espite its size, St. John Vianney Parish in Sedona has a dedicated group of parishioners who are making a mighty difference in the diocese. In less than six months, the parish has raised almost 85 percent of its goal for the diocese’s “Together Let Us Go Forth ~ Juntos Sigamos Adelante” campaign, according to Leslie Farias, parish campaign manager.
Farias said the parish demographics are made up of 30 percent visitors and a large number of parishioners who have second homes in Sedona, with their main parish somewhere in the Valley, making the five-year campaign commitment difficult.
“It is a very unique community,” Farias said of the parish, which also supports the renowned tourist site, the Chapel of the Holy Cross. “The parishioners show their love for … the Catholic faith. They are doing this sacrificial gift by tithing above and beyond what they have already done.”
St. John Vianney Parish
180 St. John Vianney Ln., Sedona
Sunday Mass Times
5 p.m. (Saturday Vigil)
12:30 p.m. (Bilingual)
Fr. Kieran Kleczewski, St. John Vianney pastor, said the campaign touches the hearts of his parishioners, especially its funding of education programs.
By the Numbers
Families registered in the parish
People who attend Mass every weekend
People confirmed in the last 12 months
New families registered in the parish in the last 12 months
Year the parish was established
“I am sure like every parish, we are very blessed with a lot of good and generous people who truly love the Church,” he said. “This is what it is all about.”
Dcn. Dennis Sullivan said he and Fr. Kleczewski were well received during recent home visits to discuss the campaign with parishioners.
“First of all, it is wonderful we get to talk to people one-on-one and tell them about the work that the diocese is doing, and they are a part of the diocese,” Dcn. Sullivan said. “It is really amazing — they feel they are doing something great here. I think that this is the way that they felt. And they really responded.”
John Hautman, the parish’s “Together” campaign cabinet chairman, said that the main interest in the appeal for parishioners is education — funding for Immaculate Conception School in Cottonwood and the diocesan Newman Centers on college campuses. Parishioners are also interested in funding retirement programs and supporting the work of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul throughout the diocese.
“The big thing is that people have to understand is you can’t sit back and let it happen,” Hautman said about the fundraising. “You have to be engaged, you have to be enthusiastic and believe what we are about. … Nothing happens in life half-heartedly.”
With the money raised for St. John Vianney from the campaign, the deacon said the parish will get solar panels to help lower the high electric bill and will also complete several much-needed renovations.
Dcn. Sullivan said he believes the campaign fundraising was successful because they have a pastor who is engaged and parishioners who are committed to supporting Catholic education to evangelize and support the next generation. Dcn. Sullivan, who has been with the parish for seven years, said his positive experience with personal home visits showed him that parishioners care about helping other people.
“I really enjoyed working with Fr. Kieran on the project and again, it is here in the parish that they feel close to the rest of the diocese because of the evangelization work that they do,” he said. “We are only a small community, but there is a larger community in which we belong, and it is through Jesus Christ that we touch people and it is wonderful.”