By Manya A. Brachear
January 15, 2012
Like many Roman Catholic men who feel called to the priesthood, the Rev. Jim Hearne wrestled with whether ordination was right for him.
The youngest of seven in an Irish Catholic family, he saw the joy of family life firsthand and never could quite extinguish the desire to one day have children of his own. But spurred to help stem the priest shortage and strengthen the integrity of the cloth, Hearne donned a priest's collar in 2005 at age 25.
Now he wonders if his six years in the pulpit as "Father Jim" might have been preparation to become Jim, the father. After a six-month leave of absence from St. Giles Roman Catholic Church in Oak Park, Hearne has decided he will not return to the pulpit, but he will stay in the pews and pray to one day start a family of his own.
He has no intention of turning his back on Catholicism. Rather, he wants to be more faithful to the church he calls home, and faithful to his feelings.
Hearne has fallen in love....
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Photo: Jim Hearne in his new uniform as a security guard.