St Juliana Parish Renovation Update

Over the upcoming weeks, we will be sharing our latest renovations at Saint Juliana in Chicago. Since many of you do not have access to these spaces due to the pandemic guidelines, we thought we would share some exciting renovations that have been made to our Parish, Parish Center and School.
We feature the renovation of our Saint Juliana Parish Hall (located in the lower level of our school). As part of our Gala in the Fall of 2019, a portion of the fundraising was committed to re-imaging our Parish Hall, which serves our community for large gatherings and events, as well as a lunch room for our school students.
The space now boasts an inviting paint plan featuring our Saint Juliana green, light grey and bright white; a brand new LED lighting grid, and new ceiling tiles. All outdated equipment in the ceilings and surrounding the space has been removed.
We now have 350 new chairs, 8 brand new 6’ round tables down the center of the hall, creating a collaborative gathering space for students, parishioners, ministries, clubs and more. The Hall is flanked on both sides with 8’ rectangular tables throughout. Two extra-large Saint Juliana School logos have been posted off the wall on both sides of the space.
A large Saint Juliana Trojan wall has been added, along with our school’s mission statement on a massive 8’ acrylic panel. Also new to the Parish Hall is an 82’ LG LED television and a 12’ motorized projection screen and projector (donated by The Plier Family) for instructional content, movie presentations and sports events via wireless access to laptops, wireless entertainment, the Men’s Club satellite dish and more. Floors were stripped and polished.
In early 2021, a newly designed Saint Juliana Parish & School historical timeline will be installed the Northeast wall of the Parish Hall. 
The project was managed and executed by parishioner Dan Pritt, who also oversees our facilities, along with a talented team of vendors and contractors. The space was re-designed (pro-bono) by parishioner David Plier, Co-CEO of Retail First Corp., VP of Creative Frank Cannone and Creative Director Suzanne Nemec. All projects are overseen by Saint Juliana Business Manager, Ray Barcarcel. The names mentioned above have worked in partnership to also redesign and execute the remodel of the Parish Center, the Church and other areas of the school.
We feature the renovation of our Parish Center, our multi-purpose facility used for ministry meetings, small events, group activities, bible study, staff meetings and other uses for the benefit of our Parish and school community. In a year filled with unprecedented division and social unrest, our goal was to rebuild a parish center that will unify us and bring our community closer together. There are now 5 public meeting spaces to support various sized groups and their needs.
First, a little history on our Parish Center. The Sisters of Saint Francis of Our Lady of Lourdes came to Edison Park from Rochester, Minnesota to teach at Saint Juliana School in 1927. They first lived in the upper floor of the oldest part of our school which is towards the Southeast corner of our current school building. They lived in the school until 1960, when they moved into the newly completed convent, built on the east side of our school. Their commitment to Catholic education and Gospel values was a source of blessing in this community for decades. Many convents were quickly consolidated into other residences, leaving Saint Juliana, like so many other Parishes, with an available building for general use.
Named after the Sisters who lived there, this room is for large meetings, gatherings and parties. There are two 50” LCD TVs with internet access and connection to laptops via USB or via wireless, and a 7’ frosted glass dry erase board. The room comfortably accommodates 50-60 people. To expand this space, we reduced the size of the kitchen, knocked down walls and created a more open and inviting environment. The room also includes photography from our Church. 
One of the most commonly used spaces in the building, this newly carpeted room is ideal for classwork or study groups, medium-sized meetings and gatherings. There are two 65” LCD TVs with internet access and connection to laptops via USB or via wireless, and a 6’ frosted glass dry erase board. The room accommodates 30-40 people.
Named from the story in Luke 24:13-35, The Walk to Emmaus offers the opportunity to rediscover Christ's presence in your life, to gain fresh understanding of God's transforming grace, and to form friendships that foster faith and support spiritual maturity. This room is a more intimate setting with a sofa and side chairs for smaller groups, ministry meetings, marriage consultation, funeral planning and more. It also includes a 43” LCD TV. The room accommodates up to 10 people.
With furniture, tables, chairs, electronics donated by WGN Radio, ABT and The Plier Family, this more formal meeting space is used for Pastoral Council meetings, Finance Council, School Board, Staff Meetings and pastoral meetings from outside our Parish. The room accommodates up to 40 people, 12 at the main table with additional seating around the room. It also includes aa 65” LCD TV, sofa and side chairs.
Although now only one third the size of the original kitchen, it is more functional to support all Parish Center events, with a new fridge, serving counters, generous cabinet space, a coffee/tea maker, microwave and more.
We also remodeled one of the unisex restrooms, added a coat closet and a water fountain with a bottle-filler with new flooring and LED lighting throughout.
First up, an update on the Church. We are in process of painting the entire Church. You will begin to notice a dramatic difference over the next few weeks. After researching the design and paint plans of Catholic Churches throughout the world, we have created a plan to bring focus in our beautiful Church, our stained glass windows, architectural elements and most importantly, the altar.
First, the ceiling is being painted a midnight blue. Blue symbolizes the sky or heaven, where heralds proclaimed Jesus' birth. Blue is also associated with honesty, truth and tranquility. This will also bring the focus of our congregation to our altar.
A dark red will be painted above all stained glass windows. Red is the color of fire and so symbolizes the presence of God and denotes the Holy Spirit. It is considered the color of the Church, since red also symbolizes the blood of martyrs. In Genesis, God’s first words were “‘Let there be light” (Genesis 1:3-4). With this type of reference to light so early in such a sacred book, it is easy to see why our Church would embrace light through stained glass. Early architects wanted light through the ornate windows to play out much like it did in the Bible. They saw stained glass as a perfect way to highlight the spiritual truth of light while at the same time being functional. Two deeper natural colors will be accented around the ceiling architecture and throughout the Church.
As we are painting, the entire Church is being converted to a soft white LED lighting plan to create an engaging environment (and to relight the entire space). We have also discovered nine heavily focused lights on the altar that haven’t been lit in decades. It will truly create a focus on the altar and highlight the heart that is present around our crucifix. We have a similar system in the narthex (vestibule) of the Church that will highlight the three stained glass images over the Church’s entrance, the center being the image of Saint Juliana. They will now be beautifully lit at night.
As we await our new tabernacle that will be placed inside the wall behind the altar, a temporary one has been placed behind the altar in it’s place. The area to the right of our altar will be dedicated to Mary, Mother of God. Mary has been placed on the Altar for now, but will be renovated over the coming months. A vintage votive stand will also be available for prayer offerings.
Lastly, for the first time in our history, bells have been installed in our tower, thanks to a generous donation from an anonymous donor. They will play daily at Noon and 6pm, and prior to every weekend Mass (except 7:30am to not wake up our neighborhood too early). Fr. James has a remote control in his possession for the bells with hundreds of songs to choose from, to play anytime. Don’t be surprised if you hear ‘Bear Down Chicago Bears’ before a Sunday afternoon game.
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