9 Receive their First Communion in May 3 Mass

Nine young parishioners received their first Sacrament of Holy Communion on Sunday, May 3. They also participated in ceremonies to receive a devotional scapular and crown the Blessed Virgin Mary. Below are pictures of the beautiful celebration.

Celebrate the Feast of Corpus Christi June 7

St. Mary of Perpetual Help's annual Corpus Christi celebration is a unique display of our faith to the Bridgeport community. On June 7, join us as we acknowledge Christ's presence in the Holy Eucharist with a procession after the 10:30 Mass to the Holy Cross Monastery.

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, any time you can—children welcome!

We meet on the third Saturday of each month in the school from 11 a.m. until 12 p.m. Our next meeting is Saturday, June 20. If you have questions or would like more information, please contact Tess Barber or Kathy Lipowski.

Get Your Tickets for June 14 Catholic Family Day at Great America

Sunday, June 14 is Catholic Family Day at Six Flags Great America. The day begins before the park opens with Mass in the Grand Music Hall at 10 a.m. Our new Vicar General, Very Rev. Ronald Hicks, will be the celebrant. Come and celebrate this kick-off for the Chicago events of the upcoming World Meeting of Families.

Tickets are available at a reduced rate of $33.98 per person. A picnic package is available for $46.36 per person and includes park admission and an all-you-can-eat buffet. Season pass holders can take advantage of the buffet for $16.17 per person.

Order tickets online at SixFlags.com/GreatAmerica. Click "Enter Promo Code" located at the top-right of the page and enter CATHOLIC, or just click the "Get Tickets" button below. Please RSVP for Mass with a message to StrategicPastoralPlan@ArchChicago.org. For questions about Catholic Family Day, call the department of Parish Life and Formation at 312-534-5316.


Save the Date for Parish Feast Day Mass and Picnic

On Sunday, June 28, we'll celebrate the patronal feast of our parish at the 10:30 a.m. Mass. We'll host a picnic just outside the church following Mass, and all parishioners and friends of our parish are welcome to attend.

11 Newly Confirmed in April 26 Mass

Auxiliary Bishop Raymond Goedert celebrated Confirmation Mass with us on April 26. Take a look back as 11 candidates listen to Bishop Goedert's homily and are sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit through the Sacrament of Confirmation.

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 WordOnFire.org. 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 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.

Forming Disciples to Become Saints after the Heart of Christ


Come to Lourdes Hall in the first of the school on Sundays from 9 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. for a series of discussions on the Catholic Faith. 

Monday Evening Scripture Study


Join us for scripture study on Monday evenings, when we'll focus on the mysteries of the Catholic Faith. We'll meet each Tuesday evening at 6:00 p.m. in the Lourdes Hall first-floor conference room.


Year of the Sacraments Is Underway


July 2014 through June 2015 is the Year of the Sacraments in the Archdiocese of Chicago. In this fourth and final year for the Strategic Pastoral Plan, Chicago Catholics are asked to reflect on the purpose and meaning of all of the sacraments, with particular attention to Eucharist and Reconciliation. The Church will:
  • Dedicate homilies to educating parishioners on the meaning and purpose of the sacraments
  • Offer special retreats or programs of reflection on some or all of the sacraments
  • Provide catechetical instruction about the sacraments
  • Develop new aids for examination of conscience
  • Reach out to Catholics who are rarely or infrequently at Mass by creatively and imaginatively using various forms of communications
  • Embed the concerns of social justice and vocational awareness in all efforts
For more details, check out the information from the archdiocese.