Fr. James' Letters

January 7, 2024

Dear Parishioners,

“Raise your eyes and look about,” says Isaiah in our first reading today, “they all gather and come to you.”

On this Feast of the Epiphany, we recall the baby Jesus being visited by the three magi. These men from the east who were not Jewish were eager to see the child. They gave their treasures as gifts. Imagine giving away the treasures you hold dearly – family heirlooms, your 401K, Bears season tickets – to another family. It would indicate just how much you love that family and their baby. The three wise men were absolutely devoted to Christ.

We stir up within ourselves on this feast day a desire to be similarly devoted to Jesus. Go to whatever lengths to see him and spend time with him. Give away your desires and treasures. Lay those at the foot of the crib as your gifts. Commit yourself to doing his will (and his will is to love him with our whole heart and love our neighbor).

Someone mentioned in our scripture seminar a few weeks ago that hundreds of people were lined up outside of a CosMcs, waiting for hours, to try the new cafe. Then someone else asked, ‘would these same people do the same to see Christ?’ Epiphany is about setting our priorities. Christ will fill us much more than a spiced latte.

But I also want to make another point about the Epiphany. Yes, we “raise our eyes” to Christ and “come to him,” as Isaiah says. But Christ does the same for us. As I mentioned on Christmas, Christ is so generous that he makes Christmas our birthdays as well as his. This is why, I think, we love Christmas so much and receive gifts. Well, if the Epiphany is about adoration, then we can feel confident on this day that Jesus adores us as much as we adore him.

Just as a mother and father watch and pay close attention to their newborn child, so too Christ pays close attention to us. When a baby cries, the parents care for the child. The parents stay up awake all night for the child’s sake. When the baby soils its diaper, the parents don’t condemn or scorn the child. They delight in the child. They are proud of their child and even give it gifts.

We are adults now and our parents no longer do this for us to the same extent. God does it for us. He watches us, comforts us, gives us what we need, takes pride in us, doesn’t condemn us, and shows us off to the angels and saints.

Let this reality give you comfort. Let this truth deepen your love for God. 

---------- + ----------

This weekend is Donut Sunday and New Parishioner Sign-Up. Please join us in the gym after Masses this Sunday.

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday break. Saint Paul of the Cross school returns this Tuesday, January 9th. All the best to our religious education students and college students returning to school as well.

Tuesday night at 7pm in the Holy Family Chapel is a First Communion Parent Meeting.

A friendly reminder that the Wednesday morning Scripture Seminar will not take place this week. We will resume on Wednesday, January 24th.

Also, please note, next Sunday, January 14th there will not be a Family Mass at 10:30am in the Holy Family Chapel. We will resume next month, Sunday, February 11th. 

May 2024 be a blessed and healthy year for all of you. I am praying for you to experience the presence of Jesus in your lives and the peace that flows from his love.

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.

E-Newsletter Signup!

Contact Information

St. Paul of the Cross

320 South Washington Street
Park Ridge, IL 60068

View Larger Map

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