Mothers' Speaker Series by St. Mary's Moms' Group

Empowering Moms to be Vessels of Faith, Hope, and Love

Join us for our next session in the speaker series. On Wednesday, Oct. 14 at 7:30 p.m., Lilliam Civantos, psychotherapist and mother of seven, will present "Practical Tips to Educate and Form Your Children in the Catholic Faith" in the school commons.

What is the Moms' Group?

The St. Mary of Perpetual Help Moms' Group is designed to support and encourage mothers raising Catholic families. Join us and meet other moms in our community for faith, fellowship, and fun! Please come as you are to our regular meetings, any time you can—children welcome!

The Moms' Group meets on the third Tuesday of the month. We pray the Rosary together while our little ones enjoy a play date! Our next meeting is Tuesday, Sept. 15 at 10 a.m. at Bosley Park (2 blocks north of the church). Feel free to bring a friend! If you have questions or would like more information, please contact Tess Barber or Kathy Lipowski, and check us out on facebook.

Who Are the Knights of Columbus?

Gentlemen, are you interested in deepening your faith and helping the parish grow? If so, then the Knights of Columbus may be for you. The Knights are the largest Catholic Fraternal organization in the world that serve their parishes and communities through charity, unity, fraternity, and patriotism. Our Council at St. Mary of Perpetual Help has started to form our own traditions based on the four core principles of the Knights. We have attended a White Sox game, helped at parish events such as the Parish picnic and started a once-a-month faith formation for men. We currently meet twice a month.
  • The first Wednesday of the month at 7 p.m. as a normal business meeting. We meet in the school commons.
  • On the second Thursday of each month we have our faith formation and social meeting, which any Catholic male is welcome to join. It begins at 6 p.m. with a meal followed by our faith formation at 7 p.m. These gatherings take place at the church office.
  • From Nov. 13 to 14, the Knights of Columbus will host a retreat at the Strich Retreat House in Mundelein. If you are interested in attending, please contact Philip Cavin or Frank Barber
If you are interested in joining our Council please reach out to Philip Cavin or Frank Barber. If you are more interested in the Knights of Columbus in general please visit the Supreme website.

Watch 'Do You Believe?' with Us Oct. 2

All are welcome to our "First Fridays" film showings. Films are shown at 6:30 p.m. in DeLasalle school, behind the church. Popcorn is provided, but feel free to bring a dish to pass. All films are suitable for all ages.

Next up: On Oct. 2, we'll watch Do You Believe? Check out the trailer right here:

As Seen on TV

Our parish was featured on the EWTN channel on July 15 in an episode of "Extraordinary Faith," and the episode is now available online. In this second half of a pair of episodes, you'll tour through historic churches of Chicago with visits to St. John Cantius and our very own St. Mary of Perpetual Help. Learn why the Latin Mass has become a central part of our schedules, get the history behind St. John Cantius’ amazing rejuvenation, visit the Shrine of Christ the King, and meet members of Sursum Corda, a young adults group that embraces the Extraordinary Form. Check it out right here:

Interested in more? Watch part one.

Support The Pro-Life Cause

According to recent reports from Life Site news, undercover videos surfaced recently showing top officials from Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, discussing the sale of body parts harvested from babies aborted at their facilities. Demand that Congress defund Planned Parenthood and stop using our hard-earned tax dollars to fund these crimes that cry to heaven for vengeance. We have an obligation to do whatever is necessary to protect the unborn, especially from heinous crimes such as these.

Issue An Immediate Moratorium
On Taxpayer Funding Of Planned Parenthood

2015 National 54-Day Rosary Novena Starts Aug. 15

Launching Aug. 15 with the Feast of the Assumption and closing Oct. 7 with the Feast of the Holy Rosary, the 54-Day Rosary Novena is an opportunity to join hundreds of thousands of people of all ages in prayer across America. Our primary intention is for family and marriage, including for peace, sanctity of human life, and religious freedom.

In this message of hope, which is in response to the spiritual crisis in our culture and nation and to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops call to prayer, we'll pray the rosary for 54 straight days for the Novena Intentions. There will be 27 days in petition Aug. 15-Sept. 10 and 27 days in thanksgiving Sept. 11-Oct. 7. Take part at home individually or with families, or in our parish community.

For more information, see the flyer provided by A Hearts United Campaign of the Rosary Evangelization Apostolate.

Matrimony: The Lifelong Union of One Man and One Woman in God's Plan for Life and Love

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that same-sex “marriage” is a constitutional right, in a long-awaited decision that will have sweeping and unpredictable consequences for U.S. jurisprudence, cultural norms and religious freedom. Catholic leaders, legal scholars and marriage experts reacted with dismay to the landmark ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges and three related cases. But they also expressed resolve that the decision would not discourage their efforts to preach and teach the truth about marriage and to advance respect for the institution as a union of one man and one woman committed to the care and education of children. 

“The Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision on marriage is not a surprise. The surprise will come as ordinary people begin to experience, firsthand and painfully, the impact of today’s action on everything they thought they knew about marriage, family life, our laws and our social institutions,” said Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia, in a statement marking the decision. “The mistakes of the court change nothing about the nature of men and women and the truth of God’s word. The task now for believers is to form our own families even more deeply in the love of God and to rebuild a healthy marriage culture, one marriage at a time, from the debris of today’s decision. Jesus Christ, with great love, taught unambiguously that, from the beginning, marriage is the lifelong union of one man and one woman."

Here at St. Mary of Perpetual Help, we will be running a series of articles in the bulletin and on our website to help us better understand how this decision will impact the Church, families and society. The articles will also help us better educate ourselves on the true nature of marriage so that we can form our children and families according to the authentic teachings of the Catholic Church. 

This week's article is from St. John Paul II

Apostolic Exhortation on the Family

Familiaris Consortio

Also, watch the excellent videos on the Authentic Meaning of Marriage and Family from the Humanum Series.

Photos from Our Feast Day Picnic

On Sunday, June 28, we celebrated the patronal feast of our parish at the 10:30 a.m. Mass, followed by a BBQ just outside the church. We had perfect weather, great food, and plenty of fun—as you'll see in the photos below. Take a look!

Parishioners Display their Faith on Feast of Corpus Christi

St. Mary of Perpetual Help's annual Corpus Christi celebration is a unique display of our faith to the Bridgeport community. On June 7, we acknowledged Christ's presence in the Holy Eucharist with a procession after the 10:30 a.m. Mass. Take a look at the slideshow below for images of the procession.

Support Persecuted Christians

Frustrated with ISIS murdering and enslaving Christians, destroying early Christian villages founded by Jesus’ apostles and detonating historic, ancient churches and antiquities? Now you can show your support. Shortly after Easter, St. Mary of Perpetual Help will sell lapel pins and wrist bands with the Arabic letter “N” or ن which stands for Nazarenes or followers of Jesus. Reminiscent of the Nazis requiring Jews to wear the Star of David, ISIS is forcing Christians to wear this symbol as a sign of hatred. Watch the bulletin in the coming weeks to find out when you can purchase and wear your ن in support of our persecuted brothers and sisters.

Popular 'Word on Fire' Website Proclaims Christ in the Culture

Fr. Robert Barron of Chicago started a website called Word on Fire in 2000, and over the years it has evolved from a simple way to share his weekly homilies to a place that attracts millions of visitors who can browse thousands of resources by topic, Biblical verse, Catechism paragraph, liturgical reference, and more. The site was recently redesigned, so check it out at For a peek at some of the newest features, watch the video trailer below:

We are Catholic: Welcome Home

View these short videos from the "Catholics Come Home" campaign for inspirational messages about the Catholic Church throughout the world.

Please visit

Become Part of Our Parish's Prayer Tree

St. Mary of Perpetual Help Parish has formed a Prayer Tree ministry. A prayer tree consists of a small group of people quietly praying behind the scenes for their fellow parishioners, their families and our community. They pray for successful surgeries, medical needs, misfortunes, physical and spiritual challenges and so much more. There are no meetings, no minutes and no reports. All are welcome.

Prayer by many people can work miracles—and the prayer tree is a great way to accomplish it. If you are interested in joining the Prayer Tree or are in need of prayers, please contact Lucie Weir at 773-908-6046 or email her at Prayers can also be written in our book of prayers located by the Marian Shrine.

Preservation Fund Campaign: A Message from our Pastor

Dear parishioners and visitors,

For more than 130 years, St. Mary of Perpetual Help Church has been the spiritual home for thousands of Catholics. God has entrusted the care of this spiritual home to us so that thousands more for generations to come can call this beautiful church their home.

I am grateful to everyone who contributed to and continue to give to the Preservation Fund.  If you were unable, as of yet, to give to the campaign, you will have an opportunity over the next month to make a pledge for the future restoration.  Pledge cards will be available after all of the Masses during the month of May.  You can also contribute online through GiveCentral.   As you can imagine, this church requires a lot maintenance!  The cost to maintain this church in all of its beauty is rather high.  The electrical, plumbing, painting, exterior dome, bell towers, cleaning, air and heat all cost money.  In addition to maintaining the church, we have to provide salaries to the employees who continue to make St. Mary of Perpetual Help a growing and vibrant parish.  

Without your generous contributions, we would neither be able to worship God in this heavenly building, nor have priests to celebrate Mass.  As mentioned before, we cannot rely on a small number of parishioners to carry this financial burden; we must all contribute according to our means.  Sometimes that means making sacrifices for what is most important in life and will last into eternity.   Through the intercession of Our Mother of Perpetual Help, I pray that your continued generosity will keep St. Mary of Perpetual Help a beacon of hope and salvation for generations to come. 

I am grateful for the ways God has blessed our parish, and I am honored to be Pastor of St. Mary of Perpetual Help. I am truly excited about the great things we plan to accomplish together for this parish community in the years to come.

Yours in Christ,

Rev. Thomas Aschenbrener

P.S.: See below for a glance at some of the "before" pictures of our ongoing restoration project.

Listening to the Bible? There's an app for that.

A new Catholic Bible app called "Truth & Life," available for free for smartphones and other devices, brings the eternal words of the Bible to life with a radio-drama style audio presentation. The production features a forward by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.

The free version of the app includes the entire written text of the New Testament, made easily searchable, and a two-hour dramatized audio presentation of the Gospel of Mark. More audio is available for a fee.

Go to to try it out.