Today, June 24th, is the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist. That immediately directed me to the pilgrimage stop for today. St. John the Baptist Church • 300 East 11800 South • Draper, Utah 84020 • Phone: (801) 984-7101 • Website: http://www.sjb-parish.org/index.html. Saint John the Baptist is the Patron Saint of this church. He is also the patron saint for Puerto Rico, French Canada and Newfoundland. The parish is located about 20 minutes north of the Provo/Orem area. It is to say the least, in a very large area. Let me
• Guardian Angel Daycare
• Saint John the Baptist Elementary School
• Saint John the Baptist Middle School
• Juan Diego Catholic High School
• Skaggs Catholic Center
Upon arriving to the location, we didn't know where to go, so we played 'follow the leader'. I highly recommend this for those going somewhere and not sure which building, etc. So, the cars in front of us all turned left and so did we. Then they parked on this side area and so did we. They walked towards this building at the corner and you guessed it, so did we. Voila, we were at church. It was sort of a pilgrimage within a pilgrimage to get to church. The first thing I noticed after we entered church was all the light entering the church foyer. Glass windows surrounded the top of the walls. There is a beautiful sculpture of Saint John the Baptist in the foyer that I have pictured below. It can't be missed, for it looks life size. Without hesitation, since we didn't arrive too early, we entered the church. All the containers of holy water were shapes of a clam shell, such as the one used for baptism. I looked around and noticed the stained glass windows around the church. There are four sections of pews in the church. The two main ones in the middle and narrower ones on the sides. Because I forgot my glasses we sat near the front.
The kneelers and pews are cushioned and comfortable. After I completed my prayers and sat, I noticed that Jesus was hanging without a cross behind him. It gave a different perspective. There was a glass panel behind him that you can see in the photos below. The tabernacle can be seen behind the water-looking glass below the Jesus. I felt that this was to get the parishioner thinking. We all know what a cross looks like, but do we really look at Jesus and wonder? Does He receive that much attention, even though He is more important than the crucifix? By leaving the cross out, it make you take notice, for if you don't I am sorry.
The floor to the altar is gradually slanted to bring you forth. The altar is adorned with symbols. To the left is the Alpha and to the right is the Omega. In the center is medallion with wheat and grapes. It is both simple and elegant. Directly to the left of the altar is the music area with a grand piano and they had a cantor who was talented. The right of the altar is the baptismal font in the shape of a giant clam and is also pictured below. Above the baptismal area is a beautiful corner stained glass of St. John the Baptist, baptizing Jesus. This area takes my breath away and is just fitting.
Behind the altar's wall is the tabernacle and a private praying area. There were many people going to this area after mass to continue their adoration. Turning to the right and in the far right corner, tucked away, is a beautiful, peaceful area for the adoration of Mary. It is located next to the elevator - I don't know where the elevator goes, besides up and down. I snapped another photo just as I turned around towards the church to get a whole church view. Monsignor Terrance Moore seems to be such a nice and approachable man. There were many parishioners in line to speak to him after services. His sermons are both insightful and motivating. I left the church with a sense of peace that I feel now, hours later.
Here is a bit of information about the saint. Because he made his own garments in the desert, Saint John the Baptist is patron of tailors. He is also of shepherds, because he spoke of the "Lamb of God." One of my favorite verses in the Book of Luke is: "Make ready the way of the Lord, make straight all his paths. Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low, And the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways smooth. " -Luke 3, 4-6.