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St. John Neumann Catholic Church Introduction
The road to St. John Neumann Catholic Church in Eagan winds past sprawling neighborhoods, small businesses, and a community municipal center and civic arena. Pulling off of the highway, there is a sudden sense that you have arrived somewhere wholly different than downtown St. Paul. This is suburbia.
A twenty-minute drive from the Twin Cities, located in an area that its constituents refer to as “South of the River,” St. John Neumann draws those predominantly from Eagan, Apple Valley, Burnsville, Inver Grove Heights, and even a few from St. Paul and South Minneapolis. It boasts a membership of 4,000 families and 14,000 people, with two chapels and services offered daily.
While the outside appearance of St. John Neumann blends in with the suburban landscape, taking its architectural inspiration from the trends for Brutalism in the 1970s, the intention behind each setting is evident within. The entrance is a row of glass windows and doors, beckoning to those who pull into the enormous concrete monstrosity that is the parking lot. On many days, it does not seem as if their membership is so large. Just a few rows of cars lined up together on the vast of expanse of pavement spreading beyond them. But, upon entering the building, you realize that you’ve been fooled; an entire community is alive here, occupying just one space of lived religion in Minnesota.