Parish Trustee & Finance Councils


In civil law, each Roman Catholic parish corporation is governed by a Board of Trustees which includes the Bishop, Vicar General/Moderator of the Curia, the pastor and two lay individuals (Trustees) subject to the canonical jurisdiction of the Diocesan Bishop, according to NYS Law.  The Parish Finance Council acts in an advisory capacity and the Parish Trustees participate more directly to ensure the wellbeing of the parish.

The duties of the Board of Trustees are fiduciary and require responsibility for the care and preservation of the temporalities and property of the parish corporation.

The Board of Trustees votes to approve any sale of real property.  Following the approval of the Diocesan Bishop, the parish may then petition the NYS courts for an order to allow the sale.

The Board of Trustees would need to act in a similar manner if the parish mortgages or leases any of its real property.

Along with the Parish Finance Council, the Lay Trustees play an active role in the review of the annual parish corporation budget.  Additionally, the Lay Trustees are responsible for reviewing and signing the annual financial report of the parish corporation along with the pastor, after the Finance Council has reviewed it.  The report is then forwarded to the Bishop.

Mr. Joseph Kessler (2012-current)

Joe and his family have been parishioners at St, John Vianney since moving to West Seneca in 1997.  His wife, Lisa is a pre-school aide and his children Jordan (SJV Class of 2013), Garrett (8th grade) and Emily (6th grade) are active students at the school.  

Joe is a lifelong resident of Western New York.  Growing up in Lancaster, Joe attended St. Mary’s Elementary and High School (’83).  He attended Canisius College in Buffalo, NY before transferring to SUNY at Buffalo (UB), where he earned a BS is Electrical Engineering (’93), M. Eng. in Electrical Engineering (’00) and  an MBA (’10).  

Joe has worked in the electrical industry for nearly 30 years, starting at the electrical construction firm, T.H. Green, WESCO and Trautman Associates before starting at the New York Power Authority in 2001.  Joe held several positions until his promotion to Senior Vice-President of Power Generation in April 2012. He is also a licensed Professional Engineer in the State of New York.  

A regular volunteer for the meat raffle, lawn fete and other parish functions, Joe is a member of the Parish Finance Council, and is currently serving as one of the Parish Trustees .

Mrs. Sharon Kirsch (2014-current)

Sharon brings a wealth of knowledge to this position through the many roles she has held here at St. John Vianney Parish.  Sharon has been a member of St. John Vianney Parish for over 50 years which included teaching religious education for over 39 years and holding the title of Director of Religious Education for 21 of those years.  Her involvement here at the Parish still continues strong first as agreeing to accept this leadership role as a Trustee but also as the Coordinator of the Children's Liturgy, volunteer for Daughters of Ruth, Lothlorien and the Prayer Shawl Ministry.



In canon law (c. 532), the pastor represents the parish in all juridic affairs in accord with canon law, especially in matters of administration found in dcc. 1281-1288.  The pastor is the authoritative representative of the parish.  The Parish Finance Council assists the pastor in administering the temporal goods of the parish.  According to Canon 537, each parish is required to maintain a Finance Council which is governed, in addition to universal law, by norms issued by the Diocesan Bishop and in which the parish faithful, selected according to these same norms, are to assist the pastor in the administration of the goods of the parish with due regard for the prescription of Canon 532.

In each parish, the Finance Council is advisory and consultative in nature.  Its members, aware of the mission of the universal Church, assist and support the pastor in his administrative role by sharing their financial and administrative expertise.

As a member of the Parish Finance Council you will be called upon to provide your insight and expertise in manners of significant concern.  This is both a great honor and a great responsibility.  Confidentiality, sincerity and a sense of Commitment to the mission of the Church are required of each Finance Council Member.


Mr. Mark Behm

Mrs. Marie Betti

Mr. David Fabian

Mr. Jordan Honan

Mr. Jack Hudack

Mr. Joseph Kessler

Mrs. Sue Zanelli