Ask the GM: Upcoming Opportunities for the Parish Family

Some of the main questions I have been getting recently focus on what is happening on our campus.  While I hope I have been able to keep our Parish Family up to date on the huge amount of construction and repair efforts, there are so many other things to talk about here at Saint John the Evangelist.  Every day brings new progress and a renewal of programs and activities.  Here are some highlights:

Faith Formation Begins!

Even in the midst of finalizing the Claussen Center hurricane repairs, we were able to begin our Faith Formation (some of us remember it being called CCD or Religious Education) programs for both youth and adults on time.  From learning about the Mass with our Seminars on Wednesday and Sunday to the hundreds of youth ranging from pre-K to 10th grade, we have filled our campus to meet our mission To Know our Catholic Faith through powerful programs.  I want to thank all our catechists and leaders, who have dedicated their time to educating us about our faith.

You may notice a little bit of noise at the 9 AM Mass in the Ballroom due to these classes occurring in the Hallway and Classrooms of the Parish Activity Center.  As Jack Kindsvater, our Adult Faith Formation Coordinator, so aptly stated, we are attempting to squeeze 10 pounds of potatoes into a 5 pound bag.  I appreciate everyone’s patience and flexibility during this short time before the Life Center opening so that we can have enlivening classes and the celebration of Mass at the same time.  I would ask that parents and guardians dropping youth off at their classes also try to respect the sanctity of the Mass that is going on right on the other side of the doors as well.

New Lighting and Landscaping

Many of you have seen the exterior improvements that we are making across the entire campus, including the new light poles across the entire parking areas.  You will notice that we have installed yellow concrete poles around those poles to ensure they are not damaged by vehicles.  We have also been required to landscape the parking areas as part of the repairs from the hurricane to replace the trees lost during the storm.  Thank you all for your patience as we continue to work through these improvements.

Life Center Soft Opening Details

One of the most frequent questions I have been asked is “when is the Life Center going to open?”  Well, I have been coy about answering that question as there are many variables, from the construction timetable to the County inspections, so we cannot provide an exact date.  However, I can tell you that it is coming very soon.  As part of the unveiling, we will have a soft opening (before the ribbon cutting ceremony in January).  This soft opening will allow our Parish Family and the community to experience the new building and all it has to offer for free access through to January.  Events and programs, like our concert series, Faith and Wine, CYO sports and music programs, Zumba, Soul Core, and other activities will have a fee associated with them, as well as the food and drinks at our 5 Saints Café, but signing up for the use of the gym, bocce courts, playground, and general access will be free in 2018.  We will have hospitality after all Masses at the Café, as well as breakfast for veterans, social luncheons, and happy hours.  More information and details can be found on our CYO and CAO pages coming up, including a calendar of events.  Registration forms can be found at on our website and will be available during our soft opening in November.

What about the Church?

Of course, we are all anxious to return to our church building for our Masses and celebrations.  I do have to say that the damage and repairs within the church are extensive, so I do not want to give anyone a false sense of the schedule.  It will take time to rebuild our church correctly, and we will not rush it and in doing so, miss critical details that engage our faith.  That being said, the roof replacement has been going very well (the slightly lighter than normal rainy season has been in our favor), and once the roof is complete, we can begin the repair of our interior ceiling and Sanctuary.  There will be more details on this coming soon, and our Liturgical Committee will be meeting in October to determine the best way to utilize the Life Center for additional Masses to support our Seasonal Parish Family influx.

We have a tremendous amount of activities going on here at Saint John, and I appreciate all of you for your continued involvement in our Parish Family.  God Bless You!

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