Fr. James' Letters

March 5, 2023

Dear Parishioners,

Peter generally gets a bad rap in the Gospel accounts, especially in the season of Lent. No such things will ever happen to you... get behind me Satan. I will die with you… you will deny me three times. No one will arrest you… sheathe your sword!

The Transfiguration is not, in my mind, one of those lowlights. True, Jesus doesn't respond to Peter's comment, "I will make three tents," but he also doesn't rebuke him. There is a desire in Peter to savor the glorious moment; to remain atop Tabor. How many of us, with a beautiful experience, race on to the next thing? Instead of looking at the beautiful sunset, we pull out the camera to take a picture of it. Instead of savoring the bite of delicious food, we scarf it down and shovel the next bite into our mouth (that’s me). The invitation is to enjoy what is before us. We can learn from Peter in this regard.

Peter also says something many of us struggle to say: "It is good that we are here." How many of us feel cursed in our job, in our marriage, in our body, in our city, in our life? We are not happy and we wish we weren't here. But it is not true. We are blessed. We should be here. Even though we may not instinctively feel it, if we pray what Peter said, we will see God's blessing in our lives. The darkness in our minds will break through like that radiance from the Lord atop Tabor broke through sleepy eyes of the apostles.

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We continue this Monday with our Lenten Monday Evenings of Prayer, starting with Eucharistic Adoration in the church at 6pm. I will give the talk on prayer at 7pm. We will also have Stations of the Cross on Friday at 7pm. And, a reminder, the booklet of daily reflections for Lent can be found inside the bulletin here as well as on our website (the image below is for Friday of the Second Week of Lent).

Also on Mondays, as a reminder, is the That Man is You men’s group. It’s not too late to join the group. If you’re looking for a group of guys to pray with and share your life experiences, you might consider stopping by the Kinane Center at 7:30pm on Monday.

Same goes for the women’s Wednesday evening group, Walking with Purpose, as well as the SPC Bible Study, which meets Wednesday evenings and Thursday mornings in Duffin Hall. The Bible study is an excellent opportunity to share your faith and learn more Scripture.

Religious Education will have Stations of the Cross this Tuesday for their classes. On Saturday there will also be the First Communion Retreat and Mass for the second graders. I want to recognize once again Anna Mae Parkhill and her team for the wonderful job they did with 8th Confirmation several weeks back, and First Reconciliation. They worked very hard to make these beautiful occasions, and they’re doing the same for First Communion.

The SPC School “Roundball Tournament” starts this Monday. Good luck players and student-coaches.

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