Prepare for the Best Advent Ever



What would it take for you to have the best Christmas of your life?

Sign up for a free email program that will help you slow down and focus on what matters most during this busy season. You'll experience Advent in a whole new way—leading to the best Christmas of your life!

God has so many amazing possibilities for you that you simply do not see. This program—with plenty of help from the saints—will help you uncover them. Start by watching this short introductory video from Matthew Kelly:



Starting the first Sunday of Advent, you'll receive daily emails with short inspirational videos, practical tips to incorporate into your everyday life, and personal stories from Dynamic Catholic team members.

Annual Christmas Bake Sale, Art Fair, and Pancake Breakfast with St. Nicholas


Be sure to join us for our annual Christmas Bake Sale and Pancake Breakfast with St. Nicholas on Sunday, Dec. 15 at 11:30 a.m. after the 10:30 a.m. Mass. The best bakers in Bridgeport are hard at work to bring you wonderful treats, gifts and more! Cookies, cakes, brownies, candies—including traditional favorites and old family recipes from around the globe. St. Nicholas will be there to take pictures with the children and may even have a gift to give them.

We will also have RAFFLES and SPLIT THE POT. So come in and enjoy a hot breakfast and win some fun prizes and perhaps a gift or two!

The event will take place inside the school building.

Celebrate St. Nicholas Feast Day: Join Us for a Family Night Pajama Party Dec. 6


In celebration of St. Nicholas's Feast Day, we'll be showing a holiday movie favorite.

Miracle on 34th Street
Friday, Dec. 6
6-9 p.m.

Join us for a pajama party viewing of this Christmas classic. We'll provide hot dogs, chili dogs, cheese dogs with all the fixings, tater tots, nachos, fresh popcorn, sweet treats, and even a chocolate fountain. There will be fruit punch and hot chocolate with marshmallows, too. If you'd like to bring a dish or sweet treats to share, please do!

Enjoy creating holiday crafts? Decorate your own Christmas ornament while we celebrate this Feast Day. We'll also make greeting cards for Bridgeport Senior Center residents, and we'll do a white elephant gift exchange (bring a $5 minimum gift to participate in the exchange). See you there!

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!

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

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
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).


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.  
If you are interested in joining our Council, please reach out to Rob Nolter at robert.nolter@gmail.com.  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.

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: