Fr. James' Letters

June 12, 2022

Dear Parishioners,

Happy Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, also known as the “Preacher’s Nightmare.” I expect Deacon Kevin, who will be preaching at the Noon Mass to give a completely clear and satisfactory explanation of the Holy Trinity. Just kidding. When I was explaining the Trinity to little students the other day and they responded, “I don’t get it,” I said, “You’ll get it when you’re older.” Actually, that might not be true either. So, pressure is off brother deacons and preachers.

I do enjoy preaching on the Holy Trinity. Why? Well, because it’s preaching about God and God is love. The Holy Trinity is about relationship. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit exist in eternity relating to and loving one another. Without the Holy Trinity, there is none of this. Without the Holy Trinity we ourselves cannot relate to and love God. Jesus says, “Everything that the Father has is mine; for this reason I told you that he will take from what is mine and declare it to you” (John 16:15). Jesus gave, and is giving us, this relationship. So, without the Holy Trinity there is no authentic prayer life and, really, no good life at all.

I love the opening line from the Book of Proverbs: “The Lord possessed me” (Proverbs 8:22). Saint John Henry Newman has a beautiful prayer, called “The Jesus Prayer,” where he prays: “Penetrate and possess my whole being so utterly, that my life may only be a radiance of Yours.” Yes, Lord, possess us. May you ‘flood our souls with Your spirit and life’ and shine through us.

Then, the next line in Proverbs: “from of old I was poured forth…” (Proverbs 8:23). Another beautiful image. We are possessed by God and filled by God, only to be poured out and given away. The Holy Trinity loves each other, but they immediately give themselves away. God is not selfish. When we are filled by God, he moves us to be more charitable and more selfless.

“When the Lord established the heavens I was there…” (Proverbs 8:25). Think of the most beautiful piece of landscape you’ve seen: a mountain range, a setting sun over a beach, a grove of trees. Your soul is more beautiful than that. God made all that for you: “then I was beside him as his craftsman, and I was his delight day by day” (Proverbs 8:30).

The experience of the Trinity in Heaven is greater and more delightful than anything we could ever imagine. God will be beyond our wildest dreams. Our Lord is inviting us into that union. He is so good.

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This Friday, June 17th is the Men’s Club Bags Tournament in the SPC parking lot all evening (see picture above of the men’s club at a recent gathering). This is an epic event, and I think I’ll always remember it, as it was one of my first events last year when I started as pastor and I was impressed with the “bag playing” until the late hours of the evening.

As I mentioned last week, I will be away on silent retreat from Tuesday, June 14 until Tuesday, June 21. This is a retreat I take every year, where I completely unplug and spend time in prayer with the Lord. I will be completely inaccessible by phone or email, and keeping you all close in prayer. There is a binder with paper I will leave until Monday morning on the St. Joseph Altar. If you would like to write down any special intentions, please do so and I will offer prayers and Mass for those intentions while away. Thank you to Father Nick and the seminarians and staff for holding down the fort while I’m away. I’ve placed a lock on the beer fridge and humidor (just kidding). Have a wonderful week and Father’s Day next Sunday.

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)

Saturday

8:30 am (UC) - weekday Mass

4:30 pm (UC) - vigil

Sunday

7:30 am (UC)

9:00 am (UC)

10:30 am (UC)

12:00 pm (HFC)