Annual Catholic Appeal 2019

Some years ago I was sitting across the table from a priest who was the pastor of an inner city parish in Chicago. Our conversation revolved around our respective parishes and eventually I asked the inevitable question: “How much do you receive in weekly offerings?” He said that they got on average $3,000 a week. My jaws automatically dropped. I could not believe my ears. I asked him, “How do you manage to run a parish on that amount?” He replied, “That amount is not enough even to heat the church. We would be forced to shut down if the archdiocese did not come to our aid.”

It was then that I was once again reminded that we are part of a bigger reality. We do not stand alone. The Annual Catholic Appeal recalls this truth. Just as St. Paul encouraged the early Christians to come to the aid of their brothers and sisters in need, every year the Cardinal appeals to our generosity on behalf of our needy communities across Chicago. I know for sure that you are very generous. Many of you have been giving to this annual appeal for years and you would have received the letter in the mail. Through our response to our Cardinal’s request, we prove once again that we are a caring parish.

Next weekend we will be conducting the in-pew pledges for the Annual Catholic Appeal. The theme for this year is: “Come, follow Me… and share the Word!”

Here are some words from our Cardinal regarding this year’s appeal:

The Annual Catholic Appeal is a way that you, as a disciple, can support the work of your parish, our archdiocese and those afflicted by poverty throughout the world. Your support of the appeal means so much to so many people. And you need to hear that clearly. The helping hand that you extend through your contributions assists parishes in need, Catholic schools, religious education programs, ministry formation and initiatives to eradicate violence and to foster justice, peace and respect for life. Through Catholic Relief Services, you extend help to those throughout the world whose lives are affected by diseases, natural disasters, wars and famines.

There are many schools and parishes that would close their doors but for the help from this annual fund.  It sustains numerous charitable initiatives to parishes and schools throughout the archdiocese. Poor parishes receive debt relief because of the monies collected. You can read about the fund’s many laudable projects on the archdiocesan website. The fund also supports the necessary structures that serve the needs of parishioners and parishes around Chicago.

In these last few years I have seen for myself the services provided by the archdiocesan offices. I have personally relied on their resources with regard to our school, legal issues, marriage matters and human resources. When we undertake construction projects, they help us with our contracts and supervise the quality of the work done. We enjoy significant discounts on many of our operating expenses by participating in archdiocesan-wide contracts for gas, electricity, telephone services, health plans for our teachers and employees, maintenance purchases and outside printing, to name a few. Over the last few years I had to call on the Human Resources Department at the archdiocese a couple of times to help us with personnel issues. Without those services we as a parish could not function efficiently and effectively.

I encourage you to support the Annual Catholic Appeal because it also helps our parish. As you may be aware, the archdiocese sets a goal for each parish based on their offertory collection. If the parish exceeds the target, the excess comes back to the parish. Our parishioners are so generous that every year we receive a significant refund that finances certain capital projects. We are hoping to get a hefty refund from the Annual Appeal this year too. Over the years we have used the annual appeal refund check to fund several important capital projects.

I want to thank you for all the ways you contribute to our parish community and to the larger archdiocese. I would like to appeal to you to give what you can to the Annual Catholic Appeal. It is a worthy cause. Its purpose is not to sustain a superfluous bureaucracy. Its objective is to help those in need and to support parishes in Cook and Lake Counties.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those parishioners who stepped up following my appeal for increased giving. Many have upped their weekly donations and quite a few have signed up for on-line giving. I would like to encourage many more of you to give on-line. When more and more parishioners exercise their generosity through on-line giving, the more secure our finances will be.

God’s house is made up of living stones and each one of us contributes to this organism called the Church. In that sense we are responsible for each other. We belong to one family. Here is an opportunity to declare that we are part of the bigger Church. We come to each other’s assistance. That is what we have done for centuries. That is what we do now.

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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Contact Information

St. Paul of the Cross

320 South Washington Street
Park Ridge, IL 60068

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Phone: (847) 825-7605

Mass Schedule

Monday - Friday

8:30 am - Upper Church


4:30 pm (vigil) - Upper Church


7:30 am - Upper Church

9:00 am - Holy Family Chapel

9:30 am - Gym

10:30 am - Upper Church

12:00 pm - Gym