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Continuity

I cannot believe that the summer is almost coming to an end. In a couple of weeks people will begin to return from their vacations and children will be nervously awaiting the beginning of another school year. Many of you who were on vacation would have attended Sunday Mass in some other church in another part of our great country or even in another country. You would have been pleasantly surprised that the Mass is the same no matter where you go. We may not understand the language sometimes, but the rituals and the core of the Mass are identical to what we do here at St Paul’s. In those moments we are reminded that we are Catholics, part of this large Body of Christ.

 

As we mature in our faith, we need to come to the realization that we are not confined or totally defined by our local parish. We form a part of a much larger whole. We are part of the Church that extends beyond our geographic and temporal boundaries. We are part of something bigger than ourselves. We owe much not only to those who came before us but also to those who will come after us. There is an unbroken continuity between the past and the future.

In his efforts to execute the vision of “Renew My Church,” our shepherd, Cardinal Cupich, has been challenging us to fight the tendency towards parochialism. The groupings are meant to help us adopt the attitude that all of us are working to fulfill Christ’s mission. We are not in competition with each other. That is why the four parishes in our grouping – Our Lady of Ransom, Mary, Seat of Wisdom, Our Lady of Hope, and St Paul of the Cross – will attempt to work together and share some of our resources. We are one Church.

The Church that traces her origins back to Jesus Christ Himself makes herself present in the community of Park Ridge in and through St Paul of the Cross Parish. It is the larger Church that guarantees this continuity. It is not one pastor or the other. It is not the present group of parishioners or some other group from the past. It is the universal Church that ensures that we, as the local church, continue to be Church. It is in being in communion with this larger Church and with our Holy Father, Pope Francis, that we have legitimacy and efficacy. We are part of a grander history and at the same we are privileged to be making history. Sometimes we may be tempted to consider ourselves to be separate from the larger Church and to distance ourselves from the detours that she sometimes takes in response to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. 

It is good to remind ourselves that being Church is unlike being part of any other organization. We are not a franchise and we do not just carry the same logo and sell the same products. We are not even branches of a bank that enables its clients to be served more efficiently. We are fully Church and yet we do not stand alone. We are part of the big, universal Church that extends through both space and time. It is the Church of Christ that allows us to continue the mission of Jesus in our time and place. 

I am also aware that in recent years our faith in the institutional Church has been shaken. Many of her sins have been brought into bold relief, especially in our country. We must remember that our Church is both human and divine, sinner and saint. We are aware of her sins and failures. At the same time, we are also deeply conscious of the holiness and the beauty of this Church. We are proud of her rich tradition, of her long line of saints and sages, of her band of ministers and servants of the poor. We believe in her because Christ is with her and will never abandon her.

Sometimes you may feel upset with the Church, and rightly so. In those moments perhaps you can remember that the Holy Spirit guides the Church at all times and the Lord will never give up on her. Human beings do make mistakes and even commit sins. God, however, works out His plan of salvation in spite of our faults and failures. This is His Church and God will ensure that His plan of salvation continues to evolve in and through this Church.

As I am into my ninth year as your pastor, I remember the commitment I made at my installation to lead this community as a faithful servant of the Catholic Church. I am fully conscious of my challenge. I pray that while we are grateful for the unique gifts of this community, all of us will work together to make St Paul of the Cross an even stronger Catholic parish. Hopefully our ancestors and those who come after us will feel proud of us. More importantly, we hope that the Lord will be pleased with our efforts.

You are all in my prayers. God love you!

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.

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Oct
20


6:30 am - 7:30 am

Oct
22


3:00 pm - 4:30 pm

Oct
24


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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