St Mary of Perpetual Church Reopening Phase

Saturday, May 30th from 11:00 am-5:00 pm for Private Prayer
Sunday, May 31st from 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm for Private Prayer
Monday, June 1st from 11:00 am -5:00 pm for Private Prayer
Wednesday, June 3rd from 11:00-am -7:00 pm for Private Prayer and Devotions (Adoration, Confession and Rosary/Novena from 5:00-7:00 pm) I will also be around for people who need the Anointing of the Sick.
Friday, June 5th from 11:00-am -7:00 pm for Private Prayer and Devotions (Adoration, and Confession from 5:00-7:00 pm) I will also be around for people who need the Anointing of the Sick.

In regards to Masses, we will know more earlier next week when the Cardinal meets with the Bishops of Illinois to discuss reopening phases for the public celebration of Mass.

When entering the church, please have a mask on, if you do not have one, we have some available for you.  A limit of 10 people in the church at a time. 

If you have any questions, please contact Fr. Aschenbrener at

Sunday Masses for May 24, 2020

Here is a helpful Latin-English Missal (also Breviary)

Novena to the Holy Spirit

Novena to the Holy Spirit
Begins Friday, May 22nd, 2020 
until the Feast of Pentecost 

The novena to the Holy Spirit is the oldest of all novenas since it was first made at the direction of Our Lord when He sent His apostles back to Jerusalem to await the coming of the Holy Spirit on the First Pentecost. It is still the only novena officially prescribed by the Church. Addressed to the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity, it is a powerful plea for the light, strength and love so sorely needed by every Christian. After this novena, the faithful are encouraged to continue and pray the novena whenever they wish.

The Church has enriched this novena with plenary indulgences.

The faithful who devoutly assist at the public novena in honor of the Holy Spirit preceding the feast of Pentecost may gain:
  • A Plenary indulgence, if they take part in at least five of the exercises in the community; and moreover, go to confession, and receive Holy Communion and pray for the Holy Father's intentions on Pentecost Sunday.
Those who make a private novena in honor of the Holy Spirit, either before Pentecost or at any other time in the year may gain:
  • A Plenary indulgence under the usual conditions; but if a public novena is held, this indulgence is available only to those who are lawfully hindered from being part in the same.

The Reopening Phases for St. Mary of Perpetual Help Church

Dear Parishioners of St. Mary of Perpetual Help /  All Saints-St. Anthony,

I pray that you and your loved ones are healthy. As you may have seen, Cardinal Cupich recently shared our multi-phased plan for reopening churches in the Archdiocese of Chicago. Specifically,

  • Phase I allows for parishes to reopen for Baptism, Reconciliation, Weddings and Funerals with a limit of 10 attendees.
  • Phase IA allows for parishes to reopen for private prayer and adoration with a limit of 10 attendees.
  • Phase II allows for reopening for weekday and weekend Masses for larger groups depending on the guidelines from the state and the capacity of the church building.

First and foremost, it is important for everyone to understand that our efforts will prioritize the safety and well-being of all while maintaining due respect and reverence for the sacraments and liturgical norms of our faith.

I will assemble a Parish Reopening Leadership Team with parishioner co-captains to lead our efforts. Together, we will attend required training from the Archdiocese to ensure that our parish reopening plan conforms to the guidelines developed by the Archdiocese in collaboration with civil and healthcare authorities. We will also receive a starter kit of protective and cleaning supplies, as well as guidance on purchasing/maintaining supplies ongoing.

Volunteers Needed

We will need volunteers to assist with various aspects of our parish reopening plan. Importantly, leadership team members and volunteers must not be part of a “vulnerable population” (that is, not over the age of 65; no underlying medical condition such as diabetes; lung disease; undergoing cancer treatment, etc.). I ask all of you who are younger than 65 and healthy with no underlying health conditions to consider assisting with one of three reopening teams:

  • Set-up team. Sample duties include ensuring that all supplies needed for each sacramental celebration/gathering are ready for use, entrances and exits are marked and propped physically open prior to attendees’ arrival/departure, windows are opened, etc
  • Greeting team. Sample duties include assisting in managing the flow of congregants as they enter the church, making sure attendees use hand sanitizer upon entering, are wearing a mask, and are reminded not to enter if ill; directing people to appropriate seating/waiting areas, etc.
  • Cleaning team. Sample duties include maintaining and cleaning essential and trafficked areas of the church before and after the church has been used. Masks and gloves will be provided, if you do not have your own, in addition to approved cleaning/disinfecting supplies.

The Reopening Leadership Team and I will make sure that all volunteers are properly trained.

Timing for Our Reopening

As I mentioned, the Parish Reopening Leadership Team members and I will need to complete required training, which will take place the week of May 17. Once we complete the training, we will need to review and complete tasks assigned to all parishes as part of a reopening certification process to be approved by the Archdiocese.

Following our training and certification approval, we will only open our church once the Reopening Leadership Team and I feel confident that we have the right volunteers in place to make it possible to reopen.  I’m hoping we will be able to open for private prayer the first week in June. 

The guidelines and measures required to reopen are designed to protect our wellbeing and that of the of our broader community. As Cardinal Cupich has noted, from the first pages of Scripture we learn that we indeed are “our brother’s keeper.” Our Lord Jesus Christ prayed, “that they all may be one” (Jn 17:21) and commanded us “love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another” (Jn 13:34). 

Our collective patience, willingness to help and the care we take to reopen is a demonstration of our unity and love for one another.

May God grant you His peace during this difficult time and may He manifest His love and presence to you in abundant ways. If you have any questions, please contact me at

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Fr. Thomas Aschenbrener

Chants from the Abbey of Jouques

Sign up for this daily mediation based on the Gregorian Chant of the day, shared with us by Father Don Craig. Explore the entire web site for a greater understanding of the spirituality of Gregorian Chant, as well as the life of the Benedictine Sisters of this Abbey located in France.

The Communion Antiphon below is a song of jubilation expressing the continuous joy of Easter. It comes from Psalm 95 and is a cry of overflowing, indescribable joy. Sing to the Lord! (Cantate Domino… Cantate Domino). The melody strongly marks the urgency of the announcement of salvation (bene nuntiate salutare ejus). The first two sentences are mostly melismatic, especially on ‘Domino’, without many leaps. In contrast, the climactic central section at ‘bene nuntiate’ – ‘announce the Gospel’ – jumps out from the placid introduction, resounding loudly and lingering on the phrase that constitutes the fundamental mission of Christianity.

From a letter to Diognetus: The Christian in the World

Some of you have reached out requesting the letter I read last Sunday at the Latin Mass. Here is the link so you can read it in full!

 -Father Aschenbrener

From a letter to Diognetus: The Christian in the World

May Crowning

During this month of May, we consecrate ourselves to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

My Queen and my Mother, I give myself entirely to thee and to show my devotion to thee, I consecrate to thee this day my eyes, my ears, my mouth, my heart, my entire being without reserve, wherefore thy Good Mother as I am thine own, guard me and defend me as thy property and possession. Amen. 

Reconsecration of our Nation to Our Lady

Countless Catholics spanning many generations have entrusted their needs to the care of Jesus’ mother, placing our prayers in her hands, as she brings them to God with a purified love and sincerity. During these days of the Covid pandemic we certainly need all the prayers we can get!

So we are pleased to join with all the bishops in the United States – together with millions of Catholics across the country – in a reconsecration of our nation to the Blessed Virgin, Mary. The month of May is traditionally a time in which we honor our Blessed Mother Mary, often through May crownings, but this consecration allows the entire nation to participate in honoring the Blessed Mother as our queen, patroness, and protector in this time of pandemic and uncertainty.

As she has brought to us the Son of God, so may she now bring us to the Son of God that we may receive his healing and protection. Below is the announcement from the Bishops Conference about their prayer service, and a PDF of the prayer guide is available by clicking here.

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Words from Cardinal Sarah on the Spiritual Crisis of the West

Just hours after his May 25, 2019 visit to the Cathedral of Notre-Dame of Paris and examining its near destruction by fire, H.E Robert Cardinal Sarah gave a Conference at Église Saint François-Xavier to present his latest book, The Day is Far Spent. In the book, he analyzes "the profound crisis of the West, a crisis of faith, a crisis of the Church, of the priesthood, of identity, a crisis of the meaning of man and human life." What he shared in Paris in May is documented by The Catholic World Report and begins as follows:

"This evening I would like to repeat these convictions I hold so deeply, by putting them into the perspective of a moving visit I made yesterday. Just hours ago I was at the cathedral of Notre-Dame of Paris. As I entered the gutted church, and contemplated its ruined vaults, I could not help but see in it a symbol of the situation of Western civilization and of the Church in Europe.

"It is a sad fact: today the Church seems to be engulfed in flames on all sides. We see her ravaged by a conflagration much more destructive than the one that razed the cathedral of Notre-Dame. What is this fire? We must have the courage to name it, because 'to name things wrongly is to add to the misfortune of the world.'"

A cultural identity crisis, Cardinal Sarah writes, is at the root of the problems facing Western societies. "The West no longer knows who it is, because it no longer knows and does not want to know who made it, who established it, as it was and as it is." While making clear the gravity of the present situation, the cardinal demonstrates that it is possible to avoid the hell of a world without God, a world without hope. He calls for a renewal of devotion to Christ through prayer and the practice of virtue.

Resources for the Start of a Journey in Getting to Know God Better

Who is God? And what does Mary have to do with the quest to understand Jesus? Get ready to learn more about one of the great mysteries of our faith, and love God more with the help of these accessible and engaging books.

If we want to love God and make him the center of our lives, we would do well to settle this question at least in some small way. This book serves as a starting point for understanding what Christians mean when they say “God,” and to whom they are referring when they use this name. Part of the What Every Catholic Should Know series, God: What Every Catholic Should Know is born out of the recognition that God is central to the Faith, but we encounter misconceptions about God all the time. In an effort to clear up these misconceptions, this book addresses three major concepts—the nature of God, the Trinity, and the Incarnation—so that we may strengthen our faith and our ability to communicate it to other people.

In Jesus and the Jewish Roots of Mary, Dr. Pitre takes readers step-by-step from the Garden of Eden to the Book of Revelation to reveal how deeply biblical Catholic beliefs about Mary really are. Dr. Pitre uses the Old Testament and Ancient Judaism to unlock how the Bible itself teaches that Mary is in fact the new Eve, the Mother of God, the Queen of Heaven and Earth, and the new Ark of the Covenant.

Collect the 'What Every Catholic Should Know' Series

"What's the Church's teaching on salvation?" "What are the Catholic themes in some of the greatest works of literature?" To provide clear and accessible answers to the most common Catholic questions, The Augustine Institute created the What Every Catholic Should Know series.

At every Sunday Mass, Catholics confess that Jesus came down from heaven "for us men and for our salvation." But what does "salvation" mean? In this robust and accessible book, scripture scholar and theologian Michael Patrick Barber provides a thorough, deeply Catholic, and deeply biblical, answer.

Renowned literary expert Joseph Pearce opens the door to authors like Dante, Jane Austin, Tolkien, and Chesterton in a clear and exciting manner—guaranteed to inspire and help you make the connections between great literature and great faith.

Sign Up for 'Marriage 101' and '201' Workshops

Register today for marriage workshops offered through the Chicago Christian Counseling Center. Workshops are facilitated by Doug Hinderer (MA, LAMFT), a husband of 38 years and father of nine who is passionate about helping couples enjoy marriage as God intended.

Click here for information: Marriage 201: Marriage Tune-Up

Offered 5 separate Saturdays in 2020 
This is a one-day workshop for couples who worry that their marriage is getting stale or want to breathe new life into their relationship. Coming from a solid Christian foundation, Marriage 201 will teach couples:
  • The "science" of happy marriages
  • How to handle conflicts in ways that say "I love you"
  • How to grow each day in friendship, affection, and appreciation

See a full series of articles on marriage and the family.

Coffee for a Cause: Order St. Mary's Blend and Preserve the Parish

St. Mary's coffee, a project of Turncoat Coffee Company, seeks to animate the highest ideals of culture through the preservation and proliferation of the church's classical art, architecture, liturgics, and works of mercy.

Every bag of this premium, artisan roasted coffee helps to maintain or create sacred spaces for men and women to fully encounter beauty, goodness, and truth and thereby elevate and transfigure the culture around them, one bag at a time.

One hundred percent of the net proceeds from sales of St. Mary's coffee goes toward the preservation fund for St. Mary of Perpetual Help Church. Order some today!