Monthly Archives: September 2009

A look inside… a model of the church.

Model design and execution donated by Larry Eisenbach, parishioner. Thank you Larry!
The model does not show the backs of the pews, kneelers, ambo, presider’s chair, piano and other details that will definitely be included in the church.

Sanctuary looking north

Entry area

Sanctuary looking west

South side

Forest side – west side

Entrance – east side

Rebar, gravel and pipes. Oh My!

(Above) Middle Lot showing some of the sewer pipes and materials for the retaining walls. Click on pictures for larger images.
(Below) Work being done on the lower lot to handle the storm water.

(Below) Lower parking lot.

Retaining walls for the middle parking lots. The green pipes are for drainage.

This is where the sanctuary will be. They are starting to add the “bowl” shape where the pews will be on the sloped floor. Photos taken by Fr. John Kerns.

“Love Your Neighbor” – Fr. Kerns Bulletin Letter

We all know that love of neighbor is core to what it means to be a Christian, second only to the command You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. (Matt 22:37-40). We at St. Juan Diego Catholic Church have an immediate way of putting this into practice, now that we will have “bricks & mortar” parish with actual, approximate neighbors along the perimeter of our property.

In some ways, their lives are being disrupted more than ours by this process with noise, traffic and dust. I have received numerous phone calls and emails with questions, concerns and curiosity. They are all very friendly. But for some, they have lost their shade, their quiet forested “backyard”, and – for kids – a playground. Though there has been some problematic activity on the property over the years such as dumping of trash and yard debris, the property has also had an important role for many children growing up in the area. Many, like Mary Johnson’s son, Tim, when he was little, thought it was “his” forest.

The response I hear most from neighbors is that they will miss the forest, but they much prefer a church to the multiple-unit apartments for which the area is zoned. One neighbor told me that she has not heard a single disparaging remark about our project. Another said about the noise: “No big deal. That’s just part of construction.”

Dave Kirk, of The Grant Company (our contractors) is the Site Superintendent and is a very friendly guy who has made himself very available to the neighbors. They have been following our progress with great interest. We had not considered that so much when we started planning our building blog on the web, which Bridget Becker is capably managing for us (see the link from our parish website: But the neighbors refer to it frequently. One can even be notified automatically by email when there is an update.

So as we build and, in a year’s time, move in, we will want to be mindful of our new neighbors and how they are accommodating us. Again, they are intrigued and welcoming. May we build strong, friendly relationships with them for years to come.

Your brother in Christ,

Fr. John Kerns
Parish Priest

Site Information

1. Where will the entrance to the property be?
The entrance to the property will be off of 178th Ave. Access from 179th Ave will be for emergency use only.

2. Can we check out the progress by going onto the property?
For safety reasons, we are asking everyone to stay off of the property while construction in underway. Tours will be arranged in the coming weeks.

Construction Underway! (see pictures below)

A few parishioners gathered on our property last Monday morning (August 24, 2009) to say a prayer with the excavation crew. Then they set about marking the trees to make sure they cut the right ones. As the cutter said: “I can cut ‘em down, but I can’t put ‘em back up.”

It is bitter-sweet seeing the beautiful and serene forest disturbed. We obviously use many natural resources for food, shelter and clothing. It is comforting to know that some of the trees will be incorporated into our church, such as the pillars. It also reminds us of the mystery of the incarnation.

Jesus, in his divinity, entered the order of nature – human flesh – to live among us. We take from the earth wheat bread and grape wine and they become the body and blood of the Divine Christ. We receive the sacraments of Baptism and the Eucharist and we become the Body of Christ in this world and we share in his divinity. We are now taking trees which have kept vigil on this sacred land since before our memories and we will incorporate them into the home of the Body of Christ. These are all attributes of the mystery of the incarnation.

The work over the next few weeks will focus mostly on excavation, firstly by cutting down trees and hauling them away (some to be prepped for our building, most to be sold for other uses). Then they will start grading the property. The hope is to get the “dirt work” done before any big rains, which make messy work of earth moving. So pray for good building weather.

A note about SAFETY: Please do not go on the property and just observe the project from the road or sidewalk. After a construction trailer is on site it may be possible, during construction hours, to check-in with the Superintendent who will issue you a hard hat and let you know where you can and cannot walk on the site. It is all very exciting to see such dramatic changes, but even at this point with logs on the ground and all kinds of debris, there are many tripping hazards. Perhaps we will be able to organize tours as we get more underway. But for the time being, please exercise the most caution. Thank you.

Your brother in Christ,

Fr. John Kerns
Parish Priest
(from the letter in the bulletin dated August 30, 2009)

The upper area where the church will be located. Large logs on the right will be used as pillars. (pictured below)

Panoramic view from the lower portion of the property where the parking will be located.