ANNUAL CATHOLIC APPEAL (ACA)
Next weekend, February 12-13, throughout the Archdiocese, will be the beginning of the Annual Catholic Appeal (ACA). This year's theme is "Making all things new… God’s promise and our responsibility." Many Catholics, throughout the Archdiocese, may have already received the Annual Catholic Appeal mailing from Cardinal Cupich. On behalf of those served by the ministries, parishes and schools who receive funding from the Appeal, your generous donation helps to support and be sure those ministries are able to continue.
The Annual Catholic Appeal offers an important opportunity to answer Jesus’ call to “Come, follow me ...” This is especially important during these trying and challenging times. Many in our parishes are affected financially by the pandemic, and we encourage giving at all levels to support this initiative. In addition to providing for ministries and services throughout the archdiocese, the Annual Catholic Appeal funds services in our own area.
When we financially support the work of St. Peter's Church, the archdiocese and the Catholic Church throughout the world, we experience a feeling of deep gratitude, especially when we contemplate God’s many gifts to us personally. By sharing our wealth through gifts to the 2022 Annual Catholic Appeal, we demonstrate our commitment to the Church and each other.
There are various ways to make a contribution (large or small) to support the Annual Catholic Appeal (ACA). One-time gifts, pledges, sustaining recurring gifts, as well as gifts made through stock, Donor Advised Funds and IRA distributions can be made by cash, check or credit card through the following methods: (1) The Reply Form received in the Cardinal's mailing in January, (2) Online at annualcatholicappeal.com, (3) Through the in-pew envelopes available at the Masses the weekend of February 19-20, (4) through the ACA telephone number at 312-534-7959 or (5) mail to Annual Catholic Appeal at 835 North Rush Street, Chicago, IL 60611-2030.
In the coming weeks you will continue to receive more information about the Annual Catholic Appeal through our church bulletin. There will also be more information in the Chicago Catholic and on our church website and the website of the Archdiocese. For those who wish more information now or want to contribute at this time you can visit the website annualcatholicappeal.com to find more information or to make your pledge online.
This past Thursday, February 3, we celebrated the feast of St. Blaise, Bishop & Martyr. St. Blaise is the patron of those who suffer from diseases of the throat and other illness. Because many people might not have been able to attend Mass on February 3, we will bless throats at the conclusion of the Masses this weekend. Due to the continuing need to maintain a safe distance for large crowds of people and to safely guard everyone, the formula that will be used this year is the Second Option of prayer of blessing for everyone gathered in church. There will NOT be individual blessings this year. The blessing will be given at the conclusion of Masses this weekend.
We begin the Season of Lent this year with the celebration of Ash Wednesday on March 2. I am waiting to hear from the Archdiocese regarding protocols for the distribution of ashes and other Lenten activities. During the 2022 Lenten Season I encourage you attend one of our daily Masses, come to church for some quiet and prayerful time with the Lord, and join us for Adoration or Stations of the Cross. Consider participating in one or more of our noon-time programs or visit our Gift & Book store for some excellent books or DVDs on topics to help you grow in faith. If you are not sure what might be a good Lenten book ask one of the workers in the Book Store or ask one of the friars here at St. Peter's for suggestions.
Here is our tentative schedule of Lenten Activities:
Monday through Friday - Masses are at 7:30 am, 11:40 am and 1:15 pm
Monday through Friday - The church is open for private prayer from 7:00 am until 4:30 pm.
Monday through Friday - Confessions are 10:30 am until 3:00 pm
Consult bulletin or our website for schedule of noontime programs and Scripture study programs.
Wednesdays of Lent:
Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament begins at conclusion of 1:15 pm Mass and concludes at 4:15 pm.
Fridays of Lent:
Stations of the Cross begins at 2:00 pm.
More information on Lent will be available in the bulletin and website in the coming weeks.
A FEW THOUGHTS
In last weekend's bulletin, I asked that you continue to pray that we might find some solution to the growing violence on our streets and city neighborhoods. I also urged you to contact our city, state and national officials and politicians asking them to find ways to engage all citizens in seeking ways to end this growing cancer of violence among our citizens. Prayer is important. Treating one another as brothers and sisters as Jesus has instructed us is important. Treating one another with civility is important. Encouraging those with political influence to be creative in helping end violence is important. Lamenting the lack of respect for the life of others is not sufficient......we also must find creative ways to show respect to one another, to save one another if we dare call ourselves followers of Jesus.
Last Saturday evening, TV station NBC-5 reported on a gathering to prevent violence. The news report has challenges for all of us to consider, "What can I do to help prevent the violence on our streets and in our city?"
The TV report stated "Activists stood in unity Saturday as they issued a call to action regarding the problem of gun violence across Chicago, particularly incidents involving women and children. Leaders from several community groups gathered at New Beginnings Church in Greater Grand Crossing to shine a light on the lives that have been impacted already this year.
A total of 30 women have been shot in the first 29 days of January, according to activists. Of the victims, two were pregnant and seven died from their injuries. Activist Andrew Holmes led the charge Saturday, backed by dozens of women impacted by the violence that continues to plague the streets.
"Cases have not been solved," Holmes said. "We're not blaming police, but we [all need to] come together and get some structure to end this gun violence." Illinois Sen. Jacqueline Collins called the current situation a "state of emergency," pleading with community members and families of people committing violent crimes to speak up. "You know if your son brings in a gun, if he comes in with retail theft, comes in with a Gucci purse, these other designers, you know something is wrong, and you need to take some accountability in turning your child in," she said.
Activists are calling for a plan for change - one they hope the entire community can get behind.
"I’m asking for resources and programs to give our sons an alternative to violence of the street," said speaker Priscilla Jackson. "Give them an answer instead of the hopelessness that is felt in our communities."
Please keep our First Responders and victims of crime in your prayers. May you have a peaceful and safe week. Remember to do all you can to keep yourself and others healthy in the midst of the COVID and Flu season. Please keep all who are ill with COVID in your prayers. Especially pray for many members of Br. Erlison's family and some of our Franciscan friars in Brazil who are ill due to COVID.