Fr. James' Letters

November 27, 2022

Dear Parishioners,

Please find inside this week’s bulletin our Parish Annual Report. I am grateful to the Parish Finance Council, along with Sandy Labouvie, our Director of Operations, for both overseeing our finances and helping put this report together.

As you will see, we have had a strong year financially at Saint Paul of the Cross. Both our Sunday collections have increased from the previous year and our reserves are healthy. I thank you for making that possible.

We have also seen an increase in other areas as well: Sunday Mass attendance, the number of sacraments received, school and CCD enrollment.

Finally, we continue to do great work ministerially, from our Social Services Ministry to the various groups of our parish (Bible Study, Men’s and Women’s prayer groups, Respect Life Committee, and so forth).

I congratulate and thank all of you. Your commitment and dedication to the parish and to the faith is beautiful. God is very proud of you!

As a small token of my appreciation, I have put together a booklet of Advent daily reflections. We will be distributing these complimentary booklets this weekend. Please take as many as you would like, and feel free to give them away. My modest writings are simply meant to facilitate your prayer.

We will read often from the prophet Isaiah in Advent. “Enlarge the space for your tent,” he says, “spread out your tent clothes unsparingly” (Isaiah 54:2).  How fitting this injunction as we finish Thanksgiving and begin the season of Advent. The “tents” of our stomachs were enlarged last week. Now, hopefully, the “tents” of our souls will follow suit.

For, you see, when we pray, our soul is enlarged. Our eyes are widened too. The more we pray, the more we are filled with the grace of God. We see the beauty and working of God in all areas of life.

As a result of our increased prayer and our increased awareness of God, we find ourselves more peaceful and more thankful. We ultimately say, as Peter once did, “it is good that we are here.”

Yes, indeed. It is good that we are here. God has put each one of you intentionally on this earth. Your family, your work, and your life is all part of his beautiful plan.

“Lo, I have created the craftsman who blows on the burning coals” (Isaiah 54:16). As pastor, I see myself as a simple bellows. You already have a fire within you. Let it be ignited this Advent within the tent you have enlarged. May you be filled with the warmth of the Holy Spirit.

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This Monday, November 28th begins our Advent Monday Evenings of Prayer. Please join us in church from 6:00-7:30pm for Eucharistic Adoration, Confessions (beginning at 6:30pm), a talk on prayer (7:15pm), and Benediction (7:30pm).

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