CHICAGO, June 28, 2021 – The USA Midwest Province of the Society of Jesus—the Jesuits—are pleased to share the news that Fr. Patrick E. McGrath, SJ, president of Loyola Academy in Wilmette, Illinois, has been appointed pastor of Old St. Patrick’s Church in Chicago. The appointment by Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, made public on June 25, 2021, will take effect in July 2022.
“After consultation and prayer, I have decided to appoint Fr. Patrick McGrath, SJ, as the new pastor of Old St. Patrick’s Church,” said Cardinal Cupich. “I very much appreciate the generosity of the Jesuits for providing this excellent priest. He has distinguished himself as a leader who is strong, loving, and wise.”
“The Old St. Patrick’s community has been one of the greatest blessings of my life.” said Fr. McGrath. “I was ordained at St. Pat’s back in 2006, served my diaconate here and have been a presider for 15 years. Throughout the years, I would never have imagined serving as pastor one day, but when the cardinal raised the possibility, I consulted with my Jesuit provincial and prayed with the question. I am humbled to accept the appointment.” Although this is an appointment of a Jesuit priest as pastor of Old St. Patrick’s, the church itself is not being entrusted to the Society and will remain a diocesan parish.
Founded in 1846 as the first English-speaking parish in the city, Old St. Patrick’s is home to a membership of more than 3,000 households. The church describes itself as “community-driven, lay-led, and Christ-centered in a way that challenges and supports the institutional church, acting as a model for the future of Catholic communities in our city.”
About Fr. Patrick E. McGrath, SJ
Father Patrick E. McGrath, SJ, was named Loyola Academy’s eighth president in 2009. He has previously served as the Midwest Jesuits provincial assistant for secondary education and taught at St. Ignatius College Preparatory School in Chicago. He holds a BA in American government from the University of Notre Dame, a M.Div at the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley, and a MS in learning and organizational change from Northwestern University. A search for his successor at Loyola Academy is underway.
About the Midwest Jesuits
The Society of Jesus, or the Jesuits, is a Roman Catholic order of priests and brothers that was founded nearly 500 years ago by St. Ignatius of Loyola. In the vision of our founder, we seek to “find God in all things” and dedicate ourselves to Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam, or the “greater glory of God” and the good of all humanity. We do all of this in grateful collaboration with others who share our values, including laypeople who are part of the extended Jesuit family. The Midwest Jesuits encompass an area comprised of Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, and most of northern and eastern Illinois.