Thank you for visiting our parish website. It's filled with information about the St. Mary of Perpetual Help community of yesterday, as well as of today. Continuing in a tradition of Polish foundation, the parish community of today is a multicultural and diverse group united in faith of the Risen Lord Jesus Christ and service to one another in His name. We strive to live out the Gospel values according to God's Commandments and the Magisterial Teachings of the Church and with the help of God's grace, grow ever deeper in the virtuous life.
Our principal means of sanctification come from the sacramental and devotional life of the Church, particularly the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. From the Eucharistic Liturgy, celebrated both in the Ordinary and Extraordinary Form (Traditional Latin Mass), we as Catholic Christians, embodying the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, seek to live out the corporal and spiritual works of mercy in our everyday lives so as to transform the world around us. As a parish community, we know how important it is to embrace our Catholic tradition, which goes back to the founding of the Church by Christ and His Apostles. That is why we celebrate the Mass according to the norms and directives of the Church and use all the resources at our disposal, especially in the area of Church music, so that our thanksgiving to God is truly the most beautiful thing this side of Heaven.
Just as Jesus went forth into the world to seek out and save the lost and forsaken, the sick, the poor, the dying and the sinner, we find our joy and happiness in following in the footsteps of Christ so that all people will come to experience the salvation of Jesus Christ and the eternal life He is preparing for those who love Him.
The Blessed Virgin Mary is an integral part of the parish life and because the church is dedicated to St. Mary of Perpetual Help, we invoke her as our patroness and guide throughout the journey of our lives. Here is a short and inspiring prayer by St. Bernard of Clairvaux who encourages us to call upon Mary often, because as a good mother she always brings us to her Son.
If the winds of temptations surge, if you run around on the shoals of troubles, look to this star, call upon Mary! If you are tossed by the winds of pride or ambition or detraction or jealousy, look to this star, call upon Mary! If anger or greed or the allurements of the flesh dash against the boat of your mind, look to Mary! And if you are troubled by the enormity of your sins, confused by the foulness of your conscience, terrified by the horror of the Judgment, so that you begin to be swallowed up by the pit of sadness, the abyss of despair, think of Mary!Please visit the different parts of our website to learn more about how you can participate in the liturgical, devotional and faith life of our parish community.
In dangers, in straits, in perplexity, think of Mary, call upon Mary. Let her name be always in your mouth and in your heart, and, if you would ask for and obtain the help of her prayers, do not forget the example of how she lived. If you follow her, you will not go astray. If you pray to her, you will not despair. If you think of her, you will not be lost. If you cling to her, you will not fall. If she protects you, you will not fear; if she is your guide, you will not tire; if she is favorable to you, you will reach your goal. Thus you will experience personally how rightly it was spoken: "And the Virgin's name was Mary."
In Christ Jesus and our Blessed Mother, Mary,
Rev. Thomas Aschenbrener, Pastor
Tap for Fr. Thomas Aschenbrener's biography >
With a desire to enter into the seminary after college, he decided to complete his undergraduate degree in Communication Studies / Speech Communication and Rhetoric with a minor in Art History. In 2002 he received a Bachelor of Arts in Theology and in 2003 a Master’s in Divinity from Mundelein Seminary in Illinois and is currently working on completing his Sacred Theological Licentiate in Systematics with an emphasis on Marriage and Family. He is the author of One in Christ: The Path to Heaven through the Sacrament of Marriage; One in Christ: A Spiritual Workout to Strengthen Your Marriage and Preparing for the Rite of Matrimony. He continues to work extensively with married and engaged couples by offering marriage preparation and renewal seminars and counseling. Fr. Aschenbrener was ordained to the priesthood by Francis Cardinal George of the Archdiocese of Chicago in May 2003. He has served at St. Luke in River Forest, St. Alphonsus in Chicago and Holy Name Cathedral.
Nell Andrzejewski, Director of Religious Education
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Geoff Pautsch, Director of Music and Parish Operations
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Geoff came to our parish in 2001 as the director of Music and Liturgy/organist. In 2009, he assumed the role of bookkeeper, and in 2012, he was named director of Music and Parish Operations. He is responsible for the music pertaining to all of our parish liturgies. In his role with parish operations, he is responsible for assisting the Pastor with the fiscal matters of the parish including accounting and budgeting, payroll, leasing, and capital maintenance. Geoff earned a Master's of Music in Organ Performance from Roosevelt University having also completed organ studies in Paris, France. He has also earned a degree in business administration from Carthage College. He is also currently the Director of Finance at St. Benedict Parish on the north side. A lifelong Chicagoan, he currently lives in Chicago’s Norwood Park neighborhood with his wife Felicia and their three children. He can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com.
St. Benedict Guild
Who are we?
The St. Benedict’s Guild is a group of individuals, couples, and families who are parishioners at St. Mary of Perpetual Help and have a desire to serve God through hospitality, in welcoming guests and new parishioners into the parish. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Frank or Tess at firstname.lastname@example.org.