Fr. James' Letters

August 22, 2021

Dear Parishioners,

This, to me, is one of the most moving scenes in the Gospels.  Jesus has given the Bread of Life Discourse. It's off-putting and many leave. Jesus, as people are walking away from him, turns to his apostles and asks them if they wish to leave as well. Peter says they will stay. "To whom shall we go?" (John 6:68), is his response.

To whom shall we go.

God bless Saint Peter! He nails it on the head. As challenging as the life of Christian discipleship might be, no other way is better. Being in relationship with Jesus in his church is the most fulfilling life.

I think we all face the "grass is greener on the other side" temptation. When life is challenging raising children, pastoring a parish, or working a particular job, etc., we can drift and think about having a different life.

That is precisely when we need to turn to the Lord in prayer, not indulge that false way of thinking that would tell us to flee the challenge to something more comfortable, and let Jesus into our suffering.

Those "disciples" walked away from God. They turned their back on life. They turned their back on fulfillment and true joy. Peter did not. 

When we are challenged may we not turn away from Jesus, but to him.

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Someone asked me the other day what brings me joy in my ministry. There are a lot of things that I enjoy doing as a pastor. The first would be praying: praying individually and praying with you all. We pray together at Mass, of course, but I want to pray even more with you.  And I want to pray with you all specifically in our beautiful church and before the Lord in the Eucharist.  

So, beginning Monday, September 13th we will be starting the Monday Evenings of Prayer at Saint Paul of the Cross. Every Monday we will have Eucharistic Adoration in the upper church from 5:30pm-7:30pm. The Blessed Sacrament will be exposed in the monstrance at 5:30pm and then we will pray Evening Prayer (Vespers) together. The church will then be open for silent prayer before the Lord. Confessions will be heard from 6:30pm-7pm. There will also be a short talk on prayer at 7:15pm. We will conclude with Benediction at 7:30pm.

You are welcome to come for all or part of the evening of Adoration. Stop in for some quiet prayer on your way home from work or after dinner before you turn your evening show on (you can miss the first few innings of the White Sox gameā€¦ and the Cubs don't even have a team right now, so don't worry). I hope you'll pray before the Lord, deepen your trust in him, and perhaps invite someone else to do the same.

School begins this week! Grades 1-8 have their first day on Tuesday, and the pre-school and kindergarten on Wednesday. Many of our college students have returned to school as well. Stay close to Jesus. I will be praying for you.

Religious Education is also revving up. I look forward to meeting the catechists on Wednesday and I want to thank Anna Mae Parkhill, our Director of Religious Education, for her hard work running our large program.

Please see inside the bulletin for the Perpetual Adoration chart of slots that are still open for adorers. We have about 50% of the time slots filled.

The parish book group will be meeting on Monday, September 27th at 7:30pm to discuss The Keys of the Kingdom by A.J. Cronin. 

If you missed last week's bulletin, please read about the seminarians who have been assigned to St. Paul.  We'll introduce them in the upcoming weeks.

Finally, I want to encourage our teens in high school, if they aren't already, to think about getting involved with the CRUX teen ministry. There is more information in the bulletin, including a schedule of upcoming events. 

Yours in Christ,

Who is Fr. James?

Father James Wallace grew up in Winnetka, Illinois and attended Sts. Faith Hope and Charity grammar school, New Trier High School, and then The George Washington University in Washington DC, where he earned his undergraduate degree in Political Science in 2007. He attended seminary at The Pontifical North American College in Rome and was ordained a priest in 2012 for the Archdiocese of Chicago. In addition to being the pastor of Saint Paul of the Cross Parish, he serves as a canon lawyer for the Archdiocese, a dean in Vicariate II, and a professor of canon law and spiritual director at Mundelein Seminary. He is also one of the featured Mercy Home Sunday Mass celebrants, airing Sundays at 9:30am on WGN.

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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

UC = Upper Church
HFC = Holy Family Chapel 

Monday - Friday

6:25 am UC

8:30 am UC


8:30 am UC - weekday Mass

4:30 pm UC - vigil


7:30 am UC

9:00 am UC

10:30 am UC and HFC

12:00 pm UC