Fr. James' Letters

November 14, 2021

Dear Parishioners,

Many of you know I enjoy riding my bike. Bicycle, not motorcycle — that would be Father Nick. Unless there's snow on the ground, I will almost always ride my bike over to parishioners' houses for dinner. Makes me feel less guilty about having that second helping and second "sodapop." Though after some of your incredible dinners I feel like I need to ride up to the Botanic Gardens before returning to the rectory in order to work off the meal. It's a good problem.

The challenging problem of riding my bike is the darkness, especially this time of year. Dark Ridge has no street lights. If it's a new house I'm visiting, it can be hard to find the address. And sometimes cars don't always see me since I'm in black and my bike is black. My guardian angel has certainly got his money's worth these years. We hear about the angel Michael and the guardians in the first reading, by the way.

We also hear this: “But the wise shall shine brightly like the splendor of the firmament, and those who lead the many to justice shall be like the stars forever" (Daniel 12:3).

Yes, Park Ridge may be literally dark, but spiritually it is bright, and because of you. You are wise with your faith in God and your support of the Church. You are just as well. You'll see below in my letter how good and generous you've been to those in need. You are the stars for the city.

When I ride my bike, I don't need a street light above or even a light on my handlebars. You have given me light. Park Ridge is indeed bright because of the Catholic faith and Saint Paul of the Cross Parish.

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The 2021 Annual Catholic Appeal has just about closed out. If you recall, we took up the in-pew ACA collection last February, though the appeal goes on throughout the year. The 2021 goal for St. Paul of the Cross was $132,897.24. You all raised $152,461.00. Well done!  Our parish has received back from the Archdiocese nearly $20,000. The ACA is such an important collection for the Archdiocese, and our parish has one of the largest goals throughout the Archdiocese, so I truly want to commend you all. The funds we give the Archdiocese go to support poorer parishes and other well-needed services the Archdiocese gives to us and others. I will keep you posted on our goal for 2022, but I imagine it will be up in the stratosphere again. 

Speaking of generosity, I want to give a little update on the Social Services Ministry. As many of you know, I was invited recently to go on a very quick trip to Puerto Rico with Cardinal Cupich. We surveyed many of the churches, schools, and institutions devastated by the recent hurricanes and earthquakes, and the efforts, through the Catholic Extension Society, to rebuild these areas. Our parish is well regarded in Puerto Rico (and in other "mission" territories throughout the US). SPC has raised significant funds in our recent Lenten appeals for these poorer communities, and your donations have made a huge difference. I'm grateful to Adrienne Timm and the school for helping make this possible, and, of course, your donations.

On the Saturday before Thanksgiving, November 20th, SPC will distribute 150 turkeys/dinners/pumpkin pies through our food pantry. Thank you to Jewel-Osco for their tremendous donation. And thank you to the volunteers, particularly from the men's club and Kiwanis, who will be on hand to pass out the dinners. Looking ahead, on the Saturday before Christmas, we will distribute ham dinners, again, thanks to the contributions from Jewel. We will also be handing out 982 $50 WalMart gift cards to needy families for Christmas gifts. 

In the back of the church are seminarian cards. Please feel free to take a card home with you and pray for our seminarians.

I look forward to the book club discussion this Monday evening at 7:30pm. On Tuesday morning following the 8:30am Mass we invite folks to Duffin Hall to join us for coffee and pastries. Tuesday evening there will be a 2nd grade Zoom parent meeting to discuss the Sacrament of Reconciliation. There will also be a school board meeting that evening. And the school will have a special Thanksgiving Mass on Friday, November 19th at 10am. 

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)

Saturday

8:00 am (UC) - weekday Mass

4:30 pm (UC and HFC) - vigil

Sunday

7:30 am (UC)

9:00 am (UC)

10:30 am (UC and HFC)

12:00 pm (UC)