Father John’s Vision: Life Center and Beyond

What is God’s plan? It is to make of us all a single family of his children, in which each person feels that God is close and feels loved by him, as in the Gospel parable, feels the warmth of being God’s family. The Church is rooted in this great plan. – Pope Francis

The Pulte Family Life Center is not just a single building that happens to house a gym, a café, and some Bocce Courts.  It is the physical manifestation of the vision of our Pastor, Father John, who celebrates his 20th year of priesthood this weekend.  From the outset of his time here at St. John, over 8 years ago, Father John noticed that the youth of our Parish Family, while visible when participating in Sacramental Preparation or going to Mass, were almost non-existent on our campus or in our programs in every other way.  He found out where they were: at other Protestant churches in the area, playing sports, enjoying family-centric programs, and even participating in non-denominational youth programs around the area.  He discerned that these other environments were caring for and feeding (socially and spiritually, not just with sustenance) our youth and families.  They were playing sports or participating in a play.  They were discussing life topics like parenting children in difficult situations or with special needs.

Father John was shown the need of our Parish Family, and he responded with a vision.  His vision was to create and foster a culture of encounter and fellowship here at St. John.  This environment would nurture the God-given talents and foci of all ages and all members of the larger community.  People would want to be here, not just for Mass or for a dance, but to enrich their lives.  The Parish Family would be able to enjoy each other’s company and bring new people to the church (or help them return) with the persistent, engaging, and uplifting activities and programs.  In other words, Father John’s vision is community, just as Pope Francis eloquently states God’s plan is for all of us.

Thank you, Father John, for putting this vision in place and making it a reality for all your Parish Family.

As we Build Our Future, Serve Our Past, we still need all the gifts, prayers, and support of our Parish Family to reach our Pinnacle Goals.  If you have any questions, please contact Joe Lichwalla, the Campaign Coordinator at 239-495-2001 or email: campaign@sjecc.com.

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