Fr. James' Letters

October 8, 2023

Dear Parishioners,

A few weeks ago the entire Archdiocese of Chicago gathered at Rosemont Theater for a special one-day event, a day of renewal. We prayed together and heard several keynote addresses. Cardinal Cupich’s talk was on the Mass, and how we are to experience a true Eucharistic Revival. Cardinal Raniero Cantalamessa spoke on evangelizing, and how the laity need to be alongside the priests in being “fishers of men.” Then Father John Riccardo spoke on how we can be disciples.

Father Riccardo said a few things that caught my attention and I jotted down. The first thing he said was, “Jesus is not nervous.” We think about how the church is declining and how the world and society around us seems to be crumbling. We are anxious about the future. Jesus is not. Not that Jesus is okay with how everything is going, but that Jesus doesn’t give in to despair. He is the Lord of the Universe. He has a plan and he is going to renew the church and the face of the earth.

I think about this truth when I listen to Saint Paul in our second reading: “Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”

Cardinal Cupich made several brilliant points about the Mass, one of which is the Penitential Rite, which occurs at the very beginning. After the sign of the cross, the priest immediately says, “Let us prepare ourselves to celebrate these sacred mysteries by calling to mind our sins…” We’ve all come from different locations, we’re different people, and we’ve all had different weeks. We are gathered at Mass, however, as one people. How do we claim our common identity as Mass starts? By our sins. We are all sinners. Everyone of us shares in this. We have different ethnicities, different incomes, different looks, different politics, different family constructions. But we are all the same in that we are sinners and that we are forgiven by God. A pretty amazing way the Church chooses to unite us!

I think about this truth when I hear the parable of the wicked tenants. We’ve all been wicked tenants. We’ve been given an incredible vineyard by God and we’ve turned on him. Everyone of us at some point has rejected the cornerstone. No one is better than the other. No one is holier than the other. We are all together as sinners and as forgiven sons and daughters of our merciful Father. We can therefore come together as one people and worship God.

I’ll do my best to bring up some other points from the Archdiocesan Day of Renewal in subsequent bulletin letters so we can, as a parish, continue to grow and be a crucial part of the Kingdom of God.

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This Sunday, October 8th is our Family Mass in the HFC at 10:30am. All are welcome.

This Tuesday, October 10th is the next installment of Word on the Street. We will be at the Harp and Fiddle in Park Ridge at 7pm. Please join us for a fun evening and bring along a friend.

On Saturday, October 14th the Knights of Columbus will gather in Hodges Park in front of City Hall to pray the rosary. God bless our Knights for their prayer and their work in helping sanctify our world. The Knights of Columbus men’s retreat is next Saturday, October 21st at Our Lady of Hope in Rosemont. The theme of the retreat will be on the Eucharist.

This upcoming weekend, October 14-15, is our annual Stuff the Truck/Clothing Drive. Please take a look inside the bulletin for more details, particularly about what items to donate. A special thanks to those who helped organize this event and who will volunteer collecting the items. And thank you for the donation of the truck!

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