July 16, 2023

It is hard to believe, but we are already half way through July and already stores are advertising "Back to School" sales. In this weekend's bulletin, I want to update you on some information about St. Peter's Church and the Franciscans.  Effective this month, the church office will only be open Mondays-Fridays from 9:00 am-4:30 pm. With fewer friars to staff the office and very few people coming on Saturdays to the office, we decided to be available in the office only on weekdays.

Fr. Tony (Director of Programs) is working on weekday offerings for lunch times beginning in the Fall. We hope to offer a variety of programs on various topics related to the Catholic Church such as liturgy, sacraments, what we believe today, as well as other topics. We are also hoping to offer a couple of noon-time concerts throughout the Fall.

I encourage you to attend a special Summer Concert here at St. Peter's on Friday, July 21 at 12:15 pm in the St. Clare Auditorium. Two young brothers, members of Ascension parish in Oak Park, along with Fr. Robert Hutmacher, OFM will perform music of Vivaldi, Bruch, Pachelbel, Bach and more in an entertaining and enriching concert experience. More details are on the poster in the lobby of the church or on the website.


As we have mentioned a number of times in the past couple of years, six of the seven Order of Friars Minors (Franciscans) of the USA will be merging to become one province throughout the country. The actual day of the end of the six provinces (Holy Name Province, Sacred Heart Province, John the Baptist Province, Assumption Province, Our Lady of Guadalupe Province and St Barbara Province) will happen in October 2023. The new Province of Our Lady of Guadalupe will officially begin on October 17, 2023.

Recently, the Minister General of the Franciscans (OFM) and his council appointed the new leadership for the new Province. These friars will officially assume their leadership positions at the Chapter of Unity that will be held the week of October 16-20, 2023 in Kansas City, Missouri. The friars chosen for these new leadership responsibilities (as well as their present province) are listed below. I ask that you join with all of us friars in this new Province to keep these men in your prayers. It will be an awesome task and we pray that God's Holy Spirit will guide them and all of us friars who will be part of this challenging ministry of building upon our many years of ministry to many areas of the USA and to bring the Franciscan Spirit to new areas of our country.

We welcome the following friars in their call to serve the friars and the Church in living out the Gospel way of life.

Provincial Minister-Elect is Br. Lawrence Hayes, OFM (Holy Name Province)

Provincial Vicar-Elect is Br. Mark Soehner, OFM (St. John the Baptist Province)

Provincial Councilor-Elect is Br. John Eaton, OFM (Sacred Heart Province)

Provincial Councilor-Elect is Br, Edward Tlucek, OFM (Assumption Province)

Provincial Councilor-Elect is Br. José Rodriguez, OFM (Guadalupe Province)

Provincial Councilor-Elect is Br. Erick Lopez, OFM (Holy Name Province)

Provincial Councilor-Elect is Br. Rommel Perez Flores, OFM (Sacred Heart Province)

Provincial Councilor-Elect is Br. Roger Lopez, OFM (St. John the Baptist Province)

Provincial Councilor-Elect is Br. Samuel Nasada, OFM (St. Barbara Province)

As more information becomes available, I'll share more with you. Please keep this new leadership team and all of us friars in your prayers. Please remember to pray that young men and women may answer God's call to serve the Church and the People of God as religious brother, sister or priest.


I encourage your generosity to the appeal of the Little Sisters of the Poor at Masses the weekend of July 29-30 to help in their challenging ministry to the elderly poor here in Chicago and in other places throughout the USA. For over 145 years, the Sisters have helped care for the elderly who are in need here in Chicago.


A big THANK YOU to everyone who attended our St. Peter's 9th Annual Gala on Thursday, July 13. Those who purchased tickets, made donations, participated in our silent and live auctions, all who helped us to raise needed funds to provide for our ministries here at the church. We ask God's special blessings on everyone who helped make the Gala happen this year. Special thanks to our hard-working volunteers, our church staff, the Gala Committee and, especially thank you to Fr. Mario DiCicco, OFM who has successfully organized this year's Gala as well as all of our previous Galas. Thank you to all our dedicated workers for making sure Gala 2023 happened! Make plans now to attend next year's 10th Annual Gala that is tentatively set for Thursday, July 18, 2024. We hope to see you all at the 10th anniversary of St Peter's Gala!


You may have noticed some pews on the left side of the church have been blocked off with yellow caution tape the past few weeks. We have discovered a leak in the ceiling and have been trying to track down exactly where the water has been coming from and then dripping down from the ceiling. While the church building is very solid, it is showing its age in some places! Omar, our facility manager and others, are monitoring the leak and hopefully, we'll have a solution soon to stop the leak. St. Peter's Church building is over 70 years old and many parts and equipment is nearing the end of their usefulness. We are starting to evaluate what items need updating, what items need to be replaced and what items are still serving faithfully their functions. As we look at what needs attention now, what needs attention in a few years, and what items will need attention in the future, we'll keep you updated.

I spoke with the church architect recently about the progress of plans to install two reconciliation rooms for confessions in the church. Due to a number of factors, obtaining updated drawings, cost estimates and other necessary items for this project, it has been moving slowly. We will keep you updated as we receive more information. For the time being, we will continue to use Room C (across from the gift shop) in the lower level to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation (confessions). Room C provides the opportunity to confess your sins behind a screen or face to face in an airy and light space.


Each summer, parishes of the Archdiocese of Chicago are asked to host a Mission Appeal from various mission areas of the world. This year, St. Peter's will host Fr. Dennis Vargas a priest of the Diocese of Lucena in Quezon Province, the Philippines. Fr. Vargas will speak at all the weekend Masses, August 12 and August 13 about the ministry needs in his home diocese. More information will be available in future bulletins and on our website.


Hopefully, you will find some relaxing time this summer to do some reading. A few suggestions for you are Living the Sacraments by Joe Paprocki, The Wisdom of the Bullfrog: Leadership Made Simple by William H. McRaven, The Road Taken by Senator Patrick Leahy and with the anniversary of the use of the atomic bomb during World War II on August 6, 1945, Hiroshima by John Hersey. The bible, of course, has lots of stories about our ancestors in faith to offer us food for thought. For other suggestions, check with the staff in our St. Peter's Book store located in the lower level of the church.

Fr. Michael