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3736 S. Lee's Summit Road
Independence, MO 64055
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Good Friday Mass - Friday, April 18th at 7:30 p.m.
Holy Thursday Mass - 7:30 p.m.
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St. Mark's Parish Staff
Bio coming soon.
Director, Parish School of Religion (PSR)
Joyce first joined the staff of St. Mark's in 1968 as Coordinator of Religious education for Grades 1-6. In 1984 she became the full-time Director of Religious Education (DRE). Prior to St. Mark's she taught in Diocesan Catholic Schools for 5 1/2 years: 4 years, St. Therese-Parkville; 1/2 year, St. Gabriel's; 1 year, Nativity-Independence. Joyce has a Bachelor of Arts in Theology from Avila University and is a member of the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership. She is married to husband, Gene, and they have 4 children and 8 grandchildren.
Administrative Assistant - Adult Education & Pastoral Care
Betsy began employment with St. Mark's in May of 2004. She brings varied administrative experience to the position, most recently with Pathways Community Behavioral Health Care. Betsy has also had experience as a day care manager and as a chef. When away from work she enjoys volunteering at her daughter's school. Betsy has two daughters, Shelby and Jordan.
Patti joined the St. Mark's staff in September 2001 as the receptionist/secretary for the parish. Patti's previous work experience includes six years as a claims adjuster with Employer's Mutual Companies, four years as an office manager with Great West Life Assurance Company and two years as an accounts manager for LINC. She attended Catholic grade schools and high school, and business college. She has training in variety of insurance areas, and has attended many continuing education classes. Patti and her husband, George, have been members of St. Mark's since 1975. They have two sons, Rick and Dave and four grandchildren.
Director of Adult Formation
Bio coming soon.
David Beck began working for St. Mark's in September of 2009 as the Maintenance Manager. David is married and has 3 daughters. He retired from the military in April of 2008.
No photo available.
Director of Missions
Hilda joined St. Mark's in June 2002 as an administrative assistant to pastoral care, missions and adult education. She has been Director of Missions since September of 2005. Hilda brings 25 years of varied professional experience to the staff. She grew up in the El Paso, Texas area, near the site of one of St. Mark's primary mission sites: Casa de la Cruz, Colonia de Anapra, Juarez, Mexico. Hilda joined the Navy after high school and spent nine years as a Yeoman. Hilda worked at Texas A&M University in Corpus Christi, Texas and Bonilla and Bonilla after her military stay. From there her family moved to Kansas City where she worked in the sales department at Russell Stover Candies for four years. Hilda studied law in addition to her military education. Hilda is married to husband, David and has three daughters: Jessica, age 18, Teresa, age 15 and Christina, age 14.
Administrative Assistant - Youth Ministry
Charlotte joined the St. Mark's staff in 1990 as a preschool teacher for Small Wonder Preschool. She continued in that role until 2007 when she became Co-Director of Small Wonder Preschool and Mother's Day Out. In 2011, in addition to working with the early childhood programs, she became the Administrative Assistant for St. Mark's Youth Ministry. Charlotte graduated from CMSU. She and her husband, David, have five children.
Administrative Asst; PSR, Small Wonder PreSchool & Mothers Day Out
Virginia joined St. Mark's in 1980 as the rectory housekeeper. After six years, she moved into an administrative role as parish secretary. In 1996 the staff restructured and Virginia became the administrative assistant for pastoral care, missions and youth ministry. In June of 2002, she became the administrative assistant for PSR, youth ministry, Small Wonder Preschool and Mother's Day Out. Prior to joining St. Mark's, Virginia worked 5 years for Bendix in the Data Processing Department and as a aecretary at McIntosh Motors. Her education includes one year of college and a variety of night and technical courses. Virginia is married to husband Sam and has two children, Bryan and Jennifer. Bryan is married to Lori and lives in St. Louis. Jennifer is married to Matt Wesselman, a St. Mark's parishioner. Virginia is an active member of First Presbyterian Church of Independence as an Elder and Deacon and has been President of the Women's Association and Vice President of the District Women's Association.
Ann has ben a member of St. Mark's parish for 16 years. Ann joined the staff as Sacristan with the opening of the new Church in 2004. Previous to that time, Ann shared her time and talents within many of the ministries within the parish.
Ann holds both a BS in Technical Theatre and a MFA in Theatre Management. When not busy at Church and operates her private catering business, called Garden Catering.
Deacon Ken Fuenfhausen
Director of Youth Ministery
Deacon Ken came to St. Mark's as Director of Youth Ministry in 2012. After six years in seminary with the Society of the Precious Blood, he followed a call to Youth Ministry. From 1981-1984, he served as the Campus Minister and DRE at Notre Dame de Sion High School. From 1984-2012, he served as Youth Minister and Pastoral Associate at Coronation of Our Lady in Grandview, MO. He was ordained a deacon in 2001. His degrees are from Rockhurst College and Loyola University, New Orleans.
Bio coming soon.
Photo coming soon.
Director of Administration
Gayle LaPlante joined the staff of St. Mark's in August 2010 as Director of Administration; she previously held the same role for the parish from 1999-2004. Her career away from St. Mark's includes 20+years in the Human Resources/Training/Organizational Development fields, including roles in the publishing, technology, and distribution industries. Gayle has a Bachelor of Science in Management from Missouri State University and a Master of Science in Business/Organizational Behavior from the University of Kansas. She is married to husband, Tom, and has two stepsons, Brad and Taylor.
LeVern joined St. Mark's in June, 1997 as the receptionist. She moved to her current position of Bookkeeper in September, 2001. LeVern's previous work experience includes eight years as manager and bookkeeper for St. Mary's High School cafeteria, and as an accounting clerk for the Army Corps of Engineers. LeVern and her husband, Heinz, have been members of St. Mark's since January, 1968. They have two daughters and one granddaugter and three grandsons.
Director of Liturgy and Music
Alejandro grew up in Kansas City, Kansas and attended Bishop Ward High School. A life-long singer and pianist, Alejandro pursued a music education degree, with an emphasis in voice, at Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa. He then attended the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where he received his Master's Degree in Choral Conducting.
Administrative Asst; Pastor, Liturgy and Communications
Chris joined the staff of St. Mark's in March of 2002 after working in the corporate and non-profit worlds for about 15 years. She grew up in Independence and is a graduate of St. Mary's High School and attended business college. Chris is married to husband, Keith, and they have two children, Jennie and Jake.
Fr. James Taranto
Fr. Jim Taranto became pastor of St. Mark's on July 1, 2005. Fr. Taranto comes to St. Mark's from St. Matthew the Apostle Parish were he was pastor. Fr. Taranto is no stranger to Eastern Jackson County; he served as an associate at our neighboring parishes, Nativity and St. Bernadette.
Director of Pastoral Care
Lee joined St. Mark's Catholic Church, in Independence, MO in July, 2001 and is Director of Pastoral Care, Grief Recovery Facilitator, Director of the BeFrienders ministry, and Director of Marriage Preparation. Prior to St. Mark's he worked as a Funeral Director and Embalmer for 45 years, and was the owner of Ward Funeral Homes in Chilhowee, MO and Urich, MO for many years. Lee was a United Methodist pastor for 17 years. He and his wife, Emily, began attending St. Mark's in 1998 and enrolled in the RCIA process in 1999. They became parishioners in 2000 after completing the RCIA. Lee is certified as an Advanced Bereavement Facilitator. He is a graduate of St. Paul's School of Theology and also has an Associate's degree in Mortuary Science. Lee has authored two books on the Civil War, his latest entitled "Coffins, Kits and More: Stories of the Civil War Embalmer." Of more than 50,000 books written on the subject of the Civil War, this is the only book specifically written on the subject of embalming. Lee also owns and maintains a private museum dedicated to the Civil War and funeral merchandise up to the 1960s. It is open and free for tours and may be combined with a lecture on the Civil War embalmer. Lee also does extensive lecturing to clubs and groups. Lee and Emily have been married for 42 years and have two children and five grandchildren.
3736 South Lee's Summit Road | Independence, Missouri 64055 | Phone: (816) 373-2600 | Fax: (816) 373-3816
Emergency After Hours Number: (816) 507-1209
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