Fr. James' Letters

April 16, 2023

Dear Parishioners,

Doubting Thomas. The classic story on the Second Sunday of Easter. “Have you believed because you have seen me, Thomas?” said our Lord in a seeming rebuke. “Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.”

Old Tommy gets a bad rap, in my opinion. First of all, just about all the apostles, save John and the women, doubted. Jesus scolds them, in fact, in the upper room for doubting. He scolds the disciples on the road to Emmaus for doubting. He has to eat a piece of fish in front of them because they still don’t believe what they’re seeing. And even at the Ascension, forty days after the Resurrection with plenty of appearances, we hear in Matthew’s Gospel that “they saw him, they worshiped him, but they doubted.” So, if we’re going to call him “Doubting Thomas,” we might as well call them, “Doubting Peter, Doubting James, Doubting Matthew…” I suppose John would be the one who didn’t doubt, but he’s special.

Second of all, we see in Saint Thomas a beautiful desire to be near the Lord. Remember a few weeks back in the Fifth Week of Lent when we read the account of the raising of Lazarus? Jesus, by deciding to go to Bethany to raise Lazarus, was going into enemy territory. It was a suicide mission, for the Jews were trying to kill him. It’s our friend Thomas who cries aloud to his brothers, “Let us go to die with him!” Thomas wanted to stay with the Lord.

Why was Thomas not with the ten apostles in the upper room after the Resurrection? They were all huddled and afraid in a locked room. Perhaps Thomas wasn’t afraid, like Thomas wasn’t afraid to go to Lazarus. Perhaps Thomas was out looking for the Lord, hoping the Lord would find him. Perhaps Thomas was looking to fulfill his desire to “die with the Lord.” Those who save their life will lose, but those who lose their life, will save it. 

Finally, Thomas, when he hears the Lord has appeared, requests to see and touch the wounds of Christ. This is marvelous. Of all the things Thomas could have required as proof, he wants the signs of death, the signs of surrender, the signs of love. And he wants to be in union with them.

Yes, we can learn from Thomas. Let us die with Jesus. Let us go out and find him. Let us touch his pierced hands, feet, and side. Let us become saints.

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As I mentioned last week, thank you to all who made the Triduum and Easter services beautiful. Deacon Bob and Deacon Andy, who prepared the liturgies, the altar servers, the sacristans, the ushers, the Knights of Columbus (honor guard on Holy Thursday and Good Friday), the set-up crews for the gym, the musicians, the schedulers, the lectors and EMs, and Father Nick and his team of church decorators, who once again have made our church look spectacular. And thank you all for your support of our parish, particularly by your contributions to our Easter Appeal. Praise God he has blessed us with a wonderful parish and community.

Welcome back SPC School teachers, students, and families. I hope you had a nice Spring Break. Next Friday, April 28th is the SPC School “Celebrate the Spirit Gala” at the Park Ridge Country Club. We look forward to that time together to celebrate our great school.

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