175th Anniversary Concluding Mass Today
Today, at the 11:00 am Mass, we conclude the year-long celebration of the 175th anniversary of the founding of St. Peter's Church. We are honored that Cardinal Blase Cupich (Archbishop of Chicago) is presiding at this Mass. We welcome all of you who have joined us today as we give thanks to God for these 175 years of the ministry of St. Peter's. From the first rough frame church on the south side of Washington street between Wells and Franklin, to the large church erected on the corner of Polk and Clark streets dedicated in 1865 to our present St. Peter's Church on Madison Street and dedicated in 1953, St. Peter's has continued to offer a place of prayer and peace to countless people.
As we conclude this celebration of our 175 years of presence in this part of the city, we begin the task of finding ways that we can continue to serve the spiritual needs now and into the future of those who live in the Loop, those who work here and all our visitors who come here to worship and experience the presence of God.
We give thanks to God for all the clergy, consecrated religious men and women and all the laity who have served the People of God these past years. St. Peter's Church remains a solid presence here in the Loop because of the generous donations (both financial and time given by our volunteers) that helps with ministry here at St. Peter's. We give thanks to God for our dedicated lay staff who work long hours in keeping our building running and everyone safe.
Though the needs of our world today are vastly different than what faced the settlers of Chicago so many years ago, St. Peter's Church will continue to provide a place of quiet and peace in the presence of God here in the Loop.
MISSIONARY COOPERATION PLAN
Next weekend, August 20-21, 2022 we will observe the Missionary Cooperation Plan, the annual collection that connects our archdiocese with missionary causes around the world. After two years being unable to host in person a missionary, this year in the Archdiocese various missionaries from throughout the world will be speaking at parishes in the Archdiocese.
Father Benedict, Missionaries of St. Francis De Sales (MSFS) will be making the mission appeal on August 20-21, 2022 here at St. Peter’s parish to promote education among the poor children in India. Christianity is India's third-largest religion with approximately 30 million followers, constituting 3% of India's population. Around 70% of Christians are Dalits, a marginalized group without any rights or power.
Dalits are formerly known as ‘Outcaste or Untouchables’ under the caste system of India. For centuries, they have been deprived of education, social justice and equal opportunity. Due to poverty, the children are unable to continue their schooling and end up working in restaurants, tea shops, brick kilns, hazardous firework factories and weaving factories. They are robbed of their beautiful childhoods and bright futures. More than 15 million children are listed as child laborers in India. The only way these children can break this vicious cycle of poverty, abuse and oppression is to return to school.
In this painful context, the Bishop of the Diocese of Chingleput in Northeast India, Bishop A. Neethinathan makes this appeal in seeking your help and prayers. Your generosity through this mission appeal can help our children return to school and enjoy their childhood. You can surely prevent many children from child labor, child trafficking and child migration. Your contribution will be used to pay school fees, books and uniforms. You can also support a child through educational sponsorship at www.dalitsolidarity.org.
Thank you and may God richly bless you for answering God’s greatest commandment -- to love.
CARE FOR THE EARTH
The past few years has seen growing extreme weather patterns throughout the world. In many parts of the world drought, dangerous storms and increasing temperatures have had a devastating impact upon the quality of life of thousands of people. Scientists, meteorologists, farmers and many others have sounded the alarm that we humans need to take better care of our earth. The terrible wildfires and drought in the Western United States this summer, the deadly floods recently in Kentucky and extreme hot temperatures in the South are all reminders that we humans need to make changes in our lives that might help alleviate such dramatic weather patterns that seem to be increasing each year.
In the Book of Genesis we read, "God said, I give you every seed-bearing plant all over the earth and every tree that has seed-bearing fruit on it to be your food; and to all the animals of the land, all the birds of the
air, and all living creatures that crawl on the ground, I give all the green plants for food And so it happened. God looked at everything he had made , and he found it very good.........The Lord God then took the man and settled him in the garden of Eden, to cultivate and care for it." (cf. Genesis 1-2)
On July 16, 2022, Pope Francis issued a message for the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation that will be celebrated this year on September 1, 2022. The Holy Father's message is challenging and timely in light of the increasing drastic and dangerous climate events throughout the world. In this weekend's bulletin and continuing in next weekend's bulletin I am printing the entire Message of Pope Francis as I believe he pleads for all people of the world, no matter what our religious beliefs to take action to preserve our earth.
Pope Francis Message For World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation
Dear brothers and sisters!
“Listen to the voice of creation” is the theme and invitation of this year’s Season of Creation. The ecumenical phase begins on 1 September with the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, and concludes on 4 October with the feast of Saint Francis. It is a special time for all Christians to pray and work together to care for our common home. Originally inspired by the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, this Season is an opportunity to cultivate our “ecological conversion”, a conversion encouraged by Saint John Paul II as a response to the “ecological catastrophe” predicted by Saint Paul VI back in 1970. 
If we learn how to listen, we can hear in the voice of creation a kind of dissonance. On the one hand, we can hear a sweet song in praise of our beloved Creator; on the other, an anguished plea, lamenting our mistreatment of this our common home.
The sweet song of creation invites us to practice an “ecological spirituality” ( Laudato Si’, 216), attentive to God’s presence in the natural world. It is a summons to base our spirituality on the “loving awareness that we are not disconnected from the rest of creatures, but joined in a splendid universal communion” ( ibid., 220). For the followers of Christ in particular, this luminous experience reinforces our awareness that “all things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being” ( Jn 1:3). In this Season of Creation, we pray once more in the great cathedral of creation, and revel in the “grandiose cosmic choir”  made up of countless creatures, all singing the praises of God. Let us join Saint Francis of Assisi in singing: “Praise be to you, my Lord, for all your creatures” (cf. Canticle of Brother Sun). Let us join the psalmist in singing, “Let everything that breathes praise the Lord!” ( Ps 150:6).
[This message of Pope Francis will be continued in next weekend's bulletin, August 21, 2022]