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,                                                                                 January 24th

As some heard last weekend, we received word late Friday that the Presbyteral (Priests’) Council confirmed Cardinal Cupich’s choice for the name of our united parish: Nativity of Our Lord and Saint Gabriel Parish. Thank you to all who participated in the survey and who prayed that the Holy Spirit guide this decision.

Beginning this week, the Saint Gabriel church will be open for individuals to come and pray/meditate. This time is for self-reflection;  therefore, no one will be leading prayers. Please encourage family members and friends to consider coming back to church, reconnect with God, and feel welcome in this place. The days and times are Tuesdays from 6:00 - 7:30 pm; Saturdays from 9:00 - 10:30 am. It would be great if we could set up some hours for this at Nativity church as well. If someone is interested in coordinating this, please contact me.

A parish Memorial Mass for Deacon Fran Henry will take place at Nativity Church on Saturday, January 30th, at 10am.

We will be making some adjustments to our Parish Office hours, in part because as part of the Renew My Church staffing and financial analysis we realized we could not justify the staffing level that had been in place. Moving forward, Wanda Dybas will be at the Parish Offices at Nativity on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9am to 2pm. At Saint Gabriel, Kathy Bailey will continue with morning hours a few days a week to take Mass intentions, manage some clerical tasks and to meet with funeral families (also Monday, Wednesday and Friday). We may adjust again later, but for now we’ll try this. I want to publicly thank Dori Valenta for her many years of service at Nativity of Our Lord parish.

It has been nice living at Saint Gabriel with Fr. Rich Creagh and “going to work” at the Parish Offices in at Nativity. To be honest, it is difficult to “live above the shop,” which often used to be the case when priests lived in the building that also housed offices of course, in those days, the only staff was usually the secretary, the cook/housekeeper and the other priests. These days it is pretty much universally agreed that it is unhealthy for priests to live where the offices are, unless there is significant privacy and separation between the the offices and the living spaces.

By now, parishioners should have received in the mail information about this year’s Annual Catholic Appeal. I have already sent in my check, but we will be pushing it in the bulletin and at Mass in the coming weeks and will do an abbreviated in-pew commitment the weekend before Ash Wednesday. My donation is usually equivalent to what I give on a monthly basis to the parish, but parishioners should decide for themselves what they feel to be appropriate. Our united parish quota is about $17,000 this year.

May your week reflect the encounter with Christ
we experienced at Mass today!

Fr. Hurlbert

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