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17 Feb

Complete Surrender

Letters from a Pastor to His People- February 17, 2019

Dear Parishioners,

The Beatitudes.  We're all familiar with these.  They come from Christ's Sermon on the Mount (or, in Luke's Gospel, the 'Sermon on the Plain', for he delivers it "on a stretch of level ground"). 

I find myself throughout periods and seasons of my life appreciating a beatitude in particular more than others.  Not that I don't appreciate the others; more than one beatitude just happens to resonate with me because of my life and spiritual circumstances.  Maybe that is the case with you?  Maybe something for you to at least pray about, if not?

“Blessed are you who are poor" is the beatitude that resonates with me right now.  I've preached on poverty before.  This doesn't have to mean material poverty.  Christ isn't necessarily calling us to give away all our money and drain our retirement funds.  He is calling us to spiritual poverty, or a dependence on him.   

A poor person depends on others.  He has to beg.  We are called not to self-reliance, but a complete surrender of ourselves to God.  It is blessed to beg Jesus!

10 Feb

Inconveniences Are Good

Dear Parishioners,

This is a beautiful Gospel scene.  There is a lot to unpack, a lot upon which to reflect.  One thing immediately comes to my mind is inconvenience.  Jesus does not mind inconveniencing people. 

First, the crowd.  The crowd is "pressing in on Jesus." They obviously want to be close to Jesus—to hear him more clearly and perhaps even touch him.  Jesus leaves the throng and continues his lessons from a boat in the lake.  'Where are you going, Lord? Don't leave us!'

Second, the fishermen.  They had just finished their long day of labor.  They had secured their boats, were washing their nets, and ready to go home for the day.  They must have thought, when Jesus chose their two boats, "Oh, you've got to be kidding me!" The day's not over yet, fisherman.  They drag back the clean nets, unhinge the boat, and set off into the lake, as if it was morning already for the next day of work.

Third, the fishermen, part 2.  Not only are the workers back out on the lake when they thought they were finished for the day, they are now instructed to throw the nets back in to resume their fishing.  Not only was this laborious, it was emotionally draining.  They were already demoralized, having caught nothing for the day.  Being told to try fishing again must have been hard to swallow.  It's like a father insisting to his boy to continue hitting the golf ball when he just can't get it right.  'Can't we just try again another day?' No!

10 Feb

Three Stairways to Christ

The Brooklyn Bridge, completed in 1883 and designed by John Roebling, is a cable-suspension bridge.  There are two towers connected by horizontal cables.  The cable lines run to the land, ending at an anchorage. Emanating down from the horizontal cables are vertical cables that hold up the deck bridge.  Weight transfers from the cables to the towers, which is then transferred down to the ground.  In the building of the Brooklyn Bridge, two large pine boxes, called caissons, were floated down the East River.  When the limestone towers began to be constructed on top of the caissons, they sank until they reached the bottom of the river.  Workers were able to enter into these boxes to dig into the bedrock to allow the caissons to sink even further and form a solid foundation.  They were then filled with brick and concrete.  Everything rests, essentially, on these two pillars.

An interesting aside: vaulted chambers were built into the ramped anchorages at the ends of the bridge.  Situated within limestone and maintaining a perfect temperature of 60 degrees, these vaults became perfect wine cellars.  In fact, the city rented these cellars out to liquor vendors.  On the Manhattan-side entry into one of the vaults was a shrine to the Blessed Mother with a statue of Mary.  It was called the Blue Grotto.

Saint Catherine of Siena was no stranger to bridges.  She invoked the bridge as an image of Christ.  Our Lord is the span between heaven and earth, and the soul must traverse Christ to reach God. There are three stairways on this Christ-bridge.  One stairway is our detachment from sin, the second is the practice of the virtues, and the third is the loving union with God.  May we marvel at Christ, just as we do the Brooklyn Bridge.

03 Feb

Marty Koegler, 8th Grade


My name is Marty Koegler and I am an eighth grade student here at St. Juliana. There are many things that St. Juliana has given me throughout the nine years that I have been here. This place has taught me many important skills that I incorporate in my daily life and will need in order to lead a successful life. I am very grateful that I have had the opportunity to be a part of the St. Juliana community.

One of the many, many opportunities that this school has given me is an amazing education. At St. Juliana I have learned many awesome things in every class such as math, reading, English, social studies (history), science, vocabulary, and religion. Another great aspect of this school is the amount of service opportunities and projects that you can participate in. In seventh grade a bunch of my friends and I went to St. Ben’s Nursing Home every Monday for my Confirmation service project. Seeing the smiles on the peoples’ faces when we hung out and talked with them was truly heartwarming. The amount of outstanding stories that they have from their lives and their experiences are uncountable. For example, some of them are war veterans that have great stories from the war that they served in, protecting our country and our freedom. 

Also, this school has many after school extra curricular activities that are available to all ages of students. I played football for four years, basketball for four years, I’m playing my second year of volleyball later this year, and I have been altar serving since the summer before seventh grade. At St. Juliana I have made amazing friendships that I will look forward to keeping throughout the next phase of my life, high school at Notre Dame College Prep. My friends have taught me how to do many things such as being loyal and having other peoples’ backs during times of need. I am very happy and grateful that I have them by my side.

Lastly, I would like to thank the parishioners for their financial support because without them our tuition would be much higher. I would also like to thank all of my teachers and coaches for helping me every step of the way, whether it be with sports or education. They always have my back and if we need extra help they are always there. My coaches take precious time out of their days to practice with us. Lastly, I would like to thank my parents for EVERYTHING they’ve done for me. They have made countless sacrifices for me to be able to attend a Catholic School. My mom works almost every day and my dad works two jobs to be able to support a family, all with Catholic grammar school educations. I don’t know where I’d be in life if it wasn’t for them and I am very grateful for every little thing that they have done for me. This school is my second home and I love it and am going to miss it very, very much. 

03 Feb

God Has a Plan For Each One Of Us...

Dear Parishioners,

Jeremiah's opening, in our first reading, is perhaps one of the most heart-warming lines in all of Scripture:  "The word of the LORD came to me, saying: Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I dedicated you, a prophet to the nations I appointed you" (Jer 1:4-5).

I don't know about you, but I find this very consoling.  Pray on that line.  God knows exactly who we are.  He formed us in our mother's womb.  He designed us and is with us always.

It's easy when we're discouraged about our failures to think we're alone.  If we do see God (and the temptation is just not to think about him at all--he's ignored us when we're in darkness, we think), we feel God sees us as a failure, a disappointment.

But it's not true. God is with us, knows what's going on, and has a plan for us. 

03 Feb

Running the Race

At the start of the 20th Century, less than one percent of the population practiced any sporting activity.  Sport was used only as a form of military training or as a pastime for the upper class.  To increase participation in sports for the health of society, and help promote the modern Olympic Games, Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the Olympics, called upon the Vatican for an endorsement.  Pope Pius X readily agreed.  "All right," responded the Pope to an audience, "if it is impossible to understand that this can be done, then I myself will do exercise in front of everyone so that they may see that, if the Pope can do it, anyone can do it."

Over a century later the vast majority of the population exercises.  Pope Francis, the present Roman Pontiff, had this to say in audience: 

In rugby one runs towards a goal. This word, which is so beautiful and so important, makes us think about life, because all our lives lead towards a goal. This search is tiring, and requires commitment and struggle, but the important thing is not to run alone. To arrive at the goal we need to run together, the ball is passed from hand to hand, and we advance together, until we reach the goal. And then we celebrate!

Sports are not only good for our health—Saint Paul spoke of "running the race" (1 Cor 9:24) and the need to present our bodies "as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God" (Rom 12:1)—there are also moral and spiritual lessons sports instill, as Francis suggests. So, when enjoying the Super Bowl, perhaps we can be grateful to the Church to whom we owe, in part, its popularity.


29 Jan

Lenten Resources 2019


Ash Wednesday Services, Wednesday March 6th, 7:00am, 8:30am, 12:30pm Prayer Service with Ashes and 7:00pm

Fridays March 8th - April 12th: Eucharistic Adoration 9:00am to Benediction at 5:45pm.

Fridays March 8th - April 12th: Stations of the Cross 9:00am and 6:00am

  • Parish Lenten Retreat - March 9th - 8:30am to 1:00pm
  • Palm Sunday Vigil - April 13th - 5pm
  • Palm Sunday - April 14th - 7:30am, 9:30am, 11:00am, and 5:00pm
  • Parish Penance Service - April 15th - 7:00pm
  • Holy Thursday - April 18th
    • Mass of the Lord's Supper - 7:00pm
    • Adoration - 8:30-11:00pm
  • Good Friday - April 19th
    • Morning Prayer - 9:00am
    • Stations of the Cross - 11:30am
    • Confessions - 12:00 - 1:00pm
    • Passion of Our Lord Service - 3:00pm
    • Stations of the Cross - 7:00pm
  • Holy Saturday - April 20th
    • Morning Prayer - 9:00am
    • Blessing of the Baskets - 11:00am
    • Easter Vigil Service - 7:00pm
  • Easter Sunday - April 21st
    • Masses - 7:30am, 9:30am, & 11:00am
  • Divine Mercy Sunday April 28th @ 3:00pm

Lenten Family Calendar

Ash Wednesday


Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent, a period of spiritual renewal which helps us prepare for the celebration of the Paschal mystery of Christ, his passion, death and resurrection.


The ashes we receive on our foreheads on Ash Wednesday are both a reminder of our earthly mortality and a call to repentance.  The ashes are made by burning the palms that were distributed the previous year on Palm Sunday. The ashes are blessed by the priest, who then dips his thumb in them and makes the Sign of the Cross on each person’s forehead, while saying these words: “Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return" (Genesis 3:19) or "Repent, and believe in the Gospel."


Ash Wednesday is a day of fasting and a day of abstinence from meat. Fasting applies to Catholics between the ages of 18 and 60 and means you should only eat one full meal and two smaller meals if needed.  All Catholics age 14 and above should abstain from eating meat on the day. Ash Wednesday is not a holy day of obligation, but Catholics are encouraged to attend Mass to begin their Lenten journey. Please join us for Mass in the Church: 7:00am; 8:30am; 12:30pm Prayer Service with Ashes; 7:00pm

Distribution of our Lenten Parish Book

On Ash Wednesday, March 6th, please pick up your free copy of Scott Hahn's, "Signs of Life: 40 Catholic Customs and Their Biblical Roots." This is our gift to you to help you deepen your Lenten experience and relationship with Jesus.

In Signs of Life: 40 Catholic Customs and Their Biblical Roots, Dr. Scott Hahn guides readers through the Catholic Church's rites, customs, and traditional prayers. From the Rosary to the use of Holy Water -- from infant Baptism to praying with icons -- Dr. Hahn helps you to discover the deep biblical and historical roots of each practice. Each chapter covers a single topic, beginning with the basic facts from Church teaching and tradition, and then proceeds to answer common objections to and misconceptions about the practice. Each chapter concludes with advice for everyday application.

Eucharistic Adoration

Adoration Video 2017 from St. John Neumann on Vimeo.


Eucharistic Adoration  will take place every Friday of Lent in the church starting after the 8:30am Mass and ending with Benediction at 5:45pm. Please consider stopping by to spend some time with Jesus.

Volunteer adorers needed so that the Blessed Sacrament (Jesus) is never left alone. Please sign up as a volunteer adorer. At least one adorer needed for each 1/2 hour time slot. Sign-up book at the back of church. Your time for Jesus and St. Juliana Parish is greatly appreciated.  Learn More

The Stations of the Cross.


The Stations of the Cross are a 14-step Catholic devotion that commemorates Jesus Christ's last day on Earth as a man. They are a Lenten devotion that offer witness to Jesus’"Passion and Death."


The 14 devotions, or stations, focus on specific events of His last day, beginning with His condemnation. The stations are commonly used as a mini pilgrimage as the individual moves from station to station. At each station, the individual recalls and meditates on a specific event from Christ's last day. We use our senses and our imagination to reflect prayerfully upon Jesus’ suffering, Death, and Resurrection, and to simply experience the visual images to reflect on Christ’s love for us. Specific prayers are recited, then the individual moves to the next station until all 14 are complete.


Stations of the Cross will be held every Friday in Lent in Church at 9am and 6pm. Via Dolorosa will be performed by Steve and Lee Baggio at all 6pm Stations of the Cross sessions.

Lenten Retreat 2019


St. Juliana Missionary Spirit Team will be hosting a day of "Faith, Fellowship, Prayer and Reflection" Please join us on March 9th 8:30am-1:00pm at St. Juliana Church as Fr. James Wallace, the pastor of St. Juliana Parish, presents Come and See, Spiritual Lessons from the Life of Christ"


No registration is necessary.  Everyone is welcome.  The day will begin with Mass at 8:30am and concludes at 1:00pm. Light refreshments will be served. For additional information, please contact Diana Laske  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Prayer and the Spiritual Life

Learn what prayer is and how to pray!

Fr. James Wallace, the pastor of Saint Juliana Parish, will be offering a four-week series on “Prayer and the Spiritual Life.” He will discuss the different styles and methods of prayer, including Lectio Divina, contemplation, devotional prayer like the Rosary and Eucharistic Adoration, centering prayer, and more. The various “schools” of spirituality (Benedictine, Carmelite, Ignatian) will be presented, along with a history of prayer. The goal is not simply to teach about prayer, but to teach how to pray. In each session there will be a demonstration of prayer and a chance to pray, as well as the opportunity to share personal experiences of prayer and ask questions. People of all levels, from beginners to mystics, are welcome!

All sessions will last one hour, from 7pm to 8pm at the Saint Juliana Parish Center Chapel, located at 7200 N. Osceola Avenue, Chicago IL 60631. The sessions are independent—if you miss one you can still attend the others—and there is no charge. The only expectation of participants is that they themselves engage in private prayer throughout the week between sessions! We hope you can join and experience a deepening of your prayer and your relationship with God, not to mention a greater sense of peace and fulfillment in your life!

Additional Resources

Dynamic Catholic - Best Lent Ever

Arts and Faith: Lent Ignatian Spirituality

Archbishop Barron on Lent

Venerable Fulton Sheen on Good Friday

27 Jan

St Juliana School Open House

  • 25 April 2019 |
  • Published in Events





Interested in attending the Open House? Please call (773) 631-2256 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information or schedule a tour.

Interested in helping as a volunteer? Please click here to sign up.



27 Jan

Ezra, Man of Law

Dear Parishioners,

I have to mention Ezra from our first reading, being the canon lawyer that I am.  Because, you see, Ezra is connected to the law and quite significant when it comes to establishing the foundation for church law.

Ezra lives about 450 BC during the Diaspora, or when the Jews were dispersed throughout the Middle East.  Jerusalem had been destroyed and many of the Jews taken into captivity in Babylon.  He is a scribe and priest (remember how Jesus confronts the scribes?).  He is sent by Artaxerxes, the King of Persia, who has conquered the area, back to Jerusalem to reestablish the Torah or the law to the Jews who were now living back in Israel. 

Ezra was commissioned for this project because he was a man of the law.  He had introduced to Jewish communities living outside of Israel to the customs of the faith.  These weren't just haphazard practices created by Ezra, but practices outlined in the law.  Following the law, therefore, connected these scattered Jewish peoples to the true faith.  They couldn't physically worship in Jerusalem.  But this didn't mean they still couldn't be Hebrews.  If they followed the law, their identity was established.  So, it wasn't political nationality, ethnic background, or even regular participation in the Jerusalem temple cult, but following the law that made them God's chosen people. 

Has a bright beam of sunlight ever drawn your eye to our stained glass windows, and you found yourself wondering what story they tell? They really do tell a story; we share it with our virtual tour.

Church Windows