Father Greg Sakowicz (Archdiocese of Chicago '79) Rector of Holy Name Cathedral, Chicago, IL
Submitted by: Dr. Eileen Quinn Knight
It is very difficult to run a Cathedral. Father Greg did it with grace and kindness. He was aware of people's suffering and wanted to assist all in the best way he could. To say that none of us could predict what it would mean to run a complicated business such as the cathedral, at basically any time, but even more complicated with a pandemic. Plus our Cathedral was in the midst of the area hit hard by rioting and looting. Father Greg had to be aware and awake 24 hours a day, every day of the week. He was aware of the need for people's safety and required Father Marek to make sure everything was in order before the Church was reopened.
I think it was a very difficult time for every priest because they were not able to do their priestly work of helping others to know Christ and His Church in a way that would move them along on their journey. He allowed Father Vollmer to continue with his RCIA work on Zoom which was good for the team and those studying to become a part of the community of HNC. He and the Cardinal were very aware of the needs of the people and kept them safe. The administrators of the city followed their lead and looked to our leaders for what to do in downtown Chicago. In the midst of all that, he took care of the people who would panhandle at the Cathedral so they would be okay. Because we were not open, people would leave a donation at the rectory and Father Greg was generous enough to make sure all were thanked. There was no way that Father Greg would do anything that wasn't kind and merciful. When I saw him, I would think how generous he was to take the job and do it with such devotion. His kindness is something everyone in our society should imitate.