Lent 2023 is quickly drawing to a close and next weekend (April 1-2), we begin the holiest week of the Church year celebrating Holy Week. I encourage you to attend as many of the Holy Week services that you are able so that we all might enter more fully into these profound mysteries of our faith.
One of the important ministries and sacraments that we celebrate here at St. Peter's is the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession). We offer the opportunity to be reconciled with God, others and the Church six days a week and for over five hours each of those days. If you or someone you know have not celebrated the healing power of this sacrament, come and be welcomed into the loving embrace of God.
As I have mentioned in previous bulletins, we are in the process of installing two Reconciliation rooms in church. These rooms for confession will offer those going to confession the opportunity to confess their sins behind a screen or face to face with the priest. Our architect is presently working on plans that will provide a prayerful atmosphere, accessibility for those in a wheel chair or have difficulty walking, and ventilation for the space. We will share more information about these reconciliation rooms in the near future as we receive information from our consultants. Once we complete the installation of these new spaces for confessions, we will resume confessions in the body of the church and return the auditorium to its full use.
As I wrote in last weekend's bulletin, Lent is not meant to be a dreary moment in our faith life, but rather a special time to come closer to God and those around us. We have great cause to rejoice for our God, as did the sinful woman at the well in St. John's Gospel that we heard last Sunday, is only waiting for us to say yes returning to him. And if we make even the most tentative move to return... our God will lovingly embrace us into his arms. If you plan to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession) here at St. Peter's before Easter, please note [via the bulletin, website or calling the parish office] the days and times when we will be available for the sacrament. Please remember that the last scheduled confession time for Holy Week is Holy Thursday, April 6 from 9:30 am-11:00 am.
UPDATES ON ST. PETER'S CHURCH
As I mentioned last weekend, this weekend, I and a member of the church Finance Council will speak at all the Masses here at St. Peter's to share with you some updates on our ministries, our finances and some reflections on ministry as we look to the future. I will also share these spoken thoughts this Wednesday, March 29 at all the Masses that day. We will continue to keep you informed about our present financial status as well as our future plans to continue our ministry here and hopefully future plans to be a strong Catholic presence here in the Loop.
HOLY WEEK SCHEDULE OF SERVICES
Below you will find the schedule for Holy Week services here at St. Peter's. Please note the times for confessions for the coming weeks and especially Holy Week. The last scheduled time for confessions is Holy Thursday morning. You will also find the schedule on the insert in today's bulletin as well as on St. Peter's in the Loop website.
Monday - Friday, March 27-31: 10:30am - 3:00pm
Saturday, April 1: 12 noon - 4:30 pm
Monday - Wednesday, April 3-5: 10:30 am - 3:00 pm
Holy Thursday, April 6: 9:30 am - 11:00 am
Palm Sunday, April 1-2
Saturday - 5:00 pm
Sunday - 9:00 am and 11:00 am Masses
[Palms blessed at all Masses.]
Holy Thursday, April 6
Church opens at 9:00 am
Confessions - Holy Thursday, April 6:
9:30 am -11:00 am
[Please note: No confessions scheduled after 11:00 am on Holy Thursday]
12:15 pm - Mass of the Lord's Supper
5:15 pm - Mass of the Lord's Supper followed by adoration.
The collection during Masses today will be half for relief efforts in Ukraine and half for Franciscan Outreach ministries to the poor here in Chicago.
7:00 pm - Night Prayer concludes adoration and church is closed after this prayer.
Good Friday, April 7
Church opens at 7:30 am
Morning Prayer in church at 8:15 am
12:15 pm - Solemn Service
3:15 pm - Solemn Service
The annual collection during services today is to support the shrines in the Holy Land.
5:00 pm -Stations of the Cross
6:00 pm - Church closes
Holy Saturday, April 8
Church opens at 6:00 pm
7:00 pm Easter Vigil Mass
Easter Sunday, April 9
9:00 am and 11:00 am Masses
If you live in the City of Chicago, please be sure you VOTE for our next mayor. Your vote is important for everyone who lives in the city, works in the city or visits the city. Early voting has begun and election day is Tuesday, April 4. You can find your place to vote on the internet or by calling the Chicago Board of Election. Your vote is an important civic duty and a caring act for our fellow citizens.
PRAY FOR PEACE
Please keep in your thoughts and prayers the people in Ukraine who are still suffering so much due to the continuing onslaught of military forces of Russia. The increasing attacks upon so many innocent civilians, hospitals, schools and those seeking to escape the war is beyond belief. Please also pray and remember the thousands of our fellow human beings who lost their life or were injured in the recent earthquakes in Turkey and Syria.
And let us all pray and work to stop the plague of violence in our city and country. When unprovoked and senseless violence continues to injure others or take the lives of the young and old, those in our neighborhoods, in our homes, our schools and so many other sites in our country, as people who say we believe in the right to life we must recall that the primary right as citizens and as followers of God must be the right to life.
Hopefully, we will see you all at our Holy Week Services this year.