Fr. James' Letters

January 30, 2022

Dear Parishioners,

"They also asked, 'Isn’t this the son of Joseph?'" (Luke 4:22).

Yes, Jesus is the son of Joseph. And proud of it.

Joseph was a good man. He was a good father. He was the best of men, the best of fathers. Joseph was patient and kind. He was not jealous, he was not pompous. He was not inflated or rude or seeking only his own interests. He was not quick-tempered or one to brood over injuries or rejoice over wrongdoing. Joseph rejoiced in the truth, bore all things, believed all things, hoped all things, endured all things. Joseph never failed. 

Paul wrote those characteristics on love to the Corinthians (see our second reading). I imagine he received them from Mary, and I imagine Mary, in describing love to Paul, simply described her husband.

Jesus likewise had all those characteristics Joseph had. He was patient, kind, etc. Our Lord could have fought back against Nazareth when they tried to kill him. Instead, he simply sighed, passed through their midst, and went away. 

Jesus loved God the Father, and God the Father would not have wanted his son to destroy Nazareth. Jesus walked away out of love.

Joseph, I am sure, experienced his own rejections throughout his life, maybe even from these same people at Nazareth. Joseph never fought back. He simply walked away. He did so out of love for God.

And this is Joseph's greatest trait: his love of God. "So faith, hope, love remain, these three," says Saint Paul, "but the greatest of these is love" (1 Corinthians 13:13). The love of God is the greatest thing there is. Joseph had it. I pray that all of us, especially fathers, have it too.

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This week is Catholic Schools Week throughout the Archdiocese. Students will read essays at the Masses this weekend, and the school will have special activities throughout the week, including a special Mass on Friday at 10am (so they won't be at the Tuesday 8:30am) and a faculty-students volleyball game on Friday afternoon (I'll be on the faculty team… go faculty!). We are very blessed with a strong school, and I'm grateful to Dr. Mickelburgh and her team, as well as to Siobhan Haugh and our school board, for their leadership and dedication. 

This Monday, January 31st, after the Monday Evening of Prayer in the Upper Church, is the Respect Life Candlelight Rosary at 7:30pm.

As I mentioned in my bulletin article last week, Seminarian Martin Nyberg has begun his pastoral internship at the parish. Martin will be with us full-time until May. Again, please say hi to Martin, pray for him as he learns what it's like to be a parish priest, and "break him in" with a crazy question or a chaotic dinner situation!

Finally, I want to give you a brief, high-level, mid-fiscal year financial report. These are numbers from July 31, 2021 through December 31, 2021. Our total Sunday collection is about $866,000. This is about $95,000 higher than last year. Our Christmas collection is currently at $204,366. This is up about $13,000 from last year. Our total investment gains for the past six months are about $127,000 (due to the fairly strong market). Last year's gains were nearly $400,000 at this time (due to the very strong market). Our expenses this year are down about $20,000 compared to last year, mainly due to one less priest in the house. Our endowment is at $2.3 million total, up about $120,000 from July 31st. Our total assets at our local bank are about $2.3 million and at the Archdiocese's bank about $5.1 million. Finally, the special collection last fall for the Seminary brought in about $14,000 (last year was $4,000).

So, as you can see, overall, we are doing very well from a financial standpoint. I am grateful for your generosity and your support. I hope to do more regular reporting in the bulletin on our financials to keep you aware of our status. You’ll notice on page 2 of the bulletin a weekly stewardship report we will now be publishing for you.

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