Fr. James' Letters

June 23, 2024

Dear Parishioners,

Christ asleep on the boat in the midst of a storm is a beautiful passage for meditation. We hear that “A violent squall came up and waves were breaking over the boat, so that it was already filling up.” The apostles on the boat were panicking. Their lives were endangered. Keep in mind that Peter and several of the other apostles were experienced fishermen. They lived on this sea and had sailed on it countless times. This must have been a pretty bad storm–the worst they had ever seen–to scare them.

            Was it just coincidence that Jesus happened to be on the boat in the midst of the worst storm ever? No, I don’t think so. I don’t think there were many coincidences with our Lord. The apostles were to see something they had never seen before, feel something they had never felt before, be afraid in a way they had never been afraid before, and, best of all, experience relief and salvation the way they had never experienced relief and salvation before. Everything without Christ pales in comparison to life with Christ.

            Many of you have faced some serious storms in your life. What was the worst storm ever for you? (If you’re in the midst of it, then I’m sorry. Let me know, if you wouldn’t mind, so I can pray for you.) What was God like for you in that storm? Was he asleep or was he awake with you?

            If you’re reading this, then you survived the storm. There might be some scars and damage, but you’re here. God helped you, even if he appeared to be asleep. And you’re better off for having experienced that storm. God gave something very special to you, just like he did those apostles. He doesn’t just lead anyone into the “storm of the century.”


We are looking forward to the Young Adult Gathering this Tuesday, June 25th at 7pm at Harp and Fiddle in Park Ridge. We hosted this event several months and there was a great turnout of young adults from all over the Chicagoland area and even some from Milwaukee. Please spread the word and invite your friends and children.

            The Archdiocese of Chicago is beginning a new Archdiocesan-wide capital campaign called Generation to Generation: Answer the Call. You may recall the To Teach Who Christ Is campaign ten years ago. This campaign is very similar. Our parish has been given a goal of $2.7 million to raise. Half of those funds will go to supporting priest health care and retirement, seminary education, scholarships for Catholic education, among other items. The other half of those funds we will use to build a large meeting space off the main parking lot and adjacent to the gym (the current grassy area). While we are blessed with many ministries and groups who meet at our parish, we are unfortunately challenged with a lack of meeting space, and a lack of a large meeting space. This new, handicap accessible building would allow for more of our groups to meet, and would be used as well by our school, which is also at maximum capacity. Secondly, with the funds raised we will build outdoor stations of the cross–either 7 or 14 standing pillars composed of red-face brick with gray stone trim, to match the exterior of our church, around the perimeter of our campus down Northwest Highway, Washington Avenue, Summit Avenue, and Ridge Terrace. Not only would this be a fine architectural addition to our already beautiful grounds, but parishioners would now be able to pray the Way of the Cross on any day at any time. It is our hope too that pedestrians, drivers, visitors, and other seekers would stop and pray before these monuments, and have their hearts inflamed with love for the Lord who died for them. Saint Paul of the Cross himself said, “Oh blessed is that soul that remains crucified with Jesus Christ” (April 2, 1750).

             I have already met with several parishioners who have generously given their support to this campaign, and so we are off to a great start. I will be reaching out to more of you over the summer and will give you more information on these projects. We will also include more information in the bulletin in the upcoming weeks, including renderings of the new meeting space and outdoor stations.

             We have a great parish and this campaign is a wonderful opportunity to add to our vitality and continue our mission of serving the Lord and one another. Please keep the campaign in your prayers and thank you in advance for your support.

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