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Gesu parking lot concerns persist

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Gesu parking lot concerns persist

The parking dispute between Marquette and Gesu Parish over Lot F has continued another week.

The parking dispute between Marquette and Gesu Parish over Lot F has continued another week.

Photo by Benjamin Erickson

The parking dispute between Marquette and Gesu Parish over Lot F has continued another week.

Photo by Benjamin Erickson

Photo by Benjamin Erickson

The parking dispute between Marquette and Gesu Parish over Lot F has continued another week.

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Gesu parishioners and priests are reaching out to additional members of the parish and Marquette community after their primary parking lot was repurposed.

Marquette recently announced that it will close Lot F, which upset priests and parishioners who said that Gesu was not part of the decision-making process. The university said it will provide alternative parking options.

Marquette alumnus and parishioner Paul Trotter decided to take additional action by reaching out to an outside authority via email. One such email was to Rev. Thomas Neitzke, the president of Creighton Prep School and member of Marquette’s Board of Trustees.

Trotter asked Neitzke to “help guide Marquette to provide a solution to the problem they have created” in the email. He also said he would be contacting all trustees regarding the matter.

Following the publishing of serval news articles about the dispute between Gesu and Marquette, Rev. Jim Flaherty of Gesu sent out another email to the parishioners to “clarify certain points with regard to the issue of Lot F and its potential closure on February 19th.”

“This current situation would not be controversial were Gesu a University Chapel, but it is not. Gesu is an independent parish of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee and sponsored by the Society of Jesus. It thus depends upon easily accessed parking to carry out its mission,” Flaherty said in the email.

Flaherty again expressed his frustration over Gesu’s lack of involvement in the planning process.

“The process was, in essence, non-collaborative and not in keeping with the Society of Jesus’ ‘way of proceeding’ in ministry,’” Flaherty said in the email.

University spokesperson Chris Stolarski said Marquette officials met with Gesu Parish leadership last October when the university first determined that Lot F was a possible location from the new Athletic and Human Performance Research Center.

Stolarski said Marquette notified Gesu of the university’s intention to move forward with the project on Lot F’s site.

“We knew it was important to give the parish an opportunity to begin planning for this change,” he said in an email.

John O’Brien, the director of operations and administration at Gesu Parish, said he felt the October meeting was insufficient. He said Gesu requested the meeting, in which the university first announced its plans for the site.

“Our input was the closing of Lot F would significantly harm the parish,” O’Brien said. “Then, with no further communication or collaboration, on Dec. 11 the university formally announced the plan we oppose.”

Although there is no resolution to this issue to date, both parties plan to continue to meet to find a solution to the parking issue.

“Marquette truly values its relationship with Gesu, and we will continue to meet with parish leadership to find additional, agreeable long-term parking solutions,” Stolarski said.

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