For the Podcast episode, click here!
When I think of Legos I recall, not very fondly, all those little pieces that needed to be picked up off the floor. Secretly, I was glad my children played with them occasionally rather than having them out all the time with works in progress. John Kraemer though, has them out all the time, pretty much taking most of the space in his living room as he works on constructing Lego people-sized parishes and churches. John is the founder and sole builder of the Lego Church Project, with 20 seasons of construction behind him, he is just now starting on season 21. This season, he was prompted to dedicate his new piece to the Blessed Mother.
When John was younger, he recalls seeing replicas of famous sites, like the Statue of Liberty, done with Legos by adults. As he grew and his faith became more important to him, he thought, “Why not churches?” And so, he began to construct churches out of Legos, complete with people in pews, doors and windows, an altar, tabernacle and pretty much everything else you see in a Catholic Church.
These projects are a labor of love, taking up to two months to create and over 20,000 pieces. Last year John used 25,000 pieces and that included doors and windows that open. He then works with various parishes local to the Saginaw, MI area where he lives to bring the project to them. John does not drive due to his cerebral palsy, so he relies on help to get his work where it needs to go. One parish that always hosts, from Advent to Christmas, is his home parish of Christ the Good Shepherd in Saginaw.
Why do this?
As John builds, he prays for the Church, for those with disabilities and everyone struggling to find a place in the Church. He believes that we are all called to evangelization in our own creative ways and that there is hope in the face of darkness.
His creations bring joy to both children and adults. For the children, he puts in little surprises, like a superhero at Mass or a Star Wars saber in a corner. Often people come to see the display and then stay for Mass. It is certainly a very non-threatening way to draw people into a parish!
To learn more, follow John’s Facebook page.
And our Not Lukewarm Challenge this week is from John!
How can you use your talents for God?