Look Back at Our Family Outing to ZooLights at Lincoln Park Zoo

Our family/youth outing to Lincoln Park for a holiday light show brought parish families together for a fun way to begin the Advent season. Thanks to all the families who joined us.

Until next year, take a look back with these photos:

Family Outing to ZooLights 2018 at Lincoln Park Zoo

Prepare for the Best Advent Ever

What would it take for you to have the best Christmas of your life?

Sign up for a free email program that will help you slow down and focus on what matters most during this busy season. You'll experience Advent in a whole new way—leading to the best Christmas of your life!

Starting the first Sunday of Advent, you'll receive daily emails with short inspirational videos, practical tips to incorporate into your everyday life, and personal stories from Dynamic Catholic team members.

Can We Think Like Jesus?

Remember the “WWJD” bracelets that reminded wearers to consider “What Would Jesus Do?”

A new book by Catholic radio and television personality and clinical psychologist Dr. Ray Guarendi could bear the abbreviation “WWJT” — “What Would Jesus Think?” Guarendi asks that question in Thinking Like Jesus, where he uses his clinical expertise, coupled with his faith, to tackle topics such as humility, the need for a will aligned with God, hurtful words, raising children and virtue. Read Tim Drake's review of the book at the National Catholic Register to learn more.

Annual Christmas Bake Sale and Pancake Breakfast with St. Nicholas!

Be sure to join us for our annual Christmas Bake Sale and Pancake Breakfast with St. Nicholas on December 16th at 11:30 a.m. The best bakers in Bridgeport are hard at work to bring you wonderful treats, gifts and more! Cookies, cakes, brownies, candies - including traditional favorites and old family recipes from around the globe. St. Nicholas will be there to take pictures with the children and may even have a gift to give them.

We will also have RAFFLES, SPLIT the POT, and a special raffle for a 50 inch screen TV.  So come in and enjoy a hot breakfast and win some fun prizes and perhaps a gift or two!

The event will take place inside the School Building in the Commons

First Friday Family Night

Family Night and Activities 

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All families with kids are welcome to attend  "First Friday" Family Night. Gatherings begin at 6:30-9:00 p.m. in the school foyer, behind the church.

Friday, January 4th
 “Pajama Party” Movie Night
Featuring - “The Polar Express”  
Hot Chocolate, sweet treats, nachos, popcorn and punch.

Family Outing 

Maggie Daley Ice Rink 
Saturday December 22nd 4-7pm
Meeting at the Maggie Daley Park field house at the “Ribbon Rink”.
Hot Chocolate and snacks will be provided

Pray for Bishops

The Church scandals that have come to light the past few months have left many Catholic laypeople and faithful clergy feeling angry, disillusioned, and unsure of what to do to bring about change.

Turns out we have some powerful tools from God: prayer, fasting, and prayerful action. Many Catholics are praying, fasting, letter writing, and engaging in public demonstrations. God is hearing our heartfelt prayers, and He is starting to clean house.

A group of lay Catholics have launched a new website to encourage faithful Catholics to "spiritually adopt" a bishop to pray for him: www.prayforbishops.com.

Prayerfully consider visiting the site and pledging to spiritually adopt a bishop. If you complete all the steps on the website, you will combine your prayer efforts with some letter-writing action.

Bishops need our prayers and will benefit knowing that we are praying for them—prayers for their return to the promises they made when they were ordained. You can choose to spiritually adopt any bishop on this website, including bishops who have upheld the faith and have protected their flock from predation, as well as bishops who have failed.

Many of the egregious abuses against children and adults could have been limited or prevented if the bishops had acted.
Prayerfully consider participating and passing along the effort to family and friends.

Visit the Site

Women's Faith Sharing Group

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This group meets on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month at 7:00 p.m. in the new faith formation room located on the first floor of the school. The school entrance is located directly behind the church. The aim of the group is for women to grow together in their Catholic faith and work towards being a light for Christ in the world through prayer, topic-based spiritual readings, and study of the lives of the saints. Opening prayer begins at 7:00pm followed by discussion of the day’s topic. All women are welcome. Consider inviting someone new to our parish.

November 14: Flannery O’Connor
November 28: Advent Hymns and Christmas Carols
December 12: Gift Bagging for Women’s Shelter

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of the women coordinating the group.

Christine coforeman@gmail.com
Rachel  therachelkelly@gmail.com
Veronica  vero2981@gmail.com 

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.

Deepen Your Faith Life with Accessible, Relevant Catholic Content

The Augustine Institute has started FORMED Daily. Every day, they send a free short, high-quality reflection from the vast library of premium content available on their FORMED site. These reflections are perfect with your morning coffee, lunch break, after dinner, or any time in between.

FORMED includes content such as Presence: The Mystery of the Eucharist:

Get started today!

Sign Up Now

Enjoy the Latest from the 'Faith & Culture' Website

Belloc vs. Tolkien: 2 Views of Anglo-Saxon England

Picture the scene. An expectant audience, which includes the great Catholic writer, J. R. R. Tolkien, awaits the arrival of another great Catholic writer, Hilaire Belloc, the latter of whom has been invited by the University chaplain, Monsignor Ronald Knox, to give a talk to the Catholic chaplaincy at Oxford University. Seated just behind Tolkien as Belloc gives his talk is the celebrated Jesuit, Fr. Martin D’Arcy, who records what subsequently transpired in his memoirs ...

Beauty Will Save the World

"His music gets inside of you so that you become the amplifier for it." So said my mother as we were driving home from a family gathering not long ago. Roo Panes’ latest album, Quiet Man, played on the stereo system. My mother’s comment struck me as unexpectedly profound. Having been an admirer of Mr. Panes’ music for some time now, I was pleased to see someone else share my deep appreciation for his lyricism ...

Jared Staudt on Belloc and Dawson

In the latest Faith & Culture Podcast, Jared Staudt and Joseph Pearce discuss history and education in the light of the works and words of Hilaire Belloc and Christopher Dawson.

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 January. 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.

Preservation Fund to Restore the Church

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

Rethinking Mary in the New Testament

Every third Wednesday of the month after the 6 p.m. Mass, our parish book club meets in the faith formation room, located in the first floor of the school, at 6:30 p.m. Parishioner Andy Thornton will lead our discussion of Rethinking Mary in the New Testament, What the Bible Tells Us about the Mother of the Messiah, by: Edward Sri

Go to this website to order the book

Catholics and non-Catholics alike may be tempted to assume they already know everything there is to know about Mary. Whatever your degree of knowledge and personal devotion to the Mother of God, this book will help you see Mary with new eyes and greater appreciation.

Renowned author and theologian Edward Sri deftly leads the reader through a detailed study of Scripture and makes insightful connections to deepen and transform our understanding of Jesus's Mother. Readable, compelling, and inspiring, this book will renew your vision so that you, too, can rethink Mary – the Mother of God and our mother.

Topics include:
  • ·         What was Mary's life like before the Annunciation?
  • ·         Mary as Daughter Zion
  • ·         What does it mean to call Mary "full of grace"?
  • ·         What is the biblical basis for the Catholic belief that Mary is a perpetual Virgin?
  • ·         Mary as Queen Mother
  • ·         Mary as model of faith
  • ·         Mary at the foot of the Cross
  • ·         Mary as the woman of Revelation