Get Ready for Bridgeport's Biggest Garage Sale Aug. 6


Our 10th Annual Garage Sale fundraiser is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 6 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. On Thursday, Aug. 4 and Friday, Aug. 5 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., we'll accept donations of clean, usable items (no older TVs, clothing, or bedding, please). Let us know if you have any items you would like to donate. Some items are especially popular! Ladies, if you have old jewelry, we want it! Men, we will take your old tools! We also take movies, CDs, albums, and books. And if you have it, furniture is always in high demand. Whether you're cleaning house, on the hunt for treasure, or both, we look forward to seeing you there!

Can you volunteer your time and energy to help us make this garage sale the best one ever?

We need YOU to make this a success! Please note that we have a few basic types of needs: MUSCLES, HANDS, and BRAINS.
  • "Muscles" are needed for labor jobs like moving tables, setting up tables, moving furniture, etc.
  • "Hands" are needed for less labor-intensive work like sorting, cleaning, organizing, and pricing.
  • "Brains" are people who are good at math, good at dealing with people, quick on their feet, and able to tally items and make change in their head QUICKLY. Please keep this in mind when you select volunteer options.
We have broken the needs down into time blocks to make it easy for more people to help, but you can pick multiple time blocks if you are willing to commit the time.

St. Mary's Moms' Group


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 will be on June 21st at 2 p.m. and held 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, 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 February 2016 issue of Knightline is now available online. In this issue you’ll find:
  • "Presidential Candidates Say that Christians Face Genocide in Middle East"
  • "Thousands Rally in Defense of the Unborn"
  • "K of C Insurance Marks 15th Consecutive Year of Sales Growth"
  • "The Knights’ Service of Ministry"

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. 

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

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

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

Bishop Robert Barron of Los Angeles 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 WordOnFire.org. For a peek at some of the newest features, watch the video trailer below:

'Look at Me': Patricia Snow Diagnoses Our Need for Real Presence in a Distracted World


"Twenty-three years ago, under the pseudonym Catherine Maurice, a woman wrote a book about recovering her small daughter from autism. Still in print, the book is called Let Me Hear Your Voice, a quotation from the Song of Songs, God’s love song to humanity. In 1993 autism was not the byword it is today, and the author weaves into her story general information about the illness: its spectrum of symptoms and possible causes, the challenges of diagnosis, and the history of treatment, including treatments available at the time the book was written.

Very quickly, in her daughter’s case, Maurice stumbles upon what is still the gold standard for the treatment of infantile autism: an intensive course of behavioral therapy called applied behavioral analysis that was developed by psychologist O. Ivar Lovaas at UCLA in the 1970s. Following Lovaas’s protocols, employing part-time therapists but also giving herself wholeheartedly to the work, in a little over a year’s time she recovers her daughter to the point that she is indistinguishable from her peers."

Read the full article from First Things.

Have you Looked Up Lately?

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 www.catholicscomehome.org.


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 lucie_weir@hotmail.com. 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
Pastor

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 downloadjesus.com to try it out.

Wednesday Evening Scripture Study


Join us for scripture study on Wednesday evenings, when we'll focus on the mysteries of the Catholic Faith. We'll meet each Wednesday evening at 6:30 p.m. in the Lourdes Hall first-floor conference room.


Prayer to Our Lady of Perpetual Help


Mother of Perpetual Help,
with the greatest confidence
we come before your holy picture
to be inspired by the example of your life.

We think of you at that moment when,
full of faith and trust,
you accepted God's call
to be the mother of his Son.
Help us, your children,
to accept with joy our own calling in life.

When you learned that your cousin Elizabeth was in need
you immediately went to serve her
and offer your help.
Help us, like you,
to be concerned for others.

We think of you, Mother,
at the foot of the cross.
Your heart must have bled
to see your Son in agony.

But your joy was great
when he rose from the dead,
victorious over the powers of evil.

Mother of Sorrows,
help us through the trials and
disappointments of life.
Help us not to lose heart.

May we share with you and your Son
the joy of having courageously faced up
to all the challenges of life.
Amen.

Dome A Glow

Have the interior and exterior lights of the dome lit in memory of deceased members of your family, to commemorate a special occasion, or for special prayers needed.

Contact the Church Office at (773) 927-6646 or e-mail the parish at stmaryph@aol.com to schedule dates. The requested stipend is $25.00 and the intention is listed in the bulletin the week of the intention.

It's a beautiful way to remember a special person or event!