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Mission Statement: As children of God, living in a Catholic community of faith, we are united by the Gospel message of Jesus Christ. Aware that all we have is gift and grace from our Heavenly Father, we strive to give of our time, talent and treasure to build His kingdom on earth. We live this mission, challenged by the Word, nurtured by the Sacraments, and enlivened by the Spirit, to serve our brothers and sisters in peace, justice and dignity. All are welcome on this journey.

Our Moms

This Sunday we celebrate “Mother’s Day!” Even though it is a commercial celebration, it is more than appropriate that we honor and thank our mothers. No matter how old we get, our mothers are always special to us. There is a Jewish proverb which says: “God could not be everywhere. That is why He created mothers.” More than anyone else, our moms teach us about love by the way they love us unconditionally and unfailingly. 

 

As I sat down to write this column, I was thinking of my own mom who passed away more than fourteen years ago. Not a day passes when I don’t think of her at least fifty times a day. I consider my mother to be one of God’s greatest gifts in my life. Many of us here at St Paul’s are fortunate to have our mothers with us while some of us nurture the hope of seeing ours in heaven. Let us all give thanks to God for our mothers. Where will we be without them? Let us pray for all mothers and let us pray for young moms and seasoned moms, moms with children and moms without. Let us also remember those women who have not been given this gift and yet give life in so many ways. May the children love their moms today and always, and make them realize how much they are appreciated! In the words of William Makepeace Thackeray, “Mother is the name for God in the lips and hearts of little children.”

Even as we think of our moms, let us think of the special mother that the Master gave us. As He was about to breathe His last, He offered Mary to be our mother. In our Catholic tradition the month of May has always been the month of Mary. Even though we do not conduct any public devotions to Mary, it will be good for us as individuals and as families to turn to Mary. If you are not already praying it, it may be a good idea to pick up the Rosary. Just as our earthly mothers have a huge part to play in our physical and emotional development, Mary can contribute much to our spiritual growth. Please teach our children to embrace Mary as their own spiritual mother.

Mary is not only our mother. She is our model. She is the first and the best disciple. Even when the Twelve had taken to their heels and were afraid to acknowledge being Jesus’ followers, she stood at the foot of the cross. She has shown us what it means to be open to the designs of the Spirit. Her total submission to the will of God will always challenge us to bow our heads in obedience to God’s plans. She is the humble handmaid of the Lord and she constantly gives thanks to God for the wonders He worked in her life. During her visitation to her pregnant cousin, Elizabeth, and at the marriage feast of Cana, she demonstrated her eagerness to come to the aid of others. She proves that when you are filled with God, you need to serve His children.

In our Catholic tradition, Mary has always played a major role. One of the unintended consequences of the reforms set afoot by Vatican II was that Marian devotion slowly disappeared from the Catholic practice, especially in the West. We need to return to Mary. I am always moved when I see a bride praying at the statue of Mary during the wedding Mass. I hope and pray that the new couple will welcome Mary into their new home. Every family in our parish should invite Mary into their home. In fact we should bring the entire Holy Family into our family. They will watch over us and take care of us. We need to teach our children to have a strong devotion to Mary. They should feel comfortable to seek Mary’s intercession in all their troubles. As a parish, we need to teach our children and adults how to pray the Rosary. Contrary to what some of our Christian brothers and sisters claim, Mary does not take us away from Jesus. She draws us closer to Him. As the great Bishop Fulton Sheen said, “Have Mary on your mind and Jesus will grow in your heart!”

There are certain Marian prayers that have been part of our Catholic tradition and practice for a long time. Here is one prayer that we can say in any need. It is attributed to St Bernard who was a great devotee of Mary and lived in the twelfth century. I invite all of us to pray the “Memorare” during the month of May. Here is that powerful prayer that has been prayed over the centuries by saints and sinners:

REMEMBER, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly to thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother; to thee do I come; before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen.

Let us grow in our love and devotion to Mary and she will help us draw closer to her Son. May all of us enjoy the protection of our Blessed Mother!

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Contact Information

St. Paul of the Cross

320 South Washington Street
Park Ridge, IL 60068


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Phone: (847) 825-7605
Fax: (847) 825-5186

Mass Schedule

Sunday

7:30 a.m. - Upper Church
9 a.m. - Upper Church & Holy Family Chapel
10:30 a.m. - Upper Church & Holy Family Chapel
12 p.m. - Upper Church
5:30 p.m. - Upper Church

Monday - Friday

6:25 a.m. - Upper Church
8:30 a.m. - Upper Church

Saturday

8 a.m. - Upper Church
4:30 p.m. - Upper Church & Holy Family Chapel