Church Chats

A Little Bit About How Things Work

You are here at St. John Vianney Parish, a Catholic Community is the east foothills of Santa Clara County. You probably know that the parish, our local expression of the Catholic Church, is part of the Diocese of San Jose.

You may not know that the parish is also a part of a segment of the Diocese known as a Deanery. St. John Vianney belongs to Deanery 6, which includes the following parishes: Christ the King, Five Wounds Portuguese National Church, Holy Cross, Most Holy Trinity, Our Lady of Guadalupe, St. Brother Albert Chmielowski, St. Francis of Assisi, St. John Vianney, St. Maria Goretti, St. Patrick Proto-Cathedral,  and Our Lady of Refuge.

Staff and key volunteers from each parish in the Deanery meet to see how they might work together to share resources and further develop the Catholic Church in our area. There is also a  smaller group known as the Deanery 6 MultiParish Cooperative (D6MPC) that meets to share resources on a number of issues where working together means greater success.

You also may not know that each parish has a Pastoral Council and a Finance Council. These two groups are key advisors to the pastor regarding the needs of the parish. The SJV Pastoral Council meets on the first Wednesday of each month at 6:00 PM in the Community Center. The Financial Council meets on the last Wednesday of each month at 7:00 PM in the Parish Office Center. Both meetings are open to all parishioners unless they are discussing sensitive issues, in which case they may ask visitors to step out.

The Finance Council oversees the parish budget, looking at close range and long range financial planning. A few years ago our parish was in pretty bad shape financially, but our current Finance Council has worked hard to get us back in the black. This year we were able to start paying key staff who had worked without pay for months. We still need to continue to develop our resources and getting families to use OnLineGiving is helping a lot.

Members of the Pastoral Council help the pastor by studying, reflecting, and recommending their conclusions. In brief, the work of the pastoral council is pastoral planning. For example, how do we decide which items need attention in the parish? Shall we bring in this particular speaker or another one? How can we work to get more parishioners involved in parish activities? Which parish activities do we want to support in our parish? Which ministries need more help? How can we support all the good things our parish does?

If you have time and talent in these areas and are ready to share, contact the Parish Office Center at 408-285-7832 to volunteer. If you have additional questions about how things work, send your questions to or the Parish Office and we will try to answer the questions.