23 Jul 2021

This Week Letter – July 25, 2021

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This weekend, I wanted to introduce myself to all of you in the parish.


I am Father Brendan Guilfoil and I am happy to be one of your new associate pastors. Certainly, we are in a time of transition. Places are reopening from the Covid-19 pandemic. Our parish is officially a new one, encompassing both Sts. Robert Bellarmine and Constance. I am new to the parish, as indeed are all of your priests now. I look forward to praying with all of you and helping one another to experience the fullness of God’s love. (…)

However, I thought it would be good for me to tell you a little bit about myself. I was ordained a priest in 2013 for the Archdiocese of Chicago. I grew up in the archdiocese, at St. Theresa Church in Palatine. I attended public schools in Palatine and was in the Religious Education program when I was growing up. I also was an altar server at my parish, mostly because, if I had to be at Mass, it looked like more fun to be up at the altar doing things than sitting in a pew (I didn’t know I had ADHD at the time). Perhaps not the best reason, but it gave a precocious young lad the chance to understand what we do when we worship and, more importantly, why we do it. So, I learned a lot and grew in my faith there. As a teenager, I was active in our parish’s youth ministry program. I was a lector and extraordinary minister of the Eucharist, and I trained other teens in those functions as well. I went to Fremd High School and was active in the Band and the Debate Team, as well as in the Boy Scouts of America. I also worked as a summer camp counselor at Camp Napowan with the Boy Scouts. During my senior year of high school, I began to sense that God was calling me to take a different course in my life than the one I had planned. Rather than becoming a pilot, I began to see myself as a priest. That surprised me at first, but it didn’t surprise anyone else who knew me. Most of my friends said something like, “Yeah, we were all wondering when you’d figure that out.” I joke that I was the last to find out that I was going to the seminary. I applied and went to St. Joseph College Seminary, which was our college program in Chicago at Loyola University’s Lake Shore Campus. After sophomore year, I was asked to take a fellowship at the Catholic University of America in Washington DC. I completed my junior and senior years and did a master’s degree in philosophy there. I then went to Mundelein Seminary for theology. I have been assigned all over the archdiocese. My first assignment was at St. Mary in Lake Forest, then St. George in Tinley Park. Most recently, I was at St. Mother Theodore Guerin, which was the merger of Sts. Celestine and Cyprian. I also have taught part-time in the Institute for Diaconal Studies and the Lay Formation Institute through the University of St. Mary of the Lake.

Some of my hobbies include reading (yes, obviously I’m a bookworm), hiking and kayaking and travel. I also enjoy nature photography. I play a comically inept game of golf that keeps me humble, so if you want to feel better about yourself, you can play with me. I look forward to getting to meet all of you and working together.


Fr. Brendan Guilfoil