May 2, 2021

As I wrote in the church bulletin last week, with more people receiving the vaccine for COVID, an increase of tourists, workers, etc. here in the Loop and the return of warmer weather, we will adjust our present COVID affected church schedule a bit to better meet the needs of those coming to St. Peter's. The only change for now will be on Saturdays. We are returning to offering a Saturday evening Vigil Mass at 5:00pm. With the addition of the Saturday 5:00pm Mass we have also adjusted the times when the church will be open for confessions. The gift shop/book store hours are adjusted also for Saturdays. You will find the new hours (effective Saturday, May 8) for the book store elsewhere in today's bulletin, on our web site and also on posters displayed on the inside bulletin boards and in the kiosk in front of the church on Madison Street.

St. Peter's Church & Sacrament Schedule Update

New changes are effective May 8. Changes are listed in BOLD print

MONDAY - FRIDAY

Church hours: 10:30am - 3:00pm

Masses: 11:40 & 1:15pm

Confessions: 10:30am - 3:00pm

SATURDAY

Church hours: 12noon - 6:00pm

Confessions:     12noon - 4:30pm

Vigil Mass for Sunday at 5:00pm

SUNDAY

Church hours 8:30am - 12:30pm

No confessions

Masses: 9:00am and 11:00am

Remember that these changes will take effect beginning Saturday, May 8, unless health and safety concerns postpone these changes. We will continue to follow the guidelines and protocols of the Archdiocese and local health departments. As more of us receive the available vaccines, wear masks, wash hands frequently, keep safe distances in large groups and do all we can to promote safe health practices, we will continue to adjust our safe health guidelines and practices here at St. Peter's and hopefully be able to open the church up more for prayer and reflection.

We are close to completing the installation of new phones in the friary and church offices. The old system could not be repaired so before the entire system stopped working we arranged for new phones. The switch from the old phones to the new phones has been mostly smooth but there have been a few "glitches" in the switch over. We are still getting familiar with the new system so we ask for your patience as we start using the new phones. We will try not to hit the wrong button and prematurely cut you off during a conversation or transferring your call to another phone. If you get disconnected just call back. Hopefully all the friars and lay staff will be "quick learners" with the new phone system!

While I am writing about phones I would like to ask for your assistance for those who work at the front desk answering your phone calls. If you are calling on a cell phone please be aware that sometimes hearing you is difficult. Please speak clearly and slowly when you call or when leaving a voice mail for us. While you know your name and phone number those of us who answer the phone rarely can identify callers. When giving your name or phone number we try to write it down quickly but sometimes we can't write the information fast.....so please be patient in case we have to ask you to repeat a name or give a phone number slowly. If you are leaving a voice mail it is very important that you not rush through your message or when leaving a call back number.

We are hoping in the near future to provide opportunities for those who wish to come into the church and spend a few moments in prayer. We will announce that further opportunity for quiet prayer as we review our present COVID protocols from the Archdiocese and City Health Guidelines.

I encourage you to check out our St. Peter's Gift/Bookstore for First Communion, Confirmation and Wedding gifts. I continue to be impressed with the wide variety of religious books, prayer books and religious items that our gift shop carries. Our gift shop also carries a variety of birthday, sympathy, get well, etc. cards that are less expensive than many of the commercial stores in the area. All proceeds from sale of items goes to support the ministry of St. Peter's Church. As with so many other businesses in the past months suffering from the COVID restrictions, our gift shop has also struggled to remain open. Your patronage is very much appreciated as the book store is one of many ways we provide support for our ministries and excellent quality Catholic materials to help each of us grow in our faith.

One hundred seven years ago, on May 9, 1914, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the second Sunday in May as Mother's Day "as a public expression of love and reverence for the mothers of our country." This day of honoring our mothers originally began as a church service to honor mothers. In the years since 1914, greeting cards, dining out, gifts, flowers and various other activities have become associated with Mothers Day. On Mothers Day we pray for our mothers, those living and those deceased. In this month of May we are also given an opportunity to recall the role of Mary, as the Mother of God. As we celebrate Mothers’ Day 2021 let us to do all we can to provide support for mothers and create an atmosphere of respect for all of God’s creation. Next weekend we will give a special blessing to mothers and those who show a mother’s love to others at all the Masses (Saturday - 5pm Mass and Sunday - 9am & 11am).

As is traditional in the Archdiocese next weekend will be the annual collection to support the work of Catholic Charities. This annual collection helps bring relief and hope to mothers and children who make up the largest group of people served by Catholic Charities in the Archdiocese. Your support provides food, shelter, housing, counseling, maternity assistance, childcare, domestic-violence support and other life-changing programs. You can learn more or make a gift at www.catholiccharities.net or text HOPE to 878787 with your phone.

Fr. Michael