Fr. John David van Dooren
Fr. John David van Dooren is a native of North Carolina, growing up on its coastal outer banks. His deep love for the Church began when his Rector asked him to become an altar boy at the age of eight, an invitation of great magnitude for a young soul. This positive experience led to years of formation in his small town Episcopal Church, and to his eventual call to the ordained priesthood.
Fr. van Dooren was graduated from the University of North Carolina and then attended the Virginia Theological Seminary. His first field assignment was to an Anglo-Catholic parish, one of the only few in the the area. There Fr. van Dooren was introduced to a spirituality that would define his eventual priesthood and lead him to a lifelong commitment to urban ministry.
After beginning his ordained life as chaplain and coach at an Episcopal school, Fr. van Dooren served as curate of All Souls Episcopal Church in Washington, DC. He then served as an assistant in a large Church near Baltimore, MD before being called back to All Souls as their sixth Rector. After 14 years as Rector, Fr. van Dooren accepted the call to the Church of the Atonement in Chicago, where he has served as Rector for the past eleven and half years. Both rectorships have been rewarding calls filled with growth and loving ministry.
Fr. van Dooren has shared the past 30 years of life with Gary Norcross. Soon after seminary, Fr. van Dooren met Gary who would become his partner in life and in ministry. At a time when same gender couples were less received in parishes, All Souls parish welcomed them with open arms taking a risk with a young rector and a nontraditional relationship. Fr. van Dooren and Gary will always hold dear that initial trust and parish call. Gary, a US Air Force veteran, presently serves as Principal of one of Chicago’s top performing public schools.
Fr. van Dooren, Gary, and their brilliant miniature Schnauzer, Robert, look forward to a new life serving the Church of the Transfiguration. They look to their future here with excitement and vision with an abiding trust that God is already there!