Fr. James' Letters

May 8, 2022

Dear Parishioners,

“The disciples were filled with joy” (Acts 13:52). One finds the concluding line of our first reading almost a non sequitur. Paul and Barnabas were rejected, persecuted, falsely accused, and kicked out of the city. And they’re filled with joy?

When we are people of prayer, we can withstand the suffering Paul and Barnabas experienced. And not only ‘withstand’ the suffering, but experience joy in the midst of it.

“These are the ones who have survived the time of great distress,” God reveals to John in our second reading (Revelation 7:14). Precisely the saints in Heaven – the “elders wearing the white robes” – are those who experienced distress. But it wasn’t just a matter of “surviving” and not quitting in the face of distress. No. They were active. What these elders did in the time of distress was “wash their robes in the blood of the lamb."

That is, they turned to God in the midst of their suffering and persecution. They prayed. Paul and Barnabas weren’t just thick-skinned. That wasn’t how they survived. They were men of prayer. Their rejection and false accusation, I’m sure, was painful, and they prayed through it.

Have you brought that to prayer? Have you told that to God? are questions I will often ask someone when they tell me about their pain and perhaps even their anger at the situation. If we can bring to God what we are suffering, as menial as our suffering might be, especially compared to others who are going through major pain (like the people in Ukraine, for instance), we will survive and possess an inner joy.

Bring your distress to the Lord. He wants to receive it. Pray specifically and concretely with your pain. Give your hurt to God and let him comfort you, wipe the tear from your eye (cf. Revelation 7:17) and assure you that you are his sheep around his shoulders.

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Happy Mother’s Day. Thank you to all the mothers and all the women who act like mothers, giving us love, affection, support, and wisdom (and much more). I’m grateful to my own mother, of course, but I’m also grateful to many of you who are mothers, in more ways than one, to me. Everything you do for me is very appreciated: your prayers, your presence, asking me how I’m doing when I look sick or tired, dropping off food and groceries, your advice when I commit a faux pas (frequently). I love the Blessed Mother, and many of you women are reflections of the Virgin Mary.

Just a reminder, confessions will start now at 6:45pm during the Monday Evening of Prayer. And this week Father Nick will be giving the reflection at about 7:15pm prior to Benediction.

On Monday, May 9, there will be a Park Ridge Police Memorial Prayer service at Hodges Park. We will remember the fallen officers at this annual prayer service.

Saturday, May 14th at 10:30am and 2pm is the second round for First Communion. Once again, congratulations to our second graders and their families. We praise God and thank you, Jesus, for this day.

Please note, there will be no Saturday 4:30pm HFC Mass on May 7th and May 14th, nor will there be 3pm confessions those Saturdays, due to First Communion going on in church.

On Saturday, May 14th our seminarian Kevin Gregus will be ordained a deacon in the church. The ordination Mass will be at Mundelein Seminary. Congratulations, Kevin. Kevin will be ordained a “transitional deacon” (every priest is ordained a deacon for at least six months prior to being ordained a priest) with four of his classmates. They will then be ordained priests in May of 2023. Kevin will be with us for the summer and you’ll see him assisting and preaching at Masses. Kevin’s first Mass as a deacon will be the 10:30am Upper Church Mass on Sunday, May 15th.

Speaking of seminarians, Martin Nyberg will be officially ending his internship at the parish on May 16th. But don’t be sad! Martin isn’t going anywhere (I won’t let him… just kidding). Martin and three other seminarians (Kevin Gregus, Dan Korenchan, and Tim Berryhill) will actually be staying at the SPC rectory from the middle of May until the middle of August while they complete their summer assignment. So we’ll have a full house in the rectory, and you’ll see these good guys around the campus and at Mass and probably in your homes for dinner!

And thank you to parishioner Loretta Fuller for providing her beautiful image for the front cover of the bulletin this week!

Your servant 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