August 28, 2022

In the bulletin this weekend, you will find a some photos from the August 14, 2022 concluding Mass for the 175th anniversary of the parish. The photos were provided to us by Karen Callaway of the Chicago Catholic newspaper of the Archdiocese. Cardinal Blase Cupich, in his homily, spoke strongly of his support for the ministry of St. Peter's and the presence of the Franciscans here in the Loop. In 2025, we will celebrate the 150th anniversary of the arrival of the Franciscan Friars to assume the care of St. Peter's. As the Cardinal indicated in his homily, if he is still Archbishop of Chicago he plans to join us for that celebration!


As we are all aware, the past couple of years have presented us with many challenges and changes that we could never have imagined a few years ago. Though we have weathered the onslaught of the COVID pandemic, we continue to need to be cautious about preventing the spread of disease. Thankfully, we are seeing many more people in the Loop and more people here at St. Peter's for the sacraments and seeking a quiet place for prayer and reflection.

As we announced a few months ago, Fr. Derran Combs, OFM accepted a new ministry position offered by the Archdiocese on the Southside of Chicago. Fr. Derran will be working to help welcome more people to the Catholic faith and oversee a mission of some parishes on the Southside.  Thanks be to God, we are able to welcome Fr. Tony Posadas, OFM who has accepted the position of Director of Programs here at St. Peter's Church. Fr. Tony will also be working part-time as a chaplain at one of the hospitals in the area. He has been living here at St. Peter's Friary the past year and taking a number of units of Clinical Pastoral  Education (CPE) to be certified as a chaplain. Fr. Tony will start work as Director of Programs sometime this Fall. We are hoping to offer more on-site programs beginning this fall and winter. We'll share more information in future bulletins and on our church website.

Mr. Greg Ceurvorst has served us here at St. Peter's Church for the past eleven years as Director of Liturgy and Music. Recently, he decided to resign from ministry here and move on to other areas of ministry. We thank him for all his assistance these past 11 years in providing sacred music for our services and his help in organizing many of our liturgies in the pre-pandemic full schedule here at St. Peter's. We wish him all the best in his new endeavors as he moves on from St. Peter's Church.

Presently, we have some organists scheduled to help us with Masses and liturgies in this transition time. We will also begin exploring what we need to do for the long-term well-being of our liturgies here at St. Peter's. We are also planning to establish a Liturgy Committee here at St. Peter's in the near future.  I have mentioned previously that our St. Peter's Church Finance Council will have its first meeting before the end of this month. We are still pursuing installing a reconciliation room in the church that will allow penitents the option of face-to-face confession or behind a screen. Hopefully, I'll have more information to share with you in the next few weeks about where this project stands. We have renovated one of the office spaces in the lower level, across from the auditorium, that after some final work, will soon be available for those who wish to speak with one of the friars, much like was done pre-Covid on the mezzanine level.

I ask that you continue to keep Fr. Wenceslaus in your prayers. In the past couple of months, he has experienced a lessening of his strength. He continues to pray for all of you. Please also keep a number of the Franciscan Friars here at St. Peter's and also throughout the USA in your prayers. With increasing age and diminishing strength and fewer vocations to Franciscan life, all of us Franciscans in the USA want to continue do all we can to be good ministers. I encourage you to continue to pray for vocations to religious life and the priesthood. Ask a young man or woman you might know if they have ever thought of a vocation to serve the Church. Many priests, sisters and brothers are doing ministry today because someone a few years ago took the time to ask them to consider serving as priest, sister or brother.

Fr. Michael