The past several months have been quite busy around Saint Juliana. Several committees have been formed and are currently meeting with architects and contractors for both the back of the church and the courtyard. I hope to have these plans to show you in the next month or so. For the back of the church, we desire not merely to improve our restroom facilities and accessibility, but to create a gathering space. This space, added to the exterior of the church towards Oketo, would allow folks to meet and socialize before and after Mass without disrupting the liturgy, as well as give us the space to hold a Children’s Liturgy of the Word and other functions. The courtyard in the school would give our children a playground and a place for recess when the parking lot is unavailable. It would serve also as overflow for events in the Ahearn Center. A prayer garden, alongside additional green space, will make this a very attractive feature of our growing parish and school. Finally, we are in the process of putting an elevator in the building.
Experience Jesus Chronicles
Allow me to provide a brief "buildings and grounds" update. The main message to take away from this fourth installment is that nothing has changed or been definitely decided. A small group of parishioners and myself—an "exploratory building committee" of sorts—is looking into the back of the church and the ministry center projects. We have contacted a number of architects who will provide us with an idea of what we can do to improve our buildings.
My apologies for an administrative installment, but I want to let you know where we as a parish stand with regard to our finances and fundraising. Part of the Experience Jesus restructuring is meant to facilitate your involvement. It is also meant to make us as economical as possible. I take very seriously the call to be a good steward of your resources.
At the end of June two members of our staff, Pam Francisco and Joyce Browne, will be retiring. Pam and Joyce have served our parish with such dedication for so many years. Pam arrived here in 1974 and has served both as Director of Religious Education and as Pastoral Associate, helping with the liturgies and working with a variety of groups. She originally taught at our Catholic school and quickly endeared herself to the community.
On Easter Sunday I unveiled a vision for our parish: Experience Jesus. People are attracted to good experiences in life: a Cubs game, a movie, a concert. Well, Jesus is the best experience there is, better than any movie or game. Putting Jesus front and center is how we will be strong as a parish. St. Juliana is being restructured so that we can best Experience Jesus. If you missed the announcement about Experience Jesus, and how Sunday, School, and Service are our three means to experiencing Jesus, please click here to read about it.