St. George parishioners in Bourbonnais feel strongly about extending the sacred space from within their church sanctuary, outdoors across their spacious campus. Especially now, with continued restrictions on numbers of people allowed indoors during the pandemic, they are working to make prayerful experiences, accessible outside.

Fr. Dan Belanger works on the lighting.

To kick off the season of Advent, members of its Arts & Environment Committee created a large nativity display on the church grounds.

“Come and take a look,” encourages Fr. Dan Belanger, CSV, Pastor. “Say a quick prayer for someone who may need a special prayer.”

Mark Walsh built the manger.


Parishioner Mark Walsh designed and built the manger itself before committee members made the scene come to life with larger figures surrounded by bales of hay. Even Fr. Dan pitched in, added the colorful lighting, drawing on his Las Vegas roots.

“We have these great LED lights in different colors that I love to use,” Fr. Dan says.

Members of the Arts & Environment didn’t stop there. They worked inside the church to design an elaborate Advent wreath, and spread greenery throughout the worship space. Fr. Dan added purple lighting behind the altar, showcasing the seasonal color.

The overall effect is calming, spiritual and peaceful. Let the holy season of Advent begin.