"The parish is where the Church lives. Parishes are communities of faith, of action, and of hope. They are where the Gospel is proclaimed and celebrated, where believers are formed and sent to renew the earth. Parishes are the home of the Christian community; they are the heart of our Church. Parishes are the place where God's people meet Jesus in word and sacrament and come in touch with the source of the Church's life."
—USCCB, Communities of Salt and Light
For the foreseeable future, we will have two campuses.
The Fairview Campus has the rectory and church where all Masses and liturgical events will take place and is located at 9800 Fairview Rd.
The Lawyers Campus has the offices, administration wing, meeting space, and classrooms and will remain at 13700 Lawyers Rd.
Please pay careful attention to the location of events as we transition across two campuses!
St. Luke parish began in 1987 on the Feast of St. Luke (October 18th) with a small group of founding parishioners who gathered on Sundays in the movie theatre of Matthews Festival. Our first pastor, Father Joe Mulligan, urged the launching parishioners like our Patron the physician, to be a “healing presence in the community” which is reflected in our mission statement today. By Christmas that year, the parish was able to move away from the smell of popcorn and nomadic life to a small, renovated storefront in the Mint Hill Festival Shopping Plaza. This would be home for the next seven years, where members worked together to dream up and become the warm, welcoming St. Luke community we love. Those families collaborated on a vision of our developing parish by participating in ongoing town halls.
Through their passion, dedication, and generosity, we were able to begin building on the Diocese’s 11-acre plot on Lawyers Road. The multi-purpose building was completed by the feast of St. Luke in 1994 and dedicated by Bishop William Curlin on January 7th, 1995. In 1997, an addition to the worship space and the faith formation wing - with classrooms and the family life center - was completed. In 2001, following Father Joe Mulligan’s sabbatical, Father Jim Hawker was appointed pastor and served at St. Luke’s until Father Paul Gary was appointed in 2008. As we grew and used every corner of the present space, we added the Spirituality Center for an additional 6 modular classrooms. We grew to over 1,500 families and needed more space to accommodate our growing needs, and our current location offered no useable land to expand. Our Building Peace campaign allowed us to purchase a 30-acre plot on Fairview Road in 2009 where our dream could be realized.
In 2019, we launched our Cornerstone Capital Campaign, and with the prayerful support of our growing parish, we met our goals and began building on the new property – first the pavilion, then 3-bedroom rectory, and finally our new church to seat 840. Construction was finished in early 2023 with our Dedication Mass and reception on Sunday, February 19th, 2023. The church will have ample parking, plenty of pews, and even room to grow. We will be across two campuses until we are able to build offices, classrooms, and meeting spaces on our new property. The Lawyers Road building will continue to serve us for functions, faith formation, and administration until we are able to sell the property and consolidate on one campus in the coming years.
We look to the bright future and God as we put ourselves in His hands and continue welcoming new parishioners in the warm and inviting St. Luke’s way!
Our Patron - Saint Luke
St. Luke the Evangelist is our Patron. An author of the Gospel with his name and Acts of the Apostles, he is mentioned in scripture by St. Paul as a physician. Tradition also calls him an artist and the earliest icons are attributed to him. His feast day is October 18th.
Listen below for more details about his life:
Those Who Have Served:
Fr. Joe Mulligan served from 1987- 2001
Fr. Jim Hawker served from 2001- 2008
Fr. Paul Gary served 2008-present
Deacon Jeff Evers served 2007-2022
Deacon Rafael Torres served 2008-2022
Deacon Guillermo Anzola served 2022-present
Deacon Larry O'Toole served 2023-present
Sr. Veronica Grover, SHCJ served from 1987 to 2014
Sr. Alma Cornely, SHCJ (unknown years of service)
Sr. Jay McCann, SHCJ 1995 to 2010
St. Luke in the Catholic News & Herald
Architectural Features Point to Heaven
Our church floorplan is designed in the shape of a cross (cruciform). It has layered symbolism, including an exterior sign to passersby and a calling to the congregation to be assembled in the shape of Christ crucified.
The columns inside the church are meant to remind us of trees in a garden and point to the New Eden. They often are adorned with leaves or floral accents to elaborate on the symbolism. Columns also often represent people (having a “head” and a “pedestal foot,” with human proportions) and, sometimes within the context of a church, the twelve apostles.
Churches are traditionally built facing east. This orientation faces the rising sun which is a symbol of the resurrection and a reminder of Christ who will come again from the east (Matthew 24:27).
Our church has a tall tower admitting light, called a lantern (cupola-style). It is common in Italian or modern architecture and serves for lighting, ventilation, and ornament and is unmistakable in the skyline.
NATURAL LAWS OF CHURCHES
Every church has three features that help define it as a sacred space.
The first is permanence: often achieved through durability, large spaces, and continuity. A church is a permanent structure as a reflection of the Church established by Jesus, the cornerstone, built on the foundation of the apostles.
It secondly has verticality, meaning the vertical elements dominate the horizontal. This upward construction points to our reaching towards heaven and the transcendence, and heaven reaching down to us (Rev 21:2-4).
Lastly, a church must have iconography—artwork, sculpture, and even the architecture itself—which points to the beauty of God’s creation. These icons tell the story of Christ and the Church.
The word tabernacle comes from the Latin tabernaculum meaning “tent” or “dwelling place” and calls to mind the tent-like structure in Exodus that covered the ark of the covenant (where the manna was kept). It is where Jesus resides sacramentally in each consecrated host. The tabernacle is usually found in the center of the sanctuary, locked, made of solid materials, and immovable, to protect the precious gift of our Eucharistic Lord inside. It is often made of, or gilded in, gold and a veil inside reiterates the holiness of God.
The sanctuary candle or tabernacle lamp (usually hanging and red) remains lit as a sign of the presence of the reserved Consecrated Eucharist in the tabernacle and recalls the biblical command that a lamp should burn continuously in the Tabernacle of Moses. The tabernacle provides a location where the Eucharist can be kept for the adoration of the faithful and for later use (for example exposition or distribution to the sick).
Catholic use of the tabernacle is because of our belief in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist (body, blood, soul, and divinity) under the appearance of bread (and wine). The tabernacle is not a symbol of God’s spiritual presence, but is a real home for the presence of God in the Eucharist. It is because of this belief that Catholics genuflect (bend one knee and make the sign of the cross) towards the tabernacle, as a sign of worship of the True God really present.
“Do you realize that Jesus is there in the tabernacle expressly for you – for you alone? He burns with the desire to come into your heart…”
- St Therese of Lisieux