To Know, To Love, and To Serve God in Our Parish and in This Community
Saint John is a very active and vibrant Catholic Community. Its spirited filled liturgies and its numerous charitable endeavors, embodying the spirit of Stewardships, ,i.e., the sharing and giving of one’s time, talent and treasure to those in need, are known throughout Naples and the Diocese of Venice.
During the course of the year the Parish sponsors a variety of religious, social, educational, and cultural events in the Church, Parish Life Center, and Claussen Family Center. Many of these are fundraising events for the Parish and its various ministries.
The Family Mission program sponsors monthly programs for parents and children, in addition to its Fall Festival, A Night in Bethlehem, a Children’s Easter Egg Hunt, in conjunction with the Men’s Club, and May Crowning.
The Knights of Columbus sponsors numerous events, including a Columbus Day Dinner Dance, a Dinner Dance to support Vocations, Valentines Day Dance, St. Joseph’s Altar Feast and Mass, Friday Night Fish Fry during Lent, Spring Fling Dinner Dance, and other events. Funds raised from these events support numerous church activities and our seminarians.
The annual Super Bowl Party, St. Patrick’s Day Dinner, Mass and Reception in support of St. Vincent de Paul, Reverse Raffle to support CFA, and the Annual Parish Picnic are highlights of the year.
Men’s Club events include Big Band Dances and an Easter Egg Hunt for children, as well as assisting JOP and other groups with their events.
Jamaica Outreach holds an annual fundraiser and auction as well as a concert by St. Pius X choir from Jamaica.
Numerous other events hosted by the Council of Catholic Women, Boys Scouts, Early Childhood Center and other ministries raise funds for these groups and the Parish. All are published in the Parish Bulletin.
Numerous Naples organizations use the PLC and Claussen Center for their events, many of which are open to our parishioners.
Sewing knitting, crocheting and craft groups meet on a regular basis, as do Mah Jongg and pinochle, as noted in the Parish Bulletin.
A variety of support organizations such an AA, Al-anon, A lateen, Project Courage, a support ministry for those of same sex attraction, Divorced and Separated, are held in the Parish Life Center. Please consult the bulletin for days and times.
The Bulletin and the website, both of which are online at www.saintjohntheevangelist.com are always available to parishioners and keep them informed of all aspects of Parish Life.
History of Stewardship at St. John’s
Stewardship has played, and continues to play, an important role in the life of St. John’s. From its beginning St. John’s parishioners have reached out to those less fortunate in the greater Naples community and beyond. Heeding Christ’s call (“Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of the least brothers of mine, you did for me” Matthew 25:34), parishioners have shared their resources with those less fortunate in truly remarkable ways.
Today we would refer to it as STEWARDSHIP, but in the recent past is was simply known as GENEROSITY or SHARING, and St. John’s spirit of generosity and sharing is legendary.
St. John’s spirit of generosity and sharing is legendary.
A vacation by a parishioner to Jamaica and his visit to a poor parish in Kingston (St. Pius X) led to what is now the Jamaica Outreach Program (JOP). Since that initial visit, parishioners have donated some $3.5 million dollars to St. Pius X and its various projects, in addition to the thousands of hours of volunteer work, fund raising projects, food drives, etc in addition to travel to Jamaica all at their own personal expense.
Helping the poor in Collier County by its support of Habitat for Humanity was another such endeavor. Begun by a parishioner, the late Gordon Smith and his wife Rita, this program, established in 1999, has raised over $2.3 million dollars and has built some 46 homes for those without adequate housing. In addition to monetary support, parishioners have worked in the Habitat office and resale store, worked as mentors to Habitat families and participated in building homes in Naples and Immokalee.
Support for the Catholic Faith Appeals, a Diocesan sponsored program which supports a variety of important programs, has totaled some $7.2 million dollars since the parish was founded, over $ 1 million dollars in the last two years alone.
A call to help victims of the Haiti earthquake by Bishop Dewane in January of 2010 raised more than $90,000 in one weekend.
Support for education is yet another example. Through their weekly donations parishioners have, over the years, contributed more than $1.5 million to support education programs of the Diocese.
The Knights of Columbus (KC) is another ministry with a history of service and generosity. KC members are actively involved in all Parish Councils, Commissions and ministries, with many holding positions of leadership in these groups. Many members are actively involved in multiple organizations providing their TIME and TALENT to the Parish.
Since the local Council was founded, the KC has contributed over $375,000 to the Parish, in addition to raising thousands of dollars to support Diocese seminarians and education programs through its annual Tootsie Roll drive. KC support of the Parish has included the purchase of appliances for the kitchen, industrial cleaning equipment for the PLC, office furniture and equipment, a playground of the Pre-School program, start-up funds for the Religious Boutique, TVs/VCRs and other equipment for the Faith Formation program, and a Nativity Scene, among other purchases.
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul, an international society of lay Catholics, works within the parish to help those suffering and in need. The Society helps individuals and families with rent payments, utility bills, prescription needs, food and other necessities. In the past two and one half years the Society has distributed over $250,000 for these projects. Funds for these activities are raised through parish collections, St. Patrick’s Day party and other parish events.
At the same time parishioners were supporting these endeavors, they also found funds to build a debt-free Church, Parish Life and Claussen Family Centers, as well as provide the initial funds for St. Agnes Chapel, which is now a parish of its own. The total amount raised for these building projects was $13.5 million.
It should be noted that these amounts do not include funds raised at second collections for other good causes, and various visionary activities.
In sum, the total raised for all of these projects is close to $29 million dollars, truly a remarkable legacy for a parish with such a short history.