The Old St. Mary's Community Newsletter
Thursday, April 15, 2021
 Witness to Christ – Present Tense

As we continue to roll out on this great train we call Easter, we pass by many stations that each have their own style of engaging Jesus’ Easter message. Disciple, Apostle, follower, catechist, companion are among the many roles we can adopt in living out the message of Christ. Do you know which one fits you best, or is there one that holds particular appeal for you?
This week I invite you to notice the word, “witness.” Maybe this stands out for me with the various trials in the news and the importance of having good witnesses that tell the truth of what they have seen and how it impacts their lives.
In Acts of the Apostles on Sunday Peter is speaking to the Jewish leaders and crowds about Jesus and who he is. Peter recalls for them how Jesus was treated, how he died and now speaks of him as risen – saying of this “we are witnesses.” And, what irritates the crowds around him – he tells them how their actions may now be forgiven because of who Jesus is and what he came to do (save them, forgive their sins).
The Gospel Passage from Luke on Sunday combines stories we have heard this Easter: Jesus showing up in a locked room, walking with disciples, sharing bread, sharing a meal and finishes off with Jesus saying to his disciples what we just heard Peter say in Acts of the Apostles, “Thus it is written that the Christ would suffer…, rise from the dead…, and forgiveness of sins, would be preached…, to all the nations…. You are witnesses of these things.”
This is the legacy passed down to us. Witness to Christ did happen in the past and has been happening up to our present day and continues to happen. In the present tense, our lives, our world, our situations – we are called to witness to Christ. Are we ready to take the stand, be examined, cross-examined, and have further redirected questions about our faith, about Jesus and what he did/does looked at? That is why we renew baptismal promises or make a profession of faith – these things mean something, and they impact our world today.
Three invitations for you from this reflection. Please pray for our Confirmation Candidates (and their peers who have already been confirmed) who on Sunday night will ask to be confirmed, and in so doing announce their intention to be witnesses of Christ. We pray that they will live up to their commitment. Let us pray that all of us confirmed in the faith will also live up to our commitments to witness to Christ.
Second – to be a witness to Christ calls us to be charging our spiritual batteries by keeping on reflecting on our faith. Note two programs: One Book One Parish that is just beginning and Come and See, that is about to start as opportunities for you to grow in your faith.
Finally – witnesses need folks to support them, lead them and call them to action. The Paulist Fathers is one of many religious communities that witness to the faith through a particular charism. We happen to be YOUR parish neighborhood religious community. We wish to continue to work with you and help you live the gospel through your witness. We are underway with our Hope for the Future campaign that you can read more about in this newsletter and reflect on the hope you can inspire by joining our campaign.

God Bless!

Fr. Brad
Sunday Worship Aid
April 17-18, 2021

On the morning of Thursday, April 8th, Guy Mason, father of Old St. Mary’s graduates Grant and Ross, died from heart failure after a long battle with the complications of a stroke and heart attack one year ago. 
Guy’s wife and the boys mother, Rena, writes: Guy never made it home after 365 days of struggling to stay alive and recover in medical facilities. Now he is wrapped in God's arms and will never suffer again. 

“We hope to have an in-person memorial service in the summer at a time when most people are vaccinated and the church will allow more people to attend. In any case, we will stream the services for those who will not be able to make it. 
“Please pray for us as we enter this new phase of our lives without his physical presence. We know that his spirit lives on within us.”
How Can I Volunteer for the Hope for the Future campaign?
The Hope for the Future campaign invites every person impacted by the Paulist Fathers to invest in their future. As a campaign volunteer, individuals/couples will assist Old St. Mary’s in reaching our goal. Together, with other leaders at our parish, volunteers will serve as ambassadors on behalf of Paulist President Fr. Eric Andrews and our pastor Fr. Brad to fellow parishioners.
As a volunteer, you will:
  • Only commit to 5-6 weeks of active campaigning in late-May and June.
  • Attend two meetings, which will be offered in person and via Zoom
  • Personally follow up with fellow parishioners to answer their questions and discuss the campaign. These can be done virtually, by phone or in-person in a safe, socially distanced manner – whatever you prefer.
  • Receive comprehensive campaign training.
  • Attend one meeting to learn about the progress of the campaign and report on the status of your follow-ups.
If you feel called to volunteer to help our parish in this landmark effort, please contact  Father Brad or our Parish Council President, Joice Pharris at and we can provide you additional details.

Naming the Wounds, Beginning to Heal
We are a polarized society, and we continue to move further apart politically, culturally, religiously, and interpersonally. In this two-hour program, presenters E.J. Dionne Jr., and Michael McGillicuddy, LCSW, will document the depth of this national epidemic of
contempt and begin to unravel why it has such a hold on us. Without focusing on any
specific. polarizing issues, they will examine the current culture war and introduce remedies that create space for cross-tribal conversation and respect.
Sunday, April 25, 4 PM to 6 PM central time.
Webinar format link will be sent with RSVP
For more info Maura Rogan, Director, IVC Chicago - - 847.830.3795


Thank you for helping to end hunger and poverty in your community and around the world through CRS Rice Bowl. The sacrifices you made throughout Lent help communities access enough nutritious food to stay healthy, including families in Timor-Leste who have recently been impacted by heavy rain and a cyclone.
The resulting flooding has damaged roads, displaced more than 10,000 people and affected water access and COVID-19 supplies. Please join us in praying for our sisters and brothers in Timor-Leste.
Lenten alms donated through CRS Rice Bowl support lifesaving work in more than 100 different countries each year. 

Please convert your coins to be bills. You can return the Rice Bowl when you come to Mass or drop it off at the reception office.
One Book One Parish group began their sessions yesterday, April 14th. They have a 9:15 AM and 6:30 PM gathering. You choose the one that you wish to join. The gatherings last from 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes.

They began with the reading of the introduction and Chapters 1 and 2.

Meeting ID: 828 0311 7152
Dial In Phone:  1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)


The book they are reading is "Under the Influence of Jesus" by Joe Paprocki. It is available as a Kindle book and in paperback.

Toiletry donations are being accepted
for the St. James Food Pantry.
Travel and full size toothpaste, soap, shampoo, conditioner, kleenex, razors, shaving cream, tooth brushes, etc. Also, adult size white socks are needed. Drop off at the Old St. Mary’s Parish office between the hours of 8 AM or 4 PM or after any of the Masses.

Volunteers are needed at St. James Food Pantry,
2907 S. Wabash Avenue: 

  • Mondays: Unloading food truck from the Greater Chicago Food Depository. 9:45 am–1:30 pm.
  • Mondays & Thursdays: Making phone calls to seniors to customize their food orders.
  • Wednesdays & Thursdays: Food Pantry service – various tasks, including helping clients with food selection during hours
9:00-11:30 am.
  • Tuesdays & Wednesdays:  Lunch program – help with client intake or distribution of lunch to clients at the Food Pantry.

For more information, contact Aiden,
the volunteer coordinator at St. James: 
 (312) 842-1919,
The book for our meeting on April 20th is Subversive: Christ, Culture and the Shocking Dorothy L. Sayers  by Crystal Downing. Link to book on Click Here
Our book for May 18th is The Gospel According to Mary: A New Testament for Women Miriam Therese Winter. Link to book on Click Here
And our book for June15th is Quest for the Living God by Elizabeth Johnson. Link to book on Click Here
Pastor David from Second Presbyterian Church will join us to lead the discussion in June. He led a great series of discussions in July 2020 .
Meeting ID: 893 1986 5225 Passcode: book  ——-  Dial by your location 1 312 626 6799 Passcode: 079237

  • looking for answers to life's big questions?
  • searching for more meaning in life?
  • wanting to explore your experience of faith or your image of God?
Beginning April 26th you are invited to participate in a 7-week small faith group experience called "Come and See". We will gather via Zoom for 1 hour and 15 minutes.  "Come and See" is an informal gathering about the Christian faith and its relevance for life today. It gives you space to meet other people, share ideas, explore your beliefs, and think about questions that really matter. Each session involves a short film and plenty of time for discussion. EVERYONE IS WELCOME. No matter where you are in your faith journey, if you are curious about the Christian faith, already Christian but
feeling distant, or want to simply gather with others to explore how faith and life connect today. You are NOT committing to becoming Christian, Catholic, or mentoring another person. This is an invitation to
explore and encounter others. To sign up or learn more click here.
If you have any questions please email
World Day of Prayer for Vocations – Sunday, April 25

World Day of Prayer for Vocations falls on Good Shepard Sunday,

We see in Jesus, the Good Shepherd, the heart of every calling. He says, “A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” The mission of Jesus culminated in his self-sacrificing love. He gave himself so that we might live. This is the great mystery of love present in the Eucharist: “This is my body, given up for you. This is my blood, poured out for you.” 

Everyone is called, and everyone has a vocation in the Church. Join us on April 25th from 3-4pm for an hour of adoration for vocations at
St. Alphonsus Church. You can also livestream via St. Alphonsus YouTube channel
Please visit our website to register for Mass
You can also call 312-922-3444
Remember to call before 4 PM on Saturday to sign up for
Masses occurring that weekend

All Masses and liturgies have limited seating. You must make a reservation to attend. This is necessary for the purpose of contact tracing.

If you have recently traveled or a member of your family is sick with Covid or you or they are waiting for test results, PLEASE keep everyone safe and do not attend.

Remember, the dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation remains in effect until further notice. All of our Masses are livestreamed.

If you attend Mass and subsequently test positive for COVID-19, please contact the Church so we may let others know who attended that Mass of possible contamination.
If you don't wish to set up an account with Give Central, you can make a donation to Old St. Mary's using Quick Pay through Zelle from your bank account.

Zelle is a quick way to pay people you know and trust in minutes.

The email address to use when setting up your gift is

For more information about Quick pay through Zelle or to see if your bank has this feature, visit Get Started with Zelle

Text to Give - 1.312.626.0164 - text GIVEOSM (not case sensitive)
Old St. Mary's Church is Chicago's First Catholic Parish Established in 1833
Served by the Paulist Fathers since October 12,1903.

Phone Number: 312.922.3444
Old St. Mary's Church
1500 S Michigan Ave,
Chicago, IL 60605