The Old St. Mary's Community Newsletter
Thursday, April 8, 2021
Easter – the New and the Old

 Last week, as I was watching posts on Twitter lampooning religion, and Christianity in particular, I found myself in a place wanting to reach out to those doing the denigration and giving them the gift of Christ himself. How do I do that?
This Sunday, Thomas the Apostle wants to believe, but is not present when Jesus first arrives and refuses to believe. The next time Jesus comes, Thomas is there and believes. We are never given exact corroboration that he touches Jesus’ wounds. I think Jesus would say (to himself thinking toward Thomas), “whatever it takes, do it.” And Thomas does accept Jesus' invitation and believes. That is the old Easter message, passed down the streams of the millennia.
The new Easter message picks up from St. Faustina Kowalska, as her personal visions of the Divine Mercy of Christ through the image of the water and blood from Christ’s side helped her see God’s desire to touch her. That image of Divine Mercy helped her give her whole life, in simple ways, to do what God asked her. She lived only 33 years (I can’t quite remember, didn’t someone else live only 33 years?), but the choice to give one's whole life to God can make an eternity out of human temporality.
As we find ourselves on this Second Sunday of Easter between doubt and faith, touching or being touched, it is not the great philosophical arguments or the extended theologies that make Easter so powerful and great, but it’s visceral-ness. It is the encounter with Christ at the personal level – Thomas flesh to flesh with Jesus, Paul in blinding light, Mary Magdalene’s to touch or not to touch, Faustina’s reminder that God wants most to bring the most separated hearts back to him – that converts hearts and bring people to Christ.
Let us not forget, this Sunday, to pray for those who have never heard of God, don’t believe in God, turned away from God, that they will encounter Jesus in the best way to help them. And let us pray for ourselves, that our choices may help others find Christ and our love and faith will grow deeper as well.
Now check out the rest of this week’s announcements.
Fr. Brad

Sunday Worship Aid
April 10-11, 2021

Please join virtually for the 10th Annual Pinwheels for Prevention Prayer Service at 10 a.m. on April 9, 2021. It is an opportunity to gather to raise our voices in song and prayer to advance awareness during Child Abuse Prevention Month. Along with Cardinal Cupich, Church leaders and other trusting adults, we join with children and youth from throughout the archdiocese in praying for the eradication of child abuse in all its heinous forms. Share the worship guide as well as these listening do’s and don’ts related to child disclosures of abuse .

This spring, Old St. Mary’s is participating in the Hope for the Future: A Comprehensive Campaign for the Paulist Fathers. This landmark campaign is the product of years of planning and hard work by Paulist priests, lay leaders and Paulist staff.
The focus of the campaign is to build a new Paulist House of Mission & Studies, fortifying outreach ministries, supporting senior Paulists and attending to deferred capital needs of Paulist houses around the country. Detailed information about the campaign goals will be sent to every parish household in the months ahead. To be clear, this is different than the Annual Paulist Appeal, which helps keep the lights on and fund the thriving ministries of the Paulists. This campaign is a one-time, extraordinary effort to fund the Paulist Fathers for many years to come.
Our parish is participating in this campaign starting in May. We need many volunteers to assist Old St. Mary’s for this campaign to be successful. If you are interested in volunteering and helping 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.

Sunday April 11, 2021

with Deacon Alfred Coleman

Join us for our next session of Seeing Race: Racism & Homelessness with presenter Deacon Alfred Coleman of Zacchaeus House. Zacchaeus House is a not-for-profit, non-treatment home for men, providing a safe, supportive and spiritual home to those in transition and in need of healing and God’s grace and mercy.

Zoom Meeting ID: 870 6934 0782
Password: SEERACE

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,
Whether you enjoy reading on your own or with friends, we hope you will join our parish family this Easter season and dive into a new book. We will grow together as disciples and a community. We will read 2 chapters per week, about 25 pages, and join weekly for a faith-sharing discussion via zoom.


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

The Old St. Mary's Community changed lives this Lent and
CRS Rice Bowl wants to say THANK YOU!

Please return your Rice Bowls this weekend - April 10-11.
Please convert your coins to bills or write a check. Please put RICE BOWL in the memo section on your check.

You can go direct to Catholic Relief Services.
  • by phone - 1.877.435.7277,
  • by mail - Catholic Relief Services, CRS Rice Bowl, P.O.Box 17090, Baltimore, MD 21297-0303, or
You can also make your donation using Zelle through your bank. The email address to use is Please put Rice Bowl in your comment field.
Remember, 25% of Rice Bowl Donations stay in each U.S. Diocese for hunger and poverty alleviation efforts.

  • 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