Chicago pastor Father Tom Hurley bringing block party to South Side Marist campus

It's the end of an era at Old St. Patrick's Catholic Church, as the iconic-longtime pastor, Father Tom Hurley, will lead his final mass this Sunday.

But Friday, FOX 32 learned exclusively that for his next move — a leadership post at his alma mater, Marist High School — he's going to be resurrecting one of his soon-to-be-former church's most famous traditions: a summer music festival.

"You can take the boy out of Old St. Pat's and the block party, but you can't take the block party and Old St. Pat's out of the boy," Hurley said.

Under Father Hurley's leadership, Old St. Pat's "World's Largest Block Party" in the West Loop grew to be one of the most iconic Chicago summer music festivals, all to benefit the ministry.

"That party went for 35 years. It had a great trademark. It was a summer staple that everybody looked forward to," said Hurley.


But stiff competition from other summer music events, coupled with the pandemic, ended the block party for good back in 2020. Fortunately, Hurley announced as part of his new post at Marist High School on the South Side, the party's next iteration is back in a matter of weeks.

"It's amazing what happens when you bring music, good people together and a few adult beverages," Hurley said. "So we thought let's give it a shot."

It's called the South Side Summerfest. It's happening July 23rd. It will feature three bands, food and drinks, and it will all happen on the Marist High School Football Field.

"I think it's just time to have some fun and bring people together. We need to," said Hurley.

Similar to the block party, all proceeds raised by South Side Summerfest will go toward financial aid for students and families. Ticket information is expected to be announced in the coming weeks.