Welcome to St. John Paul II Parish
For many years, in the minds and hearts of people, there was this question: will there be a day that a Catholic parish opens in Cedar Springs, Michigan?
What existed in dreams, and above all in prayers, became a reality beginning with the Our Faith — Our Future: A Plan for the Diocese of Grand Rapids. Launched in 2009, the recommendations contained in the final plan report released in April 2012 were designed to establish a well-defined direction for future decisions and facilitate change to assure a strong and vibrant Church in the 11-county Diocese of Grand Rapids. When it came to Cedar Springs, Michigan, the wisdom gathered during consultative meetings and the overall picture of the plan indicated the need for a new parish.
Then, it took the decisive leadership of the 11th Bishop of Grand Rapids, Most Reverend Walter A. Hurley, for things to happen. In January 2013, the Diocese purchased property for a new Catholic parish located at 3110 17 Mile Road, near US 131. The property, which is the former home of Pioneer Christian Reformed Church, consisted of a church and a lounge on 2.9 acres. The Diocese also purchased approximately eight acres of adjacent vacant land located at 13911 Northern Springs Drive. Once the new parish community grows, there will be sufficient land for the construction of a new and larger church. On April 12, 2013 the 11th Bishop issued a Decree which canonically and civilly established Blessed John Paul II Parish. According to the Decree, “Blessed John Paul II Parish shall include the mission church of St. Margaret in Harvard and thus assume administration of its temporal goods and related responsibilities for maintenance of its buildings and cemetery.”
On April 17, 2013 Father Lam T. Le was appointed to lead the new community of faith. He came to Cedar Springs several times to meet the people and begin the process of opening the parish in July 2013.
During the weekend of July 6, 2013, the first Sunday Mass was held on the grounds of the new parish while waiting for the church to be renovated for Catholic worship. On the very weekend the first mass was celebrated on the grounds of the newly-established parish, although unintended, the Vatican announced another miracle attributed through the intercession of Blessed John Paul II, our patron. This would declare him a saint.
After several months of intense labor on the part of the parishioners and contractors, the 12th Bishop of Grand Rapids, Most Reverend Bishop David J. Walkowiak, came and blessed the Church and the Altar on September 22, 2013. It was a very memorable day!
On April 27, 2014 our Holy Father Pope Francis I solemnly declared our patron Pope John Paul II a saint. Nearly 20 pilgrims from our parish together with our pastor gathered at St. Peter’s Square in Rome to witness this historical event in the life of the Church and particularly for our parish. Not many parishes in the world have the privilege of seeing their patron be proclaimed a saint!
May Saint John Paul II, from heaven, bless all the present and future parishioners. In March 2014, light of the canonization, Bishop David J. Walkowiak decreed to alter the name of the parish from Blessed to Saint John Paul II effective on the day the church enrolled our patron in the book of the saints.
Within a year, our community of faith has grew to over 260 households. We currently have over 360 families. We are looking forward to welcoming many more families in the months to come. Join us and make our journey of faith yours. Contact the parish office to register.