How long have you been a member of St John Vianney Catholic Church? We arrived in Houston on New Year’s Eve, 1969, and immediately became active members of St. John Vianney Parish, where our family flourished for the next 13 years. In 1983 we transferred to Southern California where we remained until 1992, when we returned to Houston and this parish. Actual time at SJV: 35 years.
What is your family’s background? Where are you from originally? Grew up in Oregon in a Dutch Catholic farming community called Verboort. Met my husband, Daryl, at the University Of Portland (Holy Cross Fathers), married in 1956, raised 4 daughters while dotting the map with Shell Oil.
How do you live your Catholic Faith? By assisting at Mass regularly, participating in the Sacraments, singing in the choir, praying daily, taking part in various instructional programs offered. I am in my 17th year as an active member of Charity Guild of Catholic Women.
How has your involvement at the Parish impacted/changed your life? There is a joy that comes from being a part of this active body of Christ. And since our music program has made such strides in recent years, I find I can’t wait for Wednesday night Choir rehearsals and Mass on Sundays as well as other special occasions. The friendships and the music breathe life into my soul.
How do you make a difference? What programs or activities are/were you involved in? In the 70’s I was a volunteer organist, worked on the bazaar and many other activities. After we returned to SJV in the 90’s I helped with Children’s CCE Music, as needed, for 15-plus years. Currently I sing with our Choir, serve on the Robe Committee, work in the Music Library as needed, serve on Women’s Club telephone committee, help with funeral receptions during the month of January, etc.
What is special about SJV? Do you have a special memory/anecdote you would like to share? One evening in the early 70’s Father Tinney, our first Pastor, was taking a young couple thru their wedding rehearsal. I was at the organ. Suddenly there was a horrendous clap of thunder and lightning struck the wooden cross atop the Church, shattering it. Dust rained down on the young couple below. Father Tinney bolted from the Church to check for fire. I followed but had a change of heart when a blue/white lightning bolt struck the ground by one of the large pine trees near the entrance to the church and bounced for a second or two. I quickly returned to my proper place at the organ. There was no fire and the wedding was lovely the next day.
What do you tell your friends & family about SJV? We have a wonderful, vibrant parish with so much to offer. Ours is a happy family doing God’s work and loving it
What would you say to someone new who wants to get more involved in the church? Y’all come! You’ll be glad you did.