Register for March 16 'A Man Among Men' Conference

Today’s men can live out their masculinity, fatherhood, and brotherhood as Christ has taught us. The organizers of a conference coming to Dominican University invite men to deepen their faith and renew their commitment to being the best men they can be.

The conference, which will take place at the River Forest campus on Saturday, March 16 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., will feature inspiring presentations by Four-Star General Maryanne Miller, Fr. "Simon Says" from Relevant Radio, Springfield Bishop Thomas Paprocki, Richard Lane Jr., and Chris Stewart from Casting Nets Ministries. These engaging speakers were selected to remind men of their responsibility, the power of conversion, and the impact a good man can make.

Tickets are $65 each and include lunch. Register by March 5 to reserve your spot.

Save your Pennies for the Penny Social March 3

Join us in the school building beside the church on Sunday, March 3 for our annual Penny Social. Lunch and refreshments will be for sale. Enter to win hundreds of great prizes for the whole family, including toys, household items, tools, games, electronics, beauty items, and decor.

Will You Take Part in the First FemCatholic Conference?

The first FemCatholic Conference will be a time to ignite the conversation on faith as well as women's issues. Whether you're getting a group together to attend, or just want to help promote this platform for empowering women, there are a number resources available to stay in the loop on this awesome event.

The FemCatholic Conference is a platform for education, connection, and activation to make the world and the Church a better place for women. And to explore how the Church and the world can be bettered because of the contributions of women! In its inaugural year, it will bring together men and women to further what St. Pope John Paul II called for: “a campaign for the promotion of women.” Speakers will include Simcha Fisher, Claire Swinarski, and Meg Hunter-Kilmer.

FemCatholic Conference: For Women, For the Church
Saturday, March 2
Loyola University, Chicago Campus
Agenda & Speakers
Facebook Event

Ticket sales end Feb. 15 but might sell out before then.

There's also a promo pack available to easily share the event. Start being a change agent right now by grabbing one or two of these resources and sharing with your fellow parishioners. Or even just with your friends on Instagram! Inside the promo pack is:
  • Printable conference poster (co-ed)
  • Printable conference poster (for women)
  • Newsletter/bulletin write-up
  • The FemCatholic Conference logo
  • Social media graphics

Empower yourself to activate your own God-given gifts for the betterment of your community. Because women matter: in the Church, and in the world.

Join the Men's Lenten Day of Recollection

On Saturday, March 9, the Knights of Columbus will host a Men's Lenten Day of Recollection right here at the parish. This will be a great opportunity to take a retreat without having to travel.

Here's the schedule for the day:
  • 9 a.m.: Mass (in Church)
  • 9:45 a.m.: First Conference (in School Commons)
  • 10:30 a.m.: Break
  • 10:45 a.m.: Second Conference (in School Commons)
  • 11:30 a.m.: Break and Lunch
  • 12:30 p.m.: Third Conference (in School Commons)
  • 1:15 p.m.: Stations of the Cross (in Church)
  • 1:45 p.m.: Sacrament of Confession offered (in Church)

RSVP by Wednesday, March 6 to attend. A suggested free-will donation of $10 to help with the costs will be collected at the event.

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.

Marriage 101: How to do Marriage Well

Offered 5 separate Saturdays in 2019
Jan 12 | Mar 9 | May 11 | Aug 10 | Oct 5

This is a one-day workshop for couples who are engaged or discussing marriage. Also a meaningful engagement gift! Coming from a solid Christian foundation, Marriage 101 will teach couples:
  • The "science" of marriage: What makes a marriage terrific or horrific
  • Skills that all happy couples possess
  • How to handle conflicts in ways that say "I love you"
  • Ways to grow daily in friendship, affection, and appreciation
  • How to create shared meaning in your life

Marriage 201: Marriage Tune-Up

Offered 5 separate Saturdays in 2019
Feb 9 | Apr 6 | Jun 1 | Sep 7 | Nov 9

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

Information for All Workshops

Each workshop is limited to 10 couples

The Brief Lab
1331 Butterfield Road, Ste 300, Downers Grove, IL 60515

9 a.m. - 4 p.m. (continental breakfast begins at 8:30 a.m.)

Cost for each workshop:
$100 per couple
  • Includes continental breakfast, lunch, and all materials
  • Note there is a $25 non-refundable registration fee

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

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!

First Friday Family Night

All families with kids are welcome to attend "First Friday" Family Night. Gatherings are in the school foyer, behind the church. Our next event will be on Friday, March 1, at 6:30 p.m.

More details about our featured activities will be posted soon. Snacks will be provided. Parents, you're also welcome to bring your favorite snacks to share.

Deepen Your Faith Life with Accessible, Relevant Catholic Content

The Augustine Institute has started FORMED Daily. Every day, they send a free short, high-quality reflection from the vast library of premium content available on their FORMED site. These reflections are perfect with your morning coffee, lunch break, after dinner, or any time in between.

FORMED includes content such as Presence: The Mystery of the Eucharist:

Get started today!

Sign Up Now

Enjoy the Latest from the 'Faith & Culture' Website

What Do You Think About Relics?

We start with belief—that is how we enter the Church. If we start with doubt, we are left out. You can doubt the authenticity of a certain saintly relic. You can also doubt the importance of any relic. You can doubt everything. Let me know how that works out for you ...

Dorian Gray: A Moral or Immoral Book?

"There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. That is all." - Oscar Wilde

The Catholic Literary Revival: Rome and Romanticism

In the latest Faith & Culture Podcast, we hear part one of a lecture series on the Catholic Literary Revival. Joseph Pearce looks at the gestation period of the Revival, discussing Romanticism and neo-medievalism.

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 each week this January. If you are interested in enrolling your child, please contact the front office. Provide the secretary your name, number and email so we can contact you with further details about the program.

Preservation Fund to Restore the Church

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

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 third Wednesday of the month after the 6 p.m. Mass, our parish book club meets in the faith formation room, located in the first floor of the school, at 6:30 p.m. Parishioner Andy Thornton will lead our discussion of Thinking Like Jesus, a new book by Catholic radio and television personality and clinical psychologist Dr. Ray Guarendi.

Remember the “WWJD” bracelets that reminded wearers to consider “What Would Jesus Do?” This book could bear the abbreviation “WWJT” — “What Would Jesus Think?” as Guarendi asks that question and uses his clinical expertise, coupled with his faith, to tackle topics such as humility, the need for a will aligned with God, hurtful words, raising children, and virtue.

Read Tim Drake's review of the book at the National Catholic Register to learn more.

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 7 p.m. with a meal followed by our faith formation. These gatherings take place at the school in the faith formation room.
At our next faith formation meeting, we'll discuss "Telling the Truth," an article by Fr. George W. Rutler from Crisis Magazine.

If you are interested in joining our Council, please reach out to Rob Nolter at  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.