Each year throughout the Archdiocese, a special Second Collection is conducted to help fund the important work of Catholic Charities. Usually that collection is taken up in May on Mother's Day. This year due to restrictions because of the coronavirus we were not able to have that collection in May. In a letter that I recently received Cardinal Blase asked that the collection be taken up the weekend of August 29-30. Due to the lateness of informing you of this collection we are alerting you this weekend that here at St. Peter's we will have this Second Collection for Catholic Charities NEXT WEEKEND, September 5-6.
Catholic Charities touches the lives of many people around us. Its locations are strategically located, where they are most needed, offering programs at 221 locations in Cook and Lake counties. During the Covid-19 pandemic, the problems of our poorest neighbors continue to grow as they struggle to return to work or pay for food, rent and utilities.
Ever since Covid-19 changed our world, each of the nine food pantries belonging to Catholic Charities has given out at least twice as much food as usual. During the pandemic, Catholic Charities continues to provide competent services to the poor, including home-delivered meals for seniors, meals for the homeless, telephone counselling, domestic violence assistance, transportation to homeless shelters, and more.
Catholic Charities will continue to be here for those most in need long after the effects of the pandemic are no longer felt.
Enclosed in this weekend's bulletin you will find a special envelope for Catholic Charities. I encourage you to use that envelope at Masses next weekend and to contribute to help the work of Catholic Charities here in the Archdiocese. Due to our present virus guidelines we do not take up collections by passing the collection basket at Masses. However, you will find at the back of church collection boxes for the support of the Catholic Charities collection. Next weekend, along with the collection boxes to help support St. Peter's Church there will also be two boxes marked "For Catholic Charities" in which you may place your donations. You may also give your donation at www.catholiccharities.net/donate or you may mail your donation to Catholic Charities, 721 North LaSalle Street, Chicago, Illinois 60654
In this weekend's bulletin you will also find a letter from Cardinal Blase Cupich, Archbishop of Chicago, asking for your generosity in supporting the important ministries of Catholic Charities to help all those in need in our area. I thank you in advance for your generosity to this important out reach of our Catholic faith.
Though it is hard to believe this is the last weekend of August and September and Labor Day weekend will be here next weekend. Unfortunately, as we continue with restrictions and the danger of the coronavirus it doesn't seem like we have been able to enjoy the blessings of this summer. Tourism is down, concerts and outdoor activities cancelled and unrest and too often violence has plagued our city streets. As we all know strict health guidelines have also restricted what ministries we can offer here at St. Peter's and other churches throughout the Archdiocese and indeed throughout the whole country and most of the world.
In the face of so many difficulties, our inclination might be to be angry, depressed or apathetic in our daily lives these days. However, I want to tell you I have been most edified by many of the stories I see on TV or hear on the radio of ordinary folks doing extraordinary things for others in this time of the pandemic. I have been humbled by the touching expressions of faith of many who come here to St. Peter's to celebrate daily or weekend Masses and those who come to receive the healing touch of Jesus in the Sacrament of Reconciliation (confession). Though the ministries and services we are able to offer at this time are limited we want you to know that the Franciscan Friars and staff here at St. Peter's will continue to be here bringing the healing touch of Christ as circumstances allow us to minister.
I would also like to express a profound THANK YOU to everyone who continues to financially support the ministries of St. Peter in this time of pandemic. The generous contributions of so many of you (both large and small donations) helps to keep the church open, our lights and air on, our lay staff here to help and our ability to offer daily Masses and confessions for all who wish to celebrate the sacraments.
As we have been announcing the past few weeks our annual St. Peter's Church Gala will be held October 9-10 this year. Because of the continuing coronavirus restrictions and guidelines we will be holding this 6th annual Gala virtually! When I arrived a few weeks ago Fr. Mario, Jo Ann Bednar and the Gala committee were already hard at work making plans for this important fund raising event that provides important finances for the ministry here at St. Peter's Church. Your generous support of the Gala ensures that St. Peter's Church remains an important oasis of faith and spiritual presence here in the Loop for those who live downtown, those who work here, students in the nearby universities and all our visitors to the city.
As we go "virtual" for this 6th annual Gala I commend those who are working on this event. They have already put in numerous hours and suggestions on how to make this year's Gala a success. I thank you all for your generous support and commitment to St. Peter's in the Loop. You may access more information about this year's Gala by going to: stpetersauction.giovesmart.com
Next weekend (September 4-7) is Labor Day weekend. I encourage you and your family to begin Labor Day by joining us for our special Labor Day Mass, on Monday, September 7 at 10:00am in church. Let us gather to give thanks to God for the blessings we have received. As with other Masses in this time of the coronavirus please call the Church Office at 314-372-5111 Monday - Friday between 9:00am and 6:00pm to reserve a place at this Labor Day Mass. Everyone entering the building must wear a face mask and practice social distancing. Please enter the church through the handicapped doors to attend Mass. The church building opens at 9:00am for the Mass and closes after the completion of the Mass. May you have a safe and restful week.