Diocese of Joliet and LU celebrate transition of property

11/6/2013, 6:21 p.m.
Representatives of the Diocese of Joliet and Lewis University joined in a special ceremony on Monday, Nov. 4, to mark ...

ROMEOVILLE— Representatives of the Diocese of Joliet and Lewis University joined in a special ceremony on Monday, Nov. 4, to mark the transition of the St. Charles Borromeo Pastoral Center (SCBPC) property in Romeoville from a diocesan pastoral center to an integral part of the Lewis University campus. Lewis University purchased the St. Charles Borromeo property, which adjoins its campus, in the summer of 2013 to accommodate increasing enrollment and expansion of its academic programs.

Bishop R. Daniel Conlon, Auxiliary Bishop Joseph M. Siegel and retired Bishop Joseph L. Imesch concelebrated a special Mass on the Feast of St. Charles Borromeo that followed the ceremony marking the transition. Brother James Gaffney, FSC, President of Lewis University, offered remarks during the ceremony which focused on the theme, “St. Charles Borromeo Center: Remembering the Past, Celebrating the Future.”

“St. Charles Borromeo Seminary served the Diocese of Joliet for a number of years as an important component for the formation of future priests. Now it will serve in the formation of lay people. Christ remains as the ultimate Teacher; the Light of the World,” Bishop Conlon told the approximately 175 guests who included clergy, diocesan officials, Lewis administrators, faculty, staff, students and members of the De La Salle Christian Brothers who sponsor Lewis University.

Brother James noted: “We are deeply appreciative to the Diocese of Joliet for allowing us to purchase this property during a time of rapid growth and expansion of Lewis University. As we continue to grow in enrollment, this expanded location provides us with another resource to carry out our Catholic educational mission in the Lasallian tradition.”

Located on Route 53 and Airport Road in Romeoville, the St. Charles Borromeo Pastoral Center, which now will be known as the Saint Charles Borromeo Center, and adjoining property consists of approximately 140,000 sq. ft. of space on 40 acres of land. Lewis University has scheduled classes and programs in a portion of the Center for three years through a lease agreement with the Diocese.

“Transferring the Saint Charles Borromeo Center property to Lewis has advanced our Mission as we celebrate the expansion of our campus and our plans to offer classes, programs, conferences, residential space and more at the Center, especially for the College of Business, the Graduate School of Management and the School of Professional and Continuing Education,” said Brother James.

Convenient for students, faculty and staff by means of a short walking path from the heart of campus, the Center is undergoing extensive renovations to fit the University’s needs. The current space includes multiple classrooms and meeting rooms, a dining room, and residential living spaces to accommodate nearly 170 students. There also are multiple private offices, a chapel that accommodates up to 750 people, and a small gymnasium. However, most of these areas will be significantly remodeled by the summer of 2014.

The Center was originally built in 1964 by the Diocese of Joliet as a seminary to accommodate growth in priestly vocations. Since 1980, the center has been the hub for several diocesan ministries. They will move to The Blanchette Catholic Center, 16555 Weber Road, Crest Hill, IL 60403.