Mark Your Calendar for Summer Youth and Family Activities

From volunteer opportunities to a White Sox game and roller skating, there are some great opportunities this summer for youth and families of the parish to get together. Check out the events page for a quick look, or download the events flyer.

Participants must RSVP one week in advance, with a signed permission slip for each event, and any needed food/money. Friends always welcome!

Novena to the Holy Spirit: Prepare Your Soul for Amazing Gifts

The Novena to the Holy Spirit is a nine-day prayer that goes back to the early Church, particularly when Mary and the Apostles waited in the Upper Room from Ascension Thursday to Pentecost Sunday. Start the Novena this Friday, May 11 and continue until Saturday, May 19, the Eve of Pentecost. Each day includes a short meditation on the Gift of the Spirit you will receive in the Sacrament of Confirmation at Pentecost, and the day headings below include what to say and the prayers that follow.

FIRST DAY, May 11

SECOND DAY, May 12

THIRD DAY, May 13

FOURTH DAY, May 14

FIFTH DAY, May 15

SIXTH DAY, May 16

SEVENTH DAY, May 17

EIGHTH DAY, May 18

NINTH DAY, May 19

The Church has enriched this novena with plenary indulgences:
  • The faithful who devoutly assist at the public novena in honor of the Holy Spirit preceding the feast of Pentecost may gain a Plenary indulgence, if they take part in at least five of the exercises in the community; and moreover, go to confession, and receive Holy Communion and pray for the Holy Father's intentions on Pentecost Sunday.
  • Those who make a private novena in honor of the Holy Spirit, either before Pentecost or at any other time in the year may gain a Plenary indulgence under the usual conditions; but if a public novena is held, this indulgence is available only to those who are lawfully hindered from being part in the same.

The novena to the Holy Spirit is the oldest of all novenas since it was first made at the direction of Our Lord when He sent His apostles back to Jerusalem to await the coming of the Holy Spirit on the First Pentecost. It is still the only novena officially prescribed by the Church. Addressed to the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity, it is a powerful plea for the light, strength and love so sorely needed by every Christian. After this novena, the faithful are encouraged to continue and pray the novena whenever they wish.

Introducing 'Faith & Culture': The New Augustine Institute Journal


Why “Faith & Culture?” Do they go together? Can they be separated?

These questions are at the heart of the Augustine Institute’s new 'Faith & Culture' online journal, spearheaded by Joseph Pearce, editor of the St. Austin Review and the author of books on Shakespeare, Tolkien, Chesterton, and other Christian literary figures. Faith & Culture explores the glory of the Catholic faith and the beauty of Catholic culture.

The site features regular blog posts as well as weekly interviews with well-known Catholic authors, speakers, and academics on a variety of topics related to Catholicism. Check it out today, and check back here for highlighted posts and podcast episodes to explore.

Join Our Parish's New Women’s Group


All women of the parish and beyond are invited to join our newly formed women's group. Come to learn more about your faith while enjoying fellowship, food, and drink.

The next meeting of the women's group is scheduled for May 30 at 7 p.m. Our topic: "Following Mary's Example in Building Spiritual Friendships." The meeting will take place in the school foyer.

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 at the school building this coming September through May 2019. If you are interested in enrolling your child, please help us determine the day and time for the Atrium (i.e., class) by taking our online survey.

CGS Registration will open May 13 online and at the parish office. If you would like to assist in making, building, or purchasing specific materials for the Atrium this summer, please contact Nell at 773-972-6646.

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
Pastor

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 last 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. 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.

Front Cover

St. Mary's Moms' Group


What is the 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! This is a great time to build relationships in the church community with other mothers and for your children to develop relationships with other children. Please contact Tess Barber at tcmbarber@gmail.com for more information and upcoming events. 


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.

Popular 'Word on Fire' Website Proclaims Christ in the Culture

Bishop Robert Barron of Los Angeles 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.

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.