Fr. James' Letters

May 28, 2023

Dear Parishioners,

“And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim,” we read in our first reading from Acts of the Apostles. As the Spirit enabled them to proclaim.

We see the Holy Spirit playing a “hands on” role on another occasion when Saint Paul is directed explicitly where to go on his missionary journeys. “Next Paul and Silas traveled through the area of Phrygia and Galatia, because the Holy Spirit had prevented them from preaching the word in the province of Asia at that time” (Acts 16:6).

So, it’s not like the Holy Spirit is some nice bird we keep in a cage, look at and pet from time to time, and then live our lives. The Holy Spirit is directing us. The Holy Spirit gave the disciples at Pentecost specific languages to be able to speak. The Holy Spirit led Saint Paul to specific towns to evangelize. And the Holy Spirit gives particular gifts to particular individuals for the building up of the Church.

My family had a parakeet growing up. I always got a rush when I put my finger through the cage and it pecked my finger (I was an interesting child). The cage was in our TV room, and my brother and I would always knock the cage over when we were playing basketball (more like football) in that room. We didn’t mind the bird. And when the bird kept squawking and annoying us, we draped a blanket over the cage to silence it.

There’s no silencing this bird (the Holy Spirit). There’s no knocking over this cage because it’s in our way as we go about our business. We want the Holy Spirit to squawk and stand in our way. Because he’ll direct us to the better life.

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Happy Memorial Day. A special thank you to all who have served, or are currently serving, in our military. And a special prayer to all those who have given their lives in the service of our country. It is our obligation to live well and bring Christ into our society so that their sacrifice was not in vain.

Congratulations to our school 8th graders who will have their graduation this Thursday at 7pm. The 8th graders will also have their “Memory Day” on Tuesday with a special dinner, video, and dance. Congratulations also to the 8th graders in our Catechesis program who too will be graduating, as well as the seniors in high school and college. And, once again, congratulations to newly ordained priest Father Kevin Gregus. The front image on the bulletin was taken from Fr. Kevin’s First Mass at his home parish, St. Thomas the Apostle, in Crystal Lake last Sunday.

This is the last week of the Daily Reflections on the Blessed Mother. I hope May has been a fruitful month for you, praying with Mary. She wants to be a significant part of your life and she will help you love Jesus even more, so please remain close to her.

Please join me this Wednesday, May 31st, at 9am in the Holy Family Chapel for the new SPC Scripture Seminar with Father James. This is a little program I’m going to try for the summer, and we’ll see how it goes. It’s basically a Bible study/conversation with me. We’ll discuss and pray over a scripture passage, and try to use the sacred text to deal with some questions we all have (Why does evil exist in the world? Why is the Church the way it is? How do I deal with suffering? How do I help my fallen away family members return to the Church? etc.). I’ll plan to do this every Wednesday at 9am. The sessions are not dependent on one another, so if you miss one week, you can come another week. It’s not like a class on a continuous book of the Bible. It’s free and open to everyone, so I hope you’ll join me.

Another initiative I’d like to try is a new Teen Mass. This will be a separate Mass just for teens the first Sunday of the month at 5pm in the Holy Family Chapel. I will cater the Mass to all teenagers, having them participate in the liturgy, and then we’ll have a conversation afterwards (and perhaps pizza) for whoever can stay. Parents, please feel free to spread the word to your 8th grader or high school child. We’ll have our first Teen Mass next Sunday, June 4th at 5pm.

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