August 13, 2023


Each summer parishes of the Archdiocese of Chicago are asked to host a Mission Appeal from various mission areas of the world. This weekend St. Peter's hosts Fr. Dennis Vargas a priest of the Diocese of Lucena in Quezon Province, the Philippines. Fr. Vargas will speak at all the Masses this weekend about the ministry needs in his home diocese. A second collection will be taken up for the Mission Appeal at the Masses.

The Diocese of Lucena is in Quezon Province, Philippines. It was canonically established and erected on September 8, 1950. At present, it has 42 parishes that shepherd to 987,412 Catholics. The diocese is headed by Most Rev. Mel Rey M. Uy, D.D. with 120 diocesan priests. Among these priests, there are about 15 retired priests who are residing in different parishes, diocesan institutions, or family relative residences. After 73 years of existence of the diocese, the bishop deemed it necessary to build a RETIREMENT HOME for the sick and retired priests of the diocese. The retirement home is specifically designed to provide community and family atmosphere among old and retired priests. Likewise, it will provide facilities that will cater to their spiritual, mental and physical health. Aware of financial constraints of the diocese for such a huge project, we are making an appeal for monetary help from the generosity of Catholics in the first world countries.

Born in Atimonan, Quezon, Philippines, Father Dennis Vargas attended school in the Philippines, high school at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Seminary in Sariaya, Quezon, college at St. Francis de Sales Seminary in Lipa City and studied theology at St. Alphonsus Regional Seminary in Lucena City. He was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Ruben T. Profugo of the Diocese of Lucena on Sept. 8, 2001.

Since arriving in the Diocese of Rockford, Father Vargas has served as parochial vicar at St John Neumann Church, St Charles (2018-2020). From there, he has been parochial administrator of St. Mary Catholic Church, East Dubuque, since June 15, 2020.



This Tuesday, August 15, we celebrate the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. On November 1, 1950, Pope Pius XII defined the Assumption of Mary to be a dogma of our faith. In his declaration he said, “We pronounce, declare and define it to be a divinely revealed dogma that the immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul to heavenly glory.”

The Church has held belief in the Assumption as far back as the fifth century. In the midst of our summer activities and vacation, we pause this weekend to recall the important role Mary has played in salvation history. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI wrote a few years ago that, “…precisely because Mary is with God and in God, she is very close to each one of us. While she lived on this earth she could only be close to a few people. Being in God, who is actually ‘within’ all of us, Mary shares in this closeness to God.”

Remember that the Solemnity of the Assumption (August 15) is a holyday of obligation this year. We will have a Vigil Mass for the Assumption on Monday, August 14 at 5:00 pm and on Tuesday, August 15 Masses will be at 7:30 am, 11:40 am and at 1:15 pm.


A long-time participant in the church life of St. Peter's Church died on July 14, 2023. Jan did not grow up Catholic but was attracted to the Church and began visiting St. Peter's many years ago. She eventually felt called to profess her faith as a Catholic and thus began a long association with the liturgical life of St. Peter's and the Franciscans here in the Loop. She was also active at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish in the city. For over 40 years, she served as a RN in various locations. The friars who have been here at St. Peter's for many years were so grateful to Jan in giving them their flu shot each Fall.  Jan's dedication to St. Peter's and to the friars led the friars to ask our Provincial Administration a few years ago to affiliate Jan with Sacred Heart Province. Though COVID restrictions kept her and others from coming to St. Peters for many months, she kept in touch with us and always remembered our birthdays. Once restrictions lifted, she was in attendance at St. Peter's for holidays and special days of prayer.

A funeral Mass for Jan is scheduled at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, 708 W Belmont, Chicago on Saturday, August 26, 2023. Visitation is at 10:00 am at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel and a Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11:00 am. Rev. John McGiver will preside at the funeral Mass. Private internment will be at Queen of Heaven Cemetery, Hillside IL.

We pray that Jan, and so many others whose faith was nourished here at St. Peter's, may receive the Lord's blessings and enjoy the peace of Christ forever in heaven.


This gathering of religions from throughout the world cultivates harmony among the world’s spiritual traditions and fosters their engagement with guiding institutions in order to achieve a more peacefuljust, and sustainable world. 

Its origins are rooted in the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, where the historic first convening of the World Parliament of Religions created a global platform for engagement of religions of the east and west.  Headquartered in Chicago, Il, USA, the Parliament of the World’s Religions is an international 501(c)3 NGO affiliated with the United Nations Department of Public Information.

The 2023 Parliament of the World’s Religions will be hosted at McCormick Place Lakeside Center from August 14-18, 2023, returning to the birthplace of the modern interfaith movement after 30 years away, to celebrate 130 years of history in the city of Chicago. Parliament Convenings attract participants from more than 200 diverse religious, indigenous, and secular beliefs and more than 80 nations. Cardinal Cupich is one of the participants of this world-wide gathering.

Registrants enjoy access to all the plenary sessions, hundreds of breakout sessions, art & cultural exhibits, performances, a film festival, and countless opportunities to connect with individuals and organizations committed to justice, peace, and sustainability. Further information may be found on their web site at: https://parliamentofreligions.org/


I recently visited some of my relatives in the South and on the East coast. I hope you are able to take some time for connecting with relatives or friends this summer also. If you can't visit them in person, why not send a greeting via e-mail, text or phone or even use the "old fashioned" method of....writing them a letter or sending a card? And don't forget to keep in touch with God during these summer days. If you are in the Loop and feeling the heat of summer, stop in St. Peter's and take some quiet time in the coolness of the church and listen to the Lord speak to your heart. The times of services and when the church is open will be found elsewhere in today's bulletin or on our website. And, if you are looking for some summer time reading, check out our St. Peter's Book & Gift Shop on the lower level of the church. We have many choices for all ages and covering a variety of topics.

Fr. Michael