Welcome! to the official website of St. Valentine and St. Mary Parishes in Peru, IL. Historically, St. Val’s is ethnically Polish, while St. Mary’s is the Irish parish of Peru. However, these days many diverse ethnic backgrounds are represented in the rosters of both parishes. Our parishes, together with St. Joseph Parish, have each been blessed to serve the Peru community for more than 100 years.
St. Val’s and St. Mary’s are the happy beneficiaries of a rich Catholic heritage that is evident throughout the Illinois Valley area. Hence, the name of our website: www.IVCatholicTradition.org. Our beautiful churches which grace the neighborhoods of Peru are the fruits of a resilient Catholic Faith. St. Valentine Church is constructed of Gothic design, whose imposing steeple rises above the Illinois Valley to confess that Christ is Sovereign King. Meanwhile, St. Mary’s Church, of Romanesque design, and located near Illinois Valley Community Hospital, also speaks of the stability of Christ’s presence and the unfailing protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
With the support of our Bishop, Daniel R. Jenky, C.S.C., we are privileged to follow our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI’s encouragement to rediscover and appreciate the riches of our Catholic Tradition, including the beauty of Gregorian Chant and the sublimity of the ancient Roman Rite (the Extraordinary Form). The majority of our Masses are celebrated according to the Mass of Vatican II (the Ordinary Form); however, we are privileged to offer a weekly Mass in each parish in the Extraordinary Form, or otherwise known as the Traditional Latin Mass.
We are also convinced that the restoration of traditional Catholic family life is the key to fruitful evangelization and necessary for the reinvigoration of the Church. Fully aware that individually we do not always live up to the pure ideals and lofty virtues of our Holy Catholic Religion, we take advantage of the helps to salvation afforded to us by our Blessed Savior, especially the Sacraments of Penance and Holy Communion, and we are eager to perform the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy.
We count on the prayers of our Patron Saints, St. Valentine, Martyr, and the Blessed Virgin Mary, to guide us through this valley of tears to our heavenly home. May all of our works and efforts always be for the glory of God and the salvation of souls!
The following Prayer of Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary was offered by the Pastor and parishioners on December 8, 2011, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception…
Consecration of our Parishes to the Immaculate Heart of Mary
We, the Pastor and parishioners, dedicate to your Immaculate Heart, O Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen of Heaven and Mother of Mercy, our Parishes, St. Mary & St. Valentine, of Peru, IL.
We entrust to you in a special way Father Gardner, Bishop Jenky, and all the priests and seminarians of the Peoria Diocese. May they (we) always be faithful to their (our) priestly vows of celibacy and obedience. May they (we) always be filled with the grace of the Holy Spirit to win souls for Your Son, Jesus.
We entrust to your motherly goodness, all members of St. Mary & St. Valentine Parishes. We beg that no member of these Parishes would die without the grace of salvation. We ask that our streets would be free of violence, drugs, and immodesty. We ask that no Catholic would abandon the “faith of his fathers” for another faith. We beg that the rich would help the poor and that no poor family would be deprived of the necessities of life.
We entrust to your gracious care all families in our Parishes, that the spouses would be faithful to one another, that each home would be free from violence, obscenity, and contraception. We beg that daily prayers would be said in each home.
We confide to your Immaculate Heart the catechism program in our Parishes. We beg that it always would be free from falsifications of the Faith. We entrust to you the catechists and the students. May they share in your love for Your Son Jesus.
We entrust to you the choirs that sing at the Masses. May their singing render fitting glory and praise to the Divine Majesty of Jesus Christ our Sovereign King.
We entrust to your Heart the employees and volunteers, who spend many hours each week working on behalf of our Parishes, that they may be rewarded here and in heaven for their dedication.
In a special way, we entrust to you all those who wound your Immaculate Heart and the Sacred Heart of your Son with sin. May you, the unfailing refuge of sinners, obtain for them the grace of reconciliation with God. May they make good confessions and begin to receive Holy Communion.
We entrust to you the youth of our Parishes. Please give to each youth a drop of your Purity so that their bodies may always be temples of the Holy Spirit.
We entrust to your virginal and motherly care the young women of our Parishes. Despite the ruinous influences of the world, may they all aspire to holy motherhood, whether physical or spiritual. We beg that no woman will have an abortion. May those who have participated in an abortion return to God and to the Church for forgiveness, healing and reconciliation.
We entrust to you all the altar-boys, and we pray that by their service at the altar they may be attentive to the Lord’s noble calling to serve as future priests… or as generous husbands and fathers of families. Help all our young men to grow in virtue, as your Son grew in wisdom and grace before God and men.
Finally, we entrust to your prayers the unity of our parishioners. Your Son has said, “This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” May these words be fulfilled among us. May all souls be brought together through Him, and with Him, and in Him, for the glory of the almighty Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amen.
-Adapted from a similar prayer at St. Peter Chanel Parish, Hawaiian Gardens, CA
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Pope Pius XII:
Help us, Mother, to have a sincere regard for duties of our state in life that our homes may become centers of spiritual life and charity!
Traditional Latin Mass:
The Traditional Latin Mass (Extraordinary Form) is offered weekly at St. Valentine Church (Noon on Sunday) and at St. Mary Church (5:30 pm. on Monday). All are welcome!
Growing in Faith Together (GIFT) Study:
GIFT Update: According to the Decree of Bishop Jenky, St. Valentine & St. Mary Parishes remain officially as "linked" parishes, sharing one pastor. However, both St. Valentine & St. Mary will enter into a partnership arrangement with St. Joseph Parish, in which they will share activities and resources in the Peru Cluster.Read more...