Holy Wednesday Tenebrae Service

Scroll down for more Lenten Devotions.

Tenebrae, from the Latin word for “shadows,” has been observed in the church of Jesus Christ since the fourth century. Tenebrae is a prolonged meditation on Christ’s suffering. Readings trace the story of Christ’s passion, music portrays his pathos, and the power of silence and darkness suggests the drama of this momentous day. As lights are extinguished, we ponder the depth of Christ’s suffering and death; we remember the cataclysmic nature of his sacrifice as we hear the overwhelming sound of the “strepitus”; and through the return of the small but persistent flame of the Christ candle at the conclusion of the service, we anticipate the joy of ultimate victory.

Palm Sunday Masses

Tridentine Latin Mass:


Mass in English:


Special thanks to our friends at Spirit Juice Studios for filming, editing and making today’s Masses available for everyone! https://www.spiritjuicestudios.com/

Holy Week

We will be posting videos here on our website, on our YouTube Channel, and on our Facebook page for all Holy Week services. Please join us!

Palm Sunday - both Latin Mass and Mass in English will be posted Sunday 3/5 by 8:30 a.m. (Palms are not available this year due to the pandemic.)
Holy Wednesday - our Tenebrae service will be posted by 7:00 p.m.
Holy Thursday - our Mass will be posted by 7:00 p.m.
Good Friday - our service will be posted by 3:00 p.m.
Easter Sunday - Easter Sunday Mass will be posted by 8:30 a.m. in both Latin and English

Please also view other Lenten devotion videos below.

A special thanks to our friends at Spirit Juice Studios for helping us record and bring these videos to you during these hard times, 

Church will be closed until further notice

Governor Pritzker has just announced a mandatory shelter-in-place order for the State of Illinois.  What this means for our parishes is that effective 5 p.m. Saturday, March 21 through Tuesday, April 30th

Cardinal Cupich has ordered:
*      
  • All churches and adoration chapels must be closed and locked until the order is lifted by the governor. Private prayer in any parish building must be discontinued until the order is lifted.
  • There can be no live Stations of the Cross or any other gatherings anywhere on parish/school property, nor can any parish personnel be involved in organizing them on any other site.
  • All weddings and baptisms must be postponed and can be re-scheduled only once the order is lifted. There are no exceptions to this, regardless of the size of the group. However, in case of an extreme emergency for baptism, please seek the permission of your bishop.
  • Funerals and wakes must be postponed until the order is lifted.
During this difficult time, I will be offering daily Mass for your intentions and the ones in the Mass book. Several Masses have already been recorded and will be uploaded to our website every weekend.

Holy Week Masses and Services will be posted on our website. 

The church office will be closed until further notice. It is encouraged that any parish business be conducted over the phone rather than by visiting the rectory.

Because our parish survives only because of your generosity, we hope you will consider making your Sunday offertory donation online this week and perhaps going forward. We ask that you please use the following link to make your donation:


You may also place your Sunday offertory envelopes in the church office mail slot. 

Thank you for your continued generosity to the parish.

We will continue to keep you informed as new information is available.

Please pray for all those affected by this situation.

In Christ,

Fr. Aschenbrener


Update on St. Anthony of Padua Church



A formal decree has been issued confirming the relegation of St. Anthony of Padua Church. Parishioners can find the decree on the Renew My Church website. and below. The final signed decree summarizes the factors that led to the decision to close St. Anthony of Padua Church and outlines next steps.

Words from Cardinal Sarah on the Spiritual Crisis of the West


Just hours after his May 25, 2019 visit to the Cathedral of Notre-Dame of Paris and examining its near destruction by fire, H.E Robert Cardinal Sarah gave a Conference at Église Saint François-Xavier to present his latest book, The Day is Far Spent. In the book, he analyzes "the profound crisis of the West, a crisis of faith, a crisis of the Church, of the priesthood, of identity, a crisis of the meaning of man and human life." What he shared in Paris in May is documented by The Catholic World Report and begins as follows:

"This evening I would like to repeat these convictions I hold so deeply, by putting them into the perspective of a moving visit I made yesterday. Just hours ago I was at the cathedral of Notre-Dame of Paris. As I entered the gutted church, and contemplated its ruined vaults, I could not help but see in it a symbol of the situation of Western civilization and of the Church in Europe.

"It is a sad fact: today the Church seems to be engulfed in flames on all sides. We see her ravaged by a conflagration much more destructive than the one that razed the cathedral of Notre-Dame. What is this fire? We must have the courage to name it, because 'to name things wrongly is to add to the misfortune of the world.'"



A cultural identity crisis, Cardinal Sarah writes, is at the root of the problems facing Western societies. "The West no longer knows who it is, because it no longer knows and does not want to know who made it, who established it, as it was and as it is." While making clear the gravity of the present situation, the cardinal demonstrates that it is possible to avoid the hell of a world without God, a world without hope. He calls for a renewal of devotion to Christ through prayer and the practice of virtue.

Resources for the Start of a Journey in Getting to Know God Better

Who is God? And what does Mary have to do with the quest to understand Jesus? Get ready to learn more about one of the great mysteries of our faith, and love God more with the help of these accessible and engaging books.

If we want to love God and make him the center of our lives, we would do well to settle this question at least in some small way. This book serves as a starting point for understanding what Christians mean when they say “God,” and to whom they are referring when they use this name. Part of the What Every Catholic Should Know series, God: What Every Catholic Should Know is born out of the recognition that God is central to the Faith, but we encounter misconceptions about God all the time. In an effort to clear up these misconceptions, this book addresses three major concepts—the nature of God, the Trinity, and the Incarnation—so that we may strengthen our faith and our ability to communicate it to other people.



In Jesus and the Jewish Roots of Mary, Dr. Pitre takes readers step-by-step from the Garden of Eden to the Book of Revelation to reveal how deeply biblical Catholic beliefs about Mary really are. Dr. Pitre uses the Old Testament and Ancient Judaism to unlock how the Bible itself teaches that Mary is in fact the new Eve, the Mother of God, the Queen of Heaven and Earth, and the new Ark of the Covenant.

Collect the 'What Every Catholic Should Know' Series

"What's the Church's teaching on salvation?" "What are the Catholic themes in some of the greatest works of literature?" To provide clear and accessible answers to the most common Catholic questions, The Augustine Institute created the What Every Catholic Should Know series.

At every Sunday Mass, Catholics confess that Jesus came down from heaven "for us men and for our salvation." But what does "salvation" mean? In this robust and accessible book, scripture scholar and theologian Michael Patrick Barber provides a thorough, deeply Catholic, and deeply biblical, answer.



Renowned literary expert Joseph Pearce opens the door to authors like Dante, Jane Austin, Tolkien, and Chesterton in a clear and exciting manner—guaranteed to inspire and help you make the connections between great literature and great faith.

Sign Up for 'Marriage 101' and '201' Workshops

Register today for marriage workshops offered through the Chicago Christian Counseling Center. Workshops are facilitated by Doug Hinderer (MA, LAMFT), a husband of 38 years and father of nine who is passionate about helping couples enjoy marriage as God intended.

Click here for information: Marriage 201: Marriage Tune-Up


Offered 5 separate Saturdays in 2020 
This is a one-day workshop for couples who worry that their marriage is getting stale or want to breathe new life into their relationship. Coming from a solid Christian foundation, Marriage 201 will teach couples:
  • The "science" of happy marriages
  • How to handle conflicts in ways that say "I love you"
  • How to grow each day in friendship, affection, and appreciation

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

Former Abortionist Dr. Levatino Destroys Pro-Choice Arguments


Watch this video for a physician's defense of life over abortion. He explains the procedure, the law, the science, Planned Parenthood, and everything in between.

Baby Chris: A Week-by-Week Journey Through Pregnancy and Fetal Development



Priests for Life and a coalition of national pro-life groups have embarked on a unique project to highlight the humanity of the unborn.

At a time when protections for children in the womb are being eliminated in many states, the project urges people all over the U.S. to observe March 25 as the Day of the Unborn Child and then to follow the development of the unborn child for nine months until Christmas Day. As a guide, the project points people to an app that shows the developmental facts and stunning imagery of the child for each week of pregnancy.

Available now on android and iPhone stores is an app called “See Baby Pregnancy Guide.” Video footage of the unborn child far more powerful than anything ultrasound can accomplish will take users through each week of the development of the child dubbed “Baby Chris.”

“In the debate over abortion, the starting point is simple: who is this child? This project will answer that question in a definitive way, based on indisputable medical facts and astonishing imagery,” said Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life. “This is an effort, moreover, of a wide variety of pro-life groups, and I’m grateful for the leadership of each and every one of my colleagues.”

During the nine-month journey, app users will be provided with resources for education, social media and prayer. See www.BabyChris.org.

“We want the whole country to see the baby in the womb as our youngest neighbor,” Fr. Frank explained. “By seeing these children and knowing more about their development, people can see more clearly that these are our brothers and sisters.

“Moreover, for Christians, we realize that the Annunciation is the event at which God himself became an unborn child. Jesus made the journey that every child in the womb makes, and this strengthens even more our awareness that these children are our brothers and sisters.”

Coffee for a Cause: Order St. Mary's Blend and Preserve the Parish

St. Mary's coffee, a project of Turncoat Coffee Company, seeks to animate the highest ideals of culture through the preservation and proliferation of the church's classical art, architecture, liturgics, and works of mercy.

Every bag of this premium, artisan roasted coffee helps to maintain or create sacred spaces for men and women to fully encounter beauty, goodness, and truth and thereby elevate and transfigure the culture around them, one bag at a time.

One hundred percent of the net proceeds from sales of St. Mary's coffee goes toward the preservation fund for St. Mary of Perpetual Help Church. Order some today!

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).