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Commit to Faith

At the beginning of this Lenten season, we are highly motivated to jump start our spiritual lives and we probably have made some practical resolutions. I would like to encourage all of us to use this time of grace for our spiritual growth. Seven years ago, Bishop Francis Kane was at our parish to confirm our young men and women. During the confirmation liturgy, he gave a strong homily that challenged our young people to commit themselves to their Catholic faith. I believe his words will profit all of us if we put into practice, especially during this Lent, the four points that he proposed.

 

The bishop asked our confirmandi to do four things which all of us need to carry out in our own lives. During this Lent, our parish offers many opportunities to achieve these four goals.

 

  • Know the faith: How can we love something if we do not know what it is? In order to be committed to our faith, we must first of all be familiar with it. I know that most of us learned our faith when we were very young. Unfortunately for most of us, our faith education stopped at eighth grade or so. Now that we are adults, we need to revisit that faith and make it our own. This Lent, our parish is offering us a unique opportunity to delve deeper into the richness of our faith. Last Lent, we started a series of presentations entitled, “What do Catholics believe?” The pandemic disrupted that series, and we would like to resume those talks this year. On the coming four Mondays, we will be able to listen to these presentations. We can be physically present in the church for these talks or watch them on our livestream. Please go to our website or our bulletin for details.

 

  • Live the faith: Our faith is not merely a set of doctrines or even a code of moral conduct. It is an invitation to establish a personal relationship with the living person of Jesus Christ. The next step that we must take this season is to live our faith. Every time we go to Mass, at the end the priest says: “Go forth, the Mass is ended!” He is not merely announcing the end of our liturgical celebration. He is challenging us to live the Word we heard during Mass. He is calling on us to practice what the Lord has taught us. We need to live the faith outside the doors of the Church. We practice our faith particularly by holding ourselves to the standards of the gospel, the norms of the Sermon on the Mount. We live our faith by being compassionate and loving to all, especially the poor and the weak. We give witness to our faith by raising our voices for the voiceless against the injustices of our world.

 

  • Pray the faith: Committing to our faith is not like following a political ideology or belonging to an exclusive club. It is a spiritual endeavor which can be accomplished only through the power of the Holy Spirit. In order to become faith-filled, we need to become men and women of prayer. Each one of us has to develop our own personal prayer life. This Lenten season, our parish offers us ample opportunities to nurture our personal lives of prayer. Daily Mass, frequent confession, adoration, reciting the Rosary, and taking time for personal prayer are ways to deepen our prayer life. On Fridays of Lent, we have adoration after morning Mass, and we have Stations of the Cross on Friday evenings.

 

  • Celebrate the faith: As Catholics we understand that our faith is always communitarian. We do not stand before God merely as individuals. God calls us to Himself as members of the community of faith. It is not enough to engage in personal prayer. We need to participate in the prayer of the community. The Sunday Eucharist is the pre-eminent moment of community prayer. We are at our best when we are at the Eucharist. Especially during this Lent, I encourage everyone to commit to the Sunday Eucharist. Just as we form and strengthen our bonds of family around the dinner table, we forge and reinforce our bonds as Church around the Eucharistic table. I do understand that the number of people allowed to attend Mass these days is limited. However, there are always open spots for the noon Mass in the gym. If you have difficulty signing up, please call the parish office, and we will try to find a seat for you.

 

For most Catholics, Lent has been about giving up something, about fasting. By focusing on knowing, living, praying, and celebrating our faith, we put our emphasis on the right things. I shall leave you with the encouraging words of Bishop Fulton Sheen who invites us to keep our focus on the reason why we fast:

 

Self-discipline never means giving up anything, for giving up is a loss. Our Lord did not ask us to give up the things of the earth, but to exchange them for better things.

 

May the Spirit of God sustain us in our Lenten journey!

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.

Liturgical Schedule

MASS TIMES

   Monday through Friday

   8:30 am - Upper Church

   Saturday

   4:30 pm - Upper Church

   Sunday

   7:30 am - Upper Church

   9:00 am - HFC

   9:30 am - Gym

   10:30 am - Upper Church

   12:00 pm - Gym

ADORATION

   1st and 3rd Friday

   after 8:30 am Mass

   (must attend Mass first)

CONFESSION

   Wednesday

   3-4 pm - Upper Church

   Saturday

   8-9 am - Upper Church

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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

Saturday

4:30 pm (vigil) - Upper Church

Sunday

7:30 am - Upper Church

9:00 am - Holy Family Chapel

9:30 am - Gym

10:30 am - Upper Church

12:00 pm - Gym