Brian was born in a small city just west of Toronto, Canada, the eastern-most parish of the Diocese of Huron. Although the family eventually moved right into the city, Brian was raised up for the priesthood and ordained in his home diocese.
Immediately after his ordination to the diaconate, Brian emigrated to the United States to join a community of Episcopalian Benedictine monks in Three Rivers, Michigan. Parishioners (and anyone who’s listened to Brian’s homilies over the years) know that his five years of monastic experience gave him many decades of stories and reflections.
He left the monastery on Ash Wednesday 1985 and moved to Chicago. He has served in several parishes on Chicago’s north side and throughout the Diocese of Chicago. At the same time that his parish ministry began, he started a small practice in spiritual direction. From the time he arrived, Brian was involved in a variety of community commitments, including the Aids Pastoral Care Network and Demico Youth Services in Cabrini Green.
In 1990 he left full-time parish work to emphasize spiritual direction. He served as an honorary assistant at St. James’ Cathedral and did interim and supply work around the diocese. Brian is a popular retreat leader and has led clergy, vestry, individual and small group retreats throughout the United States and Canada.
His retreat work at the DeKoven Foundation in Racine Wisconsin led to his invitation to sit on their Board of Directors. Conserving the remarkable heritage of its buildings and history of service to the Episcopal Church, yet seeking a new and vigorous ministry for the site in the 21st century is a current passion of his.
Brian currently serves as Rector of Church of Our Saviour in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago. He arrived in 1999 in a very part-time capacity and was elected Rector in 2008. Like DeKoven, COS has both a remarkable architectural and ‘people’ heritage. He and the congregation are equally energized about moving this heritage into the future.
Brian and Roger Gumm have been life-mates for over 27 years. Together they helped raise two daughters, who are now both married with children of their own. Bicycling, walking their Cairn Terrier (the famous Ripley) and tending a young vineyard rounds out Brian’s life.