Christmas Masses

Wednesday, December 24
4:00 p.m. (Vigil Mass)
Music with the harp begins at 3:40 p.m.

10:30 p.m. (Mass at Night) 

Carols begin at 10:10 p.m.

Note: There will NOT be a Mass at 12 Midnight.

Thursday, December 25

8:30 a.m. (Mass at Dawn)
Traditional Latin Mass Music with Gregorian Schola

10:30 a.m. (Mass at Day)

Carols begins at 10:10 a.m.
Music with the Parish Choir

Bust a Move to Benefit Our Parish and Missionaries of Charity

On Jan. 10, 2015, the Young Adult group is hosting a "Dancing with the Angels" competition and open dance to benefit our parish's restoration as well as the good work of the Missionaries of Charity. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m., and the competition will begin at 7:30 p.m.

General admission
  • $20 online, $25 at the door
  • Includes heavy hors d'oeuvres, wine, beer, and soft drinks
Competitor registration
  • $25 single dancer entry
  • $40 couple entry
  • 1st Prize: $250 minimum (but could exceed, depending on number of competitors)
  • 2nd and 3rd Prizes: Restaurant gift certificates
Competitor guidelines
  • Dancers to prepare for 90-second qualifying round and 60-second elimination round dance routines
  • Acceptable dance styles: swing, ballroom, flamenco, ballet, and modern/contemporary
  • All dances and dress to be modest and in good taste, respecting it as a church event

Register now!

Look Back at This Year's Oktoberfest

St. Mary of Perpetual Help is held its Oktoberfest Sept. 28 and took advantage of some very nice weather! We even set up a screen for those who couldn't miss the Bears-Packers game, but most reported the real action was outside where the beer, band, and food were (though our Wisconsin expats had all the more reason to celebrate—we won't go into detail). Silent and live auctions benefited the parish, and plenty of folks went home with some cool stuff. The parish appreciates all of your support and hope you had a great time!

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

We "Walked the Walk" on Our Parish Pilgrimmage

We celebrated of the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross with an afternoon visit to the Shrine of Christ's Passion, in St. John, Indiana, on Sept. 14. This relatively new outdoor display of life-sized bronze statues depicting the Way of the Cross has quickly become a popular destination for thousands of Christians each year.

Check out the photos below to retrace our steps (and His)!

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:

Solemn High Mass Commemorates St. Mary of Perpetual Help Feast Day

On June 26 at 7 p.m., we celebrated a Solemn High Latin Mass in honor of our Patroness, St. Mary of Perpetual Help. This was the first time in over 60 years this Mass was celebrated here at the parish. The ancient Liturgy with its beautiful rites was accompanied by polyphonic music. Below are photos from the celebration.

St. Mary of Perpetual Help Parishioners Display their Faith on Feast of Corpus Christi

St. Mary of Perpetual Help's annual Corpus Christi celebration is a unique display of our faith to the Bridgeport community. On June 22, we acknowledged Christ's presence in the Holy Eucharist with a procession after the 10:30 Mass. Take a look at the slideshow below for images of the beautiful day.

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.

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 to try it out.

Forming Disciples to Become Saints after the Heart of Christ

Come to Lourdes Hall on Sundays from 9 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. or 11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. for a series of discussions on the Catholic Faith.  The 11:30 a.m. session is followed by open gym for families with children.   

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.

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.