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Kaneland Connection: St. Katharine Drexel to open in December

St. Katharine Drexel Church is set to open in December in Sugar Grove.
St. Katharine Drexel Church is set to open in December in Sugar Grove.

Christmas at Sugar Grove’s Catholic church promises to be special this year.

St. Katharine Drexel’s building at 8S055 Dugan Road is set to open in December, and there should be plenty of room for parishioners to celebrate. The church celebrated a cornerstone dedication Saturday, and on that cornerstone, a Dec. 1 dedication date appears. Church officials hope to make that a reality.

The Rev. Bob Jones, the church’s pastor, said there is a lot of anticipation about the church. Established in 2008, Jones said the church has brought the community together. But it is time for a new building. Daily business has been conducted at a building on Main Street, and weekend Masses have been celebrated at John Shields Elementary School.

The church building – “it’s quite beautiful,” Jones said – needs finishing touches before it can be occupied. Stained-glass windows will be installed. An artist is crafting a bronze sculpture, a tree of life that will include the church’s namesake – St. Katherine Drexel – and St. Anthony. The St. Anthony Chapel will honor Anthony Rich, one of the church’s benefactors, and his wife, Katherine. He credited Anthony, Jerry and Keith Rich as being instrumental in the building of the church.

The church will be built to accommodate as many as 370 people, Jones said, but the parish hall can be used to add seats for occasions such as Easter or Christmas. And there is a lower level that makes it possible to celebrate two Masses at the same time.

Jones said parishioners were quick to embrace St. Katharine’s, and there are more than 600 families among its members.

“Sugar Grove has wanted a Catholic church for a long time,” Jones said.

The church has been posting updates on the church at its website –

Kaneland students commended

Kaneland High School students Caroline Eichelberger, Christopher T. Farrell and Sean P. Flamand have been named commended students in the 2013 National Merit Scholarship Program.

About 34,000 commended students in the nation are recognized for their academic promise. They place among the top 5 percent of more than 1.5 million students who entered the competition by taking the 2011 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.

Blessing of the pets

St. Gall Catholic Church has planned a blessing of animals for 11 a.m. Saturday at the church, 120 W. Shannon St., Elburn. In honor of the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals, the church welcomes all to bring their pets or animals on leashes or in appropriate cages.

There is no charge. For information, call 630-365-6030 or visit the parish website at

Fire department open house

The Sugar Grove Fire Department has planned an open house and an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast from 8 a.m. to noon Sunday at 25 S. Municipal Drive, Sugar Grove. The event includes JoJo the Clown and fire extinguisher training.

The cost is $6 for adults and $3 for those ages 3 to 10. Children 2 and younger are free. For information, call 630-466-4513.

• Al Lagattolla is the news editor of the Kane County Chronicle. Write to him at

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