30 Apr

From Emmaus to Edison Park

Dear Parishioners,

The Road to Emmaus. What a fascinating story from the Gospel of Luke (Lk 24:13-35)! The two disciples, walking away from Jerusalem downcast, do not realize they are speaking with Jesus Christ until the breaking of the bread. “And it happened that, while he was with them at table, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them. With that their eyes were opened and they recognized him, but he vanished from their sight.”

The two disciples were unable to recognize Jesus in the discussion of the scriptures. Even though Jesus explained clearly the meaning of what was prophesied and what happened—“then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them what referred to him in all the Scriptures”—they still did not understand. They needed to receive Jesus in the Eucharist to be moved. “He was made known to them in the breaking of bread.”

29 Apr

Finishing Last to be First

“The first shall be last and the last shall be first.” I wonder if people following the NFL draft this past weekend noticed the application of this spiritual principle. The whole concept of the draft is based on the saying from Christ. (I'm taking this image, by the way, from a little book by James Penrice called Goal to Go: The Spiritual Lessons of Football.) The idea behind the draft selection is to create parity in the league. Teams select in reverse order of how they finished the previous season. A team that was once bad can, in theory, become good by adding quality players through high draft picks.

23 Apr

Put your finger here.

Dear Parishioners,

Thomas was so close. His sainthood teetered on the edge. If our Lord had not been merciful and returned to show his wounds, Thomas might never have believed in the Resurrection and might not have remained a follower of Christ. He would not be a saint and would be grouped instead with Judas. Thomas was so close to forsakenness. He could have fallen away. But Jesus catered to Thomas' need for proof and kept him secure. “Then he said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put it into my side, and do not be unbelieving, but believe.’ Thomas answered and said to him, ‘My Lord and my God!’“ (Jn 20:27-28).

Maybe you've been close to the edge, close to falling astray and away from Christ. Or maybe even you did fall and were away for a while. Thomas is your saint then.

23 Apr

Chapter One

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.

22 Apr

Laugh and God Laughs With You

“But you, O Lord, laugh at them” (Ps 59:7-8).

To have a sense of humor means to be able to "see through things," as Fulton Sheen once put it. Think about it. Jerry Seinfeld points to the mundane experiences of life, like grocery shopping, and we laugh because we realize there is something behind the mere obtaining of food. Comedians see through ordinary events.

16 Apr

With God all things are possible.

Dear Parishioners,

Happy Easter! Christ is risen from the dead, alleluia!

The Resurrection is like a code that has been programmed into the software of the earth. Dying and rising is everywhere. Think about it. Moving on to a high school or college is a resurrection experience. A student "dies" to his grammar school and is reborn in high school. Flowers are blooming. A new Cubs season is underway. People are marrying.

People are dying and being reborn to eternal life.

Companies, like Apple, have experienced the resurrection too, as have industries and brands: bourbon, neon sunglasses, the Volkswagen Beetle, the Twinkie, leggings and striped tube socks. All of these things existed at one point, began to diminish, and then returned.

Saint Juliana Parish is no different. The Resurrection is in our DNA.

16 Apr

One Nation, Under God

America was deeply torn after the Civil War. The fighting may have ended, but divisions had not been healed. Reconstruction, if anything, made matters worse. Policies did not quite appease the southerners, while northerners felt betrayed. And blacks in the south were not in a tremendously improved situation.

15 Apr

The Experience Jesus Campaign

  • 23 July 2019 |
  • Published in Giving

Purpose Leads to Projects

Sunday → Back and interior of church

School → School elevator and courtyard

Service → Parish Ministry Center


Parish Ministry Center

  • Sell the rectory at 7158 N. Osceola and renovate half of the Ministry Center into priests' new residence
  • Enhance the first floor conference room and add three new conference rooms on second floor
  • Reconfigure and improve office space

School Improvements

  • Build elevator in school to access all levels and fulfill promise made in Project 2000 campaign
  • Build school courtyard
  • Design and implement five-year plan for Saint Juliana School

Church Improvements

  • Remodel vestibule into ADA-compliant gathering space, new restroom facilities, and a large multi-purpose area for meetings, children's Liturgy of the Word and Sunday daycare
  • Physically and liturgically enhance the church interior

Launch Financial Campaign

  • We will obtain estimates and plans for each of the projects.
  • We will direct funds from To Teach Who Christ Is and raise additional funds, creating milestones to identify when a project will commence.
  • We will develop a plan to ensure all Saint Juliana parishioners and families participate on various levels.

The new mission will be executed and supported by parishioners, the pastoral council, school board, finance council and parish staff.

Pastoral Council


Finance Council

Funding the Vision
Review Proposals

School Board

School Vitality
Coordination with Parish

Parish Staff

Support & Implementation

14 Apr

Good Friday in Nuremberg

From a Homily on Good Friday

Befehl ist Befehl. Translated: ‘I was only following orders.’ That is the plea known as the "Nuremberg Defense," used by the Nazi officers convicted of crimes during the Nuremberg Trials of 1945-1946. Hermann Goering and others claimed they were only following orders; they did not know of the atrocities that were occurring within the Reich. The Final Solution was all the work of Hitler, Himmler, and Goebbels, they argued. The judgment of the International Tribunal upon the ex-Nazis? Guilty.

12 Apr

Experience Jesus

Saint Juliana Parish is here to help people experience Jesus. We believe when you experience Jesus, you become the best version of yourself. You experience happiness. Wherever you are on your journey, you are welcome to our Catholic parish.

Our parish wants you to be happy, healthy and holy. The experience of Jesus in the soul, mind and body are thus our three priorities.


Keep calm and worship on! The Mass is the fundamental encounter with Jesus. "He was known to them in the breaking of the bread" (Lk 24:35). You will fund here a dynamic Sunday experience through nourishing homilies, moving music and a welcoming atmosphere.


Academic excellence is our standard. A child in our award-winning Blue Ribbon school or our thriving religious education program is best prepared for life. Adults too deepen their knowledge through faith formation talks, scripture study and much more.


Saint Juliana parishioners put their knowledge and love of God into action by serving their brothers and sisters, for Jesus said, "Whatsoever you did for the least of these, you did for me" (Matt 25:40). Our various ministries provide you the opportunity to make the world a better place.

Expectations of the Parish

To be a member of Saint Juliana is to enter into a relationship. Clear expectations are at the heart of every healthy relationship.

Here is what a parishioner can expect from the parish:

  • Dynamic and uplifting liturgies on Sunday
  • A place where you will be loved and supported in your spiritual journey regardless of the messiness and struggles of your life
  • A place where you can use your God-given talents to help others and make the world a better place
  • A place where you can learn about Jesus and increase your understanding of the faith
  • A place where your financial contributions will be honored and put to work with transparency and accountability

Expectations of the Parishioner

We simply ask that you walk with us and be open to what God is calling you to do.

  • To gather for Sunday Mass every week unless they are able to do so because of illness or travel
  • To learn by committing to at least one program of faith formation each year
  • To serve God and others by being involved in at least one ministry each year
  • To give generously of their financial resources in proportion to what they have received (minimal annual contribution of $720 per family)