Case Statement and Campus Renderings
Saint John Paul II Catholic Church is called to open doors to Jesus Christ through authentic witness in the home, joyful hope in worship, and fruitful service to our neighbors, offering the opportunity not to have more but to be more.
Before Saint John Paul II Parish received a name, it was founded as the “New Johnson County Catholic Parish” officially erected by the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas on September 1, 2016. Due to the large population and housing growth in southern Johnson County, the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas had the new parish in its long-term plans for many years. Father Andrew Strobl was named pastor of the new parish.
The first parish Masses were celebrated on September 4, 2016. While the Archdiocese had owned the 20-acre land for the new parish for many years, the land at 167th Street and Ridgeview was just an open soy field with no buildings. The parish’s office was in the garage of the rectory. The new parish began meeting at an Olathe public school, Madison Place Elementary, for all Masses and parish events. Daily Masses would later begin at the Worship and Life Center at Cedar Lake Village.
After listening to suggestions from the new parishioners, Archbishop Joseph Naumann bestowed the official name of the parish as “Saint John Paul II Parish” on October 9, 2016.
By January 2017, the parish had grown to 500 registered families. Throughout 2017, the parish continued to grow, expanding to three weekend Masses, two permanent deacons were assigned to the parish, multiple ministry groups formed, and a full faith formation program was developed.
In 2018, Saint John Paul II Parish grew to over 725 registered families and began the exciting process of planning what to develop on their 20-acre soy field. The parish began working with Sabatini Architects and Confluence to create a master plan to guide the building of facilities for years to come.
Current Parish Needs
The most pressing need for the parish is a facility to offer Sunday Mass and other liturgies. While renting space has been a necessary part of the parish’s operations at this point, having a space owned and operated by the parish is a crucial need. There are natural limitations that come with renting space that a parish owned and operated facility would avoid. The parish also currently has over 100 students at four different Catholic elementary schools from almost 750 registered households. Opening an early education center and elementary school operated by Saint John Paul II Parish would be a great service to the parishioners now and in the future. Having buildings on the parish’s land will also attract new parishioners and be a sign of hope and vibrancy in the growing local community.
Planned Parish Projects
The Saint John Paul II master plan envisions the 16.5 acre site developed around a highly visible central parish courtyard. As the organizing site element and the heart of the Catholic campus, this pedestrian plaza will serve as the front lawn and unifying element for the site’s two primary buildings: the church and school. It is envisioned to function both as a vibrant space for formal gatherings and events and also as a quiet, contemplative space to relax and take in this beautiful Catholic campus.
The central parish lawn and surrounding buildings are organized along an axis, running diagonally across the site from the southwest to the northeast property edges. The axis, set at a fifteen degree angle against the primary roads and property lines, serves to increase the available length of the site, while placing the church (the most important and dominant of the site’s programs) at the highest site elevation, making it highly visible from both Ridgeview Road and 167th Street. The diagonal axis is also a historic reference to the Basilica in Wadowice, Poland, birthplace of Pope John Paul II, a subtle reminder of our Catholic heritage and to the namesake of the parish. The overall effect of placing the church along the rotated axis against the surrounding grid of roads and the adjacent neighborhood is that it speaks to the importance of the structure and greatly elevates the parish worship space and altar.
From the strong axial composition of the primary programs around the parish commons, the remaining programs (parish office, parish hall, rectory, parking, recreation path, etc) wrap fluidly around the rest of the parish lawn with soft, flowing lines. The secondary elements’ fluid geometry contrasts with the primary elements’ rigid, axial arrangement. Together, they form a unified whole that is uniquely related to the Catholic tradition and the specific constraints of the site, therefore creating a strong identity and experience for the Saint John Paul II Catholic Parish. The corner site allows vehicular access to both Ridgeview Road (west) and to 167th Street (south). Parking is distributed across four different lots, allowing convenient access to all of the site’s major programs while minimizing the negative effect of having a single, large parking lot. A landscape buffer of dense trees and shrubs wraps around the north and east property lines, giving privacy to the adjacent single family neighborhood and creating a soft, natural edge to the campus.
At the southwest corner of the site, where the city plans to widen both Ridgeview Road and 167th Street, the existing creek and tree outcropping are re-imagined and developed into a park-like setting of trees and foliage that the school and playground spaces are nestled against. A 1/2 mile recreation path wraps the entire site, creating easy pedestrian connections to all of the site’s amenities and to the specifically Catholic features such as the grotto, rosary walk, and site sculptures. The path and surrounding landscaping encourages an active, healthy lifestyle while projecting the welcoming spirit that is at the core of the Saint John Paul II Parish identity.
Participation in the One Faith, One Family, One Future in Christ Campaign
The first capital campaign for Saint John Paul II Parish is a joint campaign with the One Faith, One Family, One Future in Christ Campaign of the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas. Generous accommodations were made to acknowledge the unique circumstances of Saint John Paul II Parish, including a reduced parish target. Saint John Paul II parishioners will be supporting and participating in the One Faith, One Family, One Future in Christ Campaign by supporting the first capital campaign at Saint John Paul II Parish.