As we begin our journey once again in Holy Week with Christ, I encourage everyone to attend as many services as possible this week. Whether here at St. Peter's, Holy Name Cathedral, Assumption, Old Saint Mary's, Old Saint Pat's or another parish please try to journey with the Lord in a special way this year with Jesus through his Passion, Death and Resurrection.
Today, Palm Sunday, we recall how the large crowds welcomed Jesus to Jerusalem, palm branches swaying and folks shouting his name and greeting him loudly. But as we will hear in the Passion story that is read at Mass, the crowds quickly turned on Christ's message of love and equality for all. The adoring fans of Jesus on Palm Sunday swiftly turned violent when he called them to live honestly the message of his Heavenly Father. Even the very men Jesus had chosen to carry on his message, run away from him when faced with following Christ and deny even knowing Jesus.
On Holy Tuesday, Cardinal Cupich will celebrate the Chrism Mass at Holy Name Cathedral. At this Mass the Cardinal will bless the Oil of the Sick and the Oil of Catechumens and consecration of the oil of Chrism. At this Mass the Cardinal will also lead the priests in the renewal of their priestly promises.
On Holy Thursday, we recall the gift Jesus left to his disciples and all of us, who over the centuries, profess the name, Catholic; that of his own life, his body and blood in the Eucharist. At the 5:15 pm Mass, the oils for St. Peter's Church blessed at the Chrism Mass will be welcomed, in remembrance of Christ's example we will have the washing of feet, and the transfer of the Holy Eucharist to the altar of repose. Adoration before the Blessed Sacrament will end with Night Prayer at 7:00 pm and the church will close for the day.
On Good Friday, we remember God who became human like us dying on the Cross for the salvation of everyone who accepts his invitation to eternal life. On Good Friday, we also take up the annual collection for the Holy Land. Since the time of Saint Francis, the Franciscans have taken care of and ministered at the Holy Places in Israel. The friars also minister to the Palestinian Catholics in the Middle East.
On Holy Saturday at the Easter Vigil, we light the Paschal candle, hear the many stories of our ancestors in faith through the reading of scripture, renew our Baptismal Promises, and celebrate Christ's resurrection and his promise that we too will rise from the dead and live forever with him and all the saints in heaven. On Easter Sunday, we proclaim to all the world that Jesus conquered the darkness of death. We will pray at Mass, "O God, who on this day, through your Only Begotten Son, have conquered death and unlocked for us the path to eternity, grant, we pray, that we who keep the solemnity of the Lord's Resurrection may, through the renewal brought by your Spirit, rise up in the light of life. Amen"
HOLY WEEK 2023 SCHEDULE OF SERVICES
Below you will find the schedule for Holy Week services here at St. Peter's. Please note the scheduled times for confessions for Holy Week. Remember that the last scheduled time for confessions is Holy Thursday morning. You will also find the schedule as well as on St. Peter's in the Loop website.
Monday - Wednesday, April 3-5: 10:30 am - 3:00 pm
Holy Thursday, April 6: 9:30 am - 11:00 am
Palm Sunday, April 1-2
Saturday - 5:00 pm
Sunday - 9:00 am and 11:00 am Masses
[Palms blessed at all Masses.]
Holy Thursday, April 6
Church opens at 9:00 am
Confessions - Holy Thursday, April 6:
9:30 am -11:00 am
[Please note: No confessions scheduled after 11:00 am on Holy Thursday]
12:15 pm - Mass of the Lord's Supper
5:15 pm - Mass of the Lord's Supper followed by adoration.
The collection during Masses today will be half for relief efforts in Ukraine and half for Franciscan Outreach ministries to the poor here in Chicago. 7:00 pm - Night Prayer concludes adoration and church is closed after this prayer.
Good Friday, April 7
Church opens at 7:30 am
Morning Prayer in church at 8:15 am
12:15 pm - Solemn Service
3:15 pm - Solemn Service
The annual collection during services today is to support the shrines in the Holy Land.
5:00 pm -Stations of the Cross
6:00 pm - Church closes
Holy Saturday, April 8
Church opens at 6:00 pm
7:00 pm Easter Vigil Mass
Easter Sunday, April 9
9:00 am and 11:00 am Masses
Hopefully, we will see you at the Holy Week services this week. Let us all pray during this Holy Week for an end to the war in Ukraine and the killing of so many innocent people in Haiti, Syria, our country and other troubled places throughout the world. May we pray for an end to violence in our city, neighborhoods and homes. May we all work towards a deeper understanding between all people and a pathway to end racism and fear of others in our day. What better time than Holy Week to resolve to do all we can to make the Gospel message of Jesus not just words, but a lived reality in our time.
BISHOP FERD CHERI, OFM
On Tuesday, March 21, our Franciscan brother, Bishop Ferd Cheri, OFM died in New Orleans. Ferd grew up in New Orleans, was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of New Orleans, became a Franciscan in the Sacred Heart Province and was appointed auxiliary bishop of New Orleans by Pope Francis in 2015. He had served as pastor, teacher, campus minister, and part of the Provincial Administration for the Franciscans. As the director of the Office of Black Catholic Ministries in New Orleans stated upon Bishop Ferd's death, "He was not only a vocal advocate for African American Catholics but also a shepherd to the world." He had a great singing voice and was an inspiration to all who met him. His death at 71 years of age is a great loss for his family, the Archdiocese of New Orleans, the entire Church in the USA, his Franciscan family and all who knew him. Please keep Bishop Ferd and all the faithful departed in your prayers as we celebrate the suffering, death and Resurrection of Jesus this Holy Week.