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 two Sundays 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 I mentioned in a recent homily, let our restoration work here at the parish truly be a labor of love! As St. Mother Teresa once said, "I am not sure exactly what heaven will be like, but I do know that when we die and it comes time for God to judge us, He will not ask, 'How much money did you make?' or 'How successful were you?' or 'How many good things have you done in your life?' Rather, He will ask, 'How much love did you put into what you did?'" 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:
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).
What does being a Catholic mean? Is there a distinctively Catholic way of seeing things? What does the Catholic Church teach about the human condition—about our lives, our loves, and our destiny? In The Truth of Catholicism, best-selling author George Weigel explores these perennial questions through the prism of ten contemporary controversies.
The Catholic Church may be the most controversial institution in the world. Some find its teachings inexplicable, puzzling, even cruel. George Weigel suggests that we look at Catholicism and its controversies from "inside" the convictions that make those controversies not only possible, but necessary. The truths of Catholicism then come into clearer focus as affirmations and celebrations of human life and human love, even as they challenge us to imagine a daring future for humanity and for ourselves.
[Click to Read More]
Is Jesus uniquely the savior of the world? Does belief in God limit our freedom? What are we doing when we pray? Is the moral life about rules or about happiness? Doesn't suffering contradict the biblical claim that God is good? How does the Catholic Church think about other Christians and about other great world religions? Are Catholics safe for democracy? What will become of us? In an engaging, accessible style, George Weigel leads us through these and other questions into the truth of Catholicism: the truth about a God passionately in love with his creation, the truth about a love that creates a vast, liberating terrain on which to live a fully human life.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and upcoming events.
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.
First Degree Ceremony, March 25th at 5:00 p.m. in the school commons. Please contact Phil Cavin at email@example.com. 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.
See a full series of articles on marriage and the family.
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:
"Twenty-three years ago, under the pseudonym Catherine Maurice, a woman wrote a book about recovering her small daughter from autism. Still in print, the book is called Let Me Hear Your Voice, a quotation from the Song of Songs, God’s love song to humanity. In 1993 autism was not the byword it is today, and the author weaves into her story general information about the illness: its spectrum of symptoms and possible causes, the challenges of diagnosis, and the history of treatment, including treatments available at the time the book was written.
Very quickly, in her daughter’s case, Maurice stumbles upon what is still the gold standard for the treatment of infantile autism: an intensive course of behavioral therapy called applied behavioral analysis that was developed by psychologist O. Ivar Lovaas at UCLA in the 1970s. Following Lovaas’s protocols, employing part-time therapists but also giving herself wholeheartedly to the work, in a little over a year’s time she recovers her daughter to the point that she is indistinguishable from her peers."
Read the full article from First Things.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Prayers can also be written in our book of prayers located by the Marian Shrine.
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.
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.