How long have you been a member of St John Vianney Catholic Church? My husband and I have been members of SJV for 13 years. We immediately became involved because of the size of the parish; being so large, it was important to find groups or ministries where we could get involved. We were empty nesters when we moved here, so it was important for us to get involved. In the past we had our children and their school activities to meet other parents; this time it was different – we had to do it on our own.
What is your family’s background? Where are you from originally? We are born and raised Catholics, growing up in Colorado, but I am originally from St. Louis, Mo. We have two children and five grandchildren, ages 8-14, and all are living out of state, which makes for frequent travel.
How do you live your Catholic Faith? I live my faith by participating in the sacraments – I attend Daily Mass and am an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion and Sacristan. I make a weekly Holy Hour of Adoration and attend bible studies through the parish. I also serve in various ways in our Social Services ministry (see below.)
How has your involvement at the Parish impacted/changed your life? Yes, very definitely, SJV has changed my life! I feel it has made me a better and stronger Catholic, living my faith by example as well as being blessed in many ways through my personal life.
How do you make a difference? What programs or activities are/were you involved in? In our Social Services ministry, we try to make a difference by helping people with their basic needs, both physical and spiritual, by providing various forms of assistance, some direction, or sometimes just a kind or encouraging word. I coordinate the Gabriel Project and Respect Life ministry for the parish, volunteer at Joseph’s Coat, and generally help out at Social Ministry programs when needed.
What is special about SJV? Do you have a special memory/anecdote you would like to share? Even though we are a very large parish, we are very diverse and we have a lot of fun and joy with our service and involvement in the parish. The parish dinners/breakfasts are an ideal opportunity to meet new people and to invite them to a parish event or monthly ministry group, bible study, etc. We’ve especially enjoyed the parish pilgrimage trips – traveling to the Holy Land and another trip to Germany and Austria. On these trips, it really is nice to get to know fellow parishioners better by spending time together, sharing a meal and worshiping together at daily Mass.
What do you tell your friends & family about SJV? There is a real sense of family and community within our many ministries and groups within the parish – with over 180 ministries, there’s something for everyone to participate in and enjoy!! It’s a vibrant parish with plenty to offer young families, singles, youth as well as the ‘more mature’ groups and retirees, etc.
What would you say to someone new who wants to get more involved in the church? Don’t hesitate to get involved, visit a few of the ministries/groups –we have a Fall Parish Ministry weekend where all the groups are represented at an informal setting in the Activity Center with lots of information and very helpful people there to welcome new parishioners. Make a Friend, Be a Friend and Bring that Friend to Christ… Be that person who invites a new member to your group or ministry!