Fr. James' Letters

May 22, 2022

Dear Parishioners,

This image I recently came across is titled “The Coronation of the Virgin with Six Angels.” It was painted by Agnolo Gaddi in 1390 and is currently held in the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC. Though the feast of Mary’s coronation is in August, it’s a fitting image to pray with during this month of May – think of May crowning – and with these readings.

Jesus’ tenderness to his mother is what is most striking. With great care and attention he places the crown atop Mary. His only concern is ensuring Mary receives her glory. Mary’s glory doesn’t take away from Christ’s – his crown is slightly above Mary’s – but adds to his own. When a parent’s son or daughter succeeds, the parent is not threatened, but enhanced.  

One author writes, “In Mary, tradition has always seen an image of the Church and so the coronation of Mary can be seen as the care of Christ, the ‘principal father,’ for each of his children.”

When Christ crowns Mary, the Mother of the Church, he crowns each of us. And that is why the Coronation of Mary is a nice image to reflect upon with our readings, which focus on the giving of the Holy Spirit. “My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him” (John 14:23). 

The Holy Spirit dwelling in us is our glory, and the Father’s glory too. With the Holy Spirit we are able to “face” God and talk to him, which is what authentic prayer is. We are able to be a source of grace to others.  

Our excerpt from the Book of Revelation gives the beautiful image of the city in heaven that has no temple, nor sun or moon. The souls in heaven provide the light, and their light is from the glory of God.

Jesus can be with all of us at once and he can provide all the light necessary, but he chooses to use Mary and he chooses to use us. Mary can be with us, and comfort us. We can be with each other, and comfort each other. This adds to Jesus’ glory. 

I was always more amazed by the Easter bunny than by Santa Claus. Both are able to appear to millions of people at once – clearly a miracle. But Santa Claus had helpers in his elves and reindeer. The Easter bunny was by himself. Impressive feat to get all those Cadbury cream eggs and Reese’s Peanut Butter eggs (my favorite) out to all those Easter baskets.

Jesus is not a one-man operation like the Easter bunny. He uses Mary, the angels and saints, and us on earth. He crowns us. He gives us the Holy Spirit and makes us all Easter bunnies!

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The 8th Grade School Ribbon Mass is this Tuesday, May 24th at 1pm in the upper church. Congratulations to our 8th graders. Please note, the students will not be attending the 8:30am Tuesday Mass this week.

Next weekend, May 28/29, due to Memorial Day weekend, there will be no HFC Masses on Saturday 4:30pm and Sunday 10:30am.

A reminder that we will be holding a special SPC Ukraine Prayer Service on Wednesday, May 25th. Please save the date and come pray with us. There will be two services: at 4pm and 7pm. The kids and adult choirs will perform, in addition to offering prayers and the rosary. 

This Monday, May 23rd will be the last Monday Evening of Prayer until after Labor Day. As usual, we will have Adoration, Confessions at 6:45pm, and I will give the talk on prayer at 7:15pm. Next Monday is Memorial Day, but on the following Monday, June 6th there will be a special concert in church at 7:30pm. If you enjoyed the time of Adoration on Monday evenings, I encourage you during the summer to keep up your routine and pray in our Adoration Chapel.

If you missed the note on Deacon Kevin Gregus and the three other seminarians, please check the bulletins from the last couple weeks. We are blessed to have them with us this summer.

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)

12:00 pm (HFC)