Fr. James' Letters

January 14, 2024

Dear Parishioners,

John the Baptist pointed to Jesus walking by and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God.” This wasn’t the first time John the Baptist had done this. He said the exact same thing the previous day. The first time nothing happened. The second time, John’s disciples, Andrew and John, left the Baptist and followed Jesus. It was like Andrew and John understood now what the Baptist, their mentor, was saying. The Lamb of God was the one they were to follow. Being a disciple of John the Baptist was like being in the minor leagues. Not bad, but not the ultimate goal.

Andrew and John were able to achieve their ultimate goal because they were open and prayerful. Again, they didn’t “get it” right away on the first day. But they took what John the Baptist said to heart. They prayed about this Jesus figure. They pondered what “Lamb of God” meant. Why, of all the titles he could have used, would the Baptist use Lamb of God? Because, there is something about offering and sacrifice in the nature of Jesus and in being a disciple. Andrew and John realized, after a period of reflection, that they were drawn to this life of self-giving. It was a risk, but prayer gave them the courage to heed the calling.

So, being a prayerful, reflective individual who is open to anything will allow us to find our calling and live the most joyful life possible.

Let’s not forget about John the Baptist, who shows great wisdom and holiness here. He lets his disciples go. He realizes his objective isn’t to have disciples, but to lead others to Christ. It isn’t easy to let go of fame and success, and so John shows incredible humility and charity. We are all called to be like John the Baptist– don’t keep things for yourself. Give them away. Attract people so you can point them to Christ.

John the Baptist would have been proud of his disciples, Andrew and John. They end up doing what the Baptist did. Once Andrew and John fall in love with Jesus – it only takes an afternoon – they find their brothers and point them to Jesus. Peter and James will fall in love with Jesus and then do the same, pointing others to Jesus and making disciples. Holiness begets holiness.

May the family of discipleship grow.

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The Men’s Club will be present at the 4:30pm Mass this Saturday, January 13th, as one of the Mass intentions will be for former president Joe Capitani. All are invited to the Holy Family Chapel following Mass for a reception.

This Sunday, January 14th marks the 35th Anniversary of the Holy Family Chapel. All are welcome after the 10:30am Mass to view a slideshow presentation and enjoy some light refreshments. Thank you to Mark Miller for putting the slideshow together.

A few friendly reminders… today, 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. Tomorrow, Monday, January 15th there will be no 6:25am Mass. We will just have the 8:30am Mass with no confessions beforehand. The Wednesday morning Scripture Seminar will not take place this week. We will resume on Wednesday, January 24th.

The That Man is You men’s spiritual group is starting up next Monday, January 22nd. If you’re looking to meet a solid group of guys with life-giving conversation think about joining the group. Please reach out if you’d like more information.

And if you’re bored in these winter months and looking to get more involved, we’d love to have you. There are many ways to serve – Eucharistic Minister, Lector, Minister of Care, bereavement minister, wedding coordinator, food pantry, and more. Again, please reach out if you’d like to join one of our ministries.

I hope you all have a nice Martin Luther King Jr. holiday and week. I will be away this Monday through Friday visiting my priest friends down in Mobile, Alabama. You will be in my prayers.

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