November 14, 2021

REVISED CHURCH SCHEDULE

 Since the onset of the COVID pandemic in Spring 2020, we and the entire world have been confronted with this dangerous disease. We have endured significant disruption of our regular "normal" life and schedules. Many of us have been affected by changes in our work, our shopping, our daily home life and many other areas of our life. Some of us have been ill ourselves or had relatives or friends who have contracted COVID in the past year and unfortunately continue to suffer or even have died. We have experienced various and sometime significant changes in the schedule of Masses, Confessions, opportunities for prayer, etc. in most churches throughout the Archdiocese and the world.

The onset of COVID brought with it fear, false and misleading beliefs and with some a harshness in our relationship to others. We continue to face many unknowns about this disease. The willingness to trust in rumors, half-truths and false news has shaken the trust of many in one another. Living in a climate of fear of this disease has also brought often hidden biases and prejudices to the forefront and to the detriment of the trust a civil society needs to have to promote the good of all. It is my hope that as we open up the schedule for St. Peter's Church more and more, folks who are in the Loop will take a moment and come and pray for themselves and others in the peaceful presence of God here at St. Peter's.

Now, over a year since COVID began to change our lives, through major health and scientific efforts we are able to begin returning to some normalcy. With increasing numbers of people who have received the COVID vaccine, people wearing masks and practicing safe health practices, the cases of those getting COVID has decreased. In the past few months we have noticed an increase in the number of people attending daily and weekend Masses here at St. Peter's. There are also more people returning to work in the Loop as well as tourists and visitors to the City. We are hopeful that the danger of COVID will continue to decrease in the City.

In response to a number of inquiries from many of you who come to St. Peter's, we will begin on a trial basis adding another daily Mass to our schedule and providing more opportunities for people to pray in church. This addition to our Monday - Friday schedule will begin the first week of Advent on Monday, November 29. Please note that we will evaluate this addition to our schedule in January to determine whether to keep it as part of our regular schedule. If you find the additional Mass and prayer opportunities works for your schedule please let us know.

As many of you know in the past couple of years, we have lost a couple of the friars who were living here at St. Peter's to Sister Death. This past week we received word that Fr. Bill Cardy, OFM (who was raised in Chicago) died in St. Louis, MO due to COVID and other health conditions. Fr. Bill served in a number of ministries in our Province and for many years has served as Chaplain at St. Anthony Hospital in St. Louis, MO until his death.

Here at St. Peter's we have also experienced the transfer of a couple of our friars and have not had any new additions to the Franciscan community. Also with aging and health concerns for a number of our friars, we are presently limited in the amount of ministry we can provide. As the danger from COVID decreases, we will continue to look at ways to provide more spiritual opportunities for all of you.

Again, I invite your response to this addition to our Monday - Friday ministry schedule for St. Peter's. As I mentioned above, we will evaluate this new schedule in January to determine if we should continue this addition church schedule. REMEMBER this expanded ministry schedule for St. Peter's Church will begin on Monday, November 29.

UPDATED MINISTRY SCHEDULE

MONDAY - FRIDAY (Effective, Monday, November 29)

MASSES

7:30 am, 11:40 am, 1:15 pm

THE CHURCH IS OPEN FOR PRAYER

7:00 am - 4:30 pm [Please note that the church must close at 4:30 pm so please be aware of the time of the church closing.]

THE FRONT DESK WILL BE OPEN [For those calling the church for information, those requesting Masses, information about the church, times for services, religious articles to be blessed, etc.]

9:00 am - 4:30 pm

CONFESSIONS

10:30 am - 3:00 pm

The Saturday and Sunday Schedule remains the same at this time.

 SATURDAY

Church open from 12 noon until end of 5:00 pm Mass

Front Desk open from 12 noon - 4:30 pm

Confessions from 12 noon - 4:30 pm

Sunday Vigil Mass at 5:00 pm

SUNDAY

Church open from 8:30 am until end of 11:00 am Mass

Front Desk is closed.

No confessions on Sunday.

As always, we may need to adjust this new schedule due to other ministerial needs. We will continue to keep you aware of any changes or news of St. Peter's through the weekly church bulletin (which you also can access through our web site), on our St. Peter's web site and other social media sites. You can always call the Front Desk when it is open and speak to one of the friars for information.

NATIONAL VOCATION AWARENESS WEEK - 2021

Last week (Nov. 7-13) throughout the USA, dioceses and religious communities asked that all members of the Church pray that young people of the Church may respond to God's call to serve as priests, deacons or consecrated religious priest, sister or brother. As we all are aware, there is a shortage of young adults entering studies to serve others as sister, brother or priest. Please continue to pray for vocations.

CATHOLIC CAMPAIGN FOR HUMAN DEVELOPEMENT

The Archdiocese of Chicago played an integral role in the creation of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD), founded in 1969 as the official anti-poverty, social justice program of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Half a century later, CCHD Chicago remains true to its mission of empowering low-income Americans to participate in the decisions that affect their lives, families, and communities. CCHD accomplishes this by: 1)  Providing economic and community development grants to grassroots nonprofits that are working to bring permanent, positive, and systemic change to their communities. 2)  Providing educational opportunities to help Catholics encounter, learn, and act to address root causes of poverty. 3)  Building bridges of solidarity between communities of different racial and socioeconomic backgrounds. A Second Collection for CCHD will be taken up next weekend, November 20-21.

Fr. Michael