By SAMANTHA SMYLIE
The Archdiocese of Chicago has announced that Father Christopher Kituli will transfer from Queen of Martyrs Parish in Evergreen Park to be the pastor for St. Thomas the Apostle on Sept. 1.
Father Elias O’Brian shared the news with the church’s community through St. Thomas’ weekly bulletin on Aug. 11 and revealed the pastor’s name on Aug. 18.
“Even as I say goodbye to this incredible community, I want you to know that I will continue to pray for you. Some of you I baptized, some of you I gave first communion and confirmed. Some of you I was honored to marry. I celebrated Mass with you, and we received the sacraments together, and so there is a strong bond between us that cannot be broken,” said Father Elias in his Aug. 18 Pastor’s Letter.
Father Elias has been a key part of St. Thomas’ community for nine years and he will be missed, said Paula Jones, director of Parish Operations. Even though change is difficult, she said the parish’s community understands that change has been a part of the church’s history for the past 150 years.
“We know that pastors move on,” she said, “and we will welcome in and work with the new pastor that we are assigned.”
The parish is waiting to meet the new pastor to begin the transition. According to Jones, once the transition starts the Father Elias will meet with Father Kituli to answer any questions he may have and help him get to know parish. Jones’s role in the transition will be to assist the new pastor in understanding the parish and school’s operation while introducing him to staff.