev. James F. Hurlbert


Dear Friends,

As we begin the month of July I am happy to begin my assignment as pastor of Nativity of Our Lord and Saint Gabriel. I have a lot to learn and a lot of catching up to do, as I understand that the unification process has been somewhat stalled since last July. I want to thank Fr. Tom Cima for serving as parish administrator during the past year. As pastor of his own parish (St. Michael the Archangel) and the Dean of this Deanery, he already had plenty on his plate. The additional responsibility of holding down the fort at Nativity of Our Lord and St. Gabriel this past year was a generous gift.

I have had many people telling me about the things we need to work through and consider, even though I would love to have time to just get to know people first. My desire is to move through these administrative considerations at an appropriate speed, but to be methodical and to try to focus more on getting to know you. The listening sessions being set up for the month of July will be great ways for me to meet people, to hear great things about the parish and to begin learning about your hopes and dreams moving forward.

God has created for us a very unique time to begin this process together. The restrictions on gathering and worshipping will make it more challenging to get to know each other and to pray together. I know many people who talk about this COVID-19 experience as a time to “re-set” their lives. It is a chance to examine the past and consider new ways of living for the future. Maybe that will be the case for our parish as well. Recognizing that very little in our life can go on as it was before March 22nd , we can take a fresh look at what it means to live as disciples of Jesus in a unified community of faith with two worship sites.

I am excited to begin this journey with you. I am under no illusions that the next year or so will be easy or without bumps in the road. Adjusting to a new pastor is, by itself, a challenge for a parish just as adjusting to a new parish is challenging for a priest. Doing this while we move together into a new kind of "Renew My Church" parish reality, finding our way together through unexplored territory, will mean trusting in the Holy Spirit as our guide and binding ourselves more tightly to Christ, who unites us.

May God bless you and those you love!

Fr. Hurlbert

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