Our Knights of Columbus Council Is Established!

The St. Mary of Perpetual Help Knights of Columbus Council has been established! We will have a 2nd and 3rd degree ceremony April 19 at St. Mary of Perpetual Help from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. All elected officers have to be a Knight in the 3rd degree. All other members are highly encouraged to take the next steps to becoming a 2nd and 3rd degree Knight.

We will also host a 1st degree ceremony May 17 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. If you know of any other gentlemen who wish to become a Knight, please inform them of this opportunity. For more information, please contact our Grand Knight, Phil Cavin.

For more information on the Knights of Columbus, please visit www.kofc.org.

'Dancing with the Angels' Puts Spring in Our Step

On April 11, the Young Adult group hosted 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. Our in-house DJ was had swing, ballroom, flamenco, ballet, and modern music at the ready for some excellent dancers with ridiculously good footwork. It was a huge success! Will there be another opportunity to cut loose? Stay tuned.

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.

Take a Look Back at Trivia Night

Take a look back at our second-annual Trivia Night! We enjoyed a chili dinner homemade by our very own chefs Ed and Deb (with huge assists from Megan for yummy cornbread, Chrissy for devilishly delicious red velvet cookies and minis, and Bibi for a fancy salad).

Parishioners Frank, Tess, and Phil hosted and put together some tough trivia questions, but we proved our smarts, some of us taking home gift cards for outstanding knowledge of the Catholic faith, Chicago history, and more. Maybe your team will be the one to win next time!

Introducing Endow Groups for Women

Have you ever wondered what the Church really teaches about the role of women? Do you want to know more about the role of authentic feminism in our faith? Then come join our Endow group for women.

Endow is a Catholic educational program bringing women together to discover their God-given dignity and to understand their role in humanizing and transforming society. Endow utilizes small study groups, conferences, and retreats to cultivate faith, fellowship, and formation.

A New Endow 8 week study group will start February 4 at 6:30 pm, here at St. Mary of Perpetual Help. We will study Pope John Paul II’s Letter to Women.  For more info, please call Nell Andrzejewski at (773) 927-6646.

Register online and watch the short video below.

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

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 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.

Dome A Glow

Have the interior and exterior lights of the dome lit in memory of deceased members of your family, to commemorate a special occasion, or for special prayers needed.

Contact the Church Office at (773) 927-6646 or e-mail the parish at stmaryph@aol.com to schedule dates. The requested stipend is $25.00 and the intention is listed in the bulletin the week of the intention.

It's a beautiful way to remember a special person or event!