Serving Hyde Park’s Catholic Community since 1869

5472 South Kimbark Avenue,
Hyde Park, Chicago IL, 60615-5297
Phone: (773) 324-2626 Fax: (773) 891-0602

From the Pastor’s Desk

Dear Parishioners and Friends of St. Thomas the Apostle,

There are a lot of upcoming events and parish news that I would like to bring to your attention:

November is the month to remember the faithful departed. November is the month of All Souls. During November, we pray in an intentional way for the deceased. As part of our prayerful commemoration, the parish will set up an Altar of the Dead. You are invited to bring a framed picture of a deceased loved one for this altar. Please drop them off in the back of church after Mass or to the parish office.

Mark your calendar for a special All Souls Evening Prayer in the church on Wednesday, November 2 at 7PM. All are invited to attend and pray for the deceased of the parish.

Christmas Market, November 12-13, 2022. The Christmas Market is the weekend of November 12th. Please make sure to stop by to do some early Christmas shopping and support the parish. Also, don’t forget to buy a raffle ticket! Bishop Perry settling in well in the rectory. Many of you have asked me how

Bishop Perry is settling into the rectory. I’m happy to share with you that he is settling in very well and feeling right at home. As you can imagine, our schedules are very different, so we only really see each other in the mornings when we’re both headed out the door; him to the archdiocese and me to the parish offices. We’ve had dinner a couple of times when our schedules have lined up. He wanted me to express to you his gratitude for your well wishes as he settles into his new home here at the rectory.

Holy Hour for Vocations, Monday, November 7 at 6:30 PM in Church. The office of vocations for the Archdiocese of Chicago has asked certain parishes throughout the archdiocese to host a holy hour for vocations to the diocesan priesthood. St. Thomas has been asked to host one of the holy hours. It will take place on Monday, November 7th at 6:30 PM. It is a chance to intentionally pray for vocations to the priesthood in the Archdiocese of Chicago.

Claret Center to remain in the convent through June 2023. The Claret Center has been renting our convent since June and they have asked to extend their lease of the convent through June 2023. Originally, they were planning to depart St. Thomas by Christmas. However, work on their building on S. Everett is delayed. I welcome this news as they are good tenants, their mission supports the vision of the parish, and the stable rent income is very appreciated to maintain our financial health.

Going through a difficult moment and need someone to talk to? Reach out to our parish counselor Michael Olan. Don’t forget that we have a trained parish counselor on staff that is available to talk with you about any issues that are going on in your life. Michael Olan can be reached at or 872-212-6101.

Bible Study this Advent. A three-week bible study in Advent will start in December. We are taking registration to join now through November 13 so we can order enough materials. To learn more or to register, please email Timothy Johnston, pastoral associate, at

Floor replaced in Fireplace room in rectory. Back in August I came home from a two-week vacation to a huge water leak in the rectory which ruined a part of the floor in the fireplace room in the rectory which is now my living room. Since I was living along at the time I don’t know how long the leak was active before I came home.

A portion of the floor was removed, replaced, sanded, and restained to match the rest of the floor. The door to the room was swollen and ruined and had to be fixed by a carpenter. Finally, the wall that got most of the water damage was fixed and repainted to match the existing paint. The damages due to the leak cost about $10,000 but, luckily, we were able to use our insurance to fix the damages.

Looking to Upgrade our Sound System in Church

I get two common complaints about the sound in church:

  • I speak too fast.
  • I can’t hear you because the volume is too low.

The first complaint is something I’ve always been working on (you should’ve heard me when I was first ordained!) and it will take me some time. Each church is different to preach in and it always takes me time to get adjusted to the acoustics of the new space.

The second, regarding the volume, can no longer be fixed by our current system. I can only turn up the volume so much before we get feedback through the speakers. Speaking of speakers, part of the reason why you may not be able to hear me or someone else speaking at the mic is because there is one (yes, only one) speaker that is supposed to fill the entire church. It is in the front of the church above the altar.

Last week I had a sound technician come out to analyze our current system and it was given poor marks due to the lack of sound quality, volume, and capability. He shared that if you sit in the first six rows, you are in the best seat to hear. Any farther back and it gets exponentially worse. This is exacerbated in the summertime when the windows are open, and the fans are on which create a lot of ambient noise and make it even harder to hear.

I don’t know how much it is going to cost to upgrade our sound system, but I’m doing some preliminary work to get estimates. When I know more information, I’ll let you know.

For a cheap fix right now, sit in the first six rows.

Fr. Trail

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