For many of our Parish Family, the church is the singular part of our campus they interact with, aside from the parking lots and walkways. We are much more than the church, which will always be the core of our community and our faith. As part of our continuing illustration of Saint John as an enlivening, inviting place for our parish and our community, I wanted to showcase some lesser-known areas of our facilities and grounds. Hopefully, you will get a chance to visit them the next time you come.
I have not been a parishioner of Saint John to have experienced the open “back doors” of the church. Did you know that the wall immediately behind our Tabernacle is actually a large door, opening to the outside? It was news to me when I first started working here. With the gorgeous Tabernacle now in its place behind the altar, we no longer open those doors. However, the space behind the church has taken on a new role. It is now the location of our Prayer Garden.
As one of the most gorgeous and serene locations on campus, the Paniccia Prayer Garden entrances as you first walk into its lush environment. A water fountain helps you center yourself and prepare to enter. You are met by a statute of Saint Francis of Assisi, sitting atop a waterfall. At first, you may think, “this is a nice little spot to sit”, but then you glance around and you see small houses dotting the sides of the walkway. Upon closer inspection, you will find small figurines within those houses. The signs alert you to the sacramental of the Stations of the Cross. I have seen people spend hours reflecting and praying in this garden and I hope you find some time to walk around the back of the church to visit our Prayer Garden.