Dear Parishioners of St. Juliana!
I am thrilled to have been named your pastor! Allow me to start by saying I absolutely love being a priest. These last three years as a priest have been the best years of my life, and I’m confident my life will only get better being with you all at St. Juliana’s. This is an exciting time for the church in Chicago, and I think especially so at our parish. I am eager to start; eager to serve you and grow together in holiness.
A little bit about myself ... I was ordained a priest in 2012 and am originally from Winnetka. I attended Sts. Faith Hope and Charity grade school and graduated from New Trier high school in 2004. I then graduated from The George Washington University in Washington DC in 2007 with a degree in political science. I heard the call to become a priest while in college and decided to enter seminary immediately upon graduation. After completing a year of pre-theology at Mundelein Seminary, I continued my priestly studies and formation at the Pontifical North American College, America's seminary in Rome. I was in Rome for six years, from 2008–2014. While in Rome I earned a JCL, or a license in canon law. From 2012-2016, I was an associate pastor at Mary, Seat of Wisdom Parish in Park Ridge. It is an awesome parish and I loved being there!
My parents still live in Winnetka, and I have an older brother, older sister, and younger sister—all with spouses—and a nephew. I am a huge sports fan, particularly the Bears, and am always reading spirituality, theology, and history. I love to teach as well and work with the youth and young adults. In the summertime I play golf (or, at least I try) and you might catch me either in the gym shooting hoops or on the front lawn of the rectory with a cigar!
I want to thank all the priests at St. Juliana’s who have been serving you these years. They are good and holy men. The parish wouldn’t be in such fine shape (and able now to take a 30 year old pastor!) without them. And thank you too to the staff—I look forward to working with you. I think we will have a lot of fun.
This is, as you can guess, my first assignment as a pastor. I could not feel more at peace with where the Lord has called me to serve.
It is, I must admit, a little intimidating, so please be patient with me and help me. But my joy and anticipation in experiencing Jesus Christ with you in new and dynamic ways overwhelms any fear. Never also hesitate to come by to talk or have me over for a meal; I very much enjoy being with people and families!
Please pray for me as I will for you. Oh, and go Trojans.
Yours in Christ,
Fr. James Wallace