OFFICIAL DECREES OF ESTABLISHMENT: Saint John Paul II and Saint Gianna Molla

The following are the official decrees establishing two new parishes: Saint John Paul II in Thornton and Saint Gianna Molla in Green Valley Ranch.

Prot. N. 2017-0495 AB-A

Most Reverend Samuel J. Aquila, S.T.L,
by the grace of God and the favor of the Apostolic See,
Archbishop of Denver

DECREE OF ESTABLISHMENT
Saint John Paul II Quasi-Parish
Denver, Colorado

The Second Vatican Council, in its Decree Concerning the Pastoral Office of Bishops in the Church, (CD, 32) provides that the diocesan bishop is responsible for the pastoral care of those living in the diocese. He is to see to their spiritual well-being by establishing parishes or, when necessary pursuant to universal and particular law, quasi-parishes, when it is opportune to do so.

In virtue of this mandate, and to serve the growing population of the Northglenn/Thornton area and the increasing number of parishioners at Immaculate Heart of Mary, after having consulted the Presbyteral Council of the Archdiocese of Denver on the 13th day of September 2017 (Prot. N. 2017-0567 AB-A) and the priests of the Northeast Deanery, and in recognition of the community of Christian faithful already coming together to celebrate the Mass at Frassati Catholic Academy, by this decree, I canonically establish a new territorial quasi-parish (CIC, canon 516 § 1), in the Northeast Deanery, under the patronage of Saint John Paul II,  whose feast is celebrated on the 22nd day of October. Its specific location to be determined by the future acquisition of land that will house the parish church and offices.

The parochial administrator for Saint John Paul II quasi-parish shall be Rev. James Spahn, in addition to his current assignment as Pastor of Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Saint John Paul II quasi-parish, shall have the following boundaries:

Northern Boundary- East on East 168th Avenue from I-(Interstate) 25 to Quebec Street.

Eastern Boundary- South on Quebec Street from 168th Avenue to E-(Express) 470, then southeast to USH (United States Highway) 85, then southwest to East 104th Avenue.

Southern Boundary- West on East 104th Avenue from CSH 85 to Riverdale Road.

Western Boundary- North on Riverdale Road from East 104th Avenue to Holly Street, then north to East 128th Avenue, then west to I-25, then north to East 168th Avenue.

Saint John Paul II quasi-parish has Juridic personality ipso iure (CIC, canon 515 § 3), with all the rights, privileges, and obligations attached thereto. I also approve its statutes (CIC, canon 117), which are attached to this decree. The administration of its temporal goods is subject to the existing universal and diocesan norms, as well as any applicable civil laws.

The banking and financial administration of Saint John Paul II quasi-parish shall remain an aspect of Immaculate Heart of Mary, yet be accounted for separately, until such a time as a civil non-profit corporation is erected.

After consultation with the pastor and parish finance council of Immaculate Heart of Mary, it is hereby decreed that this parish shall, before the 1st of December 2017, pursuant to the provisions of CIC, canon 122, contribute/designate the sum of $20,000 to Saint John Paul II quasi-parish.

Until a parish church is erected, liturgical functions will continue at Frassati Catholic Academy, or another appropriate gathering space designated by the administrator. However, baptisms, weddings, and funerals may also be celebrated at Immaculate Heart of Mary.

In accord with the norms of CIC, canons 516, 536 and 537, a pastoral council and finance council shall be constituted in the Saint John Paul II quasi-parish, pursuant to the norms of universal and particular law.

Saint John Paul II quasi-parish is to have its own parish registers (CIC, canon 535 §§ 1-2) with entries beginning on the Sunday, December 3, 2017; its own parish seal (CIC, canon 535 § 3); and its own parish archives (CIC, canon 535 § 4).

All the Christian faithful who have a domicile or quasi-domicile in the territory defined above belong by law to Saint John Paul II quasi-parish.

This present decree shall take effect on the 3rd day of December 2017, the 1st Sunday of Advent.

May Saint John Paul II, the heavenly patron of this new quasi-parish, intercede with the Father for rich blessings to come upon this new community of the Christian faithful through Jesus Christ and in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Given at the Curia Denveriensis on this 4th day of November 2017, on the Feast of St. Charles Borromeo, Denver, Colorado.

——————————————

Prot. N. 2017-0503 AB-A

Most Reverend Samuel J. Aquila, S.T.L,
by the grace of God and the favor of the Apostolic See,
Archbishop of Denver

DECREE OF ESTABLISHMENT
Saint Gianna Molla Quasi-Parish
Denver, Colorado

The Second Vatican Council, in its Decree Concerning the Pastoral Office of Bishops in the Church, (CD, 32) provides that the diocesan bishop is responsible for the pastoral care of those living in the diocese. He is to see to their spiritual well-being by establishing parishes or, when necessary pursuant to universal and particular law, quasi-parishes, when it is opportune to do so.

In virtue of this mandate, and to serve the growing of the Denver/Aurora area and the increasing number of parishioners at Ascension Catholic Parish, after having consulted the Presbyteral Council of the Archdiocese of Denver on the 13th day of September 2017 (Prot. N. 2017-0567 AB-A) and the priests of the East Deanery, and in recognition of the community of Christian faithful already coming together to celebrate the Mass at Omar D. Blair Charter School, by this decree, I canonically establish a new territorial quasi-parish (CIC, canon 516 § 1), in the East Deanery, under the patronage of Saint Gianna Molla whose feast is celebrated on the 28th day of April.  Its specific location to be determined by the future acquisition of land that will house the parish church and offices.

The parochial administrator for Saint Gianna Molla quasi-parish shall be Rev. Jason Wunsch, in addition to his current assignment as Parochial Vicar of Ascension Catholic Parish.

Saint Gianna Molla quasi-parish, shall have the following boundaries:

Northern Boundary- East on East 96th Avenue from Buckley Road to West Cargo Road, then continue north on Picadilly Road to East 120th Avenue, then east to Manila Road.

Eastern Boundary- South on Manila Road from East 120th Avenue to I- (Interstate) 70.

Southern Boundary- West on I-70 from Manila Road to Peña Boulevard.

Western Boundary- North on Peña Boulevard from I-70 to East 56th Avenue then west to Buckley Road, then north to East 96th Avenue.

Saint Gianna Molla quasi-parish has Juridic personality ipso iure (CIC, canon 515 § 3), with all the rights, privileges, and obligations attached thereto. I also approve its statutes (CIC, canon 117), which are attached to this decree. The administration of its temporal goods is subject to the existing universal and diocesan norms, as well as any applicable civil laws.

The banking and financial administration of Saint Gianna Molla quasi-parish shall remain an aspect of Ascension Catholic Parish, yet be accounted for separately, until such a time as a civil non-profit corporation is erected.

After consultation with the pastor and parish finance council of Ascension Catholic Parish, it is hereby decreed that this parish shall, before the 1st of December 2017, pursuant to the provisions of CIC, canon 122, contribute/designate the sum of $5,000 to Saint Gianna Molla quasi-parish.

Until a parish church is erected, liturgical functions will continue at Omar D. Blair Charter School, or another appropriate gathering space designated by the administrator. However, baptisms, weddings, and funerals may also be celebrated at Ascension Catholic Parish.

In accord with the norms of CIC, canons 516, 536 and 537, a pastoral council and finance council shall be constituted in the Saint Gianna Molla quasi-parish, pursuant to the norms of universal and particular law.

Saint Gianna Molla quasi-parish is to have its own parish registers (CIC, canon 535 §§ 1-2) with entries beginning on the Sunday, December 3, 2017; its own parish seal (CIC, canon 535 § 3); and its own parish archives (CIC, canon 535 § 4).

All the Christian faithful who have a domicile or quasi-domicile in the territory defined above belong by law to Saint Gianna Molla quasi-parish.

This present decree shall take effect on the 3rd day of December 2017, the 1st Sunday of Advent.

May Saint Gianna Molla, the heavenly patron of this new quasi-parish, intercede with the Father for rich blessings to come upon this new community of the Christian faithful through Jesus Christ and in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Given at the Curia Denveriensis on this 4th day of November 2017, on the Feast of St. Charles Borromeo, Denver, Colorado.

Most Reverend Samuel J. Aquila, S.T.L.
Archbishop of Denver

Mr. David Uebbing
Chancellor

COMING UP: Saintly inspiration for new beginnings

Sign up for a digital subscription to Denver Catholic!

It’s not that often that bishops are able to announce the kind of good news I am about to share with you. As I write this column, the archdiocese is beginning the process of opening two new parishes in the Denver metro area in response to our growing population.

For some of you this isn’t news, since you are a part of the two communities – one in Thornton and one in Green Valley Ranch – that have come together to form the foundation for these future parishes. I am inspired to see the number of young families and faithful men and women who have committed to become a part of these new communities.

Before I reveal the names I have chosen, it’s important to explain some Church terminology that describes the phases of forming a parish. On December 3, 2017, these two communities will be designated as a “quasi-parish.” Prior to receiving this status, they were satellite locations of Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish and Ascension Parish.

With their designation as quasi-parishes, these communities will now have their own patron saints, statutes, pastoral and finance councils, keep their own sacramental records, and have an established territory within the archdiocese. Once these parishes are incorporated and demonstrate that they can sustain themselves, they will be recognized as parishes.

I have been praying for quite some time about what these two new locations should be named. As I brought this decision before the Lord, the importance of renewing family life and evangelization kept echoing in my heart, and so I have chosen two recent saints who exemplify those missions.

This coming August, the Church will be celebrating the 25th anniversary of Pope St. John Paul II’s visit to Denver for World Youth Day in 1993. Many observers have commented that this was a spiritual turning point for the Church in the United States. And certainly, it was a turning point for the Church in northern Colorado. During his visit, St. John Paul II challenged us to become saints, and for many, he became a father figure who was also their spiritual hero. Countless marriages, and priestly and religious vocations were born during those summer days in Cherry Creek State Park, and 25 years later we continue to see new apostolates created as a result of his leadership and love.

Not only did St. John Paul II inspire many people to take up the demands of the Gospel with joy and zeal, but he also gave the Church the gift of the Theology of the Body. As forces within our society work to dismantle the blessing, meaning and purpose of sexuality, the treasure that St. John Paul II gave us in the Theology of the Body increasingly reveals its value.

For these reasons, I have decided to name the quasi-parish in Thornton, “St. John Paul II.” The community that has been meeting for the last several months has gathered at Frasatti Catholic Academy and the archdiocese is working to purchase land in the vicinity to provide a site for the parish church.

As I mentioned earlier, the state of the family has been in my prayers, too. A couple years ago I came across some love letters that were written between an engaged Italian couple during World War II. That couple was St. Gianna Molla and her husband Pietro.

St. Gianna Molla was a doctor with a generous heart for the poor and a desire to share her faith. At one point, she even planned to join her priest brother in Brazil as a missionary, but her family’s concerns about her delicate health and the primitive conditions there dissuaded her. Since she couldn’t be a missionary, she focused her intense love for God and the poor on family life and the practice of medicine.

In reading the letters that St. Gianna and Pietro Molla exchanged, their love for God and each other is evident. She wrote to Pietro, “I really want to make you happy and be what you desire: good, understanding, and ready for the sacrifices that life will require of us.” Pietro responded, “I’ve read your letter over and over, and kissed it. A new life is beginning for me: the life of your great (and greatly desired) affections and of your radiant goodness.” Their love for each other was fed by their faith, which was often mentioned in their letters. Their spiritual depth was also apparent in their decision to prepare for their wedding by attending a “triduum” of Masses over the three days before their vows.

Besides her love for the faith, St. Gianna is best known for how she lived her final days. When she was pregnant with her fourth child, who would be named Gianna Emanuela, she learned that she had a benign tumor on her uterus. This condition was treated at the time by aborting the baby and removing the tumor. However, Gianna steadfastly refused an abortion and had only the tumor removed, knowing that the risk of a stitch becoming infected or breaking from being pregnant was quite high. She gave birth on Holy Saturday, but a few hours later she came down with a septic infection. St. Gianna died four days later at her home.

Because of her love for her family, devotion to the faith, and protection of innocent human life, I have decided to name the second new quasi-parish “St. Gianna Molla.” This community has been celebrating Mass at Omar D. Blair Charter School in Green Valley Ranch.

As the Church works toward establishing a permanent presence in these locations, I urge everyone in the archdiocese to pray for these communities, that they might imitate their patrons and continue to grow. I also encourage you to learn more about these amazing saints, who offer us examples that are especially relevant for our society today. Saints John Paul II and Gianna Molla, pray for us!