First Responders Mass

Join St. Mary of Perpetual Help Church and the Bridgeport community
as we honor
Active and Retired Police Officers, Firefighters, EMS, & Dispatchers

Wednesday, October 10th at 6pm
Celebrant: Father Bart Juncer, Associate Pastor, SMPH
Homilist: Father Dan Brandt, Director, Chicago Police Chaplains

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Blessing of badges and the Statue of St. Michael the Archangel
Immediately following the 6PM Mass

1039 West 32nd Street, Chicago, IL 60608

Oktoberfest Is Coming Sept. 30

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Our annual Oktoberfest will take place Sept. 30 from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and will offer great music by Paul and the Bavarian, all new BBQ from Monster Meats, a variety or beer and drinks and split the pot. Tickets are $15 for adults in advance ($20 at the door) and includes food and live entertainment. Various drinks will be available. Children ages 11-17 are only $5 and include a meal and kids' activities, including the pumpkin carving contest. Kids under 10 are free. 

Don't forget to get your "split the pot" tickets after Mass or in the church office for $5 each. See you there!

Religious Education Signup

Religious education classes began on Sept. 9, but it's not too late to register! Learn more about the program, including the year's schedule, in the religious education brochure. Click below to sign up.

If you have any questions, feel free to email Christine Clardy at Several catechists will be in the narthex after 10:30 am Sunday Mass to help with registration and answer any questions you may have.

Learn the Byzantine Method of Iconography Just Down the Street

Prosopon School Founder Vladislav Andrejev returns to Chicago with his son and Master Iconographer Dmitri Andreyev this fall. From November 5 to 10, they'll teach a workshop for adult students Monastery of the Holy Cross (3111 S. Aberdeen St.). In this six-day workshop, students will learn the traditional Byzantine method using egg tempera and natural pigments.

Included in 6 hours of instruction each day: lectures on theology, theory and technique, and demonstrations of painting and other technical procedures. Time for individual work and personalized instruction is included.

Beginning students will replicate the Icon of Archangel Michael (image may differ slightly from one shown above)
  • No preparation or previous art training required
  • Taught by Dmitri Andreyev
  • Tuition: $800 (tools provided; includes gessoed board and painting materials)

Intermediate students will replicate an icon soon to be determined
  • Previous Prosopon experience and preparation required
  • Taught by Vladislav Andrejev
  • Tuition: $635 (Students must purchase board, transfer image, complete clay surface and gilding before workshop)

How to Put Jesus at the Center of Your Life

“I was raised Catholic and had never left the Church," says Edward Sri. "I went to Mass each week and was involved in my parish. ... I wanted to grow in my faith and even participated in some Catholic activities that helped me to do that. Jesus was truly a part of my life. But, if I had to be honest, he wasn’t at the center.”

What does it look like to put Jesus at the center of your life? Sri asks that question in his book, Into His Likeness: Be Transformed as a Disciple of Christ. Read Clare Walker's review of the book at the National Catholic Register to learn more.

Women's Faith Sharing Group

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This group meets every second and fourth Wednesday of the month at 7 p.m. in the faith formation room located on the first floor of the school.  The purpose of the group is for women to grow together in their Catholic faith by sharing with other women in the parish. All women are welcome to attend.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of the women coordinating the group.

13 Favorite Catholic Books for Toddlers

Shaun McAfee's kids love Catholic books, and their collection grows by the week. "We're constantly on the prowl for good kids books from Magnificat, Ignatius Press, Sophia Press, Regina Press, and other publishers. As they've grown, their tastes have changed, and even if they can't read completely on their own yet, they're able to listen to the stories of faith and prayer and reply with their questions and interests."

With so many books to choose from, McAfee was curious about which ones were his kids' favorites. So he asked. In a recent post at the National Catholic Register, he shares those favorites as recommendations for your home library.

I Thirst: 40 Days with Mother Teresa

Mother Teresa of Calcutta was known around the world for her work with the “poorest of the poor.” What was it that drove this holy saint to live such radical charity? Her answer is simple, yet staggering.

Let Mother Teresa of Calcutta be your guide with a remarkable new devotional book, I Thirst: 40 days with Mother Teresa. I Thirst invites you to spend a few minutes every day being inspired by the spirituality of Mother Teresa.

Subscribe to the Faith & Culture Podcast

A renewal of faith cannot be separated from a renewal of culture. Tune in every week with Joseph Pearce to explore the glory of the Catholic Faith and the beauty of Catholic culture. Join in this adventure and subscribe to the Faith & Culture podcast.

While you're at it, enjoy the latest from the Faith & Culture website:

Weekly Catechesis for 3- to 6-Year-Olds: Let Us Know If You're Interested

St Mary of Perpetual Help is growing! In anticipation of our young families' needs, four volunteer catechists came forward to be trained in The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (CGS) Level I. Meet our catechists.

Weekly sessions for 3- to 6-year-old children will be held for two hours each week this coming September through May 2019. If you are interested in enrolling your child, please contact the front office. Provide the secretary your name, number and email so we can contact you with further details about the program.

Calling All Gold Dome Donors

Dear parishioners and visitors,

For more than 134 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.

On the first Sunday of every month, we take up a special collection for our Preservation Fund. One hundred percent of the money that is collected for this fund goes to restore the church. You can see from our before and after pictures that we have done quite a bit over the last three years. All of the domes in the church have now been completed, thanks to your generosity! In order to continue our ongoing restoration of the church, we need your help!

Prayerfully ask yourself, "what can I generously give each month?" Your contribution can be given in the Preservation Fund collection at Mass on the first or second Sunday of every month. Or you can also contribute online through GiveCentral. As stewards of this church, may our generosity to restore this church be a labor of love for the Lord Jesus. Let us make sure this beautiful and vibrant parish is around for another 134 years so that everyone who comes to worship and adore the Living God in the Mass will continue to experience the most beautiful thing this side of Heaven: God's presence among us in Word and Sacrament.

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 forever grateful for your generosity and for the ways God has blessed our parish. 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

Here is a quick slideshow of some pictures of the interior dome from before this stage of our renovation ...

... and here is a slideshow of the progress we've made with your generosity thus far:

Order Your 'Pligrimage of Prayer' Architectural Parish Guide

Normally, when we enter the church, we walk through it to admire the architecture, stained glass windows, and sanctuary. It's rare to find a church that offers a guide to explain the "what" and the "why." Consequently, most people miss out on the deeper meaning of what a church has to offer.

The goal of our parish's Pilgrimage of Prayer book is to help you appreciate what you see and help you come to a deeper understanding of why it is here. Our church is one of the most beautiful in Chicago, but without knowing and appreciating the meaning behind its beauty, we remain lost in the superficial reality of things. Churches are meant to draw us beyond this world into the heavenly reality; they are meant to teach us about the things of heaven and how to get there. Our hope is that this pilgrimage of prayer will deepen your understanding of things divine so as to enable you to grow in your love of God and neighbor.

The Pilgrimage of Prayer books are available for $20 each ($15 plus $5 shipping). Just make a $20 contribution through GiveCentral for each book you would like, then place your order with a message to Mona in our parish office. Include your address in your message, and Mona will verify your payment and ship you the book(s).

Join the St. Mary of Perpetual Help Book Club

Every third Wednesday of the month after the 6 p.m. Mass, our parish book club meets in the formation room, located in the east sacristy of the church, at 6:30 p.m. Our next session is Wednesday, Sept. 19. Parishioner Andy Thornton will lead our discussion of Into His Likeness: Be Transformed as a Disciple of Christ by Edward Sri.

This book explores discipleship and what it means to live like a true disciple of Christ. What does that look like in everyday life? Sri gives readers a practical vision and roadmap for following Jesus as a disciple.

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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.

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

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