Fr. James' Letters

June 2, 2024

Dear Parishioners,

At our parish’s First Communion last month, I pulled out during the homily some of my favorite gift cards–Lou Malnati’s, White Castle, Portillo’s, Dairy Queen. However, the best “gift card,” I told the children, and the one that never runs out, is their First Communion banner. If we receive the Eucharist every Sunday, our souls will be made stronger and stronger, and our bodies too will be healthy. We can’t say the same about regular partakings of Dairy Queen or Malnati’s. Also, our taste in the Eucharist never changes. Or, if it changes, it’s only for the better. When I was in 2nd grade I liked chicken McNuggets. Now, I don’t really care for them. My taste has matured (arguable, I know). But with the Eucharist, as I’ve grown older, my “taste” or appreciation for communion has only grown.

               To this last point, how has your relationship to the Eucharist changed over the years? If it hasn’t, then you might pray about that. Because even in my life as a priest, my relationship to the Mass and to communion has changed. I believed in and loved the Eucharist twelve years ago when I celebrated my first Mass, but there’s something deeper to what I believe and love in the Eucharist today. If my relationship can change, so too can yours.

               If your relationship hasn’t changed, then it’s like you’re still eating chicken McNuggets. You’ve grown older and wiser over these years–let your love for the Mass follow suit. If you still just go to Mass routinely to “check the box” and avoid sin, then your relationship to the Eucharist is ready to blossom. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you love better. Likewise if you’ve been going to Mass all these Sundays and still couldn’t tell someone who isn’t Catholic what difference Mass makes in your life, ask God to help you see what’s happening. And if you go to Mass faithfully but never feel compelled to invite someone else to Mass, then ask God to help you be infused with joy that can come from the Eucharist.

               The Church in the United States is in the midst of a “Eucharistic Revival.” The Revival has been going on for three years and is set to conclude this July with a large gathering in Indianapolis. You all reading this probably don’t need to “revive” your understanding of the Eucharist. You all probably need, instead, to grow your understanding of the Eucharist. I include myself in that. May our love for Jesus in the Eucharist grow, and may others join us in the feast.


This Saturday, June 1st, after the 4:30pm Mass Father Nick will lead a Eucharistic Procession outside the church, ending at the Adoration Chapel, to celebrate the feast of Corpus Christi.

               This Sunday, June 2nd, is Donut Sunday and New Parishioner Sign-Up. All are invited to come over to the gym following the 9am and 10:30am Masses. There will also be an opportunity to learn more about our Adoration Chapel and Eucharistic Adoration.

               This is the last week of SPC School. Our principal will give her annual “State of the School” address on Tuesday, June 4th, at 6pm in the Holy Family Chapel. We will also welcome our new school board members at this meeting. The last day of school for pre-school and kindergarten is Thursday, June 6th, and the last day for grades 1-7 is Friday, June 7th, with Mass at 10am and dismissal at 11am.

               This Tuesday, June 4th, at 7pm we will have a special unveiling of a work of art for our food pantry by local artist and Avenues to Independence client Jeff Jones. This artwork–a cross enveloped by colors that are vibrant, joyful, and beautiful–will send a positive message of faith to those who come to St. Paul for food assistance.

               Next week, starting Tuesday, June 11th, I will be taking my annual retreat. I will spend the time in silence and prayer at a Trappist monastery. As I’ve done in previous years, I have placed prayer books at the Joseph and Mary altars in the upper church for you to write your intentions, so I can pray more specifically for you. You can be as detailed as you want, or keep it anonymous. I appreciate the opportunity to pray for you, so thank you for giving me your intentions.

Yours in Christ,

Fr. James Wallace

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