January 29,2023


Next weekend, February 4-5, throughout the Archdiocese, will be the beginning of the Annual Catholic Appeal (ACA). This year's theme is "Walking on the Road with Jesus." Many Catholics, throughout the Archdiocese, will be receiving the Annual Catholic Appeal mailing from Cardinal Cupich soon. On behalf of those served by the ministries, parishes and schools who receive funding from the Appeal, your generous donations help to support those ministries.

The Annual Catholic Appeal offers us an opportunity to answer Jesus’ call to “Come, follow me ” . Your donation, whether large or small, is especially important during these trying and challenging times. Many people in our country remain affected financially by the increasing price of food, utilities and illness. In addition to providing for ministries and services throughout the archdiocese, the Annual Catholic Appeal funds services in our own area to help those who are in need.

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 2023 Annual Catholic Appeal, we demonstrate our commitment to the Church and each other.

In the coming weeks, more information about the Annual Catholic Appeal will be offered through our church bulletin, in the Chicago Catholic and on our website and the website of the Archdiocese.

For those who wish more information now or might want to contribute at this time you can visit the website annualcatholicappeal.com to find more information or to make your pledge online.


We celebrate the feast of St. Blaise this Friday, February 3. St. Blaise is the patron of those who suffer from diseases of the throat and other illness. As is our tradition, we will bless throats at the conclusion of the 7:30 am, 11:40 am and 1:15 pm Masses on Friday, February 3. Because many people might not be able to attend Mass on February 3, we will also bless throats after the 5 pm Saturday Vigil Mass on February 4 and after the Sunday Masses of 9 am and 11 am on February 5.

February 14 was, for many years, known as the feast of St. Valentine. Studies and scholarship of the last few decades have raised enough conflicting stories and uncertainties about the legend of St. Valentine that the Church removed the feast from the Calendar of Saints. However, the tradition of sending greeting cards of warm wishes, flowers to those whom we love and other expressions of care and devotion continue to be a noble and caring gesture towards others. So tell those whom you love of your care and concern for them on February 14 in the spirit of what Valentine’s day celebrates…our care and love for others.

The weekend of February 18-20 is Presidents’ Weekend and a holiday for many people. As we remember our Presidents, let us especially reflect upon those presidents whose birthday we remember i.e. George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. In the midst of the recent tensions about our National leadership, it would be good to recall the ideals upon which our country was founded. If you haven’t read the Declaration of Independence, the US Constitution and the Bills of Rights lately, then Presidents’ weekend would be a perfect time to read again these most important documents for everyone who lives in our country. You can find copies in any public library, in local bookstores, on the internet and in many other places. As Catholics, we are called to not only follow and live out the Gospel but also to be good citizens of the country. Now, more than ever, it is important that everyone who lives here participate in our democracy and not take our freedoms for granted.


Since COVID restrictions, we have celebrated confessions in a room in the lower level of the church that provides adequate ventilation, lighting and the opportunity to confess behind a screen or face-to-face. This has always been a temporary solution to the present realities of our time. In the past months, I and the friar priests who hear confessions, have been discussing how to offer the option of behind a screen or face-to-face confessions in the church. The guidelines for the Sacrament of Reconciliation stipulate that the penitent is to be offered the option of confessing behind a screen or face-to-face.

We have been in discussion with a church architect about installing a reconciliation room for the celebration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation (confession). We have received some helpful recommendations that will offer the penitent the option of going to confession behind a screen or face-to-face. Once we have studied the possibilities of a reconciliation room in the church, we will present the plan to all of you. We have asked the architect to provide us with a place that fits into the present design of the church, has adequate ventilation, lighting and is a prayerful space.

As you might imagine, the installation of two reconciliation rooms will involve added expenses to the church. Once we have made a decision on the design of the Reconciliation room and have received a proposal for the cost of the work, I will be sharing more information with you. I am hopeful that once we receive a bid for the work that each of you might be able to contribute to this updating of a space for one of the most important ministries of St. Peter's Church...that of providing a place where God's people can be embraced in God's mercy and forgiveness in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.


As most of you are aware, food, utilities, household repairs, and many other items of daily life have increased significantly in the past couple of years. Keeping St. Peter's Church open and providing a space to be at peace with God, celebrating the sacraments, maintaining a seventy year old building, providing just salaries for our lay staff and other church related items has also been a challenge. A few months ago, we established a Finance Council to oversee our financial operations. The Church's Code of Canon Law states that, "Each parish is to have a finance council which is regulated by universal [Church] law as well as by norms issued by the diocesan bishop; in this council the Christian faithful, selected according to the same norms, aid the pastor in the administration of parish goods."

At one of the weekends in March, I and the Finance Council will report to the congregation of St. Peter's our present financial status and our continuing exploration of how best we can be a strong presence of the Church here in the Loop.


I want to update you on a some people. Fr. Wenceslaus Church continues to be doing OK. He is presently at St. Joseph's Home and while he wishes not to have visitors, he keeps us all in his prayers. Br. Leo Geurts is also at St. Joseph Home and doing well. Our Friary Guardian, Fr. Bob Hutmacher and Vicar, Br. Guillermo Morales visit Fr. Wenceslaus and Br. Leo on a regular basis keeping them informed of happenings here at St. Peter's. Fr. Wenceslaus has asked to have no visitors at this time except for the friars. Sr. Fran Sulzer (one of the Spiritual Directors at St. Peter's) recently had an accident and after surgery is recuperating. Please keep these three folks and all the sick in your prayers. They are remembering all of us in their prayers.


The season of Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, February 22. In next weekend's bulletin there will be more information about Lenten services and activities here at St. Peter's.

Fr. Michael