Fr. James' Letters

May 7, 2023

Dear Parishioners,

Our Gospel today is often read at funerals. “In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places…” I wonder if people find comfort in this saying from Jesus because they think their deceased loved one was unique and didn’t fit the standard mold. Jesus’ words indicate that people of all different flavors will find a place in heaven. Your loved one had some rough spots and difficult qualities? Well, don’t worry, Christ has just the room for him or her. Other translations of the Gospel text say, “In my father’s mansion there are many rooms.”

I’m one of four children in my family. My brother, two sisters and I were blessed with our own room in our house, which my parents still live in. I think how each of us decorated our rooms differently. Sports posters and pennants and trophies in my brother’s room and mine, pink comforters and what not in my sisters’. We’ll each have our own room in heaven to decorate as we see fit.

But we’ll also be part of a house and there will be common rooms in the house.

I remember when I came home from my college one summer and brought a stuffed deer head with me. I hung it in the family room. I’m not a hunter, but I thought it was cool. Well, my mom and sisters didn’t quite agree. That deer head is now in the rectory here at Saint Paul.

We can’t impose our own styles on others. We might think our way is the best, it might not be so. God really is the one who knows what is best, and “his ways are far above our ways.” I think we might be surprised when we arrive in heaven about some of the styles and tastes that are accepted in some of the rooms.

Having said all that, what’s most important, I think, is that in Heaven we won’t be spending much time in our own individual rooms. We’ll be together in the common room, and we won’t be looking at deer heads or TVs or paintings. We’ll all be looking at the same thing. Or, rather, the same person: Jesus Christ.

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This Sunday after all morning Masses is Donut Sunday and New Parishioner sign up in the gym. Please drop in to grab a tasty treat and say hello.

As I mentioned last week, I’ve put together Daily Reflections on Mary for the month of May. You’ll find them inside the bulletin, as well as online. Thank you for reading and staying close to the Blessed Mother.

Next Saturday, May 13th is our second round of First Communion at 10am and 1pm. Congratulations second graders, and thank you to Anna Mae Parkhill and the teachers who have worked hard to prepare for this beautiful occasion.

Please note, due to First Communions on Saturday, there will be no Confessions at 3pm on Saturday, May 13th. We will resume Saturday confessions the following week.

Also next Saturday, May 13th is Seminarian Martin Nyberg’s Ordination to the Diaconate at Holy Name Cathedral. Martin will be ordained a transitional deacon with two other classmates and several other men for the permanent diaconate. Congratulations, Martin, and we look forward to seeing you serving around the altar, preaching, and baptizing.

Next Sunday, May 14th, will be our first Family Mass in the Holy Family Chapel at 10:30am (the 10:30am UC Mass will still be occurring). For now this will occur every second Sunday of the month (June 11, July 9th, etc.) at 10:30am. Children will assist with the readings and ushering at this Mass. Everyone of all ages, of course, is welcome to attend that HFC Mass. Thank you to the group of individuals who have helped plan this. If you are interested in being involved for future Masses, please reach out to Jennifer Waters (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

Your Servant in Christ,

Who is Fr. James?

Father James Wallace grew up in Winnetka, Illinois and attended Sts. Faith Hope and Charity grammar school, New Trier High School, and then The George Washington University in Washington DC, where he earned his undergraduate degree in Political Science in 2007. He attended seminary at The Pontifical North American College in Rome and was ordained a priest in 2012 for the Archdiocese of Chicago. In addition to being the pastor of Saint Paul of the Cross Parish, he serves as a canon lawyer for the Archdiocese, a dean in Vicariate II, and a professor of canon law and spiritual director at Mundelein Seminary. He is also one of the featured Mercy Home Sunday Mass celebrants, airing Sundays at 9:30am on WGN.

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Contact Information

St. Paul of the Cross

320 South Washington Street
Park Ridge, IL 60068

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Phone: (847) 825-7605

Mass Schedule

UC = Upper Church
HFC = Holy Family Chapel 

Monday - Friday

6:25 am UC

8:30 am UC


8:30 am UC - weekday Mass

4:30 pm UC - vigil


7:30 am UC

9:00 am UC

10:30 am UC and HFC

12:00 pm UC