Fr. James' Letters

July 23, 2023

Dear Parishioners,

“For you show your might when the perfection of your power is disbelieved” (Wisdom 12:17).

This is a brilliant insight into our Lord and his operations. It shows God’s humility. Listen to a Carthusian’s words about our God:

“Jesus gives himself as one who is poor. He does not impose himself. He offers himself to us; it depends on whether we welcome him, allow him to be in us and through us, and to live his unique love for God and humanity in us and through us. To welcome him is not to grasp him nor possess him as an object, but to open our heart to him. If we want to make him into a treasure, even a spiritual treasure, we will kill love, because possession ‘for self’ destroys love. Christ is poor, the one who, suspended from the cross, for ever cries: ‘I thirst,’ which is the cry of the indigence of his love and his need of us.”

Think how often people, including ourselves, question God. Why won’t he stop all the violence in the world? Why doesn’t God answer my prayer to my difficult issue? Why would God allow my innocent child to suffer from illness? Why doesn’t the Lord make the faith easier to understand and accept?

Or, think how often people attribute talents and successes to themselves and not to God. I am the source of my own wealth, so I can do what I want with my money. Our nation is the most powerful because of our own doing so we can set whatever policies we think are right, even if they are contrary to natural law. I’m the one in charge, so I can take advantage of my authority – I can lie, cheat, steal, abuse others, and sin in some other way. God isn’t really an active part of my life, so I can skip Mass on Sunday and never pray.

All of the above are actions that flow from putting God aside and making ourselves God.

And God remains silent in the midst of all of this. He remains poor. And in being poor, the door is now open for us, once we quiet our minds and let go of our pride, to be in union with the Lord. It’s in poverty and humility that God wins souls. Not by strength and impressive skills. We can learn from our savior.

---------- + ----------

This weekend we welcome Father Doug May of the Maryknoll Fathers. Father May will celebrate Masses and preach as part of the annual missionary appeal that all parishes throughout the Archdiocese conduct. The Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers do tremendous work in spreading the Gospel to distant areas. It’s heroic work and our support allows them to do the Lord’s will. Please see more information in the bulletin. Thank you all for receiving Father May and for being generous in supporting his missionary order.

Please mark your calendars for a Farewell Mass in Honor of Adrienne Timm on Sunday, August 27th at 10:30am. We will have a reception afterwards in the gym to celebrate Adrienne.

I am away this week on my annual vacation with my priest-friends and will return this Monday evening. Thank you to Fr. Nick and the staff for running the show while I’m away.

The Wednesday Scripture Study will resume this week on Wednesday, July 26th. I hope to you see there (9am in the Holy Family Chapel).

Parents, please remind your children that our next Teen Mass is Sunday, August 6th at 5pm. While the Mass will be simple and catered to teenagers, we are now opening up this Mass to the general public. So we’ll have a 5pm Mass in the HFC on the first Sunday of the month (save holiday weekends, like Labor Day).

Yours 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.

E-Newsletter Signup!

Contact Information

St. Paul of the Cross

320 South Washington Street
Park Ridge, IL 60068

View Larger Map

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