About Our Parish
On May 29, 2002, Bishop Joseph L. Imesch announced the forming of a new parish community in Kendall County, Illinois. St. Francis Xavier was established as the newest parish in the Joliet Diocese. Fifteen acres were acquired for the future site of the church and parish facilities. The property is located one mile west of Ridge Road, ¼ mile north of Caton Farm Road, at 2500 Arbeiter Road, Joliet, Illinois. The parish celebrated their First Mass at Ridge Elementary School on South Drauden Road in Plainfield, approximately 4 miles east of property of the future site.
Outdoor Mass before the Ground Breaking Ceremony.
Dedication took place on August 12, 2006 with Bishop J. Peter Sartain presiding at the Dedication Liturgy
Our Parish Family
Our parishioners include all ages and stages of life. Currently, our registered families number 543 and we continue to grow with new registrations each week.
Our families culturally represent Caucasian, Latino, African-American, Asian backgrounds. The parish population is made up of many families with children, some newly married and becoming parents for the first time, and many families with children of school ages (K-12. and college years). We have singles, couples without children and empty nesters, and we are fortunate to have a number of seniors, both single and couples, making up our parish family.
Economically, our families are primarily made up of middle class, blue collar.
Without a doubt, our biggest strength and blessing are our people…
The religious education program in our parish is uniquely designed and modeled to serve the catechetical and Catholic teachings of the Church, serving the needs of our families. Our Family Centered Faith Formation program in the parish takes very seriously the baptismal commitment of parents to form their children in the faith. Hence, we include parents in every aspect of the program so they will learn, review and be able to pass the truth and beauty of the Catholic faith on to their children. The program serves 145 families / 273 children and continues to grow each year.
The Family Centered Faith Formation program includes a monthly session where parents gather in the church for a presentation on a particular topic while their children go to another area to experience the same topic at their own grade level. Then, together as a family, they complete two lessons at home which expand on what they learned at church. The home lessons include video clips, games, activities and worksheets to make the learning fun and interactive while setting the stage for family dialogue.
Along with this educational aspect, the program includes a service and prayer component so that the learning becomes a lived experience.
Parish leadership of volunteers make the commitment to serve in leadership roles, serving on Parish Council, Worship Commission, Finance Council, Building and Grounds Board and Religious Education Board.
Many of our parishioners, volunteer to take part in training sessions in order to become liturgical ministers, serving the parish community at our Eucharistic liturgies as Greeters, Lectors, Extra-Ordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, Music Ministers, and Altar Servers.
Sacramental education is offered to couples preparing for marriage and to new, first-time parents preparing for Baptism for their child. The preparation process and materials offered to the couple / parents, help to not only offer educational catechesis of Church teaching and theological understanding of the sacrament, but also attempts to offer a warm welcome, an open door, and greets them with a spirit of Christian welcome. As a Christian community, we walk with one another on this journey of faith.
Confirmation classes are offered for 8th. Graders. They meet one time per month for catechetical sessions and also perform group service projects together. Candidates receive the sacrament in the Fall of their freshman year of high school.
RCIA is offered each year for adults who are seeking full membership and participation in the Catholic faith and also for those who are already baptized but who have never received Eucharist and Confirmation.
Outreach and Works of Mercy
Being true to the call of discipleship, the people of our parish community are generous in sharing their gifts and talents, as well as their financial resources with others and those in need.
Regardless of the economic status or struggle of our parishioners, their spirit of compassion shines forth and is reflected in their participation in programs of outreach such as Daybreak, Creekside Cares, and Kendall County Food Pantry.
Our parish community is blessed in many ways, and agree that our biggest challenge can be considered a sign of blessing. We are growing in number each week. The challenge is to keep up with this blessing of growth.
Our current facility serves as our worship space, parish offices, storage, meeting and classroom space. As we grow in number, so do the needs necessary to serve our people. Every inch of storage space is used, parking often over flows our lot, and seating (# legally permitted) can be full for Mass, leaving late comers the only option of standing in the back of the worship space. We look at this challenge of growth as a sign of hope for the future life of St. Francis Xavier Parish.