Watch 'Up' with Us Feb. 5

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 Feb. 5, we'll watch Up. Check out the trailer right here:

Lenten Activities at a Glance

Ash Wednesday, Feb. 10
  • 8:30 a.m. Mass with the distribution of ashes
  • 12 p.m.Service with the distribution of ashes
  • 7 pm. Mass with the distribution of ashes

Daily Mass
  • Monday, Wednesday, and Friday: 6 p.m.
  • Tuesday and Thursday: 8:30 a.m.
  • Saturday: 9 a.m.

Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament
  • Monday, Wednesday, and Friday: 5 p.m. (before the 6 p.m. Mass)
  • Saturday: 3-4 p.m.

Sacrament of Reconciliation
  • Wednesday: 5:15-5:45 p.m.
  • Saturday: 3-3:45 p.m.
  • Sunday: 7:45-8:15 a.m.; 9:45-10:30 a.m.

Stations of the Cross
Friday: 6:30 p.m. (after the 6 p.m. Mass)

15-minute Lenten Meditations
The Year of Mercy
Following the 6 p.m. Monday Mass

Parish Lenten Mission
Saturday, March 5
  • 9 a.m. Mass
  • 10 a.m.-12 p.m. Confessions
  • 12 p.m. Anointing of the Sick
  • 4 p.m. Mass followed by a short meditation on The Spiritual Works of Mercy (Admonish the Sinner and Bear Wrongs Patiently)

Sunday, March 6
  • 11:30 a.m. Adoration, Meditation on Forgive Offenses Willingly and Counsel the Doubtful followed by Benediction

See also "40 Cans for Lent," "Best Lent Ever," Moms' Group, and Knights of Columbus activities.

40 Cans for Lent

In the spirit of Fr. Tom’s call for the parish to focus on the corporal and spiritual works of mercy throughout this year of mercy, the Knights of Columbus will sponsor a campaign called 40 Cans for Lent. This campaign focuses on the corporal work of mercy to feed the hungry.

The idea is simple: A one-can-per-day donation inspired by Christ’s 40 days of fasting in the desert, for hunger knows no season and may affect those closest to us in our parish community!

The goal for the 40 Cans for Lent food drive is to establish a food pantry at St. Mary of Perpetual Help to aid those who come to our door in need of assistance. Help the Knights of Columbus achieve this goal by bringing in food items throughout Lent or providing a monetary donation. There will be a designated drop off area in the back vestibule of the church for all donations.

If you have any questions, please contact Phil Cavin or Frank Barber. Thank you in advance for your generosity! May God bless you and Mary Queen of the Knights, pray for us.

Don't Give Up Chocolate This Lent

Have you ever had a memorable lent? More importantly, have you ever had a life-changing lent?

Dynamic Catholic invites you to join Matthew Kelly, the Dynamic Catholic Team, and thousands of people across the country for Best Lent Ever®. Based on Matthew’s new bestseller Rediscover Jesus, this free e-mail program will take you on a 40-day spiritual journey to encounter Jesus—and yourself—in a deeply personal way.

Each day you’ll receive an inspirational e-mail with a short video featuring Matthew and a member of the Dynamic Catholic Team. Throughout Lent, they will guide you through each of the 40 chapters in Rediscover Jesus and share simple ways to bring Jesus into your everyday life. Sign up at

Will this really be your best Lent ever? That’s entirely up to you. Sign up today and commit to doing something life-changing this Lent.

Want a free copy of Rediscover Jesus? Visit

Support Families in the Holy Land with Art Crafted in Olive Wood from Bethlehem

Blest Art will visit our parish Saturday, Feb. 13 and Sunday, Feb. 14 after each Mass on behalf of the Christian families in Bethlehem, Palestine. Their mission is to support those families in the Holy Land.

For centuries, the Christians in and around Bethlehem have earned a living by carving religious olive wood art to sell to visiting pilgrims. Fewer pilgrims are journeying to the Holy Land today, making it difficult for those Christians to support their families. As a result, there has been a dramatic rise in Christian emigration from the Holy Land. Now, less than 1 percent of the population in the Holy Land are Christians.

Blest Art Inc helps the struggling Christian families of Bethlehem by marketing their artwork in the United States. Due to this work, they allow many Christian families to maintain their livelihood and their ancestral homes in the land of our Lord.

When Blest Art visits our parish, they will have hand-carved nativity sets, statues, crosses, rosaries, and many other pieces of beautiful olive wood art. They kindly invite you to visit their display and to consider purchasing a piece of art from the Holy Land. In doing so, you will help support the many families who depend on this form or art for their living. Your purchase will make a difference in the lives of many Christian families.

They gladly accept cash, checks, and all major credit cards. Please note that they do not ask for, nor do they accept, any donations.

Lenten Retreat for Mid-life Singles

Are you a mid-life single (mid-30s to 50s)? Register today for a life-changing REFLECT weekend retreat at the Cardinal Stritch Retreat House near Mundelein Seminary on March 4 to 6, 2016. The cost is $197 and includes meals and a single room. You'll have the chance to experience healing, a sense of belonging, and a renewed relationship with the Lord through planned talks, a reconciliation service, Holy Masses, and caring fellowship. We guarantee that you won't regret it! Call 312-532-8286, e-mail, or visit for details.

Chicago Choral Festival and Mass Coming to Our Parish Feb. 27

Pueri Cantores, the national student choral organization of the Catholic Church, invites all parish and school treble choirs in the Archdiocese of Chicago and neighboring dioceses to St. Mary of Perpetual Help Saturday, Feb. 27 for a festival and Mass. Singers in grades 4-8 will share their musical gifts under the direction of Conductor John Robinson, music director of historic St. Paul's Church in Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA. Mass will be celebrated by Fr. Thomas Franzman.

Each year, Pueri Cantores organizes choral festivals and Masses for Roman Catholic parish and school choirs in cathedrals and other churches around the United States. The singers join together as one large combined choir to prepare and present great liturgical music whose repertoire spans some 1500 years—from Gregorian chant and polyphony to masterworks of the 20th and 21st Centuries.

See the 2016 choral festivals repertoire and more from the American Federation Pueri Cantores.

A Jan. 18 Letter from Illinois Right to Life to March for Life Supporters

I am speechless.

Yesterday over 5,000 people from 5 different states braved the bitter cold to show just how serious we are at ending abortion.

Yes, 5,000 people. Our march was 5 blocks long with wind chills reaching as low as -20 and it was still the largest March for Life in the midwest in history!

But we couldn't get people to leave. Even as the march was over, marchers danced on the plaza and celebrated life for nearly an hour before heading out!

My favorite was as I emceed the March for Life Chicago, I asked those in the crowd to raise their hand if this was their first time marching for life.

To my dismay, nearly 1/5 of the crowd raised their hand!
That's what the #March4LifeChi is all about. Encouraging people for the very first time to encounter and join the pro-life movement.

And it's working.

Our movement is growing.

Every year it takes over $20,000 (not including staff time), 12 organizations, and 11 months to make the March for Life Chicago happen.

The March has been credited with saving two babies in the past three years and touching thousands of people's hearts.

Our media coverage is still pouring in but currently it includes coverage by: the Chicago TribuneChicago Sun-TimesReutersCrux (Boston Globe's Catholic Section), the Catholic New WorldIllinois ReviewEWTN,
Relevant RadioMoody Radio, and CBS.

Our message of life and love reached hundreds of thousands of people through the media coverage alone.
Please consider donating to help the March for Life Chicago 2017.

I am very honored to be the president of the March for Life Chicago - your courage, commitment to love, and dance moves have touched my heart. Thank you, marchers! 

 Yours in life,


P.S. If you missed the bucket, don't forget to chip in. We need you to help us with 2017! Donate here now.

P.P.S. Anyone want to join the committee to pray for good weather next year? :)

Join the St. Mary's 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, Feb. 16 at 2 p.m. at the home of Tess Barber. Feel free to bring a friend! If you have questions or would like more information, please contact Tess Barber or , 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.
If you are interested in joining our Council, please reach out to Philip Cavin or Frank Barber. You can find more information about our Council on our Facebook page. If you are interested in the Knights of Columbus in general please visit the Supreme website.

The January 2016 issue of Knightline is now available online. In this issue you’ll find information on:
  • The Supreme Knight calling for policy changes to protect Christians
  • FAQ on the domestic church initiative
  • The 43rd Annual March for Life
  • Keeping a Star Council mindset
  • 2015 — In Review

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.

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.