September 24, 2023


On Friday, September 29, we celebrate the feast of the Archangels, Michael, Gabriel and Raphael. Angels are mentioned many times throughout the Old and New Testament — from when God revealed the Ten Commandments to Moses and said, “Behold, I send an angel before you to guard you on the way and to bring you to the place that I have prepared. (Exodus 23:20-21) to when the angel Gabriel delivered the message to the Virgin Mary that she would carry the Son of God, and beyond. "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus." (Luke 1:30-31)

Angels bring us a sense of peace and security. How awesome is it to know that as the Catechism of the Catholic Church states, "from its beginning until death, human life is surrounded by their watchful care and intercession. Beside each believer stands an angel as protector and shepherd leading them to life." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1997)

St. Michael is known in the Jewish, Islamic and Christian faiths. As Catholics, we honor St. Michael as patron and protector of those serving in the military and police officers. In the world in which we live today, those who serve (in the military & as law enforcement officers) to protect all of us from others who seek to do us harm, are in need of our prayers. Though not all may live up to the ideals of their profession, the majority of police men and women go to work each day, often placing themselves in dangers we cannot image, in order to keep each of us safe. When you see a police officer this week, thank them for helping to keep us all safe. They have an impossible task these days to protect the rights of all people in often very dangerous situations.

Please pray the following prayer for the police officers of our city and state that through the intercession of God they may be protected in their service to all of us. And please say THANKS to our St. Peter's Security staff and keep them in your prayers also.


O Almighty God, whose great power and eternal wisdom embraces the universe,
Watch over all the members of our law enforcement community, and all members everywhere.Protect them from harm in the performance of their duty.
Help them, we pray, keep our streets and homes safe, day and night.
We commend them to your loving care, because their duty is dangerous.
Grant them strength and courage in their daily assignments.
Holy Father, protect these brave men and women.
Grant them your almighty protection, unite them safely with their families after duty has ended.
In Jesus name we pray. Amen. (from the Catholic Diocese of St. Petersburgh, FL)


On Wednesday, October 4, we celebrate the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi. Francis showed care and concern for all, especially the poor. He reverenced God’s hand in all creation. He lived his life so faithful to that of Christ that he is called alter Christus, another Christ. As we honor this saint known throughout the world, I urge all parishioners to pray and work hard for a deeper respect for all of God’s creation, all of life. Francis began life in a small Italian town that saw war and destruction constantly. He lived in a time of scandal in the Church and in society. Francis' approach to the many problems and issues of medieval Italy can also teach us much about being faithful to the Gospel in our own turbulent times. 

Francis heard God's call in the small church of San Damiano on the outskirts of Assisi. Gazing upon the large cross in the church he heard God, Francis, go and repair my house which, as you see, is falling completely into ruin. Initially, Francis thought God wanted him to repair the physical church where he was praying. However, under the guidance of God's Holy Spirit, Francis realized his real task was to bring healing and repair to a broken Church. Under God’s inspiration, he brought peace and respect between all classes of people. God continues to call us to do no less…respecting all of life in the world, in our country and right here in Chicago.

Franciscans throughout the world remember the passing of St. Francis of Assisi to eternal life through the prayer service called, "The Transitus" (passing). The Franciscans here at St. Peter's invite you to join us for this prayer service to commemorate the death of St. Francis. It will be held in the church on Tuesday, October 3 at 4:30 pm. On Wednesday, October 4, we celebrate the feast of St. Francis of Assisi at the 7:30 am, 11:40 am (special Festive Mass) and 1:15 pm Masses. We will have our annual blessing of animals at 12:30 pm in the front of the church next Sunday, October 1. All pets and their owners are invited to attend.


As we celebrate the feast of St. Francis on Wednesday, October 4, please note that the front office will only be open from 9:00 am until 11:30 am. There are NO CONFESSIONS SCHEDULED on October 4 as the friar community participates in celebrating the feast of our founder, St. Francis. The church is open for prayer from 7:00 am - 4:30 pm on this day. Our regular schedule resumes on Thursday, October 5.

St. Francis said, I have done my part; may Christ teach you yours. (2Cel.214) As Catholics our task is to Respect Life! In his second encyclical, Laudato Si, On Care for Our Common Home, Pope Francis has reminded all of us that we are bound together as brothers and sisters on our planet earth. And, as human beings made in the image of God, we are charged to be concerned for “sister earth” and every living thing that dwells here, especially the poorest and most vulnerable. If you have not read the Pope’s Encyclical, Laudato Si, I encourage you to read it. It is available on the Vatican website or copies may be obtained through our St. Peter's Book Store.

The month of October calls us to honor and respect ALL of God’s creation. With an increasing awareness that many of our human activities are negatively impacting our mother earth, Pope Francis has called all inhabitants of the earth to do whatever we can to preserve and protect our planet. Why not begin reading this important reflection from Pope Francis during October, Respect Life month? Perhaps you will be moved to do your part in respecting God's gift to us of life here upon planet Earth.


As I mentioned in last weekend's bulletin, when someone is enrolled in the Friars Legion, they are remembered at all the Masses celebrated by the Franciscans here at St. Peter's Church. The Franciscan Friar community also remembers those in the Friars' Legion during our daily community prayers. You can be enrolled as an individual or a family. Enrollment can be for the living or deceased.

For a number of years, the offering for enrollment has been $25.00 for Individuals and $100.00 for Immediate Family members. Due to increasing costs to keep St. Peter's operating and after much discussion, we find it necessary to increase the offering for enrollment to $40.00 for an Individual and $125.00 for Immediate Family. This increase takes effect October 1, 2023. Those who are enrolled can also indicate that they would like to receive a copy of The Franciscan Legion, a monthly newsletter of the Friars Legion.


At the 5:00 pm Mass on Saturday, October 7, we will give a special blessing to all who will be running the annual Chicago Marathon on Sunday, October 8. Everyone who is running or supporting the runners is welcome to attend Mass on that Saturday and to pray for all the participants.

May you have a blessed and safe week.

Fr. Michael