April 30, 2023

Today, April 30, 2023, marks the 60th Anniversary of the World Day of Prayer for Vocations in the Church. In St. John's Gospel today, we see Jesus, the Good Shepherd, calling each of us to be embraced by his loving heart. Jesus reminds us that “A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” Christ gave himself so that we might live. This is the great mystery of love present in the Eucharist: “This is my body, given up for you. This is my blood, poured out for you.” Everyone is called, and everyone has a vocation in the Church. 

We are more and more aware, in our country and here in the Archdiocese, that we are in need of men and women willing to help bring the Gospel to others as priest, religious sister or religious brother. We here at St. Peters are very conscious of the aging of many of our Franciscans and the small numbers of men who are applying to explore religious life as a Franciscan. Throughout the Archdiocese there has also been a dramatic drop in men applying to study for the priesthood these past few years. The reasons are many and varied but thankfully there are young men and women who continue to look at considering a vocation in service to the People of God.

I encourage each of you to pray that young men and women will respond to God's call to consider a vocation to religious life and the priesthood. I urge you to encourage young men or women you know to consider a vocation to service in the Church. I know I began to look at being a priest and a Franciscan because of the encouragement of my family and people in my home parish in Northern Michigan.


On Holy Thursday, we received $2,984 in the collection. As we mentioned before that Mass, we sent half of the collection ($1,492) to Franciscan Outreach here in Chicago. The ministry of Franciscan Outreach is to help the homeless on our city streets and to find ways to provide safe housing for them. The other half of the collection ($1,492) we sent to the Franciscan Mission Office to be sent to support the Franciscan Friars who are working in Ukraine and providing for many of the citizens who are suffering because of the on-going war in that country. On behalf of all who will benefit from our Holy Thursday collection, I thank you for your generosity in helping those who are in great need.


Please keep in your prayers, Mrs. Hilda Posadas, the mother of our Director of Programs, Fr. Tony Posadas, OFM. Mrs. Posadas died on April 13 in San Antonio, Texas. She was a loving mother, devoted wife and very active in her parish, Our Lady of Angels in San Antonio. The Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at her parish in San Antonio. Please keep also in your prayers her husband, Jose, sons, Abraham, Fr. Tony, Angel, David, Jesús, and Jorge. May Hilda, faithful to the Lord in this life, now be at peace in the presence of the Lord and with all those who have gone before us.


We recently received a generous grant from the Brach Foundation. The funds received will help us purchase two computers for the church offices, refurbish the church front entrance bronze doors, replace the deteriorating metal protection church wall in the alley behind the church, replace a broken door in the alley exit and other needed repairs. As we reported in our financial address to the church in March, it is through the generosity of our benefactors and friends of St. Peter's that we are able to maintain the ministries of St. Peter's in bringing the Gospel message to this area of the Loop.


Now that many of the restrictions of the COVID pandemic have been rescinded and more and more folks are returning to the celebration of Masses and the Sacraments. we are also reaching out to those who come on a regular basis to St. Peter's Church to consider serving as a Reader, Eucharist minister or greeter/usher at our weekend and weekday Masses.

Those who read at Mass receive training in reading from the scriptures, use of the sound system in church and other responsibilities of proclaiming God's Word at Masses. We are planning on a training session for new Readers and Eucharist ministers in early summer. If you would like to consider being a reader at Mass, please fill out the form below and place in the weekday/weekend collection basket at Mass. You may also leave your name at the Church Front Desk or give the form below to one of the friars, to the Pastor (Fr. Mike F.) or the Sacristan (Mr. Phil Bujnowski).


Next Saturday, May 6, the Franciscans here at St. Peter's are hosting a Regional Meeting for the Franciscans of Sacred Heart Province. The meeting begins Saturday morning, May 6 and concludes Saturday afternoon at 3:00 pm. This is a mandatory meeting for all the friars to attend. Please note that on Saturday, May 6 the Front Office will only be open from 3:00-4:30 pm and Confessions will only be offered from 3:00 pm-4:30 pm. I encourage those wishing to stop by the Front Desk or go to Confession to plan on another day rather than May 6 due to the limited time the office will be open and confessions offered.


Next weekend (May 6-7), Br. Vagner and Br. Erlison will preach at all the Masses at St. Peter's about the ministry of their Franciscan Custody of St. Benedict of the Amazon in Brazil. A second collection will be taken up to help the ministry of the friars in their ministry in northern Brazil. Br. Vagner and Br. Erlison have been an important presence in the Franciscan Friar community and the parish community of St. Peter's for the past five years as they studied English and completed their studies for the priesthood. They have touched all our lives by their Franciscan life and being among us these past years. We would love to have them remain with us but it's now time for them to return to their community in Brazil. They already know that much work and ministry awaits them in the various communities along the Amazon River area.

Br. Vagner will be ordained priest on June 24, 2023 at St. Anne Cathedral in Óbidos, Pará, Brazil and Br. Erlison will be ordained priest on June 29, 2023 at St. Michael the Archangel Church in Santarém, Pará, Brazil. Both ordinations will be Live Streamed and we will place the contact information for the Live Stream in a future bulletin. Please keep both of these faithful friars in your prayers as they prepare for ordination. Please remember to pray daily that other young men and women will respond to God's call to serve the church as sister, brother or priest.

Fr. Michael