August 18, 2019


Fiscal Year 2018-2019


The Archdiocese of Chicago requires all pastors to publish in the church bulletin a summary financial report at the end of each fiscal year. We at St. Peter’s have followed this directive for many years, and below you have the figures for the fiscal year recently ended. Even though such a report does not go into detail about individual line items of receipts and expenses, it does give parishioners a good idea of where income has come from and where monies were spent.




Transfer to Franciscan Friars               328,243

Parish Offertory Collections                 339,870

Christmas Appeal                                  48,484

Easter Appeal                                        24,983

Miscellaneous Income                         172,474


Total Regular Income                       914,054


Other Income:


Wills and Estates                                412,436

Friars Legion                                       130,000

Gala Income                                        141,342


Total Other Income                           683,778


Total Income                                    1,597,832

Beginning Cash                                      19,424

Total                                                 1,617,256




Franciscan Stipends, Housing, Food   328,234

Lay Salaries and Benefits                   663,670

Utilities                                                144,473

Administration                                       40,906

Maintenance and Repair                     208,749

Altar and Liturgical                               91,988

Insurance                                             66,312

Archdiocesan Assessment                  56,904

Speakers and Education                       7,755


Total Expenses                                1,609,000

Ending Cash                                            8,256

Total                                                 1,617,256


Wills and Estates Accounting:


Wills & Estates Income 7/1/18-6/30/19  314,956

Wills & Estates Draw   7/1/18-6/30/19   412,436


Net From Reserves                                (97,480)                           


We want to thank everyone who has contributed in any way to make this past fiscal year possible. We absolutely depend on you to keep our doors open, the programs going, the friars fed and housed, and the liturgies alive and meaningful. You are the mainstay of our existence, and we appreciate your generosity and your continued support.


Please note in the figures above that our regular weekend and weekday collections only cover a small percentage of our expenses. Our Christmas and Easter Appeals, those who have remembered us in their wills, the many people from near and far who send us occasional donations through the mail, those who contribute monthly through the Friars Legion, and those who made the Gala a grand success—all these are sources without which we could not exist. If you have not yet remembered St. Peter’s in your will, please do so in a generous way so that those who come after you will be able to benefit from what St. Peter’s has to offer for the Loop community and for the thousands of visitors who come to our city yearly to join us for Mass and confession.


On the expense side, our main outlay is for the support of the friars and for the salaries, health insurance, retirement, and social security of our dedicated lay staff who contribute so much to making our ministry what it is. Our building is now almost seventy years old, so maintenance and repair is an ongoing issue (the previous year we had to spend $250,000 doing extensive repair work on several of the compressors that run our air conditioning for the church and friary, and this summer we have been engaged in putting on an entire new roof for the building for a cost of nearly $1,000,000). We could not afford to pay for the roof ourselves, so our Franciscan Province of the Sacred Heart paid the entire bill for us. We value the quality of our liturgical celebrations and make every effort to make them beautiful, sacred and timely. This means that art and environment necessarily must be done well also.


We are required to pay all archdiocesan assessments like every other parish (a percentage of the ordinary income). However, St. Peter’s has never been subsidized by the archdiocese in any way. We will continue to do all we can to lower our expenses and to increase our income while maintaining the quality of our ministry. I noticed that Holy Name Cathedral notified their parishioners that they were short $120,000 to meet their budget this past fiscal year. The Rector wrote parishioners a letter and appealed for them to meet this deficit, and they did.


In the figures above you will notice that we received a goodly amount from generous people who remembered us in their wills and estates. Not only did we have to use that entire amount received during the past fiscal year, but we also had to draw almost $100,000 from our savings in order to meet all our financial demands. The end result is that our savings are dwindling fast. Like the Cathedral, we may have to make a special appeal to all the people who come to St. Peter’s in order to replenish that $100,000. We are also considering on weekdays opening our doors a little later and closing a bit sooner in order to save some money. It would be great if we could just print additional money, but that solution obviously is not tenable. In the meantime, I ask you to seriously consider increasing your regular offertory contributions to assist us in paying our bills and honoring all our commitments.




“I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing!” These words in the Gospel cause us to take notice. How does Jesus as the Prince of Peace square with Jesus who brings discord and division to the world? Throughout the Old Testament, fire symbolizes God’s presence. In the desert, Moses discovers God’s presence in the burning bush. In Elijah’s great battle with the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel, God’s fire consumed Elijah’s sacrifice. At Pentecost, flames of fire appeared over the heads of the Apostles symbolizing the descent of the Holy Spirit.


The symbol of fire also bears with it the power to purify. When the first of God’s Spirit fills our hearts, we are purified of selfishness and whatever is not compatible with a relationship with God. In the process of purification, we experience the pain of separation from what has divided us from God.


Commitment to Jesus bears consequences. It brings about division from those who are opposed to Jesus. The heart of Jesus’ message is that our relationship with him is the most significant relationship of all.


Today’s reading from the Letter to the Hebrews reiterates the Gospel theme that our relationship with Jesus is the most important aspect in our lives. The author compares life’s journey to a race we are running. On the race of life, we are called, as any runner is, to keep our eyes fixed on the goal, the prize. We are “keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus.”


In the reading from Hebrews, Paul calls upon Christians to fix their eyes on Jesus so that they may carry on Christ’s work in the world. As Lumen gentium states, Christ continues his work through the People of God. “Christ, the great Prophet, who proclaimed the Kingdom of his Father continually fulfills his prophetic office not only through the hierarchy but also through the laity whom he made his witnesses and to whom he gave understanding of the faith so that the power of the Gospel might shine forth” (#35).


Calling on the people of the Americas to evangelize, Pope John Paul II’s exhortation Ecclesia in America pointed out that Christ is with the People of God as they reach out to bring the news of him to others. “With the command to evangelize which the Risen Lord left to his Church, there goes the certitude that he continues to live and work among us. At the same time, this presence enables us to encounter him, as the Son sent by the Father, as the Lord of Life who gives us his Spirit. A fresh encounter with Jesus Christ will make all the members of the Church in America aware that they are called to continue the Redeemer’s mission in their lands” (#7).


The Gospel reading speaks of the earth being set on fire. Earlier in Luke, John the Baptist states that one is coming who will baptize with “the Holy Spirit and fire.” The document Aparecida notes that the People of God allow the Spirit to guide and strengthen them. “The Church as marked and sealed ‘with Holy Spirit and fire,’ continues the work of the Messiah, opening the gates of salvation for the believer” (#151).


For Your Reflection: When have you relied on God to be your help and deliverer? What do you need to do to fix your eyes more on Christ? How could our faith assembly take a step toward becoming a blazing fire that shows Christ’s love?



Wednesday, August 21, 2019


Pope Pius X is perhaps best remembered for his encouragement of the frequent reception of Holy Communion, especially by children. Prior to his papacy, the norm for first receiving Holy Communion was around the age of fourteen; therefore for many of us who are living today, we would not have begun to receive the Body and Blood of Christ until we were teenagers, had it not have been for the intervention of this marvelous Pope.


The second of ten children in a poor Italian family, Joseph Sarto became Pius X at the age of 68. He was one of the 20th century’s greatest popes. Ever mindful of his humble origin, Pope Pius stated, “I was born poor, I lived poor, I will die poor.” He was embarrassed by some of the pomp of the papal court. “Look how they have dressed me up,” he said in tears to an old friend. To another, “It is a penance to be forced to accept all these practices. They lead me around surrounded by soldiers like Jesus when he was seized in Gethsemani.”


Interested in politics, Pope Pius encouraged Italian Catholics to become more politically involved. One of his first papal acts was to end the supposed right of governments to interfere by veto in papal elections—a practice that reduced the freedom of the 1903 conclave which had elected him. In 1905, when France renounced its agreement with the Holy See and threatened confiscation of Church property if governmental control of Church affairs were not granted, Pius X courageously rejected the demand.


While he did not author a famous social encyclical as his predecessor had done, he denounced the ill treatment of indigenous peoples on the plantations of Peru, sent a relief commission to Messina after an earthquake, and sheltered refugees at his own expense. On the 11th anniversary of his election as pope, Europe was plunged into World War I. Pius had foreseen it, but it killed him. “This is the last affliction the Lord will visit on me. I would gladly give my life to save my poor children from this ghastly scourge.” He died a few weeks after the war began and was canonized in 1954.


Pope Pius’ humble background was no obstacle in relating to a personal God and to people whom he loved genuinely. Pius X gained his strength, his gentleness and warmth for people from the source of all gifts, the Spirit of Jesus. In contrast, we often feel embarrassed by our backgrounds. Shame makes us prefer to remain aloof from people whom we perceive as superior. If we are in a superior position, on the other hand, we often ignore simpler people. Yet we, too, have to help “restore all things in Christ,” especially the wounded people of God.


 Some of our bulletin readers may not be familiar with Chicago Shares, a way that you can help the homeless but not actually give them cash. You can purchase Chicago Shares in our Front Office anytime the office is open. They come in packets of five (each slip worth $1.00) and they can be used to purchase food, toiletries, and other basic items at a number of stores in the Loop and in the South and North areas beyond the Loop. These shares cannot be used to purchase liquor and tobacco, nor can they be redeemed for cash. If you would like more information about Chicago Shares, you may go to, or you may stop at the front office to pick up a list of the stores that honor these shares.


 A salesman for a major cola company returns from his assignment in the Middle east and reports his assignment was a total failure.


“Tell me what happened,” his boss says.


“When I accepted the assignment,” replies the salesman, “I was confident I could turn a profit for the company there, since it was a brand new market, and no one had ever tried our drink. But once I arrived, I realized that I had a problem. I didn’t speak their language.”


“So what did you do?” the boss probes.


“I decided to convey our message by using three posters. In the first, I showed a man crawling through the desert heat, exhausted and panting with thirst. The second poster shows the man having a drink of our cola. The final poster showed the man happy and totally refreshed. I had them plastered at every corner and in every market I could find.”


“That should have worked,” the boss chimes in. “Why didn’t it?”


“Well,” the salesman confesses, “not only did I not speak the language, but I also didn’t realize that most people in that country read from right to left.”